The UIAA equipment standard provides a baseline for equipment performance in a test lab under controlled conditions on new equipment. Although these test conditions are relevant to the conditions encountered climbing, conditions encountered at the crags and the condition of the equipment are equally important. This recommendation from the UIAA member federation The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) provides vital equipment information that is NOT explicitly addressed in the standard, particularly failure modes of the equipment and recommendations for the use, inspection, maintenance, and retirement of equipment.
‘Have you got the bag of ‘friends’ Ray?’ the name stuck…
Friends are the most iconic protection ever made. Throughout their 38 year tenure, although the construction has changed, their essence remains the same. At the heart of each iteration has been the definitive 13.75 cam angle; described, refined and developed by Wild Country and proven in thousands of miles of cracks climbed since 1977!
This new Friend is no different, built with a twin axle it remains a Friend. At its core our 13.75 constant cam angle provides the axis around which future climbers will place their trust. Robust and reliable this Friend combines classic features and significant additions to create an intriguing mix of old and new.
Externally, stylish with significant design flourishes mean the eye is drawn to any number of clever upgrades: hollow axles (Patented) are stiffer for less weight; wide, skimmed lobes grip better yet are kinder on the rock; new 12mm dyneema is agile and easily extended, saving time and the weight of having to use a quickdraw on each.
Internals are based on classic Wild Country foundations; our legendary holding power and the consistency of overlap between units, whilst the twin axle has allowed us to increase the range per unit.
Never defined by how it is built, but by how it performs, the friends iconic status is simply enhanced by this twin axle version.
Crucially, this is design at its most practical making the new Friend the only twin axle cam that combines the convenience and comfort of a thumbloop with the speed and utility of an extendable sling.
Faster, smoother, lighter in use and superbly finished; our clever combination of key features with innovative engineering makes the new Friend the most complete cam available.
Friend Type New Friends
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|Weight (g / oz)
Weight (g / oz)
In grams and ounces, the weight, as stated by the manufacturer/brand.
|123.0 g / 4.33 oz
|4 lobes, double axle
|Flexible single stem
|x12 mm Dyneema (double sling loop)
|13.75° (angle is consistent throughout)
| 12 kN
12KN - Sling doubled 10KN - Sling extended ...
|Cam Range (mm / in)
Cam Range (mm / in)
In millimeters and inches, the maximum dimensions of the cam lobes when shut tight and fully extended. Since the "usable" range is so debatable, all manufacturers now list the full dimensions to avoid selling themselves short.
For offset cams, we'll list the max dimensions possible and then afterwards list each of lobe dimensions.
|31.7 - 53.6 mm (1.24 - 2.11 in)
The Wild Country Friends offer great ergonomics, stability and popular features with testers. Friends stood out for ergonomics and ease of use with their spacious, contoured and featured thumb loop and curved trigger bar. Great stability was provided by the double axle design, non-anodized and square cut cam lobe teeth and patented hollow axles for stiffer axles. The extendable double slings were easy to use and helped add stability and give versatility. While not the lightest cams tested, the Friends offer a lot of features seen on a heavier cam and their biggest drawback may be that they are only available in seven sizes.
The Wild Country Friends are my go-to cam. For the price, I'd also say they are the best bang for your buck. My favorite feature on the Friends is the extendable sling. This really opens up a wide variety of lengths to mess with when extending your piece in the wall. I also am a big fan of the rounded and flexible thumb trigger. I feel like I can get a great grip when placing a friend into the wall. Another feature that is nice is the color-coded sizing they have. It makes it really simple to look down at my harness and find the cam I need.
The Wild Country Friends seemed like an upgraded version of the Black Diamond C4, improving on the weight savings without jacking up the price. Though they aren't (as of yet) available in as many sizes as the BD or DMM Dragon Cams, they're a great choice for the backbone of your rack.
The new Wild Country Friends are really well-rounded, very smooth to operate, and extremely ergonomic. My only wish is that the company had made a larger range of devices, as I would love to have these guys in very small or very large sizes. As it is, they only go down to 0.5 and up to #4.
A pictoral representation of the UIAA-125 and EN-12276 standards for frictional anchors (which includes SLCD's [cams] and Ballnuts).