I have said it before, and will say it again. I love the Black Diamond cam units. They may not be the lightest cams on the market, but for me, they certainly present quality, innovative design and clever engineering.
So, Black Diamond have taken the head width of the old C3 units, taken the flexibility of the X4 units, sandblasted the cam lobes, improved it a little more, to give you the Black Diamond Z4 cam.
Features and benefits
- RigidFlex stem stays rigid in-hand for easy placement, but flexes once placed to reduce walking
- Dual twisted cable construction for uniform flex on larger sizes; single cable construction on smaller sizes to avoid buckling and reduce trigger profile
- Narrow head width for tight placements
- Sandblasted lobes for better holding power
- Lightweight yet durable Dynex sling with a unique colour coding
The problem with some of the larger sizes of the Black Diamond X4 cams, is that they are so flexible, that they can sometimes be tricky to place. Especially when you are pumped or trying to place one in anger or desperation. Those extra few moments, can mean a send.
So, Black Diamond have come up with the Rigid Flex Stem. It allows the cam to be fully flexible in all directions, once placed. But will be rigid when the trigger is contracted. Here is where Black Diamond have taken the flexibility of the BD X4 cam units (once placed), and the rigidity of the BD C3 cam units (for ease of placing).
All of the Black Diamond Z4 cams are a single stem cam, where on the 0.3 and larger sizes the wire has been twisted. This allows them to bend in all directions for maximum flexibility. The sizes 0, 0.1, and 0.2 have only a single wire. This means they perform to the same flexibility as the larger units.
Size does matter!!!
As we already know, the X4’s head width is already fairly narrow. Surprisingly, the Black Diamond Z4 have narrower head units. You will find the biggest difference in the bigger sizes.
So, we have compared the Z4’s with the X4’s. How do they fare against the C3 camming units? Please find below a table of the camming ranges, comparing the C3 units with the Z4 camming devices.
You can see from the above table that the Black Diamond Z4 cam size 0.3 covers the range for the old C3 size 1 and 2. And you can see that the new Black Diamond Z4 size 0, is the smallest cam Black Diamond have ever produced.
What about the cam head width?
You will find that the cam head width on the smallest Z4 camming unit (size 0) is same size as the C3 equivalent (size 000). But as you go slightly bigger, you will find that the Z4 units are slightly bigger than the C3’s. Although it is only marginal (see picture above, comparing the three smallest units of both ranges).