These cams are adequate, but that's the best I can…
Price Paid: Full retail, I don't remember.
These cams are adequate, but that's the best I can say for them. I bought the whole set, from .5-3 and have since taken the .5, .75, and 1 off of my standard rack. The 2 and 3 are fine, and most of the bad stuff I have to say about these cams is less of an issue with them.
The 2:1 expansion range is really only an in-theory kind of thing. When they're cammed all the way down, the shape of the outer lobes makes this cam prone to getting stuck--passively. I've spent more time cleaning these cams than any other piece I've ever used because of this. I'm a little sketched about using cams that I've wailed on with a nut tool, as well. At the other end of their expansion range, these guys are spooky. They walk; they spin; and they just seem unstable. With neither end of their expansion spectrum being confidence inspiring--to say the least--I only use these cams when it's absolutely necessary because I'm out of that size or when I'm sure I won't fall on the placement (so, why did I even place it?).
There's a lot of griping about the weird way that these have to be placed. It took me maybe three tries to get it down: place the outer lobes against the side of the crack, and let the inner ones expand to meet the opposing wall. It's not hard; it's different. If these cams didn't have such a high spook factor, the strange placement style wouldn't figure so prominently into other reviews.
They aren't horrible, but they certainly aren't outperforming pieces that cost half as much. After about a year of steady use, they are holding up moderately well, but only moderately (my Camalots still seem new, and a few of those have taken falls). I buy nice gear because I like to feel solid climbing above it. These don't fit that bill 100% of the time.
Bottom line: if you get 'em on sale to fill out your rack for splitters, go for it. If the placements aren't necessarily straightforward where you're climbing or these will be your only piece in the size, go for something else.
Here's what other sites are saying:
The broad-range Trango MaxCams function as versatile and lightweight supplements on any rack.
- Mountain Gear
Pull the trigger on the Trango .75 Maxcam, and watch its 2:1 expansion range render half of your rack utterly useless. By floating the axles for the outer cam lobes on the inner axle, Trango made the Maxcam to gobble up a huge span of crack sizes and allow you to carry fewer sizes, whether you're in the Valley, the Creek, or some obscure backwoods crag. And unlike other extended range cams, the Maxcam's lightweight design makes it an easy addition to any trad climber's quiver.
- Backcountry Outlet
Free Shipping. Trango MaxCams (Spring 2009) The MaxCams by Trango is the ultimate blend of simplicity, strength, expansion range and weight. This has been achieved by floating the axles of the outer pair of cams on the inner pair. As the lobes are retracted, the axles of the outer cams move inward, increasing their range.in.Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.in.These insightful words by the French explorer, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, praising the simple perfection of his airplane, speak eloquently to the thinking behind the new MaxCams. The extraordinary 2:1 expansion range is achieved, not though complex and weighty engineering, but through out-of-the-box thinking and focused design. The result is a set of simple and lightweight cams that will feel at home in your hands from the first trigger pull.All MaxCams are carefully crafted in the United States at manufacturing facilities rated to ISO 9002 to assure the highest quality, safety and consistency.