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Wild Country Helium Friends

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: Wild Country Helium Friends camming device

These lightweight improvements on the original design for spring loaded camming devices are great for trad, alpine, and beyond.


  • Lightweight
  • Long stems
  • Don't walk as much as double axle cams
  • More sizes for the weight


  • Doubled up colours are confusing
  • Too many people unfamiliar with single axle cams

I began my trad career on Friends, so these for me are a great system to use.

Overall they perform great on limestone, quartzite on granite. I am comfortable with all sizes ranges and I did find them a little tricky to get back into, but now that I am used to them again I find placements easy as ever.

In large cracks their longer than average stems are definitely an asset. Quartzite crack in particular I find this really handy.  

I always found, especially when I was starting out, that double axle cams walked a good deal. I am aware better placements avoid this, but even so I just like that I don't have to be quite as specific with single axle cams, particularly when I'm pumped.

The same goes for the debate regarding sizes. A full rack of Heliums weighs 30 grams more than a BD rack of equivalent size, however you get two extra cams for that. To me at least I prefer to have extras should they be needed for effectively the same weight. But I totally understand how that is more expensive, and less efficient. Preference is what it comes down to.

The chief downside that I have found is just that most people aren't used to the sizing. Where I climb most people used BD, which I don't mind, but am just not as fond of. Sadly all these people refuse to use my rack as they find it confusing. So normally it gets left behind, or I take my DMM Dragons

I do do have a couple with the new extendable slings. Love them. So handy in the alpine, and it's great when you can just pull the leash out rather than reach for a draw. 

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Price Historic Range: $41.40-$189.95
Weight 87 g / 3.07 oz 91 g / 3.21 oz 95 g - 3.35 oz 104 g / 3.67 oz 109 g / 3.84 oz 117 g / 4.13 oz 145 g / 5.11 oz 171 g / 6.03 oz 208 g / 7.34 oz
Product Details from Wild Country »