Wild Country Helium Friends
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|
These lightweight improvements on the original design for spring loaded camming devices are great for trad, alpine, and beyond.
- 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.