18. Offset Placements – Offset Cams

A set of offset cams can be an essential part of your aid climbing rack. They have two lobes of one size cam, and two lobes of the next size up or down (i.e. larger or smaller). Offset Cams allow you to place a solid cam in a flared crack, which is impossible with a traditional cam. In this video, we look at the benefits of offset cams.

Flared cracks can occur naturally, but they are particularly common on old aid routes and big walls where pitons were once commonly used. Removing pitons scars the rock in a way that creates pods and flares splitter cracks.

The offset design provides improved protection and strength because of the increased surface area in contact with the rock, and because each lobe is now cammed within its appropriate range.The inner part of the crack is thinner, so the smaller lobes will fit deeper in the crack, and the larger lobes will then fit appropriately in the wider, or flared, section of the crack or pod.

For proper cam placement technique and considerations, see our videos on “Cam Placements – Hand Sized Cams” & “Cam Placements – Small Cams.”

We hope you found this video helpful. Feel free to comment below with questions or thoughts!


Please remember, climbing is inherently dangerous. Climb at your own risk.