Dave Waggoner never imagined when he designed the original Alien Cams in his garage back in the 1980s that his creation would revolutionise thin crack protection. Boasting narrow head widths and flexible stems, these micro cams fitted into spaces where other cams couldn’t reach at the time, becoming unrivaled over time.
Fixe, the Spanish firm who took over CCH’s Alien design when Colorado Custom Hardware (CCH) discontinued production several years ago, has produced an improved version that still keeps its character while offering enhanced performance and finishes. Their version, known as Alien X, boasts an improved trigger wire design which hugs cam lobes to prevent from being exposed to wear-and-tear, making removal simpler while simultaneously offering better grip during initial use and an X-grip texture for improved rock grip during first use. Furthermore, their puller has been resized making manipulation quicker and simpler even when wearing gloves!
Testers found the Alien X to be an ideal lightweight alternative to popular small cams such as Metolius Master Cam and Black Diamond Camalot X4. With its flexible stems, narrow heads, contoured trigger bar and extendable slings being especially helpful features when placing in shallow placements; extendable slings were appreciated by those seeking to save biners/runners as they allow users to save both biner and runner space when placing these cams in deeper cracks; however its smaller sizing range limited them in certain types of small cracks while its trigger wires wore down more quickly than found on other cams.