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Metolius Ultralight Curve Nut Editorial Review


Submitted by vegastradguy on 2007-06-24

Rating: 12345   Go Login to rate this article.   Votes: 2 | Comments: 12 | Views: 7650

by John Wilder


By vegastradguy

Lately, Metolius has been on a binge of bringing out new and improved products. It seems like every time I talk with them, theyíve got something new to talk about. While their focus lately has definitely been on upgrading their cams, they havenít forgotten their passive gear. This year, Metolius has released the Ultralight Curve Nuts- their classic curve nut with less weight and bulk to help you streamline your rack.

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The new ultralight curve nuts
Metolius Climbing
The new ultralight curve nuts. Photo: Metolius.

Now, I know what youíre thinking. Since when do nuts take up a significant amount of space and weight on my rack? Admittedly, nuts really donít take up that much space or weight, but in this day and age where everything seems to be shedding weight, why not your passive gear? So, a few months back, Metolius sent me a set of their new Ultralight Curve Nuts to play with.

First, the specs. The new nuts are the same as the old ones when it comes to strength, shape, and sizes. The new technology comes in the form of how they have attached the cable to the nut. In most nuts, the cable is looped through the nut and swaged at the bottom to both create a loop to clip in and complete the loop of cable to provide strength. Nuts that donít have this tend to be small enough that the cable cant be looped through, and tend to be weaker than a standard stopper. Metolius Ultralights have a length of cable pinned directly into the stopper instead of passing through as a loop. Because of this, they do not need a swage and end up chopping off 30% of their weight without sacrificing strength.

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The new method of attaching the cables- this is essentially where the swage is, allowing Metolius to cut 30% of the weight
Metolius Climbing

The new method of attaching the cables - this is essentially where the swage is, allowing Metolius to cut 30% of the weight. Photo: Metolius.

So, the question of the day- is the set noticeably lighter than my regular nuts? In a word- yes. Once I figured out how to release them from their package (a bit of a chore) and held them in one hand with a set of the competitions in my other, the difference was significant- the Ultralights are way light. A good comparison is to think of the featherweight wiregate carabiners vs their normal solid gate counterparts.

Once I got them onto my rack, I continued to enjoy the lack of weight on my harness. I enjoy super light stuff- I have a rack of super light wire gates, dyneema slings, and lightweight cams, so to shave off a few grams on the only piece of gear on my rack that hasnít been lightened is good fun.

Aside from the weight, Iíve been converted to a Metolius curve nut lover! I used to use the Ďstandardí nut, but I have found that I really enjoy the basic taper that Metolius Curve Nuts have- they seem to slot much more naturally than other nuts.

That said, there are a couple of things to be aware of when using these nuts. First and foremost, they seem to find perfect keyhole spots easier than other nuts and occasionally they will get stuck but good. I definitely use my nut tool to remove these nuts more often, but I think a lot of this has to do with getting used to the shape of the stopper and the intricacies of placing them effectively. Second, on occasion, youíll find a hangerless bolt that you wish you had a hanger for. Oftentimes, a nut can be used to sling the bolt sticking of from the wall (marginal pro at best), but with these nuts, this is not an option. With the direct connection to the stopper, there is no ability to slide the nut down its cable. However, in five years of climbing, I think I might have had to do this once- and even that was a bit of a novelty.

At the end of the day, I donít know that someone who carries a single set of nuts would really notice the weight difference on their rack. However, once you start carrying more nuts (as many leaders I know do), I think that youíre more likely to notice the weight savings. Combine these nuts with a couple of ultralight carabiners to carry them on, and youíll definitely be enjoying the lack of weight on your harness. In addition, Metolius Curve Nuts are a solid nut that will serve any trad leader well as a basic piece of passive protection.

Go to this item in our Gear Database.

Full Disclosure: The company that manufactured this product loaned it to rockclimbing.com for review. At the end of the review period, this product was returned to the manufacturer. This company does not currently advertise on rockclimbing.com. June 21, 2007.

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12 Comments CommentAdd a Comment

 psprings
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 2007-06-25
Yo! Thanks for the nice review! A couple of questions:
1. Without the swage, does the cable seem more sloppy/flexy when you're making a placement?
2. Do you know what the total overall weight is of a single set of these nuts?

I'm looking forward to getting a set of these suckers!
 bandycoot
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 2007-06-25
Metolius used to have this retarded rubber coating on the loop where you clipped into the nut. That's gone now. How much of the weight savings come from that? How does the weight compare to BD? I'll have to figure that one out... Curve nuts set great! They just used to weigh a TON so I stopped carrying them...
 hhelbein
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 2007-06-25
For those considering their first set of nuts, how do these compare to BD and WC as far as # of nuts in full set and size ranges?
 flint
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 2007-06-25
If the nut is placed horizontaly in a keyhole where the two cables holes are one ontop of the other, is there adverse cable wear or kinking when loaded (the top cable being the only one recieving the fall). I ask this because when I load a BD stopper in this position, the cable tends to rotate through the holes untill the biner loop is at the bottom most position. This would not be possibile with the unlooped cables on these pieces.

Bandycoot, the last set of curve nuts from Metolius had anodized heads and no rubber coating, so the new 30% lighter pieces' weight reduction would not include the removal of the coating.
 flint
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 2007-06-25
Sorry, I forgot this in my last post but excellent gear review Vegastradguy
 pgilroy
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 2007-06-25
Thanks Yo!
Question though, how do these compare to the DMM Wallnuts?
That is what i currently use and i love them but ive always been curious about these.
Thanks!
 bandycoot
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 2007-06-27
Flint, it is essentially impossible for a carabiner to weight only one strand of the nut in typical use. The tension across the whole wire is theoretically constant, so no matter what you do there will be close to equal weight on the two strands. It's just like an anchor. Clip 5' of rope into to bolts. It doesn't matter where the bolts are located relative to each other. If you clip into the rope and hang both bolts are weighted. If you need clarification on this, PM me. I don't know if I described it properly....
 vegastradguy
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 2007-06-27
they're noticeably lighter than my hb offsets and my bd stoppers.

i have not noticed any slop in the cable from the lack of a swage- they place just like any other nut.

the 30% weight savings is mostly from the lack of a swage. sorry about not getting the specs- i'll see if i can get them and post them here in a few days.
 psprings
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 2007-06-28
Sweet- thanks for the repy. I understand you've got climber, er, work to do. Thanks for taking the time.

Also, as to new weight comparison:
UL nuts 1-10 = 11.2 oz (my addition from the Met webpage) I own and use the older version... same size.
WC nuts 1-10 = 12.6 oz (again, my addition), and yes, they are very comparable sizing-wise to the met. (I have owned these).
BD nuts 4-13 = 13.9 oz (my add.)... couldn't tell you about comparison size-wise in reality, but 4-13 looks about the same as the 1-10 of WC or Met...
 vegastradguy
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 2007-07-02
thanks for grabbing the specs. i looked around, but my connection is slow (i'm on the road) and i was impatient! oh well, thanks again! (ps- if you climb in squamish, you should absolutely without a doubt buy a set of these- this place EATS THEM UP!!!!)
 corpse
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 2010-05-20
I wonder if one of the swages failed, if the nut will still hold reasonably well, or if the wire would pull right out. Depending how strong that little bit of aluminum is near the loop, you either have: double the chance of a swage failing; or redundancy for even more peace of mind.
 hitsman
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 2010-08-24
What was the weight of the old set? The Met site says 30% less than the compition not lighter than the previous model

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