Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Light weight, works well in pin scars.
Cons: Single cable isn't as durable over time
Best Uses: Alpine climbing, aid climbing, routes where weight is a factor
Manufacturer: Wild Country
The lightest aluminum nuts we tested are Wild Country Superlight Rocks. They certainly live up to their name with a nearly 45 percent weight savings compared to their close cousins, Rocks on a Wire. Superlight Rocks save weight by having a single cable instead of the nearly universal swaged loop. They also have a more slender nut but maintain longer length in the head, providing more surface area and superior holding power. Superlight Rocks fit exceptionally well into tiny pin scars. While Superlight sides are heavily tapered side-to-side for flaring placements, they share the same shape front-to-back as the WC Rocks on a Wire. This gives two distinctly different nut shapes in one lightweight nut.
If you want to double up on the sizes you use most, Wild Country Superlight Rocks are a serious contender. These little guys take up little room on your rack. Plus you will benefit from their two diverse placement options. Because they only come in six sizes they are meant to be an addition to your rack rather than a stand-alone set. They are among the most versatile nuts we tested. On their side-to-side axis they excelled in flares and pin scars while on their front-to-back axis (the same shape as Rocks on a Wire) they fit smooth parallel sided cracks. They are among the least durable, making them not as attractive to climbers new to traditional climbing. But most experienced climbers will appreciate what they have to offer.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Wild Country Superlight Rocks fit all types of cracks. They fit in flares better than most of the nuts we tested save for Peenuts, DMM Alloy Offsets and Brass Offsets. They fit into narrower pods extremely well because of their skinny heads and single cable. Their front-to-back shape, which is the same as Rocks on a Wire, works well in parallel sided cracks. We used the nut in both orientations more than we did with other nuts we tested, possibly because of the two completely different shapes. Superlight Rocks are among the lightest nuts on the market and they have color-coded heads that match all other Wild Country and DMM units.
The cable kinks easily because it is fixed in the head, which combined with the offset design keeps the nut from rotating freely when yanked upward. This happened quickly unless we took extra care when extracting them. At nearly $14 each they are expensive. They are also a "quiver" nut for use in conjunction with other nuts, rather than as stand-alones. Their taller shape offers more holding power but it also limits placements options.
Due to their heavily tapered heads they will excel in any area with extensive pin scar damage. They are not great nuts for people starting out because they kink fairly easily. Also, with their narrow heads, they are harder to read in the rock. Alpine climbers plus anyone else looking to save weight should love them. Superlights are a good supplement to other nuts, not adding much extra weight or bulk to a rack.
Superlights are among the more expensive nuts we tested. If weight savings are important they are a great way to shave a few ounces. Superlights are an extremely versatile nut, fitting many types of cracks and rock types well. If you are into aid climbing or climb in pin scarred areas, Superlights' heavy taper makes them worth their price.
— Ian Nicholson
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: October 4, 2012
Credit: Ian Nicholson
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