Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Wire gate, most of the new advances in biner technology, functional and a good medium to big or "full" size.
Cons: Rubber piece on draw is fragile, gate hang up, thiner sling is not comfy to grab on sport climbs
Best Uses: Sport climbing, all around use
The Wild Country Nitro Quickdraw is one of the best values in a sport climbing quickdraw. It is also one of the lightest full-sized quickdraws. It scored near the top in all our tests but is often 50% cheaper than the quickdraws that scored higher. It has a normal notched nose which is really the main difference between it and the Wild Country Helium Quickdraw which has a hooded and recessed notch. The Helium is cooler and easier to unclip from bolt hangers on steep routes. Other than that, the Nitro is an equally good sport or top rope biner (the Helium got our Editors Choice Award). If you can afford the Helium by all means get a full rack. But if you are on a budget then try only the Helium for the biner on the top (bolt) end of the quickdraw for easy cleaning. There are a lot of other biners like the Nitro such as the Black Diamond Hotwire that perform fine and are about the same cost. We like the Nitro the best in this category (medium wiregate carabiners) but in reality there were not many stand outs so getting the best deal is probably the way to go. The only biner that costs much less is the Mad Rock Ultralight Quickdraw for $14 vs $15.50 for the Nitro. If you want a smaller version of this excellent carabiner, check out the Wild Country Astro Quickdraw.
The Petzl Spirit Express scored very close to the Nitro. The Spirit is heavier and more expensive but is a more durable sport climbing biner. We like the Nitro for more applications.
View our complete Quickdraw Review to see how it compared to others.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Nitro uses a slightly bent wire gate that is one of the easiest to clip. It was a solid performer in nearly all our tests. It is one of the easier carabiners to handle due to it's friendly size and featured spine that makes it easy to grip. Yet despite its generous size, it is still pretty light.
Like most wiregate carabiners, it gets hung up on slings and when unclipping from steep sport routes. Other than that, there is not much to dislike.
The rubber piece that attaches the biner to the sling is not very durable. We had some last months and other break in a matter of weeks. Once they break, it is not a big deal as the quickdraw still works, but the biner is then more likely to not be oriented correctly when you go to clip it.
Also, for being such bigger biner, we wish the quickdraw sling was a little beefier like the Petzl Express Sling. We understand putting a thinner sling on an ultralight carabiner like the Astro, but for this biner, we would like something wider, more durable, and easier to grab.
This carabiner excels at sport climbing but works as an all around, top roping, traditional climbing. It is nice and big which makes it easy to handle and deal with.
This is a great value in a carabiner AND scored very high. The normal notched nose on the Nitro is easier to produce than the custom nose on the slightly fancier Helium so is therefore less expensive. The difference is the notch on the nose of the Helium is hooded and recessed to make it easier to unclip from bolt hangers on steep routes and on the Nitro it is only hooded making it slightly harder to unclip than the Helium because the notch gets snagged. Other than the gate, the two carabiners are almost identical as far as we can tell.
This quickdraw comes in the Nitro Quickdraw 5 Pack which gives you 5% off.
— Chris McNamara and Chris Summit
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: October 9, 2010
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