Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: $17
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 is one of the best values in a sport climbing draw. It is also one of the lightest full-sized quickdraws, but is narrowly beat out in weight by the full-sized CAMP Photon Wire Express Dyneema. The Wild Country Nitro scored near the top in all our tests but is less expensive than the draws 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 draw (the Helium got our Top Pick Award). If you can afford the Helium by all means get a full rack, but if on the other hand you're on a budget, consider our Best Buy award winner, the Black Diamond FreeWire Quickdraw.
If you want a smaller, lighter version of the Nitro, 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.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Wild Country 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, the ones on the Wild Country Nitro get 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 draw 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 Wild Country Nitro 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 draw 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 draw AND it scored very highly. The normal notched nose on the Wild Country 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 model comes in a five-pack which gives you a percentage off.
— Chris McNamara and Chris Summit
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: June 6, 2014
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