Cypher Huevo Review
Cons: Not as great in flared placements, smaller sizes have minimal taper, average in irregular placements
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Cypher Huevos are the best nut you can buy for the money and thus are the winner of our Best Buy Award. Essentially mimicking the timeless design of the Black Diamond Stopper without cutting any corners with the aluminum head, durable cable, or swag protection, it is hard to find anything not to like about this piece of passive protection compared to much of the competition. While we like offset designs a little better overall, this line of nuts is extremely utilitarian, versatile, and easier to clean than their offset counterparts.
Flares and Pin Scars
This is why we rate flares and pins scars higher than other protections categories because most climbers tend to place cams first, but in these features have to switch to nuts because a cam just won't fit. This is also where offset models perform best. Overall the Huevos works mediocre at best in pin scars because its trapezoidal shape offers limited surface contact, which is the foundation of any piece of passive protection's strength.
More Parallel-Sided Cracks
Overall, the Huevos performs above average in more parallel-sided cracks and have a nearly identical design to the Black Diamond Stoppers. All three of which feature a similar curved/tapered shape to create three points of contact in more parallel-sided cracks. We think the Huevos are better in these types of fissures than most offset models.
Performance in Featured Rock
The Huevos are just okay in highly featured, more textured, or large-grained rock types. Their smooth sides just don't work as well in these types of rock compared to models like the DMM Wallnuts or DMM Alloy Offsets, which feature a small depression on their dominate use side that accommodates large crystals or irregularities.
Ease of Cleaning
The Huevos feature a slightly trapezoidal design, which makes them far easier to clean than offset models. Also, the hard 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum that they are made of deforms to the rock less than brass or softer aluminum models, meaning they are less likely to get fixed after a big fall or while aid climbing. The trapezoidal design makes it easier to clean by pulling upwards on the cable, though it is still better for their longevity to back them out the way they came in. However, we discovered that they are plenty tough enough to pull up and out hundreds of times under the right circumstances.
After pretty extensive use, we found this to be one of the toughest nuts on the market and will last even the hardest users many many seasons of use. The cables that hold the nut in place are relatively high gauge and resist kinking well compared to other models. The swag that closes the wire loop and creates the clip-in hole is also coated by a thick plastic that is slightly tougher than average among models we tested. Additionally, the head of the nut is made of seriously strong, 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum that resists deforming as well as any model we tested. Overall, the Huevos are at least as durable as the Black Diamond Stoppers and slightly more durable than theCAMP Pro Nuts and Metolius Ultralight Asymmetric Curve Nut, both of whose cables are more prone to kinking.
Versatility and Use in Other Orientations
Like most pieces of passive protection, the Huevos can be placed in two different orientations and easily stacked for the rare occasion. They are stronger along the longer axis, where they get more surface area against the rock. Along their secondary axis, the trapezoidal design offers a slight offset that we found to fit a wide variety of cracks well. However, limited metal contact means placing them in this secondary orientation requires you to set them deeply.
The Cypher Huevos are one of the best overall values when sold individually or in any number of sets in which they are available. We think for most climbers the alpine set of #4-13 is a great starter grouping and most people are unlikely to bring the 2-3 smallest sizes on a majority of trad climbs. Of note, they are a much better deal than their closest competitors; the near-identically designed Black Diamond Stoppers, and we think the best overall deal on the market.
The Cypher Huevos are the winner of our Best Buy Award because they are the best nut you can buy for the price. They are solidly designed and perform equally as well as the Black Diamond Stoppers and the CAMP Pro Nuts but for significantly less money. We still like models like the DMM Alloy Offsets, Black Diamond Offset Stoppers, and DMM Peenuts better for all-around and particularly harder trad climbing. But we really appreciate the utility of the Huevos, and their price means you are less likely to hesitate backing up a rappel or leaving a few behind if you need to bail to avoid that precarious downclimb. This makes them our Lead Tester's go-to nut for climbing and guiding on more remote routes in the North Cascades.
— Ian Nicholson