Hands-on Gear Review

Wild Country Superlight Rocks Review

A set of Wild Country Superlight rocks
Top Pick Award
Price:  $15 List | $14.95 at Backcountry
Pros:  Light weight, works well in pin scars.
Cons:  Single cable isn't as durable over time
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Wild Country

Our Verdict

Nuts don't get any lighter. They 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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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Ian Nicholson

Last Updated:
Sunday
December 13, 2009

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Likes


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.

Dislikes


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.

Best Application


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.

Value


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
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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 (4.8)

100% of 4 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
5 Total Ratings
5 star: 80%  (4)
4 star: 20%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Climber

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Feb 26, 2010 - 11:28pm
drsmonkey · Climber · A hole

These took a few years to grow on me…or more accurately for me to grow into them. When I first got them I used them on a few climbs and found them difficult to place and clean. For years they mostly sat in the gear closet, only coming out as a supplemental nut for aiding. Then last summer I started taking them out on longer alpine climbs in the Tetons primarily to save weight. I found myself really liking how these will fit into a huge variety of placements as well as into places where nothing else would fit. Superlight Rocks are now part of my rack every time I climb in in my home range. I would give them 5 stars, but for the difficulty in cleaning that results in kinked cables, but that is a small trade off for the the weight and versatility.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

Climber

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   Oct 4, 2012 - 04:17pm
DanHickstein · Climber · Boulder, CO

These nuts are incredible. The single wire makes them a little weaker than the similar sized BD stopper, but the Superlights fit in so many more placements. I think they should make their marketing slogan "Half as strong, Twice as good!"

I love the HB (now DMM) offsets in the larger sizes, but the brass ones are a little too deep and the sharp outer edges tend to make the placement look good on the outside but be poor deeper in the crack. Wild Country hit the nail on the head by making these nuts shallow, with a nearly square profile (when looking from the top). If a crack is thin, it's often very shallow, so these nuts perfect. Not only are they great in flaring pinscars in granite, but they also excel when placed on patina'd faces in Eldo.

Superlight rocks + HB offsets + a few BD stoppers for old times sake = my go-to nut rack.

My only complaint is the durability, but I don't think that they are significantly less durable than other micronuts. I've had them for a few years and a few of the wires in the cables have broken. When I looked up the specifications, I recall that the cables are not that strong to begin with, so this makes it more important to replace the nuts when their cables start to fray. Still, 5-star nuts all the way.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

Climber

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   Apr 21, 2012 - 10:35pm
Blakey · Climber · Newcastle UK

i've had a set of theses for a few years. They are simply brilliant, as light as they look, the tapers work really well.

The only downside from my perspective is that you need to look after them when cleaning them from a placement, as the single wire can take a battering if you ain't careful.

Still love them though

Steve



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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   Jun 2, 2010 - 08:52pm
J. Werlin · Climber · Cedaredge, CO

I've been free climbing with the superlights for about a month, primarily on the granite/gneiss of Unaweep Canyon and the Black Canyon. The nuts fit really well in the tapering cracks found in this sort of rock. The bigger sizes, like the blue and red get used the most.

The nuts seem to seat very snugly with just a gentle tug. I wish they made larger sizes. They are an excellent filler with my set of metolius nuts.

I found a 1/2 price deal on ebay so can't say anything about the steep price.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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