Metolius recently added to their line of passive climbing protection with the simple and accurately named “Metolius Big Nuts“. This set is a light and affordable way to add larger protection to your trad rack.
When I started trad climbing I used to carry a few hexes to round out my rack before I could afford doubling and tripling up on some of the larger sized cams (Black Diamond C4 #1 and larger). At some point I retired carrying hexes though I’d still consider carrying a couple on longer alpine routes. The new Metolius Big Nuts are a great way to increase your protection options if you climb a lot of wider cracks without adding a lot of weight or cost to your rack. Let’s look at some specifications.
These can be purchased separately or in a set of four. Let’s compare these sizes and weights to representative Black Diamond C4 cams.
These all also taper on the larger “endwise” plane effectively increasing their placement size up to the next equivalent cam. For example the #4 Big Nut (the red one) is 2.1 inches in size making it suitable for a crack that would normally accept a Black Diamond #2 (the yellow size not pictured).
The full set of Big Nuts weighs just under 12 ounces and basically covers the same size cracks that a set of Black Diamond C4’s from size .3 to size 2 would cover. A extra set of those size cams would weigh a little over a pound, for a weight savings of about 6 ounces. The real savings is in cost through. The set of four is on sale right now for $71.21. Price varies on a set of the equivalent sized cams but is roughly about $350.
The Metolius Big Nuts are tapered and curved which helps them fit a variety of placements. The concave and convex sides of the nuts are more pronounced than the sides of a more classic nut like the Black Diamond Stoppers. One online review suggests this creates security in placements while possibly making them harder to clean. In my use of them I did not notice any difficulty cleaning but opinions will vary based on the type of rock you are climbing on and the quality of your individual placements.
The Metolius Big Nuts are an excellent way to increase your large crack protection options without breaking the bank on another set of cams. I’m finding these useful on my local trad crags and would definitely take them on my next alpine adventure further away. If you are looking at beefing up your trad rack this year consider a set of these!
See you in the mountains,
Northeast Alpine Start
Metolius provided this item at no cost for review. Affiliate links above support the content created here.