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
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4 thoughts on “Gear Review: Metolius Big Nuts”
What are the trade-offs between other large (semi) passive options like the dmm torque nuts or hexcentrics? These seem like they would be heavier and less flexible than the torque nuts but perhaps less cowbell like.
I’ve been using Metolius Curve nuts in the regular sizes for years, including the new models that have some front-to-back taper or “offset,” as the terminology goes. The offset isn’t very pronounced, and there’s a bit of a trick to getting the taper properly situated–most of the time with offset nuts one wants the more tapered part deeper in the crack. The way to spot this is that one facet of the Curve nuts is convex and the other end is concave, and when the nut is placed in its most usual orientation, you want to be looking at the concave facet. The nut you have in your picture is placed the opposite way, which of course might be right for that crack but is not optimal most of the time.
Oh, I forgot to mention that in most of the nuts beyond the smaller sizes, the concave facet is cut out for lightening and you can see the cables inside the nut. So the standard placement for the larger sizes would be to have that cutout visible.