The Nitro Quickdraw from Wild Country
The long-established and widely respected Peak District based climbing hardwear brand Wild Country have released two innovative new hot forged karabiner / quickdraw designs on the UK market this year: the Nitro and the Astro. The Nitro, as the cheaper and less specialist of the two, will be the most popular. Hot forging is a process whereby excess metal can be cut away from the main structure of a component, resulting in lower weight for the same strength.
The Nitro is a truly superb quickdraw for a wide range of different climbing styles, from sport redpointing to full blown alpine and ice extravaganzas. Wild Country have shaped what could be called 'the perfect all-round karabiner' with the Nitro's aggressive yet accommodating ergonomics. It is extremely easy to clip bolts with, with the vertical taper on the nose being particularly good at hooking the edge of an expansion bolt or catching the curve on a glue-in.
Detailed view of the Nitro krab, showing the deep cutaway created by the hot forging process
Equally, from the rope-clipping point of view, the Nitro makes even the hardest clips seem effortless with its wide profile and the ridges on the back of the krab that make holding it steady whilst clipping very straightforward. At the same time, the Nitro works brilliantly for winter use with gloves, since its large gate width accommodates even the biggest fingers. Wild Country have also got the size of the rope groove (the cutaway at the head of the krab where the rope sits) just right, which means the rope always locates itself at the correct point and that the krab naturally hangs correctly on a bolt or wire. And the fairly extreme bell-shape of the Nitro means that the hazard of the krab rotating within the draw (to create a potential cross-loading scenario) is dramatically reduced.
From the trad climbing point of view, the Nitro is a very smooth operator, and at just 35 grams is only fractionally heavier than the lightest karabiners on the market. The fact that it is much easier to use for sport and alpine climbing, due to its larger profile, than the smaller ultralight models (like Wild Country's own Astro or DMM's class-leading Phantom) means that the Nitro should be a very serious contender for the ideal 'do-it-all' quickdraw. If you want to have a set of lightweight draws that you can take sport climbing and trad climbing on the same weekend, or that you can use for winter as well as summer adventures, then you probably won't find a better quickdraw than the Nitro.
Weight: 35 grams (karabiner only)
77 grams (full quickdraw 10cm)
Gate closed strength: 24kN
Gate open Strength: 9kN
Cross gate strength: 7kN
* A poor product with design and functionality problems. Not recommended.
** An average product. Recommended only for its low cost or as a back-up item.
*** A good product. Certainly worth considering, although better products may be available at the same price.
**** An excellent product and among the best available in its category. Highly recommended.
***** An outstanding product defining the cutting edge of outdoor technology and design. You won't find a better one!
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