"I'm doing this for you, people!"
These are the first ever pieces from Metolius that I've owned and were brought back for me by a mate who was on holiday cruising the cracks of Indian Creek, Utah. So I was interested to try them before winter arrives.
Metolius have saved weight by attaching the cable directly to the nut (like an RP or similar), meaning the wire loop has no swage. Having no swage on the cable not only saves weight, it also means the wires hang on the racking biner very neatly. A set of ten on one krab didn't feel crowded at all. (continued below)
The wire Metolius uses seem to be lighter and more flexible than that used by DMM or Wild Country, add to this that the swage on conventional nut designs further adds to the stiffness of the wire, and it is noticeable that the Ultralight Curves are more 'floppy' than Wallnuts. This isn't a problem placing them, but if you place the nut, decide it is not good so try to remove it, the lack of stiffness is noticeable making it harder to get them back out.
I will need to use them more, but in the limited testing we did with them, it seems we all needed to use nut keys more often to get them out. Looking at the bumpf that comes with them, I also noticed they aren't as strong as DMM Wallnuts either. The Metolius sizes #1 to #5 are rated at 7kn, and #6 upward are rated 10 kn. In comparison a DMM Wallnut #1 is 7 kn; a #2 is 9kn; #3, 11 kn; and all the rest 12 kn. Does this matter? I don't really know. You almost never hear of wires snapping except on tiny micros, so maybe it's academic. What you do get is a set of ten nuts (they are virtually the same size as Wallnuts) that weigh less than the already streamlined most recent versions of Wild Country Rocks and DMM Wallnuts. The actual nut of the Ultralights is also a novel shape. Metolius claim they sit better in flared cracks which is partly why I bought them. I haven't decided yet whether I like the shape or not. More climbs need to be done before a more definitive opinion is arrived at, although this may have to wait as last night it snowed and it appears that winter is here.
More information at the Metolius website: www.metoliusclimbing.com/curve-astronut
And at their UK Distributor, Beyond Hope: www.prana-metolius.co.uk
Read Pottsworth's UKClimbing.com review of the Metolius Curve Nuts.
"Due to their general "flatness" (i.e., they are not tapered bottom to top) they can quite easily be unseated by pebbles on gritstone. This isn't a major issue and placements are generally pretty solid, but I have found myself thinking on a couple of occasions "I wish this was a bit more curved". I suppose a good analogy is the difference between the old straight-sided Camp Hexentrics versus the curvier Wild Country "Rockcentrics'