For UK climbers, nuts tend to mean Wild Country Rocks or DMM Wallnuts. As we tend to think of trad climbing being “our thing”, it stands to reason that British companies would be the ones who make the best gear for it. There may even be some truth in this, so whilst there are lots of other companies are making different nuts – Offsets, Stoppers, Curves, and so forth – most people still begin their rack with 1 to 10 of either Rocks or Wallnuts.
CAMP Pro nuts have been around for years – do they have anything special to offer?
Perhaps their main unique feature is the ribbing on their back. This looks very funky, but doesn't appear to me to change their performance at all. I saw the set being sold on a the website of a climbing shop in the Highlands, where they claimed that they are great for rough rock like grabbo on Skye – well, I was using them on rough, crystalline granite last weekend and can't say that I see it. This isn't to say that the ribs are a problem – they are not – but then again they don't seem to be an advantage either.
One other interesting feature is that the proportional difference between the width of the main axis and the width of the secondary axis on the Pro nuts is much bigger than on most other nuts. Normally if you turn and place, say, a no. 4 Rock 'sideways', in the sideways position it is about the size of a no. 5 Rock. The Pronuts probably jump up two or three sizes if you place them sideways. This isn't like some cam designs having a larger range – because nuts are always only one size or the other. So a bit like the ribs, this is just different – neither an advantage or disadvantage over other designs.
The wire used on the Pro nuts is more flexible than that used on my Wallnuts – it seems to be a slightly lighter gauge. Whilst the flexibility might mean that nuts are less likely to be lifted out of placements by rope-play, it can also make cleaning the placements marginally harder. It is also noticeable that the KN strengths given on the Pro nuts is somewhat lower than on my comparably sized Wallnuts, a very similar issue that I noted with the Metolius Ultralight Curve Nuts.
The only other slightly odd thing about the Pro nuts is they come in a pack of seven. If you turn a Pro nut 7 sideways, it is probably about the same size as Rock or Wallnut 10, but then again you only have seven nuts to place. Ian at Allcord – CAMP's UK distributors – wasn't sure why CAMP stopped at size seven but has promised to enquire when he next sees his Italian colleagues.
The best thing about the Pro nuts is that they are a very reasonable price. The set of seven is available at a good discount if you shop around. For some people price is a huge factor so there is nothing wrong with recommending them purely on that basis. They are a solid product that does “what it says on the tin”. They would also be well worthy of consideration as a second set of nuts for someone who already has 1 to 10 in one of the classic designs, but wants more and something a bit different for longer and more complex routes. So, not a standout product, but absolutely nothing wrong with them and good value to boot.
Other UKC nut reviews:
More information is available on the CAMP Website