First Look Review: Camp Nano 22

I loved the original Camp Nano Wire. It was small, light and full-strength, with a wonderful, snappy gate action. The perfect accessory biner.

Before I continue, let’s address that “accessory biner” bit. We all hang various bits and pieces off our harnesses, be it a knife and some cord, a chalkbag, water bottle or belay jacket. These items don’t need a full-size biner, so many manufacturers make smaller, lighter “accessory biners.” Problem being, in my mind anyway, is that none of these are actually certified for any climbing applications, and I prefer to not bring anything I can’t safely use in an emergency situation. I always make sure every biner hanging off my harness is certified for climbing, hence my love for these little biners.

So, back to the Nano Wire. It was awesome. I managed to snag a couple on sale — that I still use to bring along my v-thread hooker and nut tool — just as the Nano 23 came out and, in my opinion, ruined a perfectly good biner. Instead of the smooth, linear gate action of the ‘Wire, the ’23 has a more progressive, heavier gate action that just doesn’t feel as refined. The outer surface changed as well, and the biner feels somewhat slippery, which is problematic for such a small piece of gear.

Come Spring ’15 and we have another version: the Nano 22. And I am extremely pleased to say that the smooth gate action that I loved about the ‘Wire is back, in an even lighter, more refined package. The nose of the ’22 is very narrow, meaning it’ll easily fit into tight anchors or chains. The spine is thinner but wider, making it easier to manipulate, and it’s even manageable with light- to mid-weight gloves on.

TheAlpineStart_Camp_Nano22_VersionsThe original Nano Wire, the (un)improved Nano 23 and the awesome new Nano 22.

The differences in size are small, but I would classify this as a mid-size biner: bigger and easier to handle than the Metolius FS Mini (still the smallest biner out there, I think, though no longer the lightest) but noticeably lighter and smaller than a full-size Camp Photon. Quite how Camp manages to make their biners so light is beyond my understanding of metallurgy.

TheAlpineStart_Camp_Nano22_NoseThe Nano 22 is incredibly thin which no doubt contributes to its light weight. The skinny nose fits into tight anchors or chains.

Is the ’22 the lightest biner out there? Short answer, no. But, it is lighter and stronger than previous versions, and comes close to the tiny Edelrid Nineteen G, making it, I believe, the second-lightest biner in the world. Weight listed below is an average of four different biners if I have that many around, and kN’s are in brackets: (closed/cross/open)

Edelrid Nineteen G – 18 grams (20/7/7)
Camp Nano 22 – 21 grams (21/8/9)
Camp Nano 23 – 22 grams (20/7/7)
Camp Nano Wire – 24 grams (20/7/7)
Metolius FS Mini – 26 grams (22/7/8)
DMM Phantom – 26 grams (23/7/9)
Camp Photon Wire – 30 grams (21/7/9)

TheAlpineStart_Camp_Nano22_Size_ComparisonSize comparison: Camp Photon Wire, DMM Phantom, Camp Nano 22, Metolius FS Mini. The Nano 22 handles similarly to the mid-sized Phantom, and is much easier to operate than the FS Mini.

TheAlpineStart_Camp_Nano22_Small_BinersSmall-to-mid-size comparison: the 19-gram Edelrid Nineteen G, the 21-gram Camp Nano 22, the 26-gram DMM Phantom.

Did I mention the Nano 22 also comes in handy coloured versions to match common cam sizes? (Check out the first image for most colours; it also comes in black and orange.)

These really are wonderful little biners. I honestly can’t think of anything I don’t like about them. Well, maybe that I don’t have enough as these will make for an amazingly light trad rack. Thanks to the combination of usable size and low weight, I think the Nano 22 is quite possibly the best trad and alpine rock biner on the market. (Though I still prefer the larger Photon Wire for use with gloves.)

Pros: light, strong, decent size, handles well
Cons: none
Overall: A super-light biner that can actually be used for climbing.

5 thoughts on “First Look Review: Camp Nano 22

  1. Andy Arts says:

    The Con I see is that it has a hook at the nose. This style will always give problems with the rope getting caught and gear.

    • Raf says:

      The Nano 22’s gate tension is slightly stiffer than the Photon, and is similar though a touch softer than the Phantom.

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