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Retracto - New Nut Tool Leash


Original Post
Alex Zucca · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 280

Hello MP community,

I've been developing a better nut tool leash lately, and I'm excited to finally launch my kickstarter campaign today. The Retracto is a leash that makes it impossible to drop your nut tool, and you never have to clip and unclip your nut tool from your harness. 

There is another nut tool leash out there, the Wild Country Pro Key, but you still have to clip and unclip the nut tool each time, it takes up more space on your harness, and it is only compatible with the Pro Key nut tool. With the Retracto, you never have to clip and unclip, and it is compatible with every nut tool on the market. 

Hopefully some of you like the idea enough to back the project! Orders will be shipped to you within 3 weeks after the campaign ends.


The Retracto

  • A nut tool leash to keep your nut tool safely connected to your harness
  • Steel cable won't fray or snap on sharp rock
  • Only weighs 1.5 oz, the same as your average carabiner
  • Long, 3.5 foot extension for cleaning gear high overhead or out of reach
  • Can hold and retract any nut tool on the market
ubu · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 0

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you're planning to rebadge one of the many retractable lanyards that are available on Amazon for $10? 

Not a terrible idea by the way, but (a) it adds a fair bit of bulk, and (b) if you're dropping nut tools left and right there's a bigger problem at play.  Also, why use a steel cable?  Kevlar is lighter, won't corrode when you get water trapped in the reel, and is plenty strong for the application...

Vincent M McLain · · Kalamazoo, MI · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 35

I'm a bit of a tinkerer myself and have toyed with designs for my own homegrown climbing gear and I generally like to see the projects and products that people on MP have come up with. But I'm genuinely curious as what makes your product different than something like this?

Alex Zucca · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 280
ubu wrote:


Not a terrible idea by the way, but (a) it adds a fair bit of bulk, and (b) if you're dropping nut tools left and right there's a bigger problem at play.  Also, why use a steel cable?  Kevlar is lighter, won't corrode when you get water trapped in the reel, and is plenty strong for the application...


The cable is stainless steel and won't corrode. Kevlar is lighter, but in testing I had done, it frays quite a bit. Enough that it could snap after repetitive rubbing over sharp edges, which would happen eventually when getting nuts out of horizontals. 

Agreed that dropping nut tools isn't a common occurrence, and the bigger advantage of the Retracto is not having to clip/unclip. It's nice to be able to grab and go when in an awkward stance, like with a finger lock.

Jonny d · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 40

I have an extra retractable employee badge holder to which I attached my nut tool.  I still clip my nut tool to my harness, as I hate having it dangle down as low as it would otherwise or reeling out line when I'm thrutching up something.  No steel or Kevlar(TM), has worked fine for the past 15 years, and was free.

Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1,734

Neat idea and I applaud your inventiveness, but I have never had a leash for a nut tool, and I've never dropped one.  The only thing I leash when cleaning is the piece itself, and only if I need to detach it from the rope.

Alex Zucca · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 280
Jonny d wrote:

I have an extra retractable employee badge holder to which I attached my nut tool.  I still clip my nut tool to my harness, as I hate having it dangle down as low as it would otherwise or reeling out line when I'm thrutching up something.  No steel or Kevlar(TM), has worked fine for the past 15 years, and was free.

I have also tried this in the past, but it doesn't work with all nut tools. Only the light ones.

The Retracto has a higher retraction force, and doesn't reel out or create slack with a bouncing motion (like climbing).

Señor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

3.5 foot extension doesn't get you to many nuts, particularly if you're using the tool to hook and pull up rather than just bashing as you do in the video.

I've never dropped a nut tool. Is that a real problem?

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,450

Just wait until your nut tool gets hooked on the rock and you climb up 4 feet.

Brian · · North Kingstown, RI · Joined Sep 2001 · Points: 720
IJMayer · · Anacortes, WA · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 110

I don't want to discourage you from dreaming, I just want to encourage you to dream bigger.

Look at this for inspiration: http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web10f/wfeature-maddaloni-anticam

While that device is impractical, the dream of climbing bolder, new routes, is what lead him towards his invention. 

Whether it is wild country, sendgineering, or amazon.com, i guess i appreciate inventiveness for those bigger goals than the goal of making something a tiny bit more convenient.

Feel free to respectfully disagree!

Jon Nelson · · Redmond, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 4,985
Vincent M McLain wrote:

I'm a bit of a tinkerer myself and have toyed with designs for my own homegrown climbing gear and I generally like to see the projects and products that people on MP have come up with. But I'm genuinely curious as what makes your product different than something like this?

Good find. 

I suppose one answer is that Alex's is only 1.5 oz, compared to that one's 8 oz. Maybe 6.5 oz makes a difference? I'm not sure. 

Perhaps bulkiness is a larger factor to consider? 

Señor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
IJMayer wrote:

I don't want to discourage you from dreaming, I just want to encourage you to dream bigger.

Look at this for inspiration: http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web10f/wfeature-maddaloni-anticam

While that device is impractical, the dream of climbing bolder, new routes, is what lead him towards his invention. 

Whether it is wild country, sendgineering, or amazon.com, i guess i appreciate inventiveness for those bigger goals than the goal of making something a tiny bit more convenient.

Feel free to respectfully disagree!

I've always been surprised that nobody has built an airbag-style protection for weird offwidth spots. Insert device into offwidth, pull C02 canister (like one's on dive lift bags) and watch your bag expand and hold in the crack. Ungainly but no more so than a Big Bro. 

Alex Zucca · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 280
Jon Nelson wrote:

Good find. 

I suppose one answer is that Alex's is only 1.5 oz, compared to that one's 8 oz. Maybe 6.5 oz makes a difference? I'm not sure. 

Perhaps bulkiness is a larger factor to consider? 

That model is also kevlar, which isn't as durable as steel cord. Their steel cord model only has 24" of extension and costs $3 more.

Alex Zucca · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 280
AndrewArroz wrote:

I've always been surprised that nobody has built an airbag-style protection for weird offwidth spots. Insert device into offwidth, pull C02 canister (like one's on dive lift bags) and watch your bag expand and hold in the crack. Ungainly but no more so than a Big Bro. 

Doubles as a portaledge fly?

Señor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Alex Zucca wrote:

Doubles as a portaledge fly?

Hah, no. I'm thinking of something along the lines of smaller, lighter variation on these. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JlJlK055xs

Briggs Lazalde · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0
AndrewArroz wrote:

Hah, no. I'm thinking of something along the lines of smaller, lighter variation on these. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JlJlK055xs

I've thought about that for a second before. Youre onto something. I say do it. However all pro targets weaknesses or irregularities in the rock.. Lets find an aid piece for complete slab.. A suction cup that doesn't need a completely flat surface and helps you pull through that one section you need to get past in order to finish the route.. Bam

Andrew Krajnik · · Plainfield, IL · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 1,673
Jon Nelson wrote:

Good find. 

I suppose one answer is that Alex's is only 1.5 oz, compared to that one's 8 oz. Maybe 6.5 oz makes a difference? I'm not sure. 

Perhaps bulkiness is a larger factor to consider? 

The "8oz" indication is the retraction force, or how heavy of an item you can hang from it.

Shipping weight is listed as 3.2 oz.

JSchloem · · Homer, AK · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 265
Alex Zucca wrote:

The cable is stainless steel and won't corrode. Kevlar is lighter, but in testing I had done, it frays quite a bit. Enough that it could snap after repetitive rubbing over sharp edges, which would happen eventually when getting nuts out of horizontals. 

Agreed that dropping nut tools isn't a common occurrence, and the bigger advantage of the Retracto is not having to clip/unclip. It's nice to be able to grab and go when in an awkward stance, like with a finger lock.

you should look into something similar to Amsteel blue. Thats shits tough 

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,455

As a side note, I hate when followers whip up on my nuts to try and get them out, friggin kinks the wires. Please use a nut tool. I've had the DMM with leash for a long time now, nice to use and then just drop if your pumped.

Señor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Briggs Lazalde wrote:

I've thought about that for a second before. Youre onto something. I say do it. However all pro targets weaknesses or irregularities in the rock.. Lets find an aid piece for complete slab.. A suction cup that doesn't need a completely flat surface and helps you pull through that one section you need to get past in order to finish the route.. Bam

Yeah, I've thought about that, too. Usually while skittering on some hideous slab regretting my choices.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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