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NRS Vigilante Cable Lock – 6 month review

Posted by on December 29, 2014

The Deets

Photo courtesy of NRS.com

Photo courtesy of NRS.com

What is it?: 10′ Combination Cable Lock

From NRS.com: Don’t let your outdoor gear get jacked. Get the NRS Vigilante Cable Lock instead. The coated steel cable slips easily through odd-shaped spaces so you can lock up kayaks, bikes and other gear.

  • We coated the 10′ x 1/8″ diameter strong steel cable with scratch-free, rust-free nylon for durable, worry-free security.

  • Unlike many cable locks, the Vigilante features narrow cable ends that fit easily through small and odd-shaped spaces.

  • Secure three-digit combination lock for peace of mind.

  • Resettable lock lets you choose and change your combination.

MSRP: $19.95

The Review

A cable lock is challenging to review at first glance and after a couple times of use so I am submitting my review after 6-months of varied use through a season of summer, fall, and the start of winter.

Initial impressions

Photo courtesy of NRS.com

Photo courtesy of NRS.com

Initially, the NRS Vigilante cable appears to have a clean, quality appearance with an overall ease of use. The 3-digit combination is simple yet complicated enough to challenge a thief looking for a new kayak. The length is appropriate and allows for solid wrapping around roof rack rails, deck posts, or a kayak rack. The cable is coated which allows for wrapping without getting snagged or rubbing against your car roof or kayak finish. The cable end is small (about the diameter of a shoelace) which is great for looping through kayak seats, lock brackets, and other small hardware.

General setup and use

Setting up the combination is easy and can be done in under five-minutes with the included instructions. The lock itself is very finicky and requires a lot of play to get the cable end into the lock, the same is required when removing/unlocking the lock.

The combination digits are very small and close together which makes it is easy to “fat finger” the combination when attempting to open the lock. In addition, I found that a lot of play was required to actually unlock the lock after the correct combination was set, including having to move the unlock latch back and forth multiple times in order to engage the mechanism. The small latch can be painful on the thumbs/fingers due to its small shape and the force required to unlock.

After 6-months

After about a month of outdoor storage, the cable end was rusted into the lock mechanism forcing me to cut the cable to free my kayak. Even though NRS claims that the cable has a “rust-free coating,” that is apparently not the case.

The cut-test

Due to the nature of the lock rusting, I had only one option if I wanted to unlock my kayak, and that was to cut the cable. I figured this to be a good opportunity to test the “ease of theft.” It only took about one minute (with standard wire cutters) to make my way through the cable. I would image it would be even easier with bolt cutters. Even though these cable locks are designed to be more of a deterrant, I anticipated the cable to put up more of a fight.

Recommended: No

3 Responses to NRS Vigilante Cable Lock – 6 month review

  1. Dennis burdett

    Thanks bro that was right on time for me! Rage against hype!!!

  2. Terry

    Well I scooted right to the end. NO. Thanks Dave. Hoping you have a great year.

  3. westernflyer2015

    Thanks for a great review. I’m sure NRS ain’t happy, but if they want to sell it, it should work as advertised. I’m still looking for something similar. The Master Python looks like it but has gotten mixed reviews. Keep up the good work.

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