Quickdraws basically hold the sport climber’s life when climbing high altitude areas. If you’re a beginner, understanding how the quickdraws work and how can it keep you safe during climbing is essential.
A quickdraw consists of 2 carabiners that are tied together with a textile sling commonly called a “dog bone.” It is the tool that rock climbers and alpine climbers use to clip their rope to a bolt when they reach one during the climb. It is the best way to catch the climbers if they fall because of the rope clipped in the last quickdraw attached to the bolt.
Climbing can be very tricky. Quickdraws are used by skilled climbers to keep a straight path of any ropes they\’re using to avoid sharp direction changes on the ropes, therefore preventing too much friction.
Here\’s your guide to the best quickdraws for sport climbing, rock climbing, trad climbing, ice climbing, alpine climbing, and any climbing activities alike.
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Petzl is a known brand for climbing gears and there is a reason for that – most of their products are top of the line. The Petzl Spirit Express quickdraw is one of the most popular quickdraws with sports climbers. Weighing at 93 grams, it’s relatively light to bring for sports routes and occasionally on trade routes.
Best Ease of Use
Upper and lower carabiners are made of aluminum, built with a cold-forged Spirit keylock. The upper carabiner has a straight gate for excellent grip, while the lower has a bent gate for easier clipping.
The STRING quickdraw sling is made of polyester webbing, reinforced with a rubber protector to protect the carabiner loop from wearing out. The sling on this thing is not floppy. When extended, it allows you to easily clip the quickdraw into a bolt.
The Petzl Spirit Express has the best ease of use carabiners. Equipped with fast springing action gates for fast and easy clipping. This quickdraw is mostly preferred by climbers because of its keylock carabiners on both ends.
- Best for rock climbing
- Best in ease of clipping
- A bit expensive
- Heavy to be used for trad routes
As much as possible, you want to use your climbing gears as long as possible. The Edelrid Bulletproof Set Quickdraw will just do that. The bulletproof quickdraw is designed and built with a steel insert in the bottom of the aluminum carabiner.
Does Not Wear Out Easily
Living up to its name, this innovation enhances the lifespan of not only the lower carabiner but also the rope. The steel added to the carabiner decreases the possibility of wearing out or damaging the rope. Hence, a longer lifespan of the climbing gear you’re using.
The Elderid Bulletproof Set Quickdraw is also armed with the following features: one bullet carabiner on top, one bulletproof carabiner at the bottom, H-profile construction to reduce weight, high-strength polyamide 15mm sling length; 12mm sling width, anti-twisting fixing to keep the carabiners in place, and an intuitive auto-locking slide gate carabiners.
This featured locking mechanism reduces the risk of accidental unclipping – the best feature to have in a quickdraw for dangerous climbs.
This quickdraw is best for sport climbing activities.
- The design maintains the durability of the carabiner as well as the rope used
- Auto-locking slide gate carabiners
- Keeps the rope clean, lessens the aluminum grime.
- A bit expensive
- Smaller gate opening
The cost of a climbing hobby is not exactly economical, but this set of quickdraws from Madrock will surely make your pockets, wallets, and bank accounts happy. Valued at half the price of other quickdraws available in the market, the Mad Rock is usually packed in 6 for the best value.
These quickdraws are decent to use for trad climbing and sports climbing, although you can not expect as high performance as you will have for the more expensive quickdraws.
Mad Rock Concorde is made to be durable and versatile. Economically manufactured by reducing production time, not by reducing the quality of raw materials used to produce these quickdraws.
The carabiners are made of warm forged aluminum, and the “dog bone” or extender is made of Dyneema material with a rubber liner on the end to keep the carabiner orientation. It weighs 87 grams, major axis rated at 27kN, minor axis rated at 10kN, and open gate rated at 8kN.
- Inexpensive, a true best value
- Can be purchased in a pack of 6 for a greater value
- Materials used to make the quickdraws are not substandard
- Narrow sling
- Awkward handling
The Petzl Ange Finesse (S/S) quickdraw will take you anywhere. Its lightweight, little carabiners are designed for multi-pitch and alpine climbing but you can also take these quickdraws for climbing long routes and project sport routes without having the need to purchase another set of quickdraws.
Less Wire; Less Weight
The Ange Finesse features a MonoFil Keylock gate technology where the wire gate is made of a single strand of wire instead of the traditional double wires attached to the keylock nose. Less wire is less weight. Its unique design went beyond the standard keylock carabiner gate with the assurance that there’s no notch that can catch on bolt hangers, slings, or ropes.
Equipped With A Sling Protector
For easy clipping, the Petzl Ange Finesse is equipped with a quickdraw sling protector that is called the STRING which keeps the proper orientation of the carabiner. The sling is built with HDPE with nylon stitching and rubber string, The carabiners are made of aluminum. The length of Ange (s) sling is 10cm, rated 22kN, and weighs 63 grams genuinely light and compact.
- Light and compact
- Replaceable rubber string
- A bit expensive
- Small carabiners are difficult for handling
Lightweight But Strong
The Mammut Bionic Express set has a futuristic vibe color design. It is best to be used for sport climbing featuring a solid gate on the top carabiner and a wire gate at the bottom carabiner, connected by a 10mm Dyneema sling that is durable but not heavy. It is easy to handle, and lightweight but strong.
Technical specifications are the following: 25mm gate opening on the bottom carabiner, 19mm gate opening on the top carabiner, 25kN breaking load, and 10kN open breaking load.
- Great shape for handling
- Durable and lightweight
- Pricey for a pack of 5 quickdraws per set
A combination of nice colors of black and blue for carabiners, and white and black colors for a sling, these quickdraws are easy on the eyes. The redesigned carabiner ropes on these quickdraws increase its durability while its flared keylock nose design prevents accidental gate openings.
To maintain the carabiners’ position, these quickdraws are equipped with an internal band on the rope.
Technical specs are as follows: Weighs 79 grams, sling length is 12mm, and rated at 22kN.
- Redesigned carabiner for better durability
- Flared keylock nose to avoid accidental openings
A Versatile Quickdraw
The Trango Phase Alpine quickdraws are best to use for big wall climbing, trad climbing, alpine climbing, and sport climbing. It’s so versatile that there’s no need to waste your time and money on buying separate carabiners and slings to customize your own quickdraws when you can use the Trango Phase Alpine Draw is an absolute all-rounder whatever phase of climbing you are into.
Light & Easy To Carry
Keeping it light, each quickdraw only weighs 80 grams, these quickdraws are easy to carry for long hikes and climbs.
These quickdraws are equipped with non-locking wire gate carabiners with a large rope-bearing surface. The slings are made from Dyneema, durable and versatile; can be extended up to 60cm in length without tangling and twisting all thanks to the 11mm-thick polyester weave-patterned Dyneema material.
- Economical comes in a pack for the best value
Best For All-Around Climbing
The Camp Orbit Wire Express KS quickdraw is the best for all-around climbing. If you’re just starting a leisure pursuit in climbing and still in the process of trying out different climbing styles, this reliable and inexpensive quickdraw set is the right one for you. It’s lightweight, versatile, and economical.
These quickdraws are equipped with easy-to-clip two large wire gate carabiners with 27mm gate clearance, and an easy-to-grab 16mm wide sling with Karstop Evo carabiner retainer.
Best For Beginners
Compared to other quickdraws in the same price range, these are the best quickdraws you can get your hands on. It would be by far the best choice for a new climber in getting their first rack without having to spend double in getting various quickdraws for different climbs.
Although these quickdraws will best perform in sports climbing, you can also use them for alpine climbing and multi-pitch routes. It is lightweight and it is easy to grab 16mm characteristics are perfect for trad climbing.
- Versatile for any climb
- Best for beginners
- Inexpensive for high-quality quickdraws
- Gate style have a tendency to snag on gear
Made For Optimal Clipping
The Black Diamond Litewire quickdraw is an absolute workhorse. Made from hot-forged LiteWire carabiners equipped on both top and bottom, armed with a straightjacket insert at the bottom carabiner for optimal clipping, and connected by a 12mm Dynex sling.
Best for all-day single pitch cragging but it’s also light enough for multi-pitch climbing.
Technical specifications are as follows: weighs 73 grams, 24kN closed gate strength, 8kN open gate strength, 8kN minor axis strength, and 23mm gate opening.
- Lightweight for multi-pitch climbing
- Best for single pitch
Designed for sport climbing and multi-pitch routes, the Mammut Crag Indicator Express quickdraw is equipped with two crag solid gate carabiners. The top carabiner has a straight solid gate and the lower carabiner is designed with a curved solid gate. Reinforced with a rubber stopper, the bottom carabiner does not move or rotate when plated.
Can Withstand Abrasion
The 16mm sling is made from polyamide – a material that can withstand extreme abrasion. And in case of webbing abrasion and damage, a red core will appear on the webbing to indicate that the sling needs to be replaced.
Available in ultramarine color. Rated at 24kN, best for climbing activities.
- Intense and beautiful color
- Equipped with indicator technology for the sling
- Equipped with a rubber stopper to avoid abrasion
Described to be light, tough, and versatile, the Black Diamond Hotwire Quickdraw is composed of 2 hot-forged carabiners and an 18mm sling with a straightjacket polyester sling.
The carabiners are built with dual wiregate to reduce the possibility of gate flutter. The bottom carabiner is colored for easy sighting during climbs, and a straightjacket inserts to keep the carabiner from rotating.
Light But Durable
Though constructed light, the carabiners are designed to have a large rope-bearing surface to make ensure the durability of the carabiners as well as the rope.
The Black Diamond Hotwire best performs on vertical sport climbs. The top keylock carabiner design enables it to avoid snagging on slings and nuts. The weight of this quickdraw makes it applicable to be used for trad. Hence, it will save you money because there’s no need to buy separate quickdraws for each if you want to do both sport and trad.
- Best for vertical sports climbs
- Colored bottom carabiner for visual target
- Narrow sling, not so easy to grab
Best For Trad & Alpine Climbs
This light and portable quickdraw is awesome for your trad and alpine climbs. The Wild Country Astro is made of 2 hot-forged wiregate carabiners, and I-beam construction for reduced weight while keeping it strong and sturdy. Each carabiner weighs 29 grams, rated at 23kN, it is best to bring in your mountain climbs.
The sling of the Astro quickdraw is made of Dyneema, 10mm in width, and 10cm in length.
- Astronomically light
- Longer sling length compared to other quickdraws
- Not for crag
Like a true hybrid, this quickdraw is combined with 2 distinct carabiners. For easy removal from bolts, a key locking solid gate HotForge carabiner is on top. For easy clipping, the lighter and bright-colored HotWire wiregate carabiner is at the bottom.
Ease Of Clipping & Unclipping
Weighing 3.5oz, this may not be best for alpine climbs but sport climbers will surely appreciate this hybrid quickdraw. Ease if clipping is not a problem with the HotWire because of its designed straight gate contrary to the usual gate design of wiregate carabiners.
For ease of unclipping, the HotForge key locking solid carabiner is designed with a smooth nose without a notch that can be an obstruction in unclipping bolt hangers. Also, this quickdraw is equipped with an 18mm wide polyester sling that is easy to grab.
- Bright-colored HotWire for visual target
- Easy to clip and unclip
- Solid performance
- Stiff gate springs
Made For Rapid Climbing
If rapid climbing is your game, the Flash Wire Gate Quickdraw Series from Kailas is the best for you. It’s the best carabiner to have as part of your climbing gear if you’re weight conscious and a light-packer when doing your outdoor hobbies of mountaineering, ice climbing, alpine climbing, and rock climbing.
Made of lightweight materials such as hot-forged, top quality 7075 aluminum alloy for the wire gate carabiners, H-profile design, and 10mm Dyneema webbing sling that is also strong and moisture-resistant.
No Snagging & Unwanted Opening Of The Gate
Designed with a straight gate on top and a bent gate at the bottom. Other physical features include: flared nose to avoid snagging and unwanted opening of the gate, large opening wire gate carabiners that don’t freeze in chilly temperatures, and a rubber fastener on the bent gate to keep the carabiner in place.
Technical specifications are as follows: 27mm gate opening, weighs 77 grams for 12cm, 81 grams in 18cm, 97.5 x57mm carabiner dimensions, 24kN major axis strength, 8kN minor axis strength, 9kN open gate strength.
- Suitable for multi-pitch and alpine conditions
- Sturdy for nut placements or clipping bolts
- Aluminum material wears away faster than steel
How to Choose the Best Quickdraws
Quickdraws are composed of different components. And each individual parts go through every test needed to establish force limit, strength, pressure, and load-bearing. In choosing quickdraws, one must always consider not just the parts individually but also how these parts perform all together as one gear.
A quickdraw consists of 2 connecting carabiners attached to a sling or dog bone. Since climbers bring a rack of quickdraws for their missions, every gram counts. Carabiners used for quickdraws are usually made of high-quality aluminum – light and malleable. But light doesn’t always mean right.
There are carabiners that are made too small to achieve being compact and lightweight that it compromises the ease of use for some types of routes. So, your best option would be something light, strong, and has the ability to perform well based on the climbing style you’re pursuing.
The sling is usually made from strong weavable materials such as polyester, nylon, and ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene. Dyneema, Spectra, and Dynex brands have a good reputation as sling materials. Just remember that this part wears out over time, you have to check if they’re still good before using them.
The solid straight gate is equipped with the top carabiner. It is for clipping with bolts and nuts as anchoring. They function like locking carabiners with a spring-loaded gate. They weigh more than wire gate carabiners.
The bent gate’s curved form is not just for style. The main purpose of this bottom carabiner is to clip ropes. The concave gate makes it easier for you to clip the rope.
Some prefer a wire gate because it’s lightweight. More than that, wire gates have several advantages like it is less likely to freeze during alpine climbs, and reduced risk of opening during a fall or shock load. However, wire gates are not armed with the keylock that some carabiner gate types have.
The keylock nose prevents snagging, that’s why some wire gate carabiners are designed with hooded noses to avoid snagging on gears.
Outdoor gears can be expensive, that’s why it’s best to compare and contrast the climbing quickdraws available in the market that you will possibly purchase to ensure that you get the best value for the required quality you’re looking for.
Versatility is one of the main characteristics you should look for a quickdraw if you’re planning to do more than one type of climbing. That way, you wouldn’t need to purchase another set for each type.
Next, is the lifespan of your gear. Naturally, quickdraws will go through different heavy loading and weather conditions. Make sure you get the duration of service you expected for the price you paid for the quickdraws.
Different climbs require different quantities of quickdraw you will bring. Most often than not, you will need more than a set. It’s always best to check your budget in light of your required number of quickdraws so you won’t over or under-purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many quickdraws do I need?
Depending on the climb you’re going to do. Usually, you can start at 12 for the sport route. If you’re planning for a long route, you just need to add 4 to 8 quickdraws then so on and so forth for longer routes.
How long do quickdraws last?
Most manufacturers don’t give exact retirement dates of the quickdraws. Usually, the safest duration is between two to five years of use. But, like any other gear, if you treat and store it properly it can last a long time, especially the sling. Always check the physical condition of your quickdraws before using them.
How many quickdraws do I need for trad?
The safest number is 12 quickdraws. However, the truth is you don’t need that much. Some trad routes only require six quickdraws, but to expect the unexpected, it’s better to be prepared. Besides, trad quickdraws are usually lighter so it won’t be a burden to bring an extra set.