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Hands-on Gear Review
Cons: Not the lightest, difficult to grab
Manufacturer: Black Diamond
The Black Diamond Positron Quickdraw is a durable medium-sized draw for sport climbing. The stand out feature being the easy to unclip keylock design on both the top and bottom carabiners. The Black Diamond PosiWire Quickdraw, which we included in our review update, has a similar design to the Positron, but features a wiregate HotWire carabiner on the bottom. This shaves off a little weight (and cost), but ultimately, our testers agreed that the notch on the PosiWire's bottom biner snagged easily, making the Positron the higher scoring pick.
The Petzl Spirit Express is its main competitor and has a similar solid gate keylock design. The Spirit is a little lighter, little easier to pull rope through, and the Spirit has grooves in the gate that make it a little easier to do reachy clips. We prefer the Spirit, but the Black Diamond Positron is much less expensive ($16 vs $22 for the Spirit). Since the Positron also is a great biner, we wouldn't hesitate to recommend it if you are on a budget. Or, for $15 you can also get the high-scoring Wild Country Nitro Quickdraw which is much lighter than the Black Diamond Positron but comes with a wiregate (no keylock). If you just want the most carabiner for your money, it's hard to go wrong with the Mad Rock UltraLight Quickdraw for $15.
RELATED: Our complete review of quickdraws
OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Due to the keylock gate design, the Black Diamond Positron one of the easiest carabiners to unclip from bolt hangers on steep routes. Also, the keylock makes this a great carabiner to rack nuts and gear on (it won't get hung up as easily on a sling). Other than that, this is just a great work horse piece of gear. It's not light but it works in a variety of situations, is easy to clip and handle, and gets the job done.
There were no major dislikes with the Black Diamond Positron other than it just didn't perform quite as well as others. It was not not one of the easiest to clip and not one of the lightest which propelled other products ahead.
The dogbone (quickdraw sling) is a little thin. We like thin dogbones on light carabiners, but since this is more of a workhorse sport climbing draw, we would rather have a heftier sling that is easy and comfy to grab like the Petzl Express Sling or the sling on the Black Diamond LiveWire Quickdraw.
Credit: Jacob Stanley
This is an affordable work horse draw ideal for clipping bolts in any situation, or extending gear placements. It's a little heavy if you typically trad climb, but you could still use it with gear in a pinch.
This is one of the best deals on a keylock carabiner. However, once you compare it to other non-keylock carabiners, it is just in the middle of the value range (there are a bunch of $14 and $15 draws out there).
You can buy the Black Diamond Positron carabiners individually in straight gate and bent gate models. There is also the Black Diamond Positron Screwgate locking carabiner for belaying and using in anchors.
— Chris McNamara
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: June 5, 2014
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