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Hands-on Gear Review

Black Diamond Positron Quickdraw Review


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Price:   Varies from $14 - $17 online  —  Compare at 4 sellers
Pros:  Good value, easy to unclip, durable
Cons:  Not the lightest, difficult to grab
Editors' Rating:     
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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 ($16.95 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.

Product Recall: February 2016
Positron Quickdraws 381014 / 381016 / 381081 / 381082, 381077 / 381078 / 381044 / 381058 were recalled by Black Diamond in February of 2016. If you think you might own any recalled quickdraws, check out this safety recall notice to read what your next move should be.

RELATED: Our complete review of quickdraws

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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
Chris McNamara
Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Last Updated:
June 5, 2014
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The Positrons on Amanda's harness are easy to clip and unclip, especially on steeper sport routes.


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.

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Clipping the Positron draws in the Red River Gorge. This draw didn't score as highly in our ease of grabbing or portability metrics, but it earned good marks in ease of handling and clipping.

Best Application

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).

Other Versions

Black Diamond Oz Quickdraw
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  • Cost - $20
  • Lightweight hooded carabiners
  • Great for traditional and multi pitch climbing

Black Diamond LiveWire Quickdraw
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  • Cost - $25
  • BD's top end sport climbing quickdraw
  • Large basket biners are super easy to clip
  • Burly slings last a long time
  • Solid gate on top with wire gate for the rope end

Black Diamond FreeWire Quickdraw
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  • Cost - $13
  • Best Buy Award Winner!
  • Super affordable price with great quality biners
  • Great for sport climbing
  • Beefy workhorse quick draws
Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: June 5, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)

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Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
Amazon $14.22  -  16% off!
Eastern Mountain Sports $15.95
REI $16.95
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