< Go to Quickdraws

Hands-on Gear Review

Mad Rock UltraLight Quickdraw Review


Click to enlarge
Price:   $14 List | Sale $13.95 at Backcountry
Pros:  Great value, easy to handle, light
Cons:  Gate hang up, rubber piece breaks, skinny runner hard to grab when sport climbing
Editors' Rating:     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   Mad Rock Climbing


The Mad Rock UltraLight Quickdraw might just be the best value on a bent gate wiregate draw and, at only $14, one of the best deals on draws period. That said, the Mad Rock UltraLight narrowly missed our Best Buy award, which went to the $12 Black Diamond FreeWire Quickdraw. It is $1 less than the Wild Country Astro Quickdraw and $6 less than the Black Diamond Oz Quickdraw. The Oz scored a littler higher for rope pull smoothness and how many knots it could hold, but they are very close. We lean more toward the Astro because it is a little lighter, but both biners are very similar so we say: get what is the better deal among those three. If you want the absolute lightest carabiner, get the CAMP Nano 23 Quickdraw which is 20 percent lighter but also not as versatile or as high scoring.

RELATED: Our complete review of quickdraws

Compare Side-by-Side

Compare all Quickdraws >

Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

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

Last Updated:
June 5, 2014


The Mad Rock UltraLight does a great job of balancing price, weight, and functionality. It is not the lightest model out there, but it is pretty darn light. It is not the most functional, but it gets the job done. In our tests, it scored well but not in a stand out way. The carabiners on this draw are a nice size; not too small - not too big. Plus, they are usable with gloves, unlike smaller biners.

What did stand out about the Mad Rock UltraLight is that the bottom biner comes with a bent gate for easier clipping. Few other light draws have a bent gate version. That said, how much a bent gate helps you clip is just one factor in ease of clipping (gate spring tension and easy of gripping the biner are just as important).


As with most Mad Rock UltraLight with wiregate carabiners, the notch gets caught up on the bolt hanger when cleaning steep routes. Other than that, the only dislikes are very minor and comparison to the competition. For example the spine not quite as easy to grip as Astro but at the same time it is barely noticeable.

The rubber gasket used on this draw is not very durable. This is the little piece of black rubber for the bottom (bent) carabiner to keep it in place for clipping. We found they broke after a few months of heavy use. Not a big deal because it still works without the rubber part. But by comparison, the Petzl Spirit Express uses a much beefier rubber piece that takes much longer to break. Also, the sling or "dogbone" used to connect the carabiner is pretty skinny. This shaves weight but makes it hard to comfortably grab the draw.

Best Application

If you are using the Mad Rock UltraLights mainly for trad climbing or alpine climbing, keep the sling that the draw comes with. If you are using these mainly for sport climbing, I would swap out the dogbone on these for the Petzl Express Sling (the 17mm size is the best). They cost $4-6 but if you get the biners themselves on sale separately, you can still compose the draw for a good value.

Other Versions

Mad Rock UltraLight Straight Gate
Click to enlarge
  • Cost - $6
  • Straight gate biner from this quickdraw

Mad Rock UltraLight Bent Gate
Click to enlarge
  • Cost - $6
  • Bent gate biner from this quickdraw

Mad Rock Super Tech Keylock Screw
Click to enlarge
  • Cost - $8
  • Best Buy Award Winning Locking Carabiner!
  • 43g total weight
  • A great option for a small, compact, lightweight locking carabiner.
Chris McNamara

Where to Buy?

Seller Price  Shipping Cost Visit
Backcountry $13.95

Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

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

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
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)

Have you used the Mad Rock UltraLight Quickdraw?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
Where's the Best Price?

*You help support OutdoorGearLab's product testing and reviews by purchasing from our retail partners.
Helpful Buying Tips
Other Gear by Mad Rock Climbing