Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Light, small
Cons: A little tricky to handle, hard to clip multiple knots to, extra friction when rope pases through
Best Uses: Big wall climbing, aid climbing, trad climbins
The Metolius FS Mini Quickdraw is one of the lightest and smallest climbing-strength quickdraws on the market. When I first saw this at the Trade Show I thought the Metolius FS Mini was a keychain biner; it is that small. It is much smaller than the Black Diamond Oz Quickdraw or Trango Superfly wiregate. It is also lighter each biner weighing in at 23g compared the Black Diamond Oz at 28g and the SuperFly at 30g.
According to Metolius, the idea is that the much smaller biner will greatly reduce the bulk of climbing gear on a trad or big wall rack. It's a hopeful thought that suddenly that monstrous El Cap rack could be both lighter and less bulky. On the other hand, it's so small that it is harder to handle. It's main competition is the CAMP Nano 23 which is a little lighter and a little bigger and easier to handle and slightly less expensive. We would get the Nano if we were loading up on the lightest biners. But most climbers will want quickdraws with slightly heavier biners in return for something that is easier to clip and to handle. If that is what you are looking for, the Mad Rock UltraLight Quickdraw ($14) and Wild Country Astro Quickdraw ($15) are great bets for the money. If you are willing to spend a few more dollars, the Black Diamond Oz Quickdraw ($19) is our top rated light quickdraw.
View our complete Quickdraw Review to see how this product compared to others.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
These things are mini! They take up less space than just about any biner out there. Plus, because they are new, all your friends and other climbers at the crags will stop you and want to know if they are actually full strength (they are). Metolius is releasing these in new colors to match their cams like the Metolius Master Cam. This is something that Black Diamond does with their Neutrino carabiner. Personally, I don't want to take the time to keep the right color biner with the right cam, but some people will either enjoy the process, find it easier to find their gear, or just like the look of a color-coordinated cam rack.
I hear Peter Croft loves these. Granted, he gets em for free. But still, it is a big counter argument to all the people (like myself) that find the biner a little hard to handle and don't find it practical.
The quickdraw sling is very skinny. This keeps it light and compact for Alpine climbing (which is where you probably want to use it). But it also means the draw is a little hard to grab if you are sport climbing.
The biners are so small that they are harder to handle and clip. If you are pumped on a sport route, and just barely able to make a clip, you will notice these are not the easiest to get the rope into. I have been at the anchors of a few routes with this as the last clip and found I really had to concentrate to get the last draw clipped. It gets easier and easier to clip them over time, especially if you follow the instructions in the Metolius video below. That said, it is never going to be as easy to handle these an a slightly bigger biner, especially if you are wearing belay gloves on a big wall.
These are not expensive and not a screamin' deal either. At 7.50, there are a lot of other top carabiners that are anywhere from $.50 to $2 cheaper. You save a little money if you buy them in the Metolius FS Mini Quickdraw Pack that comes with five.
These are ideal for alpine climbing or any place where you want to shave weight and bulk.
Metolius Video on How to Clip the FS Mini
— Chris McNamara
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: April 30, 2012
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