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Hands-on Gear Review
Cons: A little tricky to handle, hard to clip multiple knots to, extra friction when rope pases through
Manufacturer: Metolius Climbing
The Metolius FS Mini Quickdraw is one of the lightest and smallest climbing-strength quickdraws on the market. Although the carabiners on this draw are tiny, don't mistake them for keychain biners - they are full-strength. The carabiners on the Metolius FS Mini are much smaller than those on the Black Diamond Oz Quickdraw. 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.
The Metolius FS Mini's main competition is the CAMP Nano 23 Quickdraw 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 draws. But most climbers will want draws 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 and CAMP Photon Wire Express Dyneema scored well in our metrics.
RELATED: Our complete review of quickdraws
OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Metolius FS Mini II Quickdraw vs. The FS Mini Quickdraw
The carabiner in the FS Mini Quickdraw has been replaced by the FS Mini II Carabiner--a lighter version that also has a wider gate opening. You can find the quickdraw, complete with the new FS Mini II Carabiner: FS Mini II Quickdraw for $15, which is $2 less than the original FS Mini Quickdraw.
Check out the side-by-side comparison below, with the FS Mini II shown on the left and the FS Mini pictured on the right.
These things are mini! They take up less space than just about any draw out there. Although they aren't quite as light as the CAMP Nano 23, they are more compact. Additionally, the Metolius FS Mini 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. That said, our testers noticed that it gets easier and easier to clip the Metolius FS Mini over time, especially if you follow the instructions in the Metolius video below. However, 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, but not a screamin' deal either. You save a little money if you buy them in a five-pack.
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
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: May 14, 2015
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