Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Very light yet easy to handle, easy to grip, hooded nose
Cons: Gets hung up when cleaning on steep routes, doesn't hold a lot of knots and slings, rubber attachemtn on sling not durable
Best Uses: Any type of rock climbing
The Wild Country Astro is one of the best lightweight quickdraw designs out there, especially for the price. Only the Mad Rock UltraLight Quickdraw cost less but it is a little heavier and did not score quite as high. The Black Diamond Oz Quickdraw scored a tiny bit higher but also costs another $2 and was not quite as easy to grip. All three carabiners are very good so it comes down to personal preference and what you can get the best deal on. We would happily use the Astro as the only carabiner on our rack.
If you are obsessed on weight, get the lighter yet smaller CAMP Nano 23 Quickdraw. The Nano did not score as high because it is much smaller, harder to handle and not as versatile. But it is some grams lighter which the weight-obsessed will notice.
If you have deep pockets, consider the Wild Country Helium which is not that much heavier and scored higher.
View our complete Quickdraw Review to see how it compared to others.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Wild Country Astro is just a great size and weight. It is not the lightest, but is pretty darn light. Unlike the mega light biners like the Metolius FS Mini Quickdraw, this biner is easy to hold both because it is a reasonable size and has a feature I-beam spine that is easy to grip. The hooded nose helps to protect the carabiner from getting opened by getting rubbed across the rock. It was on of the easiest to clip of all the small and light quickdraws. It was also one of the smoothest to pull rope through (tied with Black Diamond Oz). It has a gate design that while not bent, accepts the rope almost as easy as a bent gate carabiner.
The rubber piece that attaches the biner to the sling is not very durable. We had some last months and other break in a matter of weeks. Once they break, it is not a big deal as the quickdraw still works, but the biner is then more likely to not be oriented correctly when you go to clip it.
There were no other major dislikes other than the standard two things:
On-sight climbing, trad climbing where light weight and size matter.
One of the best deals out there on light wiregate biners. Less expensive than the Oz and SuperFly. Only the Mad Rock Ultra-Light costs less. However, if you buy the Astro Quickdraw Pack it is only $68 for five draws which makes it even cheaper than the Mad Rock (the Mad Rock does not come in a discount pack).
— Chris McNamara
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: January 26, 2011
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