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Wild Country Helium Quickdraw Review

   
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Quickdraws

  • Currently 5.0/5
Overall avg rating 5.0 of 5 based on 6 reviews. Most recent review: March 16, 2013
Street Price:   Varies from $14 - $27 | Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Light for its size, easy to clean from bolts, very cool design
Cons:  Expensive, rubber piece on sling is not that durable
Best Uses:  Sport climbing and traditional climbing.
User Rating:     
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 (5.0 of 5) based on 5 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (4/4) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Wild Country
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ September 8, 2010  
Overview
The Wild Country Helium Quickdraw is probably the most innovative quickdraw on the market today. It has a hooded nose that brings the best of both worlds: the light design of a wiregate plus the ease of removal from bolt hangers (something that previously only keylock carabiners could claim). It is big and easy to hold in your hand and easy to clip.

As one of the best quickdraws on the market today there's no surprise that it has a high price to match. We feel every climber should have a few just because they are so cool. Whether you get a couple or a bunch will depend on how much you value the innovative design. If money were no object, we would load up heavily on these. If you are looking for more bang for your buck, go with the Wild County Nitro, which is a similar-sized biner but without the face gate and about half the price. The other main competitor for "ultimate sport climbing quickdraw" is the Petzl Spirit Express, which is not nearly as cool but is a more durable option. So should you buy it? Depends on how much having the most advanced wiregate quickdraw on the market is worth to you. If you are watching your pennies but still want a light draw, lean toward the Mad Rock Ultralight Quickdraw, which is much less expensive and still performs solidly.

View our complete Quickdraw Review to see how it compared to others.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
The main like of the Wild Country Helium is the hooded nose that does two things: it helps protect the gate from being inadvertently rubbed/pushed open and it keeps the nose from getting hung up when removing it from bolt hangers, slings and nuts. (The nose really does look like Joe Camel's nose.) It's the only wiregate carabiner we tested that is easy to unclip from bolt hangers on steep sport routes. Due to the bent wiregate, it is one of the easiest to clip. While not one of the lightest carabiners, it is very light for its size and functionality. To put it another way, it is the lightest full-size biner that is easy to unclip from stuff. Not only does the larger size make it easy to handle and clip, it has a "Beam Back" spine that is easy to grip. As with all biners with the wiregate design, the gate is less likely to get frozen shut on alpine routes.

Dislikes
Because of the wide nose it is hard to get in/out of some anchors like chain links or old school hangers with the small hole. If you get the quickdraw, the "Tadpole O Ring" that holds the biner to the draw slipped off one of the draws after only one weekend. When compared to the Petzl Spirit Express, the Helium quickdraw was lighter but not nearly as durable. We had the black rubber "gasket" that holds the clipping biner in place break after not much time. Not a big deal, but a little annoying as you then have to improvise a new way to keep the bottom biner from flipping around inadvertently when climbing.

Best Application
This is a great biner for sport climbing and putting on quickdraws. It is a little expensive to recommend using for every biner on the rack.

Value
This is one of the more expensive quickdraws out there. The Wild Country Nitro is almost as good at half the price. And most other biners are much cheaper. Wild County overall is a brand that gives good value in its products. The reason the Helium is so expensive is that it is a unique and tricky-to-make design. You save a tiny bit if you buy the Helium Quickdraw 5 Pack.

Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: March 16, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (5.0)

100% of 4 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
5 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (5)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 5 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Mar 16, 2013 - 07:10am
JimM · Cordova, TN
I purchased a set of the quickdraws because a climbing partner and I were going to do some long routes in Potrero Chico and she had recently switched to Heliums. I liked them so much that I purchased more for my trad rack and some free Helium biners to rack gear. If you can afford them I highly recommend them.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Nov 20, 2010 - 09:36am
 
msiddens · Climber
WEIRD- Best price finder isn't accurate on the sale price of these. On-sale now at REI for under $18. Click the link and see.
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   Sep 27, 2010 - 02:27pm
Blakey · Climber · Newcastle UK
I splashed out and got 15 of these quickdraws several years ago. On long sport pitches where you're carrying a bundle of em, you don't get the 'swinging skirt of junk' feeling on your harness, you just don't notice they're there.

They're full size and easy to handle, and the floppy quickdraw helps minimise drag.

These combined with a long skinny rope make a big difference for me when I'm trying stuff at my modest limit. And believe me, cos I'm an expert at needing help.

I've found them the most impressive bit of kit I have, The last time I was this impressed was when WC brought out Friends, so a definite 'five' from me.

Blakey

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Sep 27, 2010 - 12:30pm
G_Gnome · Climber · In the mountains... somewhere...
I bought 15 of these about 2 years ago. None of the rubber keepers has broken and I climb almost every weekend. Not only is the keyless nose great but they are one of the easiest biners to clip ever made. We all like them so much that 2 of my partners have also bought these for their racks. IMNSHO, these are the best!

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Sep 26, 2010 - 09:18pm
travelin_light · Climber · Boulder, Colorado
I actually like the biners so much that I just buy the quickdraw - it is the same price for two individual biners. You basically get the dogbone for free!

Honestly, I do keep some of these draws on my rack for clipping pins etc. Great design.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Wild Country Helium Quickdraw
Credit: wildcountry.co.uk
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