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Hands-on Gear Review
Black Diamond LiveWire Quickdraw Review
Cons: Not light, toward the more expensive end of quickdraws
The Black Diamond LiveWire Quickdraw is Black Diamond's top draw for sport climbing. We like clipping it much more than standard wiregate biner on the Black Diamond HotWire Quickdraw. Its main competition is the Petzl Spirit Express which is a little less expensive. We lean toward the Spirit just because we like the gate tension and keylock design, but many people may prefer clipping the wiregate and deep basket of the LiveWire. Another competitor is the Wild Country Nitro Quickdraw which is much less expensive, much lighter, and a more versatile all-around product. So it comes down to how much you love the clipping action on the Black Diamond LiveWire Quickdraw. If you think this clips better than any other biner (and many people do), it may be the best bet for you.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Quickdraw for Climbing Review
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The bottom biner on the Black Diamond LiveWire Quickdraw is great to clip due to the wiregate, ridge on the spine, and deep basket at the bottom of the biner. The ridge gives a nice catch for your thumb or index finger to grip the carabiner. The deep basket means you can clip a lot of ropes and slings into this biner. It scored high is most other categories. The old version of this product had a notch on the bottom wire gate carabiner that easily got snagged when cleaning steep routes. When Black Diamond updated the Livewire, they fitted the previously troublesome notch on the bottom biner with a small wire hood that resists snagging. The newest version of the Black Diamond Oz Quickdraw also incorporates this technology.
Along with the Petzl Djinn Axess, the Black Diamond LiveWire was one of the heaviest in our review. If you're just headed out to the sport crag, then this isn't a big deal. But if you are using this when trad climbing or other instances where you have a big rack, there are a lot of other draws that are close to half the weight.
The Black Diamond LiveWire is ideal for sport climbing. Its wide sling makes it very easy to grab and its keylock solid gate top biner and keylock-like bottom wire gate biner make for easy cleaning, even on steep routes.
This is toward the upper end of the price spectrum, but if you like the way it clips and you're looking for a sport-specific draw it might be a great piece for you.
Black Diamond LiveWire Technology Video
— Chris McNamara
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