Hands-on Gear Review

Edelrid Bulletproof Quickdraw Review

Great choice for your first clip or for top rope anchors.
By: Cam McKenzie Ring ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 19, 2018
Price:  $29 List  |  $28.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Steel insert offers more durability for high-wear use, wide sling
Cons:  Heavy, expensive, narrow gate opening
Manufacturer:   Edelrid
70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 13
  • Ease of Clipping - 25% 8
  • Ease of Unclipping - 25% 8
  • Portability - 20% 3
  • Ease of Handling - 15% 8
  • Ease of Grabbing - 15% 8
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Top Pick Award

Our Verdict

Edelrid has been coming up with many new products in the last couple of years that attempt to solve real problems with our climbing gear. When it comes to quickdraws, one of the main issues people encounter is premature wear of the bottom carabiner from the friction of the rope running over it. Most climbing carabiners are made from aluminum to save on weight; however, since it is a softer metal than steel, it will wear away faster. Climbing areas with in-situ draws typically use steel carabiners, which might last as much as ten times longer than an aluminum carabiner. Edelrid figured out a way to merge the best of both worlds by putting a steel insert in the bottom of an aluminum carabiner, and the Bulletproof quickdraw was born.

Are we going to rush out and buy 12 of these and never have to buy a quickdraw again? Probably not. They're heavy, and they're very expensive, two big minuses for most climbers. But, they are an excellent option for specific times when you want a durable carabiner, like on the first bolt of a climb you're working (which will see more wear), and as top rock anchors. For this reason, we've given it our Top Pick for Durability award, since it provides something no other aluminum draw on the market does. Elderid is also using this design in a full-size locking carabiner. If you mostly use tube-style belay devices where the rope runs through your belay carabiner, or you do a lot of rappelling, consider getting one of these as well if you want to maximize the lifespan of your gear.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Share:

The Edelrid Bulletproof Quickdraw weighs 4.1 ounces. It has a 22mm wide sling that comes in 12 and 18 cm lengths. Note that only the bottom carabiner has the stainless steel insert — the upper one is a standard carabiner, and both have keylocking gates. You can purchase the Bulletproof carabiners individually and then create your own "Double Bulletproof" draw with the sling of your choice, but that might be overkill. It's true that the top carabiners will see some wear from the bolts, particularly if you hang on your climbs a lot. However, those small gouges rarely amount to much, and we've never had to retire our quickdraws because the top carabiner was worn out — it's always the bottom one that goes first.

Performance Comparison


The bottom carabiner on the Bulletproof quickdraw. The stainless steel insert is more durable than aluminum  offering improved durability for this high wear area.
The bottom carabiner on the Bulletproof quickdraw. The stainless steel insert is more durable than aluminum, offering improved durability for this high wear area.

Ease of Clipping


The carabiners on this model are slightly on the small side (likely to reduce the overall weight so that they are still functional even with the steel insert). That makes both clipping and unclipping them slightly more challenging than the large carabiners on the Black Diamond LiveWire or the DMM Alpha Sport.


Our testers with smaller hands or who clip with their thumb and forefinger didn't mind the slightly smaller size, and we all liked the snappy gate action. It does have the smallest gate opening in this review (only 20mm), which didn't seem to affect the clipping too much, but did make unclipping a bit more challenging (see below).

The bargate clips nice and fast  but the size of the carabiners is a little small.
The bargate clips nice and fast, but the size of the carabiners is a little small.

Ease of Unclipping


The carabiners on this quickdraw gave us mixed results for this category. They are both keylocking bar gates, which is nice, but the small gate opening gave us less room for getting it off a bolt. We had to be really precise with our unclipping movement, which isn't always easy to do when you're tramming in on a steep sport route and trying to clean your route quickly and efficiently. As a result, it got the "lowest" unclipping score for a keylocking carabiner, but it was still better than most of the wiregates with their unprotected notches.


We're not sure why Edelrid designed the Bulletproof with such a comparatively small gate opening, as they seemed to have nailed everything else right on this carabiner. Perhaps they had to keep the dimensions a little smaller on this one to keep the overall weight within reason. If you are looking for something with a large opening and a deep basket, the BD LiveWire and Petzl Djinn Axess are great options.

The keylock gate gives you snag-free unclipping  but the gate opening itself is on the small side.
The keylock gate gives you snag-free unclipping, but the gate opening itself is on the small side.

Portability


At 4.1 ounces per, this was the heaviest draw in our review, and it received the lowest score for this metric. In fact, if it wasn't so heavy it would have scored much higher overall, so keep that in mind when looking at the total score for this product.


While it's impressive that Edelrid managed to include steel in this carabiners (which is typically 2.5 times denser than aluminum) and still keep the overall weight of the quickdraw close to other sport-specific models, it's still heavy. Some climbers who aren't afraid of a few extra ounces won't hesitate to use these on their entire rack if they're looking for the most durable quickdraw out there. Personally, we'd rather carry two on our harness only for the top of a route that we planned to top rope a bunch, or even better, only one for the first bolt on something we know were are going to hang on a bunch. (The first quickdraw will typically receive a lot more wear than others in that scenario.)

Some "homemade" bulletproof quickdraws. The "real" ones are on the heavy side  and if you're planning on replacing your entire rack with them prepare for a slightly heavier experience. We've seen people create their own configurations from slings and top carabiners from other quickdraws.
Some "homemade" bulletproof quickdraws. The "real" ones are on the heavy side, and if you're planning on replacing your entire rack with them prepare for a slightly heavier experience. We've seen people create their own configurations from slings and top carabiners from other quickdraws.

Ease of Handling


Overall we felt that this quickdraw handled well and it received a good score for this metric. Our testers with smaller hands liked it slightly better than our bigger mitted-fellas, hence the slightly lower score than the DMM Alpha Sport and other bigger options.


The Bulletproof has external rubber positioners to keep the bottom carabiner in its proper position. We tend to prefer this method, as it is replaceable should the rubber tear. It also protects the sling in that spot, which can see some wear if left on a route to blow around in the wind. Are you going to leave the Bulletproofs up on your project? Probably not, unless it's a secret crag. The exterior positioners are a little bulky though, so if you prefer something more streamlined, look to Black Diamond's lineup of draws, which all have interior "Straightjacket" keepers.

This quickdraw handled well but felt a little on the small side.
This quickdraw handled well but felt a little on the small side.

Ease of Grabbing


The sling on this quickdraw is 22mm wide, making it one of the better options for grabbing. It's still a bit thinner than the Petzl Spirit Express and DMM Alpha Sport, but it does have some shaping to it, which we liked.


Edelrid could have easily paired this with a thinner dogbone to keep the weight down, but we appreciated the wider sling in those moments when we did go to grab it. The sewn-in material with the logo and specs on it was a bit annoying, but much better than the rubber piece tacked on to the Black Diamond LiveWire. We understand that companies need to mark their products, but don't appreciate it when it interferes with performance.

The dogbone is wider than most others in our review  and we liked how easy it was to grab.
The dogbone is wider than most others in our review, and we liked how easy it was to grab.

Best Applications


Due to their weight, the Edelrid Bulletproof is best for sport climbing applications. Could you replace your entire rack with these quickdraws? Sure, but they might be better off strategically used in certain situations, such as on the first bolt of a route you're going to be working on (it will receive more wear from the back and forth of a belayer taking in slack) or as toprope anchors. Guides might want to consider investing in a rack of these as well. They're typically climbing below their own limit, so the extra weight shouldn't be too much of an issue, and they'll appreciate the added longevity if they're out there using them seven days a week.

The Bulletproof in its intended element - at a first bolt on a sport route. The quickdraw on the first bolt will usually see more wear  so we like to use one Bulletproof draw in that location.
The Bulletproof in its intended element - at a first bolt on a sport route. The quickdraw on the first bolt will usually see more wear, so we like to use one Bulletproof draw in that location.

Value


This quickdraw retails for $29 and $30 (short or longer sling), making it the most expensive draw in this review. If it lasts even twice as long as a standard quickdraw, though, that would still make it an exceptional value. While we can't really tell what the longevity of this draw will be from our two-month testing period, our personal experience with steel carabiners vs. aluminum makes us very excited about the Bulletproof. This might be the first quickdraw we've ever owned where the sling wears out before the carabiners.

Conclusion


We were really excited to check out the Edelrid Bulletproof quickdraw, and it didn't disappoint. While not our favorite overall draw, we think it's a great compliment to any rack, and we plan on keeping a couple of these around for extreme top roping sessions or the first bolt on our proj. We've given it our Top Pick for Durability award for the extra longevity that the stainless steel insert is sure to impart, and we'll keep using it to test its lifespan compared to an all-aluminum draw.

Cam McKenzie Ring

You Might Also Like

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: April 19, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


Have you used this product?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...