Hands-on Gear Review

Mad Rock Concord Review

Price:  $11 List | $8.21 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Inexpensive
Cons:  Narrow sling, exposed notch can snag on gear, wide profile
Bottom line:  If you're buying everything all at once and need to save some $$, the price on these can't be beat!
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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Weight (ounces):  3
Gate opening bottom carabiner (mm):  25 mm
Width of sling (mm):  10 mm
Manufacturer:   Mad Rock Climbing

Our Verdict

If you're looking for the least expensive quickdraw out there, it doesn't get much cheaper than the Mad Rock Concord. It costs only $11 a draw which is half the price (or even less!) than some other models in this test group. How is it so cheap? Mad Rock states that they developed a manufacturing process that can bust these out on the cheap while still maintaining proper strength ratings. There's a need in every market for bargain basement products, and if you're hoping to put together your own set of draws but can hardly afford it, the price on these is hard to beat. We did slightly prefer the Cypher Firefly II, which retails for $11.50 and is a tad lighter.


RELATED REVIEW: The 13 Best Quickdraws for Climbing


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Cam McKenzie Ring

Last Updated:
Thursday
April 19, 2018

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New from Mad Rock, the Concord is a budget-friendly quickdraw that still gets the job done, though not particularly well. While the price is right, it is on the heavy side for trad climbing use, and not functional for sport climbing. But sometimes any draw is better than none, so if you need a set but aren't looking to spend a lot on them, this could be the perfect option for you.

Performance Comparison


Testing out the Concord. This inexpensive draw will get the job done without blowing your budget.
Testing out the Concord. This inexpensive draw will get the job done without blowing your budget.

Ease of Clipping


While not the hardest model to clip (that honor goes to the Concord's sibling, the Mad Rock Ultra Light Wire), it wasn't the easiest either. The tension on the wiregates felt a little stiff, but not as bad as the Ultra Light. We did appreciate that the rope end has a slight bend to it.

Clipping the Concords on a sport route. While not as snappy feeling as some of the bar gates that we tested  it wasn't too stiff either.
Clipping the Concords on a sport route. While not as snappy feeling as some of the bar gates that we tested, it wasn't too stiff either.

Ease of Unclipping


If you've read some of our other quickdraws reviews you probably already know what we are going to say — this one comes with an unprotected wiregate notch that can get hung up on things when you go to unclip it. If you plan to climb a lot of steep sport routes, do you and your partner a favor, and look for something with a protected notch or keylocking bar gate.

You have to pay attention when unclipping these carabiners so that the gate doesn't catch on the bolt. That's easier in a vertical situation than when your route is overhanging.
You have to pay attention when unclipping these carabiners so that the gate doesn't catch on the bolt. That's easier in a vertical situation than when your route is overhanging.

Portability


We scored this model a 7/10 for portability. It weighs 3 ounces per, which is about the middle of the pack. It's not as light as the Black Diamond Oz or Wild Country Astro (2.2 and 2.3 ounces respectively), but it is lighter than most of the more sport climbing-focused options out there. If you like the looks (and price point) of this model but want something a little lighter, Mad Rock's Ultra Light Wire draw weighs only 2.4 ounces and costs $14.

Ease of Handling


Our testers' main complaint about the Concord's ease of handling is that the carabiners are on the thick side and take up more room on your harness. They also tended to bunch up a bit and cross-clipped on us occasionally when we had a lot of stuff on our gear loops. The thinner sling also made them more prone to twisting around, as you can see in the photo below.

The carabiners are thicker than most and a little bulbous. The thin sling also twisted on us a bit. Here we went to clip  and the bottom carabiner started to turn around. That's another benefit to thicker slings.
The carabiners are thicker than most and a little bulbous. The thin sling also twisted on us a bit. Here we went to clip, and the bottom carabiner started to turn around. That's another benefit to thicker slings.

Ease of Grabbing


Like all of the thin 10mm draws, this one is not easy to grab — the dogbone seemed unusually short on this model as well, making even more challenging to hang onto. If you know that you are prone to grabbing draws on challenging climbs (rather than take the whip), then look for something with a 25mm or wider dogbone, like our Editors' Choice winner, the Petzl Spirit Express.

Not only is the sling thin (10mm) but it was also shorter than most  making it the most challenging to grab.
Not only is the sling thin (10mm) but it was also shorter than most, making it the most challenging to grab.

Best Applications


It's a little hard to categorize this model because it falls in-between certain categories. We didn't like them much for trad climbing, as they are on the heavier side and take up a lot of room on our gear loops, which are already overloaded with gear when trad climbing. We also didn't like them too much for sport climbing, as we usually prefer a thicker dogbone and better handling. But, if you are just getting into climbing and not sure what type of climbing you like better, or are overwhelmed by having to buy so many different things at once just to get outside, then go with the Concords. They'll get the job done and leave you with more money to spend on a comfy harness or good rope.

Value


The price on this draw is hard to beat. It costs only $11 per and comes in a six-pack for $60. That's ten bucks a draw! Whether or not that is a good value though is up for debate. It was the lowest scoring model in our test group, and given a choice we'd spend a little bit more for something else, like the Cypher Firefly II or Black Diamond FreeWire.

Conclusion


We appreciate Mad Rock's efforts to create the least expensive draw possible. There's always a need for budget items, and the Concord is something even the poorest of dirtbags could probably afford. While this quickdraw didn't perform as well as the more expensive models, if you don't care about any else but the price of your quickdraws (and some climbers just don't!), then these are hard to beat.
Cam McKenzie Ring

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Most recent review: April 19, 2018
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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