Mad Rock UltraLight Quickdraw Review
Cons: Stiff gate action, skinny runner hard to grab when sport climbing
Manufacturer: Mad Rock Climbing
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Mad Rock UltraLight Quickdraw
|Price||$17 List||$18.95 at REI|
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|$27.95 at Backcountry|
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|$13.95 at REI|
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|$15.95 at REI|
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|Pros||Great value, lightweight||Snappy clipping action, wide sling is easy to grab, light for a sport quickdraw||Great clipping, wide sling for easy grabbing, keylocking gates don't snag||Easy to clip, durable construction, large size works well with gloves||Visually pleasing, affordable, easy to unclip keylocking top biner|
|Cons||Stiff gate action, skinny runner hard to grab when sport climbing||Expensive, still a little heavy for trad climbing||Heavy, expensive||Heavy, dogbone is on the thin side and not easy to grab||Tight gate springs require slightly more effort than others to clip, 18mm sling adequate but not perfect for grabbing|
|Bottom Line||One of the lightest draws in this review, but not our favorite to clip and unclip||Our favorite option for sport climbing||Great sport climbing draw but on the heavy side||Large carabiners work well with gloves on||Best Bang for the Buck winner due to its solid performance at a relatively low price|
|Rating Categories||Mad Rock UltraLight Quickdraw||Petzl Spirit Express||DMM Alpha Sport Quickdraw||Petzl Djinn Axess||Black Diamond HotForge Hybrid|
|Ease Of Clipping (25%)|
|Ease Of Unclipping (25%)|
|Ease Of Grabbing (15%)|
|Specs||Mad Rock...||Petzl Spirit Express||DMM Alpha Sport...||Petzl Djinn Axess||Black Diamond...|
|Weight (ounces)||2.4 oz||3.2 oz||3.9 oz||4 oz||3.5 oz|
|Gate opening bottom carabiner (mm)||25 mm||25 mm||25 mm||27 mm||27 mm|
|Width of sling (mm)||10 mm||25 mm||25 mm||16 mm||18 mm|
|Manufacturer Warranty||Limited lifetime warranty||3 year||1 year||3 year||1 year|
|Non-Snagging Top Biner||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Non-Snagging Bottom Biner||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Unique features||Double bent wiregate biners||Sling is wider at the bottom to facilitate grabbing, stiff sling||Dual keylock carabiners, wide sling||Large carabiners good for big hands or gloves, easy to clip||Visual patterning designed to easily catch the eye while climbing|
|Available sling lengths||11 cm||12 cm, 17 cm||12 cm, 18 cm, 25 cm||12 cm, 17 cm||12 cm, 16 cm|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Mad Rock Ultra Light Wire quickdraw comes with two hot-forged carabiners (which helps cut out some material and keep it lighter), and there is a straight-gate wire carabiner on the top and a bent-gate wire carabiner on the bottom. The sling is only 10 mm wide and comes in only one length (5 inches). The whole thing weighs in at featherweight 2.4 ounces.
Ease of Clipping
We didn't find this quickdraw that easy to clip. Usually, it was splitting hairs when it came to scoring this metric, but watching our friends climb on these draws we noticed that everyone found it a little more challenging to get the rope into the bottom biner. The gate tension feels a little stiff, which could contribute to the problem.
Ease of Unclipping
This draw wasn't that easy to unclip either. Like all of the wiregate carabiners in this review that have an unprotected notch, there's plenty of things that it can snag on, like the bolt, your rope, or other gear. Only those lightweight options with even smaller carabiners were harder than these to unclip. If you hate snags, we recommend a keylocking quickdraw setup instead.
This draw is highly portable at 2.4 ounces. While one option is a hair lighter, we could barely tell the difference in hand. If you're heading up a long route or hiking in for miles to your objective, you'll appreciate a light draw like this one.
The Ultra Lights are pretty standard when it comes to handling. Like other draws with wiregates on top, they occasionally cross-clipped on our harness, particularly when we were laden down with gear trad climbing. The carabiners are not too thick and rack well together, but they are a little on the small side and our testers with large hands didn't always find them easy to operate.
Ease of Grabbing
This draw is not easy to grab. Like all of the other 10 mm wide dogbones, there is no good way to grab it without also slotting a finger or two through the top carabiner — which you really shouldn't do! If you're gonna be yarding on your draws regularly, the Petzl Spirit Express or other high end options have wide slings that are made for grabbing.
This draw certainly won't break the bank when considering the price, but at the same time we have to point out that there are other lightweight options that cost less with similar or even slightly better performance. For this reason we can't call them an especially great value, despite the relatively low price.
The Mad Rock Ultra Light Wire Draw does a great job of balancing price, weight, and functionality. It is not the lightest model out there, but it is pretty darn light. It is not the most functional either, but it gets the job done.
— Cam McKenzie Ring