The Mad Rock Ultra Light Wire is a pretty good value for a lightweight quickdraw. It retails for around $15, which is $7 less than our Top Pick for Traditional Climbing, the Black Diamond Oz Quickdraw. However, we found the clipping action to be on the stiff side, and the Ultra Light has exposed notches in the gates, which the Oz does not. If you need to buy a bunch of lightweight draws though and don't have an unlimited budget, these will get the job done without weighing you down.
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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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 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 the Trango Phase Quickdraw was more difficult, as those carabiners are even smaller than these. If you hate snags, look for a keylocking quickdraw, like the Black Diamond Positron.
This draw is highly portable at 2.4 ounces. The Black Diamond Oz is a hair lighter at 2.3 ounces, but 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.
Ease of Handling
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 DMM Alpha Sport have wide slings that are made for grabbing.
The Ultra Light Wire is best used for trad or alpine climbing, and potentially also for onsight sport attempts where you want the lightest possible options on your harness. We wouldn't buy them if all we were going to do is sport climb, and would instead look to the CAMP USA Orbit Wire Express KS for a lightweight and economical sport climbing quickdraw.
This draw retails for $14.55, which is a great price for a hot-forged, lightweight option. There are some even cheaper draws out there, including the $11.50 Cypher Firefly II, our Best Buy for Lightweight, and Mad Rock's Concorde draw, which is also only $11.50, or $10 if you buy them in bulk! While we preferred the Ultra Light over the Concorde, the Firefly II is a great draw for the price and an even better value.
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