Metolius Inferno II Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Affordable, stiff dogbone, easy to clip Inferno II wiregates
Cons: Bottom biner always sits at poor angle, notched wiregates hard to unclip
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Our Analysis and Test Results
While the Metolius Inferno II Quickdraw is both relatively affordable and performs decently well, it was not the most affordable sport climbing draw, nor the lightest, nor the highest performing, making it tough to recommend over other options. In particular, all testers commented on how the JIG rubberized keeper that is supposed to hold the bottom carabiner in vertical alignment habitually slipped out of position. A design flaw such as this one, while most likely minor in its performance ramifications, was annoying and noticeable enough that most testers commented that they would prefer to use a different draw.
Ease of Clipping
This is an easy quickdraw to clip the rope into. While it has a relatively small amount of gate clearance (21mm), which is a serious flaw for other carabiners with the same amount, the angle of the gate more than makes up for it. Rather than orient the wiregate vertically like most carabiners, Metolius has oriented these gates almost 30 degrees, so that pressing the rope against the gate means that it can fall straight down into the deep basket of its own accord. The spring action on the gate is stiff but snappy, like most wiregates, making a satisfying sound after it snaps back closed.
Ease of Unclipping
Like most wiregates, these draws are far harder to unclip from bolts, and even to get the rope out of, than the keylock carabiners found on the tops of most sport specific draws. Both top and bottom biners are the same and have a pronounced notch in the nose where the wiregate sits when closed. When open, this notch catches on the edges of bolt hangers, making it more challenging to clean these draws on the way down. We also noticed that the angle of the basket and nose make this notch an even more pronounced hook shape. When unclipping the rope while top-roping a sport climb, the small 21mm gate clearance means there is less leeway for quickly sliding the rope out compared to carabiners that have a far larger opening (27mm).
At 3.1 ounces, the Inferno II sits right in the middle of the range in terms of weight. It features a 6 in. (15cm) stiff dogbone that is neither as short as your standard shorty sport draw, nor as long as the standard 17cm for long draws. As such, this draw sits pretty much right in the middle in terms of portability, both for size as well as weight.
We like that this draw has an external bottom carabiner keeper, which Metolius calls the JIG, that is replaceable if it tears or wears out, thereby extending the life of the draw. However, as we have mentioned before, the JIG doesn't sit right in the narrow crotch of the Inferno II carabiners, and so easily slides out toward the gate, meaning the bottom carabiner has a wonky orientation pretty much all the time. While falling with the biner in this position seems very unlikely to cross-load it, it seems to us that the carabiners could have been designed differently, or the draw could have used different wiregates altogether, to prevent this problem. Nearly everyone we had take a test spin with these quickdraws mentioned this problem, and we would say that it is enough of an issue to consider simply buying something else instead.
Ease of Grabbing
This draw has a 14mm wide doubled over sling that is sewn stiffly into a dogbone that has nearly square proportions. While the material is relatively soft and easier to grab than the super thin and flexible dogbones found on most lightweight draws, it is also not as easy to grab as the much fatter and softer dogbones found on high end draws. It sits right in the middle for this metric.
These draws retail for about average, and are not especially expensive compared to the price tag for high-end sport draws. However, for their level of performance, there are a couple other options in this review, including our Best Bang for the Buck winner, which are slightly cheaper, or offer higher performance, or both.
The Metolius Inferno II Quickdraws are a reasonably affordable and easily clip-able quickdraw that performed about average in our test group. However, they suffer from a flaw that keeps the bottom carabiner oriented incorrectly most of the time. While this doesn't seem to be unsafe, it is annoying, in a way that you don't want your climbing gear to be, and so we would generally recommend purchasing a different set of draws, regardless of your intended usage or budget.
— Andy Wellman