The Metolius Inferno II Quickdraw is an affordable draw with full-sized wiregate carabiners on both the top and bottom. The sling is exceptionally stiff, making it an excellent choice for sport climbing, and the angled gate opening means that the rope practically begs to be dropped into the deep basket. While these draws are no-frills and afford good value, we had numerous testers complain about the angle that the lower carabiner sits at most frequently. The JIG rubberized keeper doesn't seem to fit correctly for an optimized fit in the crotch of the lower carabiner, often leaving it hanging at an odd tilt. While this complaint is minor, it is enough to set this draw apart from its competition, in a way that testers didn't enjoy. For the budget-conscious, both the CAMP USA Orbit Wire Express KS and the Black Diamond FreeWire Quickdraw offer better performance at a lower price.
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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Metolius Inferno II
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|Pros||Affordable, stiff dogbone, easy to clip Inferno II wiregates||Snappy clipping action, wide sling is easy to grab, light for a sport quickdraw||Easy to clip, deep basket, cool "hood wire" around the notch for snag-free unclipping||Great clipping, wide sling for easy grabbing, keylocking gates don't snag||Easy to clip, durable construction, large size works well with gloves|
|Cons||Bottom biner always sits at poor angle, notched wiregates hard to unclip||Expensive, still a little heavy for trad climbing||Heavy, expensive||Heavy, expensive||Heavy, dogbone is on the thin side and not easy to grab|
|Bottom Line||A decent affordable wiregate quickdraw that is outperformed by better value options||The best overall draw for sport specific climbers.||A great quickdraw for sport climbers who prefer wiregates on the clipping end but don't want it to snag on anything.||A fantastic option for sport climbing.||A great all-around draw for those with large hands or who wear gloves.|
|Rating Categories||Metolius Inferno II||Petzl Spirit Express||LiveWire||DMM Alpha Sport Quickdraw||Petzl Djinn Axess|
|Ease Of Clipping (25%)|
|Ease Of Unclipping (25%)|
|Ease Of Handling (15%)|
|Ease Of Grabbing (15%)|
|Specs||Metolius Inferno II||Petzl Spirit Express||LiveWire||DMM Alpha Sport...||Petzl Djinn Axess|
|Weight (ounces)||3.1 oz||3.2 oz||4 oz||3.9 oz||4 oz|
|Gate opening bottom carabiner (mm)||21mm||25 mm||24 mm||25 mm||27 mm|
|Width of sling (mm)||11mm||25 mm||27 mm||25 mm||16 mm|
|Manufacturer Warranty||60 days||3 year||1 year||1 year||3 year|
|Non-snagging Top Biner||no||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Non-snagging Bottom Biner||no||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Forging method||not disclosed||cold||hot||hot||cold|
|Unique features||double ultralight carabiners with stiff sling easy to grab||Sling is wider at the bottom to facilitate grabbing, stiff sling||Large and ergonomic carabiners good for larger hands, hood over bottom wiregate to prevent snags||Dual keylock carabiners, wide sling||Large carabiners good for big hands or gloves, easy to clip|
|Available sling lengths||6in. (15.24 cm)||12 cm, 17 cm||12 cm||12 cm, 18 cm, 25 cm||12 cm, 17 cm|
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. The CAMP USA Orbit Express KS is our Best Bang for the Buck winner, and presents better performance at $4 less per draw, in a similar double-wiregate design.
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, like the Black Diamond Oz, 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 Petzl Spirit Express or the top carabiner on the Black Diamond LiveWire Quickdraws. 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 some carabiners, like those found on the Petzl Djinn Axess, which 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. It weighs the same as the CAMP Orbit Express, but is about half an ounce heavier than the Petzl Ange Finesse, our favorite full-sized quickdraw for longer routes.
Ease of Handling
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 the Black Diamond Oz, it is also not as easy to grab as the much fatter and softer dogbones found on draws such as the DMM Alpha Sport. It sits right in the middle for this metric.
The Inferno II Quickdraws can best be described as a budget sport climbing specific draw, although they are nowhere near the most affordable for this purpose. That said, they could just as easily be used on long routes, as they are neither overly bulky nor especially heavy.
These draws retail for $18 a piece, which is not especially expensive compared to the price tag for high-end sport draws, which can run up toward $28 per draw. However, for their level of performance, you can get a couple of draws, the CAMP USA Orbit Express KS or the Black Diamond FreeWire, for $4 less per draw, both of which present a better value.
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