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Metolius Inferno II Review

A decent affordable wiregate quickdraw that is outperformed by better value options
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Price:  $18 List | $17.95 at REI
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Pros:  Affordable, stiff dogbone, easy to clip Inferno II wiregates
Cons:  Bottom biner always sits at poor angle, notched wiregates hard to unclip
Manufacturer:   Metolius
By Andy Wellman ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 10, 2019
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 14
  • Ease of Clipping - 25% 8
  • Ease of Unclipping - 25% 5
  • Portability - 20% 6
  • Handling - 15% 6
  • Ease of Grabbing - 15% 6

Our Verdict

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. These draws 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.

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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.

Performance Comparison


The Inferno II by Metolius was designed by Smith Rock climbers  so it is only fitting that we tested it there. This mid-level draw features two wiregates and performs decently  but is unfortunately not one of our top recommendations  regardless of how much you are looking to spend.
The Inferno II by Metolius was designed by Smith Rock climbers, so it is only fitting that we tested it there. This mid-level draw features two wiregates and performs decently, but is unfortunately not one of our top recommendations, regardless of how much you are looking to spend.

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.

Alon making the clip into the Inferno II draw below the overlap on Blue Light Special at Smith Rock. We like how the nearly 30 degree angle of the wiregate allows the rope to easily drop into the basket when clipping these draws.
Alon making the clip into the Inferno II draw below the overlap on Blue Light Special at Smith Rock. We like how the nearly 30 degree angle of the wiregate allows the rope to easily drop into the basket when clipping these draws.

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).

Like nearly all wiregates  these Inferno II carabiners have a notch in the nose that can get easily hung up on bolt hangers when trying to unclip. Unfortunately  this notch is very pronounced and sticks out from the nose itself  so these are more prone than most to get caught.
Like nearly all wiregates, these Inferno II carabiners have a notch in the nose that can get easily hung up on bolt hangers when trying to unclip. Unfortunately, this notch is very pronounced and sticks out from the nose itself, so these are more prone than most to get caught.

Portability


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.

These draws weigh 87 grams  or 3.1 ounces. This is pretty light for how large they are  as they feature a longer 15cm sling than most standard quickdraws  and is also a solid low weight for including full-sized carabiners.
These draws weigh 87 grams, or 3.1 ounces. This is pretty light for how large they are, as they feature a longer 15cm sling than most standard quickdraws, and is also a solid low weight for including full-sized carabiners.

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.

The most annoying thing about the Inferno II quickdraw is how the bottom carabiner always hangs at an angle like this. The JIG clear plastic keeper simply doesn't fit into the very narrow crotch of these carabiners  no matter how many times we reposition it. All of our testers complained about this design flaw.
The most annoying thing about the Inferno II quickdraw is how the bottom carabiner always hangs at an angle like this. The JIG clear plastic keeper simply doesn't fit into the very narrow crotch of these carabiners, no matter how many times we reposition it. All of our testers complained about this design flaw.

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.

While we like that the sling is 15cm long  which makes for easier grabbing (and from lower!)  we must say that for a sport specific draw  the 11mm wide sling is not the easiest to grab by a long shot.
While we like that the sling is 15cm long, which makes for easier grabbing (and from lower!), we must say that for a sport specific draw, the 11mm wide sling is not the easiest to grab by a long shot.

Value


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.

We made sure to test all of these draws on trad climbs as well  especially clipping them to nuts. The pronounced notch and hook in the noses of these biners make them more prone to catching on the wires found on small stoppers  but otherwise they performed well.
We made sure to test all of these draws on trad climbs as well, especially clipping them to nuts. The pronounced notch and hook in the noses of these biners make them more prone to catching on the wires found on small stoppers, but otherwise they performed well.

Conclusion


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.

Smith Rock in Oregon is the birthplace of American sport climbing  and also home to Metolius Climbing  based in nearby Bend. Testing the Metolius Inferno II quickdraws on the classic Karate Wall seemed a most appropriate choice.
Smith Rock in Oregon is the birthplace of American sport climbing, and also home to Metolius Climbing, based in nearby Bend. Testing the Metolius Inferno II quickdraws on the classic Karate Wall seemed a most appropriate choice.

Andy Wellman