Quickdraws these days mostly come in two different varieties — heavy draws with large carabiners optimized for sport climbing, or super lightweight draws with tiny little carabiners designed with alpine and long multi-pitch climbing in mind. But what if you like to climb long routes and project sport routes, and don't want to spend all of your money on two different sets of quickdraws? We recommend you check out the Petzl Ange Finesse, the best quickdraw for everything, and an ideal quiver of one. While they aren't super cheap, these draws work just as well for sport climbing and long multi-pitches, and come in four different combinations of carabiner sizes and dogbones so you can still customize them for what you want the most — lightweight or easy clip-ability, or both! If we were going to purchase 12 high quality draws that could go anywhere with us without a compromise on weight or function, these would be the ones.
Petzl Ange Finesse Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Lightweight, customizable to four versions, MonoFil Keylock nose and gate very easy to unclip
Cons: Small biners not as functional as larger ones, sling not the comfiest for grabbing, pricey
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Petzl Ange Finesse
|Price||$26.95 at REI|
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|$25.95 at REI|
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|Pros||Lightweight, customizable to four versions, MonoFil Keylock nose and gate very easy to unclip||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||Small biners not as functional as larger ones, sling not the comfiest for grabbing, pricey||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 versatile quickdraw that uses an innovative gate and nose design for easy unclipping||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||Petzl Ange Finesse||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||Petzl Ange Finesse||Petzl Spirit Express||LiveWire||DMM Alpha Sport...||Petzl Djinn Axess|
|Weight (ounces)||2.6 oz||3.2 oz||4 oz||3.9 oz||4 oz|
|Gate opening bottom carabiner (mm)||26 mm||25 mm||24 mm||25 mm||27 mm|
|Width of sling (mm)||25mm||25 mm||27 mm||25 mm||16 mm|
|Manufacturer Warranty||3 year||3 year||1 year||1 year||3 year|
|Non-snagging Top Biner||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Non-snagging Bottom Biner||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Unique features||MonoFil Keylock gate, comes in four options with different length slings and carabiner sizes.||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||10 cm, 17 cm||12 cm, 17 cm||12 cm||12 cm, 18 cm, 25 cm||12 cm, 17 cm|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Besides the obvious benefits of being lightweight, while also featuring large, easy to clip carabiners, the Petzl Ange Finesse has a couple of other unique design features that set it apart from any other draw in this review. The most noticeable is the MonoFil Keylock gate, which is a wire gate with only a single strand of wire, rather than the looped double wire found on all other wiregates, including our favorite, the Black Diamond LiveWire Quickdraw. The single wire has a small ball on the end of it that slots into a key locking recess in the nose of the carabiner, ensuring that there is no notch that can catch on bolt hangers, slings, or ropes, a common problem with nearly all wiregate carabiners. This design inverts the standard key-locking carabiner gate design but also enables it to be used with a wiregate, affording the benefits of lighter weight and less gate flutter.
The second unique design feature is that this quickdraw is available in four different versions, featuring different length dogbones and carabiner size combinations. We tested the "S/L" version, which means a long dogbone with a small carabiner on the top and a large carabiner for clipping the rope on the bottom. Other versions are the ultra-light, with two small carabiners and a short dogbone, the super-compact, with two small carabiners but a longer (17cm) dogbone, and the ergonomic, with a long dogbone but two large carabiners for ideal clip-ability. Regardless of which version you choose, these quickdraws remain lightweight, although we found the large carabiners to be far easier to clip and use in general than the smaller ones, and so would probably recommend the "L/L" combination draw above all others.
Ease of Clipping
When it comes to ease of clipping, we noticed a stark difference between the two different sized carabiners found on this draw. The large biners are easy to clip, with a deep basket that simply begs the rope to fall into it. The wiregate action is smooth, although not quite as snappy as the clipping action on the Petzl Djinn Axess. A small black plastic piece found on the top of each gate even helps direct the rope toward the bottom opening of the gate, where it can easily be clipped.
However, for as much as we liked the clip-ability of the large carabiners, we found the small ones to be problematic, as most super small carabiners are. Not only are these carabiners tiny — smaller than those found on the Black Diamond Oz Quickdraws or the Trango Phase Quickdraws, but they also have a narrow gate opening. We found them very difficult to clip the rope to, especially using the shovel method, and even find them a bit small for the bolt end of the draw. For increased performance, we would recommend buying the "L/L" version of this draw, and taking a slight weight penalty, which is worth it in our minds.
Ease of Unclipping
When it comes to unclipping these draws from a bolt, they are among the very best. While the basket is deep, the nose is designed to be one of the least pointy, with very little upward curve toward the gate. This means that it is easy to slide them off of a bolt hanger as you clean a route, even when the draw remains under tension, as it does when the route is severely overhanging. The nose itself is entirely smooth, offering no obstacles for a rope or hanger to snag.
Only the very large carabiners found on the Petzl Djinn Axess and the top keylock carabiners on the Black Diamond LiveWire provided for such easy unclipping. However, if we can make a small complaint, it would be that the small top biners on our "S/L" version are a bit harder to manipulate than the larger ones. For the most optimal performance in this regard, and for primarily sport use, buy the double "L/L" version.
We love the portability of this quickdraw. Our "S/L" version, with a 17cm sling, weighed only 2.6 ounces, comparable to the Cypher Firefly II Quickdraw, which is far smaller and has a much slimmer, and shorter, dogbone sling. It is over 1.5 ounces lighter than the similar-sized Black Diamond Positron Quickdraw, a difference that adds up when you multiply it by 12 or more.
The weight of this draw, despite its size, is one of the main reasons why it is such a good quiver of one. For multi-pitch sport routes, like those found in the canyons of Red Rocks, this is an optimal choice.
Ease of Handling
These draws use Petzl's String carabiner keeper, a piece of rubber that lives on the outside of the sling loop, and is replaceable if it should wear out or break. This piece is replaceable adds great value, and potentially life, to the quickdraw as a whole. Although we found that on the Ange Finesse this keeper was less effective than on the other two Petzl quickdraws we tested — the Petzl Spirit Express and the Djinn Axess — likely due to the smaller and thinner profile of the lightweight Ange carabiners.
While the lower carabiner comes with two small tabs that prevent the sling and the string keeper from sliding toward the gate, we found that it could still easily slide down along the long axis, allowing for a potential cross-loading situation at worst, or a simple annoying clip at best. This didn't happen with the other Petzl quickdraws. While it's been mentioned elsewhere, we also found that the small carabiners were hard to use, especially to clip the rope.
Ease of Grabbing
Like the dogbone found on the Petzl Spirit Express, these quickdraws have a tapered dogbone that gets fatter lower down, supposedly making it easier to grab when you need to. In general, we find that the fatter the sling, the easier it is to grab when needed, and there is a reason why most specialty sport draws feature very fat slings. In comparison to most of the other fat slinged draws, such as the DMM Alpha Sport, grabbing this one wasn't quite as nice.
The main issue is that while this sling is reasonably wide, it is also skinny the other way. The edges of the sling are rough and even mildly abrasive, something we didn't find with other slings. While it isn't super hard to grab this sling, we must say that it also isn't very pleasant, and so we gave it a lower than average rating.
The Petzl Ange Finesse draws are a great choice for either sport climbing or alpine or multi-pitch routes. We think that they are the very best choice for both if you don't want to invest your money in two different sets of draws. Simply put, they are incredibly versatile. For the best performance while sport climbing, order the "L/L" carabiner combo, and accept the minor weight penalty on long routes.
Depending on the carabiner combo that you choose, these draws retail for between $26 and $27, making them one of the most expensive in this review. With the innovative technology they feature, this shouldn't come as a surprise. That said, for sport climbing we find the Petzl Spirit Express to be better overall, at a savings of around $4 per draw. While you are getting a top-quality product for your money, they only represent the best value if you are purchasing them for their versatility and intend to use them on routes both long and short, thereby saving the money you would spend on a second set of draws.
The Petzl Ange Finesse are the most versatile quickdraw in our review, earning them our Top Pick for best Quiver of One. Check them out if you like sport climbing and multi-pitch or alpine climbing, and don't want to spend the money on multiple racks of draws. They are also the easiest wiregate carabiners to unclip from a bolt due to their unique gate and nose design.
— Andy Wellman