The 13 Best Quickdraws for Climbing

Are you looking for a new set of quickdraws but not sure what to get? We have some great recommendations for you! After researching over 45 different options, we tested the 13 most popular draws side-by-side for months. We climbed on and clipped each one repeatedly, evaluating their performance on the go. Our testers included a wide range of climbers, from professional guides and rock "stars" to weekend warriors of all ages and abilities. We specifically wanted to get feedback from people with different sized hands, and then we compiled all of our findings into this review. Whether you need something for your next desperate sport project or a lightweight pair for an alpine mission, we have some great options to consider.

Read the full review below >

Test Results and Ratings

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Analysis and Award Winners


Review by:
Cam McKenzie Ring
Senior Review Editor

Last Updated:
Thursday
April 19, 2018

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April 2018 Update
We've updated our quickdraw review to compare our old favorites, like the Petzl Spirit Express, with some redesigns from Black Diamond and some new and innovative options like the Edelrid Bulletproof. Keep reading below to see if anything edged out the Spirit for our Editors' Choice award (hint: nothing did), and how the latest offerings fared in our side-by-side tests.

Best Overall Quickdraw for Climbing


Petzl Spirit Express


Editors' Choice Award

$17.96
(25% off)
at Backcountry
See It

Weight: 3.3 ounces | Gate opening of bottom carabiner: 25 mm
Great clipping action
Easy to grab
Lightweight for a sport draw
Price is going up!
Heavier than some lightweight models
So popular that you might not want to leave them hanging overnight

The Petzl Spirit Express is a classic among sport climbers. It comes with a keylock carabiner on each end and does everything a sport climber could ask for - clips are fast and snappy, and the rope never snags on the keylock gate. The wide dogbone was made to be grabbed, and we loved the way it handled. It's one of the lightest sport-climbing specific models that we tested, shaving ounces off your harness in a sport where every gram counts.

However, even with its latest weight loss it is still not suited for long or alpine routes, so if that's your primary climbing style keep reading for our Top Pick for Lightweight, but for everything else the Spirit Express is top of its class. Just don't loan them out or you may not get them back!

Read review: Petzl Spirit Express

Best Bang for the Buck


Black Diamond FreeWire Quickdraw


Best Buy Award

$11.21
(20% off)
at Backcountry
See It

Weight: 3.7 ounces | Gate opening of bottom carabiner: 25 mm
Affordable
Easy to grab
Durable
Heavy
Wiregate carabiners can snag easily

The Petzl Spirit Express might feel great in your hand and on a harness, but the Black Diamond FreeWire feels great on your bank account. You'll save $8 per draw with this model, which adds up if you're buying a dozen or so! Our Best Buy winner performed well in most categories, and best of all, you can save money without sacrificing safety or durability. The dual HotWire wiregate carabiners have excellent clipping action, and the dogbone is wide enough to grab easily.

The main downside to this draw is that the carabiners have unprotected notches that can get hung up on your gear, harness, or rope when unclipping. This might be an issue for you, particularly if you're new to climbing or if you climb in steep areas, which itself can make unclipping ropes and draws more of a challenge. This draw is also on the heavier side at 3.7 ounces per, so it's not necessarily a good pick for trad climbing (see our Top Pick for Lightweight below).

Read review: Black Diamond FreeWire

Top Pick for Lightweight Draw


Black Diamond Oz Quickdraw


Top Pick Award

$19.95
(9% off)
at Amazon
See It

Weight: 2.2 ounces | Gate opening of bottom carabiner: 22 mm
Lightest quickdraw in our test group
Hooded notch prevents snagging
Expensive
Small carabiners can be challenging to unclip

If you're heading up a long-trad route, the less weight on your harness the better. The Black Diamond Oz offers excellent functionality without the weight. At only 2.2 ounces per draw, you'll shave a pound off your rack if you grab a dozen of these over a more sport specific model. The hooded nose prevents snagging on bolts and nuts, and while they are slightly smaller than a full-sized carabiner, they still have great functionality. They retail for "only" $22, which is still less than some of the other lightweight options on the market, and they are also available with a shoulder length sling instead of a dogbone for $26.

The main thing to consider with the Oz is that it is not made for heavy use. Since there is less material in the spine it can bend easier if loaded over an edge, and the narrower rope-bearing surface is harder on your rope when falling. So while the lighter weight might tempt you to add them to your sport rack, they aren't designed for heavy use like that. Instead, clip them on your harness when your objective is more than 100 feet long, and your likelihood of repeatedly whipping is low.

Read review: Black Diamond Oz Quickdraw

Best Buy for Lightweight


Cypher Firefly II


Best Buy Award

$12 List
List Price
See It

Weight: 2.6 ounces | Gate opening of bottom carabiner: 25 mm
One of the least expensive QD on the market
Lightweight
Unprotected wiregates can snag
Narrow sling is hard to grab

If you're new to climbing and trying to build up your gear stash, you'll appreciate the Cypher Firefly I. This draw retails for only $11.50 per, which is half the price of the Petzl Spirit Express or Black Diamond Oz. That's a significant difference, particularly if you're also purchasing a rope, harness, and double set of cams! The Firefly is light enough for trad climbing (only 2.6 ounces a draw), and you could still use it while sport climbing if you're not sure which discipline you want to specialize in more.

The narrow 10 mm sling does make them less than ideal for working your sport project, where you may want to grab the occasional draw. Like most other wiregates in this review, the unprotected notch in the nose can get hung up on things. But, considering the price, you may be willing to put up with all of that!

Read review: Cypher Firefly I

Top Pick for Durability


Edelrid Bulletproof Quickdraw


Top Pick Award

$28.95
at Amazon
See It

Weight: 4.1 ounces | Gate opening of bottom carabiner: 20 mm
Stainless steel insert adds durability
Keylock gate for snag-free unclipping
Wide sling for easy grabbing
Heavy
Narrow gate opening
Expensive

While industrial carabiners are always made of steel, climbing carabiners have been primarily made of aluminum for decades. Aluminum is considerably lighter than steel, and a standard aluminum carabiner weighs about half what a steel one does. However, aluminum wears quicker than steel, and the rope end of a draw can end up with deep grooves and dangerous sharp edges after a while. Enter the Edelrid Bulletproof, which has a stainless steel insert on the rope edge of the bottom carabiner. While Edelrid is not making any hard promises about the lifespan of the Bulletproof, we estimate that it'll have a 5-10 times longer lifespan than regular carabiners (based on our experience with in-situ steel draws at crags and gyms).

Could this be the last set of QDs you ever buy? Potentially, though using these as your sole draw is probably overkill. They are heavy (4.1 ounces each) and expensive ($29). While the keylock gate is nice for snag-free unclipping, the gate opening is on the smaller side, and the gate didn't have the best clipping action. Instead, pick up two or three for particular situations, such as your first draw on a sport route that you are working (that draw will see more friction from repeated falls and yarding up the rope), or for your top rope anchors.

Read review: Edelrid Bulletproof

Best for Climbers Starting Out


Black Diamond Positron Quickdraw



$15.95
(11% off)
at Amazon
See It

Weight: 4 ounces | Gate opening of bottom carabiner: 26 mm
Keylock gates for reduced snagging
Wide sling
Heavy
Slightly more expensive that wiregate models

Black Diamond Positron has received a facelift, with a wider sling and new color options. This has always been a popular draw at the crags, and you're sure to see a lot of the new ones out there this year. They last a long time, and the keylock carabiner is great for snag-free unclipping. Keylock designs tend to cost a little more than plain wiregate carabiners but can make the life of a new climber much easier. We've all see that newbie on a toprope, struggling to unclip the rope or the draw from the bolt — let's face it, we've all been that person at one point! Keylock carabiners can make your experience that much easier, and are well worth the extra dollars in our opinion.

While not the most (nor least) expensive model out there ($18 per), Black Diamond does sell them in a six pack for $100 for more value. You can also purchase these in a PosiWire configuration, which combines the HotWire carabiner from our Best Buy winning FreeWire quickdraw with the Positron carabiner. (Confused yet?) Note that these are one of the heaviest models that we tested (4 ounces each), which might become more of an issue as you progress through the grades.

Read review: Black Diamond Positron

Best for Using with Gloves


Petzl Djinn Axess



$12.71
(25% off)
at Backcountry
See It


Weight: 3.7 ounces | Gate opening of bottom carabiner: 27 mm
Large carabiners easy to handle with gloves
Keylock carabiners
Heavy
Narrower sling than Spirit

In the search for ever lighter quickdraws, the carabiners seem to keep getting smaller in the process. This works for small-handed folks, but for those with bear paws and/or ice climbers wearing gloves, it's nice to have something full-sized, or then some. The Petzl Djinn Axess has the largest carabiners in our review with the widest gate opening, and our big-handed testers appreciated their ease of handling. They also have keylock gates to mitigate snagging, and they're even reasonably priced!

The sling is a little narrower than we'd like for easy grabbing, and at 3.7 ounces they are on the heavy side of the pack. But if you've been looking for something larger that is beefily made and will hold up to a lot of wear, then the extra ounces are probably worth it.

Read review: Petzl Djinn Axess

Best for Hanging on your Proj


DMM Alpha Sport Quickdraw



$25.95
at REI
See It

Weight: 3.8 ounces | Gate opening of bottom carabiner: 25 mm
Easy clipping and grabbing
Ergonomically shaped bottom clip
Heavy
Expensive

We tested a variety of heavy-duty (and just plain heavy!) sport draws in this review, and the DMM Alpha Sport was one of our top choices. It has an extra-bent bottom gate, and our thumb-clippers liked the shape of the carabiner and easy clipping action. The sling is wide and easy to grab — and while we'd prefer not to be grabbing it on a regular basis, it's there when you need it.

This draw is on the heavy side — 3.8 ounces each, and we could feel the difference racking a dozen of these vs. the Petzl Spirit Express. So while it might not be the best for hard onsighting, when you want to hang your draws and have a dependable, easy clip for your redpoint — this is a great option.

Read review: DMM Alpha Sport

select up to 5 products
Score Product Price Our Take
88
$24
Editors' Choice Award
Our favorite option for sport climbing,
84
$26
Great sport climbing draw but on the heavy side.
81
$26
A premium sport climbing qd for those who like fast clips and big carabiners.
79
$17
Large carabiners work well with gloves on.
71
$18
Keylock carabiner is nice for unclipping, good option for new climbers.
70
$22
Top Pick Award
The lightest qd that we tested with the most functionality.
70
$14
Best Buy Award
An inexpensive option that still functions well.
70
$29
Top Pick Award
Innovative product for high-wear use, such as top roping or your first draw on hard sport routes.
67
$14
A good choice for new climbers that do a little bit of everything.
62
$21
Lightweight trad and alpine specific draw.
61
$12
Best Buy Award
A good value pick for trad climbers or anyone looking for an inexpensive option.
61
$14
One of the lightest draws in this review, but not our favorite to clip and unclip.
56
$11
Least expensive draw on the market.

Analysis and Test Results


Unless you are a dedicated boulderer and never plan to tie into a rope, the chances are high that you'll need to have some type of draw on your rack. In fact, this is often a new climber's first gear purchase after investing in a harness, shoes and belay device, and the current abundance of options can be overwhelming. Less than 20 years ago, each major brand had maybe one or two models to choose from, and they were not discipline-specific. Black Diamond alone now makes seven different draws. To help ease the confusion, our review evaluates and compares 13 different models to determine which are best at keeping a secure connection between you and your gear, and what performance criteria you'll want to consider when selecting your next set of draws.

QD testing in Red Rock Canyon. We used them for months while sport and traditional climbing  and then rated them on their portability  ease of clipping and unclipping  and their ease of handling and grabbing.
QD testing in Red Rock Canyon. We used them for months while sport and traditional climbing, and then rated them on their portability, ease of clipping and unclipping, and their ease of handling and grabbing.

Value


Rock climbing can be an expensive sport to get into. Once you add up your shoes, harness, rope, quickdraws and potentially traditional gear, you're looking at hundreds of dollars. And then your shoes and rope wear out, and you need to buy them all over again! Climbing gear manufacturers are putting a lot of research and engineering into new and improved products, but those often come with a bigger price tag. When it comes to this category, you can spend over $300 on a set of QDs, or as little as $120! What's the difference?

Below we've included our Price vs. Performance chart to show you the value of each option that we tested in our estimations. While we did get some better products at the higher end of the price spectrum, there are plenty of others that still performed well without breaking the bank. The models that land towards the right side of the graph but not too high on the Y-axis have a good score for the price and are excellent value picks. These include the Petzl Djinn Axess ($17), the Black Diamond FreeWire ($14) and the Cypher Firefly II ($11.50).


Ease of Clipping


Quickdraws can only function if you can get the rope in them, making this a key testing criteria. That being said, most of the models that we tested scored well in this category. If anything, it was more noticeable when something was difficult to clip as opposed to easy. We assessed both the ease of clipping the top carabiner into a bolt and clipping the rope into the bottom carabiner. Here's how we scored each model for their ease of clipping.


One of the first things we noticed when testing this metric was that it didn't seem to make too much of a difference whether the gates on the carabiners were wiregate or keylock. What did influence this metric was the size of the carabiner and the stiffness of the sling. Larger carabiners were uniformly easier to clip, and even our testers with smaller hands preferred the larger options, such as the Black Diamond LiveWire and the Petzl Djinn. One of our favorite carabiners to clip was the DMM Alpha Sport. Not only is it large, but the bent gate has a distinct spot for the rope to sit on before it gets pushed through, making the clipping action that much smoother.

The extra curve on the clipping end on the DMM Alpha Sport makes it even easier to clip.
The extra curve on the clipping end on the DMM Alpha Sport makes it even easier to clip.

When clipping into a bolt, the main difference noted by our testers was that a wider and stiffer sling, like on the Petzl Spirit Express, made it easier to clip, particularly when the climber was stretched out. A floppy, thin 10 mm dogbone, like the ones found on all of the lighter weight "alpine" style draws in this review, were much more challenging to clip when reaching at your limit. Of the lighter weight draws, we did prefer clipping the Black Diamond Oz and the Wild Country Astro over the Mad Rock Ultra Light Wire. The Mad Rock's gate was noticeably stiffer than any others and gave a bit too much resistance when clipping a rope into it.

Our testers loved clipping the Petzl Spirit Express. They worked well even on reachy clips.
Our testers loved clipping the Petzl Spirit Express. They worked well even on reachy clips.

Ease of Unclipping


Just as you have to clip a quickdraw to use it, it also must be unclipped at some point — which can often be more or a challenge! We've all seen someone stuck at a draw (or been there ourselves), probably on an overhanging route, cursing because they can't unclip the rope from it or it from the bolt. Why? Sometimes the rope is too tight, and other times it's snagged on the notch in the carabiner. Carabiners have various ways of latching. Some have a notch in the nose to catch a solid or wiregate. Others eliminate this notch by creating a groove in the gate that the nose sits in, which we refer to as keylock carabiners. Then there are some wiregates that have "hoods" around the nose to avoid snags, or whose wire sits into the nose. Not matter the way of latching, one thing was clear in our testing; if you want to avoid snags, avoid notched gates.


Notched gates can also snag on your harness when you go to unclip them, or on a bolt, nuts, slings, or whatever else you might clip the carabiner into and out of. Keylocking or hooded wiregate carabiners can solve this problem, but cost a little bit more to manufacture than standard notched gates or wire carabiners. That's why all of the non-snagging models that we tested tend to be more expensive than a standard pin or wire gate. For example, the Black Diamond Positron and Black Diamond FreeWire are very similar, but the keylocking carabiners on the Positron bump the price up to $4 per draw.

The BD Positron (left) has a notch-free gate for easier unclipping. The BD FreeWire (right) is similar but with a notched wiregate. The keylocking bar gates add .3 ounces to the overall weight of the draw  and $4 to the price.
The BD Positron (left) has a notch-free gate for easier unclipping. The BD FreeWire (right) is similar but with a notched wiregate. The keylocking bar gates add .3 ounces to the overall weight of the draw, and $4 to the price.

Our preferred models for ease of unclipping include the Black Diamond LiveWire and the Petzl Djinn Axess. The bottom carabiners are large without too prominent a nose that can get hung up on things, and the Djinn Axess, in particular, has the largest gate opening that we tested (27 mm), giving you ample play to get a rope out or the carabiner off a bolt. The Petzl Spirit Express and DMM Alpha Sport also have keylocking carabiners and performed well. The gate opening on the Edelrid Bulletproof is only 20 mm, and while the carabiners are keylocking, we noticed that lack of opening in some situations.

The Petzl Djinn Axess has a wide 27mm opening and a notch-free opening  making it one of the easiest to unclip.
The Petzl Djinn Axess has a wide 27mm opening and a notch-free opening, making it one of the easiest to unclip.

Of the lighter alpine-style models that we tested, only the Black Diamond Oz has a protected notch. This increased their functionality in our minds and made them less likely to snag on nuts, slings, or other gear when re-racking at a belay. While none of the notched wiregates were as easy to unclip as the keylock carabiners, the Wild Country Astro was particularly challenging, as the nose hooks in at a steep angle.

We appreciated the "hoods" on the Black Diamond Oz carabiners. They were easier to unclip than other smaller wiregates  and a great option for long days on big routes.
We appreciated the "hoods" on the Black Diamond Oz carabiners. They were easier to unclip than other smaller wiregates, and a great option for long days on big routes.

Portability


Most draws can be divided into two categories: lightweight for alpine and multi-pitch adventures, or standard weight for everything else. There is no law saying you can't take the heavy 4.1 ounce Edelrid Bulletproof up a long route, but they weigh almost twice as much as the 2.2 ounce Black Diamond Oz, and those ounces add up to pounds if you are taking a lot of them. This chart shows the weight of each quickdraw in ounces.


Lightweight enthusiasts know that when you go light on everything, from your carabiners to your harness and pack, the difference is noticeable. If you are only climbing long routes occasionally and don't want to purchase two different sets of quickdraws, then a heavier set of draws is probably fine. However, if you are heading into the alpine or canyons on a regular basis and you're already weighing your harness down with a double rack of cams, then a lighter set of draws is the way to go, and you should pay close attention to the weight of your gear.

Getting "high" with some lightweight gear. We appreciated lighter models  like the Wild Country Astro  when climbing hundreds of feet off the deck.
Getting "high" with some lightweight gear. We appreciated lighter models, like the Wild Country Astro, when climbing hundreds of feet off the deck.

The Black Diamond Oz was the lightest quickdraw that we tested in our review (by one ounce!) and our Top Pick for Lightweight applications. The Wild Country Astro, pictures above, was a close second. While you might be tempted to replace your whole sport rack with these, they aren't designed for the heavy falls and wear that you might regularly subject your sport rack too. Similarly, if you're pushing the grades and falling a lot on your trad climbs as well, you may want to consider a "beefier" model, like the CAMP USA Orbit Wire Express KS. It is still on the lighter side at 3.1 ounces but has more material in the carabiners. Black Diamond themselves warn that ultra-lightweight carabiners serve a specific purpose for when ounces matter, but are more prone to bending over an edge, damaging your rope in a fall, and distorting after a high impact. Here's a line-up of the various models that we tested sorted by weight/main purpose.

The lightweight lineup (L to R): Wild Country Astro  Cypher Firefly II  Mad Rock Concord  Mad Rock Ultra Light Wire  and Black Diamond Oz. All of these models are under 3 ounces.
The lightweight lineup (L to R): Wild Country Astro, Cypher Firefly II, Mad Rock Concord, Mad Rock Ultra Light Wire, and Black Diamond Oz. All of these models are under 3 ounces.

While the Oz was the lightest model, at $22, it was also on the more expensive end (those hoods for the notches add to the manufacturing costs, apparently). If you're looking for a lightweight option that is less expensive, both the Mad Rock Ultra Light Wire (2.4 ounces) and the Cypher Firefly II (2.6 ounces), are good second choices.

The beefier sport-specific models  weighing 3.3 ounces and up (L to R): Black Diamond LiveWire  DMM Alpha Sport  Petzl Spirit Express  and Edelrid Bulletproof.
The beefier sport-specific models, weighing 3.3 ounces and up (L to R): Black Diamond LiveWire, DMM Alpha Sport, Petzl Spirit Express, and Edelrid Bulletproof.

While it's hard to beat the 2.2 ounces of the Oz, we were pleased with the weight of our Editors' Choice winner, the Petzl Spirit Express. At 3.3 ounces it is noticeably lighter than many of the other high-end sport climbing models that we tested, making it a great choice for people who are trying to shave ounces for onsight attempts but still have a highly usable quickdraw. Not surprisingly, the Edelrid Bulletproof was the heaviest model that we tested (4.1 ounces), thanks to the stainless steel insert, but that is only slightly more than the Black Diamond Positron (4 ounces).

The all-rounders. The weights range from 3.1 to 4 ounces (L to R): Petzl Djinn Axess  CAMP USA Orbit Wire Express  Black Diamond FreeWire  and Black Diamond Positron.
The all-rounders. The weights range from 3.1 to 4 ounces (L to R): Petzl Djinn Axess, CAMP USA Orbit Wire Express, Black Diamond FreeWire, and Black Diamond Positron.

Ease of Handling


This more general category encompassed everything from how each product felt in our testers' hands and on their harnesses, to how well it kept the bottom carabiner in its proper position. While feel in hand is more a matter of preference, the proper positioning of the carabiners can have serious safety implications. The chart below shows our score for each model's ease of handling.


Carabiners are strongest when the force exerted on them is along the axis of their spine (i.e., they haven't flipped sideways and cross-loaded). The top carabiner, which is clipped to a bolt or piece of gear, needs to be able to move freely in the draw's sling so as not to come unclipped from its protection point. The bottom carabiner needs to remain in one orientation so that the rope loads on the bottom scoop, and not cross loaded across the spine or the gate. In order to keep that bottom carabiner in one position, most slings have rubber keepers, either sewn into the sling or placed outside it. There are benefits to both.

Each QD comes with a positioner. They range from external  like on the Petzl Spirits (left)  to an internal option  like on the Black Diamond FreeWire (right). They each have their plusses and minuses. Then there's the hybrid internal/external positioner on the CAMP USA Orbit Wire  which was our least favorite due to the bulkiness.
Each QD comes with a positioner. They range from external, like on the Petzl Spirits (left), to an internal option, like on the Black Diamond FreeWire (right). They each have their plusses and minuses. Then there's the hybrid internal/external positioner on the CAMP USA Orbit Wire, which was our least favorite due to the bulkiness.

The sewn-in versions, like on all Black Diamond models, eliminate the potential for user error, but once it breaks you have to buy a new sling or find an exterior positioner that fits. Although none of the Black Diamond sewn-in rubber Straightjackets tore during our two month testing period, our reviewers have had personal experience with them breaking, particularly on the narrow-sling of the Oz. The benefit of an exterior positioner is that it protects the section of the sling that houses the lower carabiner from fraying against the rock. However, they can be installed incorrectly, so you should always inspect your new draws to make sure they were assembled properly with the carabiner passing through both the sling and the positioner. Finally, never add one to the top carabiner. (We've seen this done to create more of a "stiff" draw for reachy clips.) If the top carabiner is stiffly attached to the sling, the action of the rope moving through it could cause the carabiner to become only partially hooked to the bolt or even cause it to become unhooked completely — both terrible situations.

The positioner keeps the bottom carabiner in the proper orientation both for clipping and when catching a fall so that the rope lands against the spine and not the gate.
The positioner keeps the bottom carabiner in the proper orientation both for clipping and when catching a fall so that the rope lands against the spine and not the gate.

Another consideration for ease of handling was the size of the carabiners. Smaller carabiners are harder to handle, particularly at the end of a long climb when your hands are fatigued, and even more so if you ever climb with gloves on. If you plan on ice climbing or doing a big wall, one of your most important criteria will be the size of the carabiners, as you want something that you can still operate easily with gloves on. A good choice for these applications would be the Petzl Djinn Axess. Its full-size carabiners were the prefered option for many of our larger-handed testers.

Ease of Grabbing


You might not set off up your climb intending to grab a draw (or two), but sometimes it happens, and rightly so. If you are pumped getting to your third clip, the clipping hold is sub-par, and you fall off mid-clip with a bunch of slack out, you could hit the deck if the route wasn't bolted properly. Better to grab it and make the clip safely rather than take a trip to the ER. Similarly, if you are moving fast on a Grade V in Yosemite and don't want to be benighted on the route or descent, the "French Free" technique (grabbing draws and gear to move fast through difficult sections) is a common practice. Grabbing your draws is also pretty standard in sport climbing when working a route at your limit. Here's our assessment of each unit's ease of grabbing.


The models we tested varied in width from 10mm to 27mm. The narrowest slings, which can be found on the lightweight products, are very difficult to grab. Those in the middle of the pack (14mm) are not that easy to grab either. Our testers found that the sling had to be at least 16mm wide to do well in this category, and the wider the better, no matter their hand size. The Petzl Spirit Express and DMM Alpha Sport took the top marks in this metric not just because of their wide 25mm dogbones, but also because of their ergonomic cutout design that allows you to slot your hand on the draw and go for the clip.

If you have to grab a draw occasionally  you'll appreciate one that's wide enough to hold onto easily so that you can make the clip. The Petzl Spirit Express was one of the best options to grab thanks to its 25mm wide dogbone.
If you have to grab a draw occasionally, you'll appreciate one that's wide enough to hold onto easily so that you can make the clip. The Petzl Spirit Express was one of the best options to grab thanks to its 25mm wide dogbone.

Black Diamond has updated the width of the Positron's sling from 14 to 18mm, and we appreciated how much easier it is to grab now. However, the LiveWire's extra-wide 27mm sling, which should be a dream to grab, has a large piece of rubber with their logo on it sewn to the front. It's not pleasant to have that digging into your palm, and it affected its grabbing score a little.

Both of these are easy to grab thanks to their wide dogbones  but the Black Diamond LiveWire (left) has a rubber logo on one side that wasn't that nice to grab. The Petzl Spirit Express (right) was our favorite grabbing option.
Both of these are easy to grab thanks to their wide dogbones, but the Black Diamond LiveWire (left) has a rubber logo on one side that wasn't that nice to grab. The Petzl Spirit Express (right) was our favorite grabbing option.

Conclusion


Unless you only boulder and never tie into a rope  you'll need to buy some QDs at some point in your career. Hopefully  we gave you some good options to consider  whether that's for long trad routes  steep sport climbs  or even mixed lines.
Unless you only boulder and never tie into a rope, you'll need to buy some QDs at some point in your career. Hopefully, we gave you some good options to consider, whether that's for long trad routes, steep sport climbs, or even mixed lines.

There's no one size fits all quickdraw out there; depending on your preferred style of climbing, hand-size, or propensity for draw-grabbing, you might be looking for one particular set of criteria over another. Hopefully, we've helped you narrow down your options so you can get set up with the right model for you. For more information on the ins and outs of quickdraw construction and design, our Buying Advice article can further help you choose the right draws to match your vertical needs.

Cam McKenzie Ring

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