For a rock and ice climbing enthusiast, a quickdraw is definitely a useful tool. A quickdraw, which is also known as an extender, is a special type of runner. Such a runner allows the climbing rope to move freely through bolt anchors or other types of protection.
Though they may come in different sizes, lengths, and weights, they have the same function of extending the distance between an anchoring device and the rope. This makes climbing easier.
Getting the best quickdraws, while comparing the different models on the market, can be a daunting task. Unless you shop for a trusted brand, you will definitely be overwhelmed by the existing options.
In this guide, we will help you narrow down the choices by comparing the 5 best quickdraws. Let’s begin!
Our Top 5 Best Quickdraws
|Petzl Spirit Express|
11 x 4 x 1 inches
12 cm and 17cm
|Petzl – Djinn Axess|
6.7 x 2.4 x 4.3 inches
12 cm and 17cm
|Madrock Concord Express|
11 x 5.6 x 2.3 inches
12 cm and 17cm
|Wild Country Helium 2|
17 x 4 x 2 inches
10 cm, 15 cm, and 20 cm
|Black Diamond Freewire|
4.7 x 3.1 x 3.1 inches
12 cm and 18 cm
How To Clip Quickdraws Properly
1. Petzl Spirit Express – The Top Pick For Climbing Enthusiasts
This extender is wonderfully built to offer a smooth climbing experience. It combines sturdiness and versatility in a way that users will be proud of their investment. This model is also lightweight (93 grams), so it will not slow you down.
The Spirit Express Petzl quickdraw is a perfect product, with the sewn swing ergonomic shapes offering an excellent grip. This is especially important when working uneasy routes.
The H-shaped biners offer improve the strength-to-weight ratio. The contact surfaces are also wider which allow for a better rope glide, and reduce the wear on the carabiner.
The carabiner gates are efficiently designed. The upper part of the clip is nose-shaped and features a keylock system. The lower bent gate on the clip also features a keylock system and string webbing protection that holds the carabiner in position.
This allows for rapid and easy clipping in and out of the anchors, which is the best option for climbers working shorter routes. However, the weight issue may be a challenge for Trad Climbers and multi-pitch fanatics. Additionally, it is not the cheapest option, but offers great value for the money.
2. Petzl – DJINN AXESS – A Strong and Durable Quickdraw for Beginners
This is a firmly built product made to serve climbers of all types. It comes in two major versions; the 12 cm and the 17 cm sizes which are both relatively lightweight.
However, both are strong enough to assist users according to frequency of usage and handling. They generally have improved strength to weight ratio due to the H-shaped cross section of the DJINN carabiners.
They are also able to offer great glide and less wear due to their wide contact surfaces. The straight gate at the upper part has an opening of 24 mm, while the bent gate at the lower part has an opening of 27 mm. This results to a major axis strength of 23 Kn.
Another great feature is the quality of the AXESS sling – it is made from a durable polyester. The STRING S also helps to protect the webbing from abrasion and holds the rope and carabiner in place efficiently.
The strength of the biners and the sling are consistent with what is considered best in the industry. There is hardly a downside to this quickdraw, and it is competitively priced. For those who understand how to use them, manipulation is made much easier. It is an affordable quickdraw that will last the long haul.
3. Mad Rock Concorde Express – The Budget Friendly Option
This is the perfect deal for people that are looking for budget draws. The 6-pack deal is offered at an incredibly low per-draw price.
Despite the more economical cost, the product is also of great quality. It is well built with two lightweight, wire gate carabiners that can withstand the pressure and serve as well as any other quickdraw in the market.
Though they come at a relatively low weight, the warm forged aluminum carabiners are quite strong. The combined strength along the major axis is reported to be 26kN, which is ideal for the single-pitch sport climbers and those that are not particular about rack weight.
The wire gates at both ends allow for smooth clipping and easy cleaning. In terms of durability, the product is constructed in a manner that will last if used correctly.
The rope bearing surface is wide enough, just as the great gate tension keeps it in shape. The sling material is another plus for this product. The dyneema dog bones are fairly strong and are lower in weight than traditional nylon slings.
There can be a few out of norm scenarios, such as the ropes rubbing together. This may not be unconnected with the length of the dogbones which come at about 10.5 cm. The small size can be an issue for people with bigger hands as they will find it uncomfortable when clipping and unclipping.
Generally, they may not be ideal for wandering routes or other occasions that call for a long draw.
4. Wild Country Helium 2 – The Perfect Quickdraw for Trad Climbing
This is one of those wonderful lightweight draws that are perfect for Trad climbers who are particularly conscious of minimizing rack weight. It is also ideal for multi-pitch or big wall climbers, as well as long routes and hard on-sight attempts.
The three different versions are relatively light when compared to other products in the market. The 10 cm version is just about 73 grams in weight. The 15 cm version weigh a little higher at about 74 while the 20cm version weighs a gram higher at 75.
This is definitely among the very best quickdraws to consider for design and functionality. Its unique full-size carabiners feature both wiregate and keylock functionality. This makes clipping and unclipping easier than in other quickdraws
The ease of clipping and unclipping makes it a fun draw to use; the comfort of grabbing and handling is another great feature; and they are also quite portable. There are hardly downsides to this equipment except for the price. It is definitely one of the most expensive options around, but if you consider the quality of the product, it is worth the cost.
5. Black Diamond Freewire – A Versatile and Valuable Quickdraw
The Black Diamond Freewire quickdraw is offered at a bargained price if you are willing to buy the 6-in-one package. It is among the best deals for any sport climber on a budget, and it will not disappoint.
It comes in two versions, the 12 cm and the 18 cm options. Both offer a great combination of quality and affordability.
It is a well-built product with a pair of cold-forged hotwire carabiners on the top and bottom. The closed gate at the bottom offering 24 kN while the open gate strength at the top is 8 kN.
This quickdraw is very versatile, as the hotwire wiregate carabiners and the connecting 18 mm dogbone combine they deliver a lightweight equipment. This is most useful on different terrain, including sport routes and alpine climbs. The dual wiregates also reduce the chance of gate flutter.
In spite of its many advantages, the Freewire is not as light as you may want it to be. The shorter 12 cm version weighs around 100 grams while the 18 cm version weighs 103 grams. This may be challenging for those climbers that are mindful of rack weight.
Other Best Selling Options
- Major Axis: 27 kN
- Minor Axis:10 kN
- Open Gate: 8 kN
- Weight: 87 grams
- Dyneema Dog Bone
- Pack of six durable quickdraws for rock climbing
- Reliable and durable quickdraws
- Easier to use for clipping and unclipping
- Available with 12 cm sling and DJINN carabiner with blue bent gate
- Hot-forged HotWire carabiners on the top and bottom
- Colored bottom HotWire carabiner for visual target while climbing
- Dual wiregate reduce the chance of gate flutter
- Equipped with an 18 mm polyester dogbone with Straitjacket
What to Consider Before Buying a Quickdraw
All the quickdraws discussed in this article are great choices for any climbing fanatic.
But in order to decide which quickdraw to buy it will ultimately depend on your specific needs and factors that determine their effectiveness.
Let us consider the following important factors you must take into account before making a purchase.
The style of the carabiner gate of the quickdraw is a very significant factor in performance. There are generally two major types: keylock gates and wiregates. The keylock types are made of solid metals while the wiregates are made of looped wire.
Keylock gates are obviously stronger than wiregates and will not snag on your rope or gear since they have no exposed hook. Wiregates have exposed hooks that are likely to snag to your climbing rope.
In terms of weight, however, wiregates are lighter and more ideal for climbers who are trying to minimize rack weight. Your choice will depend on your personal needs.
Type of Climbing
Another factor that needs to be considered when choosing quickdraws is the type of climbing it will be used for. Certain features which make a particular quickdraw ideal for one type of climbing might not work for other climbing types.
While a superlight quickdraw is awesome for multi-pitch adventures, it might not be ideal for single-pitch sport climbs where weight is less of a concern.
In addition, it is also important to consider the length of the sling when choosing quickdraws. This is often referred to as a dogbone. Even though longer slings are heavier and bulkier, they remain the most effective when it comes to reducing rope drag.
Size and Weight
In terms of these three criteria, the kind of climbing you are embarking on will determine what quickdraw you will buy. Larger easier draws that are easy to clip are more suitable for short, single-pitch routes, when you don’t have to bother with rack weight.
For traditional and multi-pitch climbers, minimization of rack weight is a necessity and smaller lighter draws are more ideal.
All the draws discussed in this article are CE certified. Take no chances, go for products that comply with acceptable standards.
Climbing is a very interesting, exciting, yet risky sport, you cannot afford to experiment with untested products.
In order to ensure your safety during your climb, it is important that you use a top quality, durable quickdraw.
How do you clip a quickdraw?
First, you’ll need to clip the quickdraw to a bolt hanger, and then you will clip the rope to the quickdraw.
It is important to move through these steps fast and efficiently to save your energy and to ensure your safety while climbing.
What is the typical length of a quickdraw?
Things to Avoid When Clipping the Quickdraw
It is important to pay attention to the path the rope travels through the carabiner, when you clip the rope into the rope-end of the carabiner. Make sure that the rope passes through the carabiner from the cliff side to the outside.
A common mistake that beginner climbers make is to clip the rope so that it travels from the outside into the cliff. This can be very dangerous during a climb and is called back clipping. If one were to fall, the rope could cause the carabiner gate to unclip from the carabiner.
Z-clipping happens when you grab rope from below the previous quickdraw instead of above it. In an instance where this happens, you will notice instantly because the rope drag will stall your movement. If you are able to continue climbing, you put yourself in a situation prone to falling.
Petzl Spirit Express is our top pick as it remains the perfect quickdraw by all ramifications. Petzl – DJINN AXESS is strong and durable for beginners.
For Trad climbers that need lightweight draws, Wild Country Helium 2 is the most suitable. Black Diamond Freewire is very versatile and offers value for the money.
Although, if you are on a tight budget, Mad Rock Concorde Express might be the ideal option for you. Nevertheless, keep in mind all factors you must consider including; type of climbing, sling length, size, weight, CE certification, and so forth.
All these will help you choose the right quickdraw that will keep you safe while you climb.