Best Quickdraws for Rock Climbing
It always seems puzzling to search for buying guides about simple devices, does it not? We are not going to lie, quickdraws are not complicated devices. They are not like GPS devices or anything like that. Rock climbers use them to attach their rope to certain pieces of protection. And, they only consist of two carabiners attached together with a textile sling.
So, as simple as they are, they must be easy to buy, right? Well, while that may be true, there is more than meets the eye, much more. There are different types of quickdraws for rock climbing on the market so you need to know that not all of them will operate quite the same.
With the help of this guide, though, you will be educated on what it takes to buy the right quickdraws for rock climbing for your needs.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 8.5 hrs of research
The String S keeps everything in place
The carabiners are not very heavy
The strength ratings and commendable
- Petzl Ange Finesse
- DMM Alpha Quickdraw
- Petzl Spirit Express
- Black Diamond Livewire
- EDELRID Bulletproof Quickdraw
- EDELRID Nineteen G
- Metolius Bravo
- Black Diamond Freewire Pack
- Mammut Crag Indicator Express Set
- Mad Rock Super Light Draw
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Expert Interviews & Opinions
- Frequently Asked Questions
Our Top Picks for the Best Quickdraws for Rock Climbing
1. Petzl Ange Finesse
The String S keeps everything in place
The carabiners are not very heavy
The strength ratings and commendable
Pretty much nothing
Whenever you can look at something and have a hard time finding anything wrong with it, you know what you have is gold. Well, let’s just say that this climbing gear is kind of like that.Read more
This includes combinations of Ange L and Ange S carabiners. Thanks to the MonoFil KeyLock technology that has been implemented, these carabiners are robust, durable, and also light.
First off, the rope end carabiner is held in place, and it protects the webbing from unnecessary abrasions. Also, this sports durable Dyneema webbing that is designed to last.
There are different sizes that you can choose from. The option is yours from either a 10-centimeter or 17-centimeter quickdraw for rock climbing.
With a major axis strength of 22 kN, it is safe to say that this rock climbing quickdraw is not going to break under the stress of you and your gear.
As impossible as it seems, the carabiners equipped here are only a combined 62 grams in weight. The combination of strength and weight from them makes this model one of the very best.
There you have it, can you find something wrong with this rock climbing quickdraw for us? It is just a masterful design and, to be quite honest, is going to be ideal for just about anyone.
2. DMM Alpha Quickdraw
The deeper basket ensures enhanced security
The extra length is nice to have
It comes in different sling lengths
It is a bit on the heavy side
Literally, the only thing that holds the Alpha back (and not by very much) is its total weight. In regard to durability, strength, practicality, and convenience, though, it is one of the best around.Read more
This handles as well as any other model out there, count on it. It is equipped with dual hot-forged carabiners. The bottom one is built with an ultra-bent gate, additionally.
Let’s say that the Alpha has been engineered to be robust. In other words, it is quickly going to handle repeated falls and the abuse that you are sure to endure it through.
In addition to the fact that this also comes in 18-centimeter and 25-centimeter sling lengths, the basket depth has been made more profound. This offers better security once this has been clipped.
The sling for rock climbing is equipped with a load strength of 22 kN and the carabiners with a load strength of 24 kN. Just know that both can handle more than two tons of weight.
All in all, for the 12-centimeter length, this measures 3.8 ounces. While this is nowhere near outlandishly heavy, it is heavier than other options out there.
Granted you can deal with a little extra weight; you can get one of the most stellar quickdraws for rock climbing that you will ever find. Yes, the Alpha lives up to all its hype.
3. Petzl Spirit Express
Achieves an ideal strength-to-weight ratio
The webbing is protected from wear
The gate action is quite snappy
The weight could be an issue for you
The Spirit Express is another wonderfully-designed quickdraw for rock climbing from Petzl. Though it is a little heavier than their other version, its smooth operation is literally incredible.Read more
All in all, both the straight and bent gates have snappy actions. This makes clipping and unclipping them an absolute breeze and also a joy each and every time you do it.
In addition to the thick H-frame construction, this is also designed with wider contact surfaces. This ensures enhanced rope glide and also less wear and tear on the carabiners.
Petzl climbing quickdraw offers you two different sizes. Out of the two (12 and 17 centimeters), the longer of the two is going to be more popular. It just offers more versatility as a whole.
With a major axis strength of 23 kN, this is rated to handle loads similar to other quickdraws. There is nothing out of the ordinary here, in other words.
The longer of the two sizes weighs right around 100 grams. Meanwhile, the shorter of the two measures 93 grams. Either way, you go, there are lighter options available.
To be quite honest, these top three quickdraws for rock climbing are so close in quality that it can be hard to choose between them. For certain, this will be an excellent choice for any of you.
4. Black Diamond Livewire
Designed with HoodWire technology
It sports oversized carabiners
The bottom carabiner is a wire gate
It is both expensive and heavy
Black Diamond is about as elite a brand as you will find when seeking out the right device for rock climbing. Their Livewire is just incredible in just about every way imaginable.Read more
Past the snag-free and Nitron carabiner that is on the top, the bottom carabiner has been designed with HoodWire Technology (and also includes a metal wire over the nose). This technology helps to prevent snags.
As several users have come to know and love about Black Diamond quickdraws for rock climbing, they are all made expertly. Well, add the Livewire to that list.
This measures 12 centimeters in length, which is not that long, quite frankly. Additionally, the dogbone also measures 27 millimeters in width.
This sports a closed gate strength of 25 kN. This makes it one of the strongest on this entire list and the whole market.
Coming in with a total weight of 3.8 ounces, this is nowhere near hard to transport. Then again, it is a bit heavier than some of the other options you can find.
From a quality perspective, the Livewire is world class and about as good as it gets when it comes to rock climbing quickdraws. It is somewhat more substantial than other models but is worth the extra weight, no doubt.
5. EDELRID Bulletproof Quickdraw
The lower carabiner is securely held in place
The steel insert prevents wear and tear
Many components have been reinforced for durability
There are lighter options out there
As with so many of the other top-end rock climbing quickdraws on this list, this option is ideal if you are looking for strength and longevity (and smooth operation). But, it does so at the expense of its portability.Read more
There are one slide gate and one that is bent, for the record. Anyway, the slide gate is designed to be auto-locking quickdraw. So, it can easily be operated with one hand.
As this is dubbed Bulletproof, it better be built to last and it most certainly is. This is made even better when you realize that all critical parts of this model have been reinforced with steel inlays.
You have the option of choosing 12 or 18 centimeters (regarding the length). Though subtle, this option is excellent to have if you wanted a longer sling.
Overall, this can handle right around 6075 pounds of force. For the record, the actual gate closed strength rating is 27 kN.
The carabiners measure 117 and 122 grams, respectively. Aluminum was utilized to minimize this weight but, as you can see, these are not the lightest carabiners on the market.
Put, you can’t go wrong here due to the sheer quality and handling. Those are two very critical features, after all.
6. EDELRID Nineteen G
It is as lightweight as it gets
It is a wonderfully crafted device
The gate is snappy in nature
Not the best for users with larger hands
If what you really want is the lightest equipment for rock climbing possible, then you will like this option right here. And, at the same time, the Nineteen G remains strong and practical.Read more
While those of you with larger hands may find this a little difficult to operate, it is smooth overall. Also, the H-profile construction is about as ideal as it gets.
As you expect from EDELRID, their Nineteen G is beautifully crafted. Let’s just say that this rock climbing bad boy is going to easily handle multiple falls and come back wanting more.
There are two lengths that you can choose from. However, with choices of 10 or 18 centimeters, there is not much leeway room to work with.
Even though the major axis strength of this brand is a bit less than other popular brands (20 kN), it is not going to be much of a concern for you, to be completely honest.
Both the 10-centimeter and 18-centimeter options are extremely light in weight. At either 45 or 47 grams, respectively, both the options are about as light as it gets.
The Nineteen G is not necessarily flawed in many ways but it is also not flawless in its design. While that sounds like a contradiction, it actually sums up the rock climbing quickdraw quite well.
7. Metolius Bravo
There are some different color options available
The thick sling makes for a great place to grab
It is not going to break on you
Great but not elite
When compared to other quickdraws for rock climbing, this stacks up well. But, with that said, the Bravo is also not quite as well-designed and elite as others on this list.Read more
The Bravo is equipped with both straight and wire gate carabiners. Both of them ensure easy clipping and unclipping while you are operating this rock climbing quickdraw.
As with so many of the other quickdraws for rock climbing on this list, the Bravo is going to handle multiple falls time and time again. It is built incredibly well, let’s say that.
This is measured in inches, for whatever reason, and the sling measures six inches. To put this in perspective, this works out to the right around 15 centimeters in length.
With the ability to handle nearly 5000 pounds of force, it is safe to say that this rock climbing quickdraw is not going to let you down. It will easily handle your weight and all your gear.
The Bravo is right in the middle of the pack when it comes to weight. It weighs 3.1 ounces in total, which is not the lightest or the most massive model on the market.
To sum up the Bravo, it is an excellent model that falls short of being elite. But, on the other hand, it is more affordable than some of the top-end quickdraws for rock climbing.
8. Black Diamond Freewire Pack
The straitjacket inserts keep the bottom carabiners in place
The wire gates are really nice
You get six quickdraws in all
There are lighter options
What is really nice about this option is you get six quickdraws for rock climbing with your purchase. Of course, each one of them is also made by Black Diamond so that certainly does not hurt.Read more
There are cold-forged wire gate biners located on both the bottom and top of these rock climbing quickdraws. Also, including the straitjacket insert, this ensures optimal performance.
The worst one user said about these quickdraws is that the carabiners’ paint began to chip off after several months (nothing severe). But, this can be a common problem with carabiners anyway.
While it would have been a nice touch to package different sizes together, every one of rock climbing the quickdraws that are included measure 12 centimeters in length.
Both the bottom and top carabiners are rated with a closed gate strength of 24 kN. For the record, this means that both of them can handle well over 5000 pounds of force.
At 3.5 ounces in total weight (for each quickdraw that is), there is nothing out of the ordinary here.
The Freewire is just another phenomenal choice from a long list of them on the market. Of course, what is nice here is that you receive six climbing quickdraws with your purchase.
9. Mammut Crag Indicator Express Set
Each one is designed with Indicator Technology
You get a pack of five
The strength ratings are incredible
Again, these are somewhat heavy
With a straight carabiner clip and also a bent one, this is an optimally-designed rock climbing quickdraw. Of course, you also receive five of them with your purchase (which is quite nice).Read more
Both of the carabiners sport keylock noses. These will ensure snag-free performance and clipping. Additionally, the bent gate is equipped with a rubber retainer for superior stability.
Each sling on each rock climbing quickdraw that you receive sports Indicator Technology. Basically, there are red fibers that are hidden underneath the slings that indicate when it is time to get rid of them.
At 10 centimeters in length, each one of these quickdraws is somewhat short. It also would have been nice if somewhat of a variety was included for you.
The major axis strength of each individual quickdraw is about what you would expect (24 kN). None of them will have any issues keeping you safe and secure while climbing.
What do you know? Would it shock you to find out that there are lighter options on the market? That is becoming somewhat of a broken record, is it not?
Outside of everything else, the addition of Indicator Technology makes these extremely convenient to own. They also perform quite admirably which is also a huge plus.
10. Mad Rock Super Light Draw
It only weighs 2.4 total ounces
It comes with hot-forged carabiners
It will hold up very well
The clipping action is a little stiff
It tends to snag on your climbing rope
The main reason to go with this option is if you really are trying to save as much weight as possible. However, admittedly, the operation of this quickdraw for rock climbing could be better and it does show.Read more
Overall, this is stiff in its operation and there is no reason to sugarcoat it. In specific, the gate tension just feels stiff. Also, this can snag on your rope and other climbing equipment from time to time.
Even though this does not operate as smoothly as other models, it is still built incredibly. Fall after fall, this is going to come back asking for more.
This is another model that is measured in inches (it measures five inches which works out to 12.7 centimeters). Also, it is only 10 millimeters in width so keep that in mind.
There is not going to be too much for you to worry about here. This will easily handle the weight that you put it through.
One of the reasons why this can be a good choice is due to its lightweight core. It only weighs 2.4 ounces, making it one of the lightest options on this list.
While imperfect in its design, there are still many reasons to be compelled to buy a rock climbing quickdraw such as this. This includes its build quality and weight, for example.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
What you really want to focus on here is the style of the carabiners.
When it comes to buying quickdraws, you do need to pay close attention to the design of the carabiners. There will be two carabiners (one on top and one on bottom), but not all of them will be designed in the same manner. Understanding the different types is going to be essential for you.
So, let’s dive into this a little bit. For starters, you have both straight and bent gate carabiners. Now, most quickdraws for rock climbing will be equipped with one of each. Frequently, you will use the bent gate carabiner for your rope as straight gate carabiners can be harder to clip. But, straight gate carabiners themselves are cheaper to produce (and are adequate for clipping onto bolts).
Additionally, you also have a solid gate and wire gate carabiners. The former is also known as keylock biners, and they are designed with grooves that slide over the biner noses. Meanwhile, wire gate styles typically will be equipped with a notch on the nose.
Also, some engineers will equip their wire gate carabiners with unique technologies to minimize the risk of snagging. No matter which way you go, though, what you are looking for are carabiners that are easy to clip and unclip, period.
The safe bet is to look for models that are well-built and those that will last.
With climbing gear of any kind, you always want to prioritize those that are built well and those that will last you several seasons. The same goes for quickdraws for rock climbing, and there are a few things that you should be keeping in mind.
For starters, the dogbone (which is also sometimes called the sling as it is the portion that connects the two carabiners together) should be made with high-quality materials. Dyneema or even nylon or polyester are common materials that you will see. Of course, some models will ensure that the rope end carabiner stays in place to provide abrasion resistance for the dogbone itself.
Oh, and speaking about the carabiners, they are less likely to break down before the dogbone itself. And, most engineers will make them out of aluminum instead of steel (for weight purposes). However, you will see steel carabiners from time to time.
No matter how you slice it, though, you want quickdraws for rock climbing that will be able to endure several falls and moderate abuse. Several will be robust enough to get the job done, let’s say that.
Do not overlook this section because it can actually be very important.
It is quite amazing how much different certain rock climbing quickdraws can make because of their size. Due to this, you most certainly do not want to overlook this section. And, this all starts with the dogbone itself. You need to assess both the physical length of it and also its width.
Okay, so, admittedly, the length of the dogbone often comes down to your personal preference. Dogbones can range from a plethora of different lengths (such as 10 to 25 centimeters). Regarding whether shorter or longer ones are superior, each of them has its advantages.
One of the primary benefits of longer dogbones is they can reduce rope drag. For many climbers, this will be a big deal. Then again, you also have to take into consideration the extra length can sometimes be cumbersome to deal with. Still, some climbers prefer longer ones, and others will prefer shorter ones.
As for the width of the dogbone, heavier ones will be easier to grip and hold on to when needed. But, also do not overlook the size of the carabiners. What you want to pay attention to is the gate opening of carabiners. With smaller gate openings, naturally, it will be more challenging to clip them. This is just something to think about is all.
This section is really all about the strength rating of the carabiners.
One of the pleasant aspects of buying quickdraws for rock climbing is there is no guesswork involved when it comes to their strength. A lot of this comes down to the fact that all carabiners must be able to meet a minimum strength standard. And, for the record, this is often rated in kilonewtons.
A kilonewton (abbreviated to kN) is the equivalent to the right around 225 pounds of force. And, most quickdraws sport carabiners that are rated right around 20 to 27 kN. If you do the math, it means that most carabiners will be assessed to handle over 5000 pounds of force.
Now, something else you should know is there are different strength ratings to look out for. The maximum will be the major axis strength. However, in case of user error, there are also other strength ratings for an open gate and minor access. These are often much lower, for the record.
For the most part, most quickdraws for rock climbing will be highly component in this area. Due to the standards that carabiners must meet to be deemed safe as climbing equipment, do not sweat this section too much.
While some of you will not care too much about the weight, it will be a big deal for some of you.
Even though you want to buy rock climbing quickdraws that are strong, durable, and high in quality, you may not want them to weigh a ton. Now, even the heaviest of quickdraws will not be too much weight. But, when you take into consideration all your other climbing gear, this small weight can add up quickly.
So, it is never a bad idea to opt for models that are designed to be as lightweight as possible. As mentioned earlier, this is one of the primary reasons why carabiners are made with aluminum and not steel. Though steel tends to be the stronger of the two metals, aluminum is also known to be lighter.
Then again, the type of rock climbing you partake in and how long you do so will also play roles. If you need more quickdraws, then you may not want them each to be somewhat cumbersome. After all, ten ultralight models will weight much less than ten moderately heavy models.
Of course, also keep in mind that it is not just the weight of the carabiners that you need to assess. Some dogbones will be optimized to be thicker. But, this also can add a bit of weight. As such, you need to evaluate the totality and not just one or two components.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
It seems relatively broad to talk about the style of quickdraws. Well, to narrow the focus a little bit, this section is all about the form of the carabiners. As you will see, there are many different versions of what can necessarily look like the same carabiners. Do not be fooled; however; as individual styles can make all the difference in the world while you are rock climbing.
Normal wear and tear are going to be something you have to contend with. That does not mean, however, that all models will be built with the same quality and ruggedness. If this is something that matters to you (and it should, quite frankly), then you should prioritize it. Look for dogbones and carabiners that are not cheaply made — pretty simple concept.
While this section can be more or less about personal preference, there are also some key points that you need to be aware of. For the record, when you talk about the size of a quickdraw, you are referencing its carabiners and dogbone. Indeed, both of these components will be crucial to assess for this section. When it comes down to it, it could change your entire experience, quite frankly.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How many rock climbing quickdraws will you need?
This has not been talked about yet, but it is important to understand. While the number you will need will vary on a few factors, you will need more than one. There are even situations where you will need upward of 20 attached to your harness. Now, this does depend on the length of your climb and where it is taking place.
If you are thinking about an extra-long climb, then you may need yourself 20 or more. And, yes, this is where the weight also becomes a significant concern.
q: How long will they be good for?
Earlier, we discussed how important it is to look for models built with durability in mind. It was also noted, however, that quickdraws for rock climbing will wear down over time. The obvious question then becomes, how long can you expect the average model to last?
Outside of the quality of the original design, it also comes down to how you treat it. It is essential to know that climbing quickdraws, in general, are made to withstand some abuse.
q: What are some things to avoid when you clip the climbing rope?
There are two significant practices that you should avoid. The first is known as Z-clipping. Primarily, this can happen if two bolts are close to each other. What happens is you can grab the rope from below the previous one and not from above it. Thankfully, the rope drag created from this will not allow you to go very far, typically, and you can resolve the issue.
The other issue is known as back clipping. In short, this happens if you clip the rope in a manner that allows it to travel from the outside into the rock. It should be from the side of the cliff to the outside. What can happen if you screw this up is the carabiner gate can open due to the rope and cause the cord to unclip.
q: Do carabiners break?
For the most part, this is not something that you will need to worry about. As was noted earlier, carabiners are made to be reliable, durable, and trusting. But, you can be your own worst enemy too. If you do not use them in their intended manner, then you could end up breaking them. Just use your head, and you should not have any issues.
q: Which way should quickdraws face?
This goes back to the question that was alluding to common clipping mistakes. The main point you need to take away from this is that the rope-end gate of the carabiner itself must be facing away from the direction you are traveling. Again, this is to ensure that if you fall, the rope itself will not open the gate. After all, this would be a disaster.
q: When should you clip them?
What you always need to understand is your safety is of the utmost concern. This is especially true when you are rock climbing. So, that begs the question of when you should be clipping your carabiners.
First and foremost, you should always ensure that you are balanced and that your other hand has a secure hold. From there, you should try to clip to a bolt that is a moderate reaching distance away. The last thing you should do is make a long reach for a pin (as this will also add unnecessary slack).