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By Jeffrey Watts
Nov 25, 2012

I'm sure this topic has been covered before but I can't search the forums.
Quick draws differ greatly in price, I'm sure they are all built to same safety specs so what do I look for, what's the difference in wire gates and other features, what makes a good quick draw? I don't mind spending money on top of the line but I want I know what I'm paying for.


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By Woodchuck ATC
Nov 25, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

Paying for easier access gates, light weight, and especially name brand. Get the 9.95 ones anywhere for starters, nothing wrong with them.


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By Rajiv Ayyangar
From Portland, ME
Nov 26, 2012
Cut! Sadly my flash attempt met with dismal pump-failure two bolts later.

Depends on a few things...

Ice climbing/alpine - I've read wire gates are less prone to freezing shut. They also tend to be lighter.

Alpine/trad - if you're gonna be carrying your quickdraws up a route, weight is a consideration. If you're planning to climb mostly single-pitch sport, weight is less of a concern.

Sport climbing: You probably want a beefier dogbone (BD Livewire, Petzl Spirit) for easier grabbing. Also some people find bigger carabiners (e.g. Livewire) easier to clip. Some people prefer clipping wiregates (BD Freewires, livewires), and some prefer bent solid-gates (Spirits).

Gate Flutter - solid gates are ever so slightly more prone to "gate flutter", which is when a jarring impact on the carabiner causes the gate to flick open under it's own weight, potentially causing gate-open long-axis failure Wire gates are less prone to this. (I've mostly heard this through word-of-mouth. I don't know of any documented accidents where this was the primary cause).

BD Freewires (~$10-11) are a nice compromise between weight and beefiness at a low price. If you know what styles of climbing you'll be focusing on, you can specialize further. I started out with a full rack of Freewires, and 4 Livewires to try them out. I liked the livewires so much that I then got a rack of them, a couple years later.

If you have friends with different draws, try using them and seeing how you like them.


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By kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Nov 26, 2012
Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks

Jeffrey Watts wrote:
I'm sure this topic has been covered before but I can't search the forums. Quick draws differ greatly in price, I'm sure they are all built to same safety specs so what do I look for, what's the difference in wire gates and other features, what makes a good quick draw? I don't mind spending money on top of the line but I want I know what I'm paying for.


I'm going to assume that you're talking about draws for sport climbing and answer the question according to that assumption.

For sport climbing you want a draw with a keylock biner on the bolt end (petzl spirit is the gold standard), a thick dogbone for easier grabbing and french freeing, and a rope end biner that is easy to clip, has a wide gate opening, and a high open gate strength.

The keylock bolt end biner will make cleaning overhanging routes much easier, when you are working routes you want to be able to grab a draw easily, and gate flutter is a real concern on the rope end of a draw (biners have failed due to this phenomenon) which is why high open gate strength is important.

If you like wiregates, they also help reduce gate flutter which makes them a good choice for the rope end of a draw, on the bolt end of a draw however, wiregates make it more likely that the draw could unclip itself (still highly unlikely, but it's something to consider).


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By bearbreeder
Nov 27, 2012

what others have mentioned above ...

that said the draw is pretty irrelevant if you are new to climbing ... buy something thats a good deal and will allow you to spend more money on more climbing, courses and other more important things

once you start specializing or climbing HARD sport then worry about it ... for you any decent draw will work

the climber matters more than whichever type of fancy $$$$ quickdraw ever will ;)


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By Jeff J
From Bozeman
Nov 27, 2012

Jeffrey Watts wrote:
I'm sure they are all built to same safety specs so what do I look for, what's the difference in wire gates and other features, what makes a good quick draw?


Yes you are correct, purchase your gear from a reputable store and you will be getting carabineers that are rated to a certain standard.

So my analogy, A ford focus vs Porche (just examples not dissing or supporting any thing here). Both are cars, both will get you down the road, and both have certain standard they are built by. But which one will give you the more enjoyable ride. Which one will give you the performance you want.

Same holds true for carabineers, the more expensive (in general) have better springs, feel better have smoother working parts. The cheap biners will hold your fall just like the expensive ones will, I have used some cheapos that feel horrible, the gate action is rough and the gate flutter is bad.

So IMHO, hit up a gear shop and play with the gear and see what has the right feel for your budget.


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By sanz
From Raleigh, NC
Nov 27, 2012
One of my first trad leads, on Ooga Chocka at Crowder's Mountain.

Keylock on the bolt side is pretty nice to have. Makes cleaning routes a whole lot faster and easier. It is also nice on the rope side but not as crucial.

I give a huge seal of endorsement to the BD Livewire and Petzl Spirit. Both are on the heavier side, but the way I see it, you'll have your draws hung already for any hard redpoint attempt.

I hear that the WC Helium clips and cleans just as nice and weighs significantly less. This is the ferrari of draws and is only a few bucks more than spirits or livewires.


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By OldManRiver
From Cottonwood Heights, UT
Nov 27, 2012
Red Rock, Cannibal crag

You could buy say 5 different draws, use them and buy a set of the ones you get excited to use. Long term you'll save money over buying a crappy set and then replacing with what you want. .

An option once you find what you like in terms of dogbones and biner feel is to make your own. BD and Petzl sell their nice nylon variwidths in 11/12/18/25cm lengths and you can get whatever biners you like and boom, custom set that provides the exact functionality you like. If you're into alpine and trad you can go for the thinner, lightweight dogbones as well.

gl


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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Nov 27, 2012
OTL

BD posiwires

coupon 'seasonswap' and they're under $10/draw


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By David Appelhans
From Lafayette
Nov 27, 2012
Imaginate

Matt N wrote:
BD posiwires coupon 'seasonswap' and they're under $10/draw

These draws are awesome. I have a bunch, they are top shelf and amazingly cheap.


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By redlude97
Nov 27, 2012

David Appelhans wrote:
These draws are awesome. I have a bunch, they are top shelf and amazingly cheap.

Yep, they are the old "hotwire" QDs from a few years ago before BD changed the hotwire to a hotforged biner. About as solid as you can get. Replace the dogbone with a petzl and it makes an excellent cheap QD


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By ian watson
From Albuquerque, NM
Nov 27, 2012

I give these www.rei.com/product/798367/camp-usa-orbit-wire-express-quick>>>

2 thumbs up.


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