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By Simone M.
Mar 28, 2013
pre-JMT climb

Hi everyone,

I'm getting my first set of quickdraws and would like any advice/info on whether or not it's better to get wire gate/bent gate/straight gate carabiners for the set. And which biner would belong on the bolt/rope. Also what's a good beginner set number (7-10 quickdraws?)

Any advice would be nice, and thank you in advance!


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By John D
Mar 28, 2013

I think it's preference and price, but I'm partial to wire gates, at least on the rope end of the draw. The most recent draws I bought were the black diamond free wires and they're pretty good and durable.

I also like the bd hotwires or posiwires.

As far as which biner goes on what, with bent and straight gates, the rope goes in the bent gate and the straight gate goes on the bolt. With wire gates it doesn't matter too much. The bd draws have a rubber keeper on the rope end biner to help make it easier to clip. The most important thing is that you don't want to mix them around because the bolt side biners can get roughed up which if they're then clipped to the rope can potentially damage the rope.

I'd say depending on where you climb, 10 draws ought to get you up most climbs, and if you need more hopefully one of your partners has some.


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By JeremyB
Mar 28, 2013
Me warming up at LRC.

If you have different biners on the draws, clip the solid gate into the bolt and clip the rope into the wire. At least these are Black Diamond's instructions.

The number of your set may depend on your climbing area. If your routes typically have 6 bolts or less, then no need to get 12 now. If you do longer routes, then buy accordingly. For a beginner, I think a BD set of 6 would be an excellent, reliable, and middle of the road choice.

As far as which to purchase, it depends on the weight of the biners, if you're weight sensitive, etc. To be honest, as a beginner, I'd just buy a 6pack of whatever reputable brand is within your budget.


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By JeremyB
Mar 28, 2013
Me warming up at LRC.

John D wrote:
I think it's preference and price, but I'm partial to wire gates, at least on the rope end of the draw. The most recent draws I bought were the black diamond free wires and they're pretty good and durable. I also like the bd hotwires or posiwires. As far as which biner goes on what, with bent and straight gates, the rope goes in the bent gate and the straight gate goes on the bolt. With wire gates it doesn't matter too much. The bd draws have a rubber keeper on the rope end biner to help make it easier to clip. The most important thing is that you don't want to mix them around because the bolt side biners can get roughed up which if they're then clipped to the rope can potentially damage the rope. I'd say depending on where you climb, 10 draws ought to get you up most climbs, and if you need more hopefully one of your partners has some.


Some good advice here.


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By Stephen Ackley
From Richmond, Virginia
Mar 29, 2013

We bought BD Quickwires for our climbing club and they're great.

Cheap, tough, and work well. Definitely a great first draw.

You can get them cheaper than that link to REI though.

Also by buying 6, you can use your partner's to supplement and save cash and in the future you can buy a different set to your liking or get alpine draws.


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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Mar 29, 2013
tanuki

www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/climb/carabiners/li>>>

Others may have different opinions, but as far as I am concerned these are about as good as it gets.


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By ze_dirtbag
From TBD
Mar 29, 2013
cottonmouth

i picked up a 5 pack of the camp orbit wires. they rack and clip like a champ.....plus they're relatively cheap


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By Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Mar 29, 2013
Mathematical!

I use Petzl Spirit draws. Absolutely love them. I prefer the fatter dogbone on the Spirits- it cuts down on the chance of draws twisting around, and gives a better grip if you get pumped and need to grab on to something in a pinch. Also, Spirits are excellent 'biners in and of themselves, great action, easy to clip. The only thing I'd consider changing at this point is maybe swapping the rope end out for some wiregates. Definitely get a keylocking biner for the bolt side.

I have 12 draws, plus 2 dedicated top anchors. I bought them over time, in sets of three. Worked out great.


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By Alex McIntyre
From Tucson, AZ
Mar 29, 2013

NC Rock Climber wrote:
www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/climb/carabiners/li>>> Others may have different opinions, but as far as I am concerned these are about as good as it gets.

Absolutely confirmed. The Livewire's clipping ergonomics are obscenely good.


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By superkick
From West Hartford, CT
Mar 29, 2013
Free Solo up hitchcock gully WI3

I prefer Petzl ange finesses..but those are expensive.


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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Mar 29, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.

I got a cheap ass set of 6 OP Dirtbag draws for like 50 bucks or something like that as my first set. They came with a small locking biner too. Good deal. They aren't the most "ergonomic" set of draws, but they have been durable as hell and have outlasted a set of BD Freewires. If you're just starting out, you don't need something top of the line for $25 per quickdraw, but that's just my opinion. There's certainly nothing wrong with buying a Cadillac for your first car.


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By Dom
Administrator
From New Brunswick Canada
Mar 31, 2013
Moby dick 5.11-

Get notchless quickdraws now. You'll regret it further down the road if you don't.


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By EricSchmidt
Mar 31, 2013

Jake Jones wrote:
I got a cheap ass set of 6 OP Dirtbag draws for like 50 bucks or something like that as my first set. They came with a small locking biner too. Good deal. They aren't the most "ergonomic" set of draws, but they have been durable as hell and have outlasted a set of BD Freewires. If you're just starting out, you don't need something top of the line for $25 per quickdraw, but that's just my opinion. There's certainly nothing wrong with buying a Cadillac for your first car.


I would not recommend getting the cheapest draws to start. A few extra bucks now will save you having to buy new draws down the line. Buy the right gear the first time around so you dont have to buy twice.


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Mar 31, 2013
Stabby

^^^^ is good advice. Goes for any investment you want to keep a while, such as tools.
Meantime, can anyone explain why QD's have to be so ugly as they have been for the last 15-20 years? worst colors imaginable. I'm sure puke green and shit brown are on the designer's boards.


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By mattm
From TX
Mar 31, 2013
Grande Grotto

Hands down the best answer to the "what should I get for my first draws?" is the BD Posiwire QD Pack. It has a nice, solid gate notchless Positron for the Bolt side and the tired, true and still great Hotwire for the rope side. As said above, you CAN go cheaper but you'll just end up replacing them down the line. If you find your self wanting more sport style draws etc you can always replace biners later AND the left over positrons/hotwires still remain quite useful.

Right now, with the 20% coupon on many places they're an even better deal!

Posiwire Quickpack


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By bearbreeder
Mar 31, 2013

You can buy cheaper draws that work as well as any $$$$ draws

If you climb overganging sport get notchless on the bolt side

If you are going to use em for long multi trad or alpine get lighter wiregates

Other than that ANY draw that you find easy to clip will work

I find it quite hilarious personally when some young kid with a frakenset of old beat up hand me down draws proceeds to outclimb everyone at the crag with fancy $$$$ draws ... Including me ;)


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By Matt Roberts
From Columbus, OH
Mar 31, 2013
Hittin' Miguel's with the new Chimps in tow

I've got four different QDs on my rack:

OP Dirtbags: Inexpensive, nice feel, come with a free locker (can't have too many lockers!). Straight gate on the bolt, bent gate for the rope. I like these enough that when my son lost two last year, I beat him with the remaining four. Okay, not really, but I do like them.

BD Freewire: Inexpensive, comes in longer versions. I've really started to like these for trad draws, as I bought the 18cm version. Silver on the bolt, orange on the rope.

BD Posiwire: A little more than the Freewire, has a solid gate on the bolt end. Just okay, but if I were buying them again, I'd probably buy Freewires.

Petzl Ange Finesse: (S on bolt, L on rope) I really like these but they are super pricy. Some find them harder to clip, but I don't notice any difference.

The first set that I bought was the OP, and I don't regret it at all. Go to a shop & see how they feel, but $65 for 6 plus a locker is a great deal, and while I totally agree with the maxim "buy it nice or buy it twice" I disagree here. These are QDs. You'll always need more later, start with two OP dirtbag rackpacks, and for $130, you get 12 draws & 2 locking biners, enough to get you up 90% of sport routes.


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By Greg Pouliot
Mar 31, 2013

EricSchmidt wrote:
I would not recommend getting the cheapest draws to start. A few extra bucks now will save you having to buy new draws down the line. Buy the right gear the first time around so you dont have to buy twice.


There's nothing wrong with the OP Dirtbag Draws. They may be cheap, but they're still great biners, and the dogbone is just as strong as more expensive quickdraws out there. Omega Pacific is so cheap because they're basic. They may not be as light as Petzl or as quick to clip, but they get the job done. The only reason to replace them later down the line is to upgrade. But, the OP may buy the more expensive ones now, and decide he doesn't like them, or doesn't even like climbing. Now he's out $125 instead of just $50. Buy a cheaper pack now, get used to climbing and figure out your particular style. After that, getting something different, if you want to, is the way to go. I have these draws and like them just fine. They get the job done. My only gripe is that the bolt side biner isn't very big, and it's tough to unclip quickly from my harness. The BD posiwires on the other hand, are a perfect size and unclip from the harness beautifully.


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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Mar 31, 2013
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV

I mostly climbed sport when I bought mine, so I set up my rack in a very sport specific way: 12 DMM pro wires. It's a lightweight set up, and all the draws are the same size. So I really don't have to think about which draw to grab... I can just go for it.

But in retrospect, it is super useful to have more of a variety when it comes to lengths, because I've found that when on face or low angle sections, you might want a longer sling to avoid loading a biner over some sort of feature or ledge in the rock:

I would think about going with 6 standard length, stitched dog bone draws and 4 longer, stitched dog bone draws and 2 extendable alpine draws to start.

Don't get open dog bones. The stitches keep the biner from reclipping the sling (which is no bueno). Of course, alpine draws have this inherent risk as well, but are sometimes very handy on ledgey, roofy, or meandering routes as they can reduce rope drag and in trad, reduce the potential for pro to walk on you.

Biners... wire or keylocking. There are pros and cons to each. And I try to use both.

I like the key locking biners for cleaning draws off of roofs (they are easier to yank off as they don't get caught on the bolt). But they take up a little more space on the gear loops and are a tad heavier and more expensive.

Wires are nice because they are very light weight.

For my alpine draws, I use keylocking biners on the bolt side and wire gates on the rope side.

my 2 cents.

Good luck!


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By Brian in SLC
Mar 31, 2013
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch

My favorite draw is a Petzl Spirit for the bolt, a BD Livewire for the rope, and a fat enough draw that I can hold onto it without hurting my hand...


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By S. Neoh
Mar 31, 2013

Keylock or notchless biners both ends FOR SURE now that they are only a tiny bit more expensive than biners with conventional gates. Though a little heavy, Petzl Spirit sets the bar high for others to match (i.e. Spirit sets the standard to judge other biners by).


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By Jeff Thomas
Mar 31, 2013

The Mammut Classic Express was the cheapest draw I could find in a keylock/wiregate combo. Nice burly dogbone too. Makes it possible to clip a bolt that's just a little out of reach. Mine have held up really well.

20% off one item at backcountry right now get you 5 draws for just over 50 bucks.

www.backcountry.com/mammut-classic-express-quickdraw-set-10c>>>


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