Crucial Climbing Equipment – All About Quickdraws

DMM - Alpha Sport Quickdraw
DMM - Alpha Sport Quickdraw

The quickdraw is a crucial piece of climbing equipment for both indoor and sport rock climbing; it will help to reduce the amount of rope drag that occurs once a rope has been pulled through a row of karabiners, which may not be aligned properly. It does this by allowing the rope to pull towards the centre, thus creating a less restrictive path from the climber to the belay point.

Quickdraws are made from two karabiners that are connected together with a webbed material; one of these karabiners is a straight-gate, whilst the other is a bent gate and the two are connected with a sling. This sling can vary in length from between 5 cm to 30cm and the webbing is made from a highly robust material. Whilst this material is normally sewn onto the karabiner, it can also be tied, using either a sling or a runner.

Black Diamond - Nitron Quickdraw
Black Diamond - Nitron Quickdraw

How to find the right quickdraw

Choosing the right quickdraw can be a little difficult for a new rock climber, as their needs will vary depending on whether they choose to do indoor or sport climbing. However, as a general rule, there are three things to look for; ease of use, weight and durability. This climbing equipment is quite expensive and so should be able to last for at least a couple of years. Additionally, the quickdraw should be easy to clip the climbing rope into and should not weigh the climber down too much. The relative importance of these of these three things will depend on the specific demands that the climber intends to place on the equipment.

Although it is perfectly fine to use the same quickdraw for all of your climbing (and in fact, all but professional climbers tend to), there are some goods reasons as to why climbers should put some careful thought into which quickdraw they choose. Using excessively soft slings and burred up quickdraws, for instance, could be dangerous not only to the person using it, but also to their fellow climbers. So whilst general climbers might be fine with just one or two sets of quickdraws, specialist climbers may want to consider choosing a wider variety.

DMM - Phantom Quickdraw
DMM - Phantom Quickdraw

Why ease of use matters:

For red-pointing (free climbing), ease of clipping will be more important than weight or durability, as it is during this type of climbing that the clips will be most difficult to make, which is why choosing a smooth surface clip is so important. This is one of the reasons why many sports climbers prefer to use quickdraws with solid gate karabiners, as these tend to be a little bit easier to clip when you are in a rush. Another important factor in terms of the quickdraw's ease of use is the webbing; although thin, lightweight materials are better for moving quickly whilst carrying a large rack of climbing equipment, it isn't very easy to pull up when there's a thinner quickdraw, which can present a serious problem for any climbers using routes. Thicker webbing is best in these cases and furthermore, it has the advantage of being slightly more robust.

Quickdraws with ultra-light carabiners - Petzl


No comments yet.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article