Quickdraws are simple pieces gear that are essential in the realm of sport climbing. There are many options on the market, but we’ve done our best to simplify the options into just our top picks. Recommendations are unbiased and the buying links are affiliate links—purchases made from them support our free content.
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Elements of a quickdraw
A quickdraw is two non-locking carabiners, connected by a piece of nylon webbing known as a dogbone (or other, more lightweight materials may be used as a substitute for nylon, such as Dyneema).
The most common use of a quickdraw is to connect one carabiner to an anchor point (bolt and hanger) on the rock wall, while the rope is clipped through the other carabiner. This happens in lead climbing so that when the leader falls, the rope catches on the most recently placed and clipped quickdraw.
Finding the right quickdraw for your needs
If buying your first set of quickdraws, there’s little need to get high performance ones. Entry-level options exist from all of the major climbing brands, and these generally offer a solid starting spot. Regardless of price though, all quickdraws on the market are strong and tested to the same quality standards. Higher prices tend to entail lightweight and/or smoother carabiner gate qualities; however, these factors are less vital when you’re just starting out.
Depending on your style of climbing, weight may or may not be much of an issue. If primarily sport climbing, ‘draws of any weight are typically fine. When sport climbing, more lightweight draws may feel better on your harness, however, quickdraws with thicker webbing and a more solid gate are generally preferred due to their durability and ease of clipping. Conversely, in trad and alpine climbing, lighter quickdraws mean having a lighter overall rack, which can be a significant difference given the amount of additional gear you may be carrying.
The amount of ‘draws you choose to carry depends on the style and area. Generally, we recommend having at least 10 standard quickdraws (10cm-12cm) and about 2-4 long/alpine quickdraws (16cm-20cm) to reduce rope drags on long, winding routes.
Use the chart to select the best quickdraws for your needs:
Best value quickdraw: Mad Rock Concorde 6-Pack
Don’t be thrown off by their highly affordable price—the Mad Rock Concorde Express Quickdraw Set gives you a set of 6 draws that perform at a very high level. Featuring a Dyneema dogbone, the Concorde quickdraws undergo a warm-forging manufacturing process, which results in a ‘draw weighing just 87 grams with 26kN of strength along its major axis.
Not only do they come made with one of the industry’s strongest aluminum wire carabiners, but these ‘draws are easy to handle and clip, too. We highly recommend these for climbers just starting out, or for those on a tighter budget.
Best all-around quickdraw: Black Diamond Hot Forge Hybrid 6-Pack
For climbers who dabble across the many disciplines of climbing (and don’t want to spend an enormous chunk of change), we recommend Black Diamond’s HotForge Quickdraws.
Thin, durable, and featuring a 18 mm wide Polyester Dogbone, these quickdraws offer a lightweight design that makes them perfect for trad routes and multi-pitch adventures where you don’t want any extra bulk on your harness. They include one of BD’s snag-free HotForge carabiners —which makes clipping into bolts or slings easy—and a HotWire wiregate ‘biner on the other end, to keep you from confusing which end to clip. Overall, these simple ‘draws get the job done for all types of climbing adventures, and the affordable price makes them an easy choice to recommend.
Best top-tier quickdraw: Petzl Spirit Express
A favorite among the best sport climbers in the world, Petzl’s Spirit Express quickdraws are arguably the best quickdraw on the market for sending hard sport lines. Featuring Petzl’s Spirit straight gate carabiner on the bolt-end with a bent gate for clipping, this quickdraw boasts handling second to none.
The upper straight gate carabiner features a keylock nose, which avoids snagging on hangers when clipping or cleaning. Meanwhile, the bent gate construction of the rope-end carabiner makes rope clipping simple and quick. Perhaps most notably, the Petzl Spirit Express has a wide, ergonomic dogbone designed to easily be grabbed in desperate moments through the crux—making it a perfect draw for projecting at your limit. And despite embracing a highly sturdy and thick design, the Spirit Express ‘draws still weigh under 100g each.
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