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Quickdraws Buyers Guide

Climbing without quickdraws isn't possible. Similarly, protection isn’t guaranteed if you don’t have sturdy quickdraws in your climbing gear! If you love climbing, there is no need to explain why you need quickdraws.

From locking helmets to ropes, and other gear, you can manage a lot of things without any hassles. But the hassles don’t come to an end when it comes to buying the best climbing quickdraws. To help you make a better decision, we are here with this buyer’s guide.

The guide contains information about the factors that you need to consider when buying quickdraws. It would be great to read this guide rather than regretting not purchasing reliable quickdraws when you are climbing hundreds of feet above the ground.

What is a quickdraw?

A quickdraw is a climbing gear that lets you manage the rope while ensuring protection when climbing. You can even say that it is a type of runner that enables you to utilize the rope while climbing up and down.

Quickdraws are available in various lengths, sizes, and weights, but the functionality remains the same.

If you want to make climbing easy and hassle-free, using a quickdraw is indispensable. So now you know what quickdraws are, let’s start with the guide.

What if you don't buy the right quickdraws?

Quickdraws are available in various types, strengths, and weight capacity. If you don't purchase the right quickdraws, it can have severe consequences. As per expert climbers, the quickdraw can damage the rope, and you can imagine what affects a damaged rope can cause when you are climbing.

The total weight, including the gear, is on the climbing rope, so you need quickdraws that don't damage the rope in any way. Furthermore, the climbing gear should be functional so that you can attach other things to it.

With this guide, you get the assurance that the factors listed here will help you make the right choice. From material to types of quickdraws, we have listed almost everything that a climber needs to know.

Factors to look for when buying quickdraws

Quickdraws have a plethora of components such as the rope, carabiner, and much more. So, your focus should be on everything as these components significantly impact the strength and durability of the climbing gear.

Below we have classified every factor so that you can quickly navigate through the guide without wasting time.

Types of quickdraws

Climbing quickdraws are available in a plethora of types, which are ideal for certain climbers. You cannot use the same quickdraw on every kind of terrain, so it is vital to select the right type based on the requirements.

Below are the common types of quickdraws that you can choose from:

Alpine quickdraws

Alpine quickdraws have extended ribbon loops that will be useful for alpine climbing. If you have climbed on similar terrains before then, you will agree that long ribbon loops are necessary.

The material used in these quickdraws makes them durable and lightweight. However, you will find it a bit hard to use these quickdraws on other terrains.

Panic quickdraws

You will find panic quickdraws beneficial when reaching the anchor points safely. Moreover, the climbing gear is perfect for aid climbing. The long rod lets you get the carabiner to the rope, and you can manage the rope with minimal movement that protects it from abrasion against the terrain.

The only downside to using panic quickdraws is that there is only one carabiner attached to the body. These quickdraws can be a little bit heavy due to the big size.

Clipstick quickdraws

If you are into climbing sports, then go for clipstick quickdraws. The extended hook makes curtaining easier, and you can safely do it due to the long handle.

You will get the benefits of the handle, especially when climbing with your mates. However, as there is no carabiner attached to the quickdraw managing the rope will be a little bit tricky.

Frog quickdraws

You will rarely see climbers using frog quickdraws, but there are some irreplaceable benefits that you will only get with this particular type. The quickdraw clicks on the rope from its bottom part, and that's what is the major advantage.

You can engage the quickdraw into the rope quickly to ensure safety. Frog quickdraws are a special type, and only professional climbers will find them beneficial.


The quality and type of material impact the strength and durability of the quickdraws. Some materials are weak, whereas some are tough and can withstand almost anything. You should choose the type of material based on your requirements and where you want to climb.

Furthermore, the choice of the material affects the weight of the climbing gear, and that’s important if you want to travel with them.

Most climbing quickdraws are made using forged aluminum because the material is lightweight and gives you the strength you need during climbing. Also, aluminum is resistant to corrosion, and the quickdraws will last longer.

After checking the material of the carabiner, you should check the material of other components as well. The other components include the dogbone or the sling that connects the two carabiners together.

In some particular types, such as frog and panic quickdraws, the strings are made using hard materials, especially metals, so you can check if you need the particular types.

There are two types of materials used to manufacture the sling:

  • Polyethylene
  • Polyamide


Strings made using polyethylene are thin and smooth so that you will have a better grip over the quickdraw. You will find most quickdraws made using polyethylene as white, as the material resists dyes, so it will help you in determining the type by checking the color.

When choosing the type of material, pay attention to the composition, as manufacturers used a combination of polyamide and polyethylene when manufacturing slings for quickdraws.

Some climbers even term them as mixed fiber slings. The benefit of using polyethylene slings is that they are lightweight and sturdy.

Most climbers love lightweight quickdraws since climbing with less weight is easier and has fewer risks. When choosing the quickdraw, make sure that the sling material meets the industrial standards and can withstand a breaking load more than 22kN.

Checking some customer reviews will turn out as a great help as you can find out the durability and strength of the material.


You can quickly guess by seeing the slings made using polyamide as they are wider as compared to the polyethylene counterparts.

These slings come dyed in different colors, as the material doesn’t resist dyes like polyethylene. Some climbers even call them as nylon slings, so don’t get confused.

The slings are suitable for beginners and professionals due to the added grip that the quickdraw offers due to more thickness.

Types of climbing

The choice of quickdraws depends on your climbing preferences. Whether you are into climbing sports or you do it for fun, you need to choose different types of quickdraws that are ideal for climbing preferences. Below we have classified the climbing preferences and the quickdraws that you should choose accordingly.

Quickdraws suitable for ice climbers

If you are planning to conquer a peak that has a lot of snow, then go for quickdraws that perform well in that condition. Go for climbing gear that doesn’t freeze due to the temperature so that you can access it whenever required.

Quickdraws that are specific for ice climbing have a wire snapper that makes climbing easier. Furthermore, the material of the quickdraws acts as an absorber that helps you with a better grip.

It can be a challenge to secure a point in fragile ice, but these quickdraws will turn out to be beneficial, and you can continue climbing without any issues.

Quickdraws for beginners and sports climbers

If you think that beginners and sports climbers can use any set of quickdraws, then this is not the case! Quickdraws for sports climbers and beginners are available in sets like you will get 5-8 quickdraws in a set.

How many quickdraws you need in the set is up to you and specific requirements. If you are a beginner, then you should go for a set with more quickdraws so that you have backup all the time.

It is common to lose the quickdraw while climbing because balancing it can be a challenge for beginners. Always carry a quickdraw with a long loop for added safety.

Quickdraws suitable for multi-rope lengths

You cannot use the basic quickdraws for multi-purpose lengths, so it is essential to make an informed decision.

These quickdraws have a bigger snap opening so you can use thicker ropes while climbing. Another thing that you should check is the carabiner.

Expert climbers recommend that you should choose nose-free carabiners when purchasing quickdraws for multi-rope lengths.

Length of the sling

When choosing quickdraws, you will find multiple options as various lengths are available. You should be careful when choosing the length as it has a considerable impact on the strength and performance of the quickdraw.

You should go for longer slings for alpine or multi-pitch climbing. On the other hand, for other types of climbing, you can choose medium or short slings depending on your preference.

Strength of the carabiner

Apart from the sling, the carabiner is another essential component of the quickdraw that will handle the ropes to assist you while climbing. The strength of the carabiners is measured in three directions, sideways, lengthwise, and the opening.

The kN rating will help you in choosing the best carabiners, and therefore you can select the best quickdraws. Also, check the material used to manufacture the carabiner to determine its strength and weight.

Manufacturers choose aluminum and steel to manufacture the carabiners. If you need quickdraws that are lightweight, go for aluminum. Forged aluminum makes the carabiners lightweight and sturdy.

Steel is also a common option, as these quickdraws are affordable and are highly stable.

The shape of the carabiners

After choosing the material and kN rating, you should check the shape of the carabiners. The reason why we have listed the shape in a different factor is to help you make a quick decision.

The common shapes available are:

  • Screw quickdraws
  • Stiffened loop quickdraws

You won’t be using screw quickdraws more often, but there are some undeniable benefits that no other carabiners will provide. You will see screw carabiners available on both sides of the quickdraw. If you want to prevent the situation of open load during climbing, these special carabiners will be a great help.

On the other hand, carabiners with stiffened loops are ideal for making replacements. You can even use the carabiners as a makeshift in place of clipsticks.

Nose-free carabiners

As it is evident from the name, these carabiners don't have a nose, so that you can handle them pretty well. Some climbers enjoy using carabiners that don’t have a nose to avoid getting caught in the belt.

The snapper directly connects with the hook so that climbing will be easy for you. With nose-less carabiners, you can ensure safety, and beginners and intermediates can use quickdraws with nose-free carabiners.

Overall weight

Checking the weight of the quickdraws is a must as beginners will be climbing with a set that can be quite heavy. When you are climbing with a gear, every pound counts, and it would be great if you go for lightweight quickdraws that are excellent when it comes to strength.

The average weight of the quickdraws can range from 60-110grams. Lightweight quickdraws are short, so clipping them with the rope can be a challenge if you are a beginner.

Another thing to check is the CE and UIAA requirements. You should go for quickdraws that meet the industry standards when selecting the weight.

Lightweight quickdraws have less strength as compared to their heavy counterparts, so carefully consider all the aspects when choosing the weight.

Carabiner gate

Carabiner gates come in two different options that have their respective pros and cons. The choice of the carabiner gate will affect the ease of climbing and how quickly you can clip the ropes with it.

Carabiners with wire gate

Carabiners with wire gates are lightweight, and you will find it easy to clip the rope. These carabiners are expensive, and the durability isn’t as good as the standard gate. Furthermore, the gate opening reduces the chances of falls, and you will enjoy added safety with these carabiners.

Carabiners with standard gate

These carabiners are affordable and more durable than wire gates. You can clip-up the rope quickly; however, it needs practice, and beginners will find it a little bit challenging.

When choosing the carabiner gate, determine the rope's thickness and the area where you will be climbing. The durability gets affected due to rocky terrains, and abrasion can damage the gate, so you won’t be able to clip up the rope with a damaged gate.

Gate open clearance

The gate open clearance of the carabiner is the width, depth, and shape of the carabiner. Smaller carabiners have limited gate open clearance, and your finger can even get stuck in it while clipping the rope.

Moreover, carabiners with too deep gate clearance can also make it hard to clip the rope. You should choose quickdraws that have ideal gate open clearance that’s not too short and not too big.

Go through some customer reviews to find out the ideal gate open clearance.


After choosing the carabiner, have a look at the snapper of the quickdraw. Below we have listed the common types of snappers that you get with the quickdraws.

Wire snapper

Wire snappers are lightweight, and you will find them easy to transport. Also, the low weight of the snapper prevents it from opening if it accidentally hits the rock or the wall. However, these snappers aren't very durable, so you need to replace them after some time.

Moreover, the snappers bend faster and cannot bear more pressure than the standard snappers.

Curved and straight snapper

While searching for quickdraws, you will find curved and straight snappers. Some climbers even call curved snappers as bent quickdraw snappers because of the shape. The choice of straight and bent snapper depends on your skill level.

You will find it easier to clip up the rope with a curved snapper as compared to straight snappers. If you want to climb on a wall or on a rock face, go for straight snappers for better performance.


Weak seams can impact the overall durability of the quickdraw. If you get quickdraws that have poor seams, then it will impact its lifespan. The seam is directly exposed to the load, so you should get quickdraws that have excellent seams so that it can bear heavy load without getting ripped off.

Even a small crack in the seam can affect the longevity of the quickdraw.


Quickdraws aren’t that expensive, but you can save some bucks if you make your budget beforehand. Always buy quickdraw sets so that you get a better deal. Some prominent brands like Mad Rock, Black Diamond, and Camp USA offer affordable quickdraws sets that you can get for climbing.

Rules to keep in mind when clipping with a quickdraw

Do you know how to clip a quickdraw? If not, here are some rules that you should keep in mind to make sure that you get the added support while leading. Here are some rules and tips that are worth your attention.

Rules to follow when clipping a quickdraw

  • Control the carabiner and rope with one hand
  • Clip the rope when it is between your chest and head
  • Never back clip when leading
  • Practice the art to clip using both hands

FAQs: Best Quickdraws

Q: What’s the average life of quickdraws?

A: Usually, quickdraws last for multiple years provided that you have a sturdy set that's made using high-quality material. The lifespan also depends on how you care for the quickdraws and how frequently you use them.

Q: Is it safe to use quickdraws?

A: Yes, using quickdraws is safe, and you cannot use any other gear in its place. Always go for branded quickdraws that last longer and are safe to use.

Q: Do I need a belt for quickdraws?

A: Yes, you can use a utility waist belt to hook the quickdraws for easy access. Make sure to buy a durable belt that can carry a heavy load and is comfortable to wear.

Q: What are the weak points of a quickdraw?

A: The two weak points of a quickdraw are the snapper and the carabiner. You should be extra careful when choosing the carabiner and snapper. In this guide, we have listed multiple factors that you should consider when choosing carabiners and snappers.

Q: Can I wash quickdraws?

A: Yes, you can rinse the quickdraws to clean off the dirt and other things that are making them look dirty. After cleaning, wipe the excess water from the carabiner and other components that can catch rust if exposed to moisture for too long.

Q: What are the benefits of using nose carabiners?

A: There are multiple benefits of using carabiners with a nose. The benefits include added safety while leading, high breaking load, and lesser risk of breakage. You will get added support with the carabiners, and carrying more weight will not damage the quickdraw.


Buying durable and sturdy quickdraws is essential when climbing, so you cannot afford to miss this buyer's guide. In the guide, we have listed multiple things that you should know when buying quickdraws.

Make a list of best quickdraws and then compare them based on these factors to select an ideal option. Don’t forget to check the customer reviews to determine the experience of the climbers that are using these quickdraws.

Lastly, pay attention to the weak points such as the carabiner and the snapper that quickly get damaged if you don't use the quickdraw properly.

Before you start climbing, inspect the gear, and check if you have fastened the quickdraws on your waist belt so that they are easily accessible. / - © Copyright 2020