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    Quickdraw: An Essential Rock Climbing Gear

    By on Last modified: November 8, 2021

    Over the past few years, climbing has become one of the most popular sports  among Aussies for many reasons. It’s healthy, fun and thrilling, so it’s not surprising that a lot of people love it. As with any other sport, staying safe while climbing is fundamental, which is why you should stock on the needed gear . Out of all pieces of equipment, one of the most underrated parts is climbing quickdraws.


    What Are Climbing Quickdraws?

    A quickdraw is a piece of equipment that can be used in many sports but mainly in climbing. Its main purpose is to allow the climbing rope to run freely through bolt anchors or some other type of gear. When looking to buy quickdraws, you need to take into account three main things: the carabiner gates, the sling length and quantity.

    Carabiner Gates

    There are three types of gates on quickdraw carabiners: straight, bent and wire. Straight-gate carabiners are quite common and they have solid straight gates which are quite easy to use. Bent gate carabiners have a concave gate which makes clipping a rope easy and fast, which explains the reason why they are used only for the rope-end of quickdraws. 

    Straight and bent carabiners can also be used as keylock carabiners. These have a smooth notch where the gate and carabiner’s nose interact, keeping the carabiner from hooking and catching on the harness gear loop, bolt hangers, etc. Once you get more into climbing, you’ll find this feature very useful.

    Carabiner Gates

    Wire gate carabiners have a loop for a gate that is made of stainless steel wire and its main purpose is to decrease the overall weight and eliminate the need for extra parts that can be found in solid gates. When compared to the two other types of carabiners, the wire gate is less likely to vibrate open during a fall. It is also less likely to freeze up in cold temperatures which makes it ideal for ice climbers or mountaineers.

    Sling Length

    Another important thing to have in mind when buying climbing quickdraws is the sling’s length. There are different types of slings out of which the longer ones seem to be more effective at reducing rope drag. However, they also have their downsides, which is why taking into account all of the options is paramount in order to make the right choice.

    Short-Length Slings

    The short length slings are about 10 – 12cm long and they are great almost for any situation when the route is mainly straight.

    Medium Length Slings

    The medium-length slings are somewhere between 17cm and 18cm and they are useful for reducing rope drag. This goes especially when the route is more than 12 quickdraws long or when the route is not straight. You will need both short and medium length slings, especially if you are a sport climber. This will help you be ready for whatever route you plan to make when climbing.

    Short-Length Slings

    How Many Quickdraws Do I Need?

    This will mainly depend on where and how long your climb will be. Most sport routes need at least 12 rock climbing quickdraws, while longer sport routes require around 16 – 18 quickdraws. If you’re going on extremely long routes, then you will need more than 25 quickdraws. It never hurts to carry extra quickdraws on your harness as you can never know what the adventure will bring.

    Some other important things to have in mind when looking for the right type of quickdraws is choosing the right carabiner size and shape, as well as the carabiner gate open clearance. You should also think about the overall quickdraws’ weight (they shouldn’t be heavy) as well as the sling’s material (usually made of nylon, polyester and ultra-high molecular weight – UHMW).


    How to Clip Quickdraws?

    Clipping a quickdraw is quite simple, however, there are some tricks and techniques that you should acquire. The easiest way to do this is by following the general rules and practising with your very own quickdraws. If you are a beginner and completely new to this, working with a professional or more experienced climber might be needed in order to perform these techniques safely and independently. Make sure you master them before attempting to perform them on your own and unsupervised.