How to Choose the Right Quickdraws for Sport Climbing

How to Choose the Right Quickdraws for Sport Climbing

Are you looking to upgrade your quickdraws for sport climbing but not sure where to start? Choosing the right quickdraws is crucial for your safety and performance on the rock. In this article, we will discuss the key factors to consider when selecting quickdraws for sport climbing, including length, weight, gate type, and more. Read on to learn how to make the best choice for your climbing adventures.

Types of Quickdraws

When it comes to sport climbing, choosing the right quickdraws can make a significant difference in your performance and safety. There are three main types of quickdraws to consider: wiregate quickdraws, solid-gate quickdraws, and mixed quickdraws.

Wiregate Quickdraws

Wiregate quickdraws are popular among sport climbers for their lightweight design and smooth clipping action. The gate on a wiregate quickdraw is made of a thin wire, which allows for quick and easy clipping while reducing the overall weight of the quickdraw. Wiregate quickdraws are ideal for climbers who prioritize speed and efficiency on the wall.

Solid-gate Quickdraws

Solid-gate quickdraws, also known as keylock quickdraws, feature a solid metal gate that eliminates the possibility of snagging on bolts or gear loops. This type of quickdraw is preferred by many climbers for its durability and reliability, especially in high-traffic areas where bolts may be worn down. Solid-gate quickdraws are a great choice for climbers who value security and ease of use.

Mixed Quickdraws

Mixed quickdraws combine the best features of both wiregate and solid-gate quickdraws. These quickdraws typically have a wiregate on the rope-end carabiner for easy clipping and a solid gate on the bolt-end carabiner for secure attachment to the bolt. Mixed quickdraws offer a balance of weight savings and security, making them a versatile choice for a variety of climbing situations.

In conclusion, the type of quickdraw you choose for sport climbing will depend on your personal preferences and climbing style. Whether you prefer the lightweight efficiency of wiregate quickdraws, the durability of solid-gate quickdraws, or the versatility of mixed quickdraws, it’s important to select quickdraws that inspire confidence and help you perform your best on the rock.

Length and Weight

When it comes to choosing quickdraws for sport climbing, two important factors to consider are the length and weight of the quickdraws. These factors can impact not only the performance of the quickdraws but also your overall climbing experience.

Choosing the Right Length

The length of a quickdraw refers to the distance between the two carabiners. The standard length for most quickdraws is around 10-12 centimeters, but you can also find shorter or longer options depending on your preference.

Shorter quickdraws are lighter and less bulky, making them ideal for climbs with closely spaced bolts or when weight is a concern. On the other hand, longer quickdraws provide more reach and flexibility, which can be beneficial on overhanging routes or when trying to reduce rope drag.

Ultimately, the right length for your quickdraws will depend on the specific climbs you are tackling and your personal climbing style. It’s a good idea to have a mix of different lengths in your climbing gear arsenal to accommodate a variety of situations.

Considerations for Weight

The weight of a quickdraw can also have a significant impact on your climbing performance. Heavier quickdraws can weigh you down and make it more difficult to move quickly and efficiently on the wall. On the other hand, ultra-light quickdraws may sacrifice durability and strength.

When choosing quickdraws for sport climbing, it’s important to strike a balance between weight and performance. Look for quickdraws that are lightweight yet sturdy, with a good balance of materials and construction. Aluminum carabiners are typically lighter than steel ones, while Dyneema slings are lighter than nylon ones.

Keep in mind that the weight of your quickdraws can add up quickly, especially if you’re carrying a full rack on a multi-pitch climb. Consider the weight of each quickdraw in relation to the length of your climb and choose a set that will work best for your needs.

Strength and Durability

When choosing the right quickdraws for sport climbing, strength and durability are crucial factors to consider. Quickdraws are subjected to high forces and potential falls, so you want to ensure that they can withstand the demands of climbing. Look for quickdraws that are made with strong materials and have a solid construction to ensure they can handle the rigors of climbing routes.

Kilonewton Ratings

One important aspect to consider when selecting quickdraws is their kilonewton (kN) ratings. The kN rating indicates the strength of the quickdraw and its ability to withstand forces. Typically, quickdraws have two kN ratings – one for the gate open strength and one for the closed gate strength. Make sure to choose quickdraws with high kN ratings to ensure they can handle any potential falls or impacts during climbing.

Material and Construction

The material and construction of quickdraws play a significant role in their strength and durability. Quickdraws are typically made with materials such as aluminum, steel, or a combination of both. Aluminum quickdraws are lightweight and suitable for sport climbing, while steel quickdraws are more durable and can withstand more abuse. Pay attention to the construction of the quickdraws, including the gate mechanism and sling material, to ensure they are well-made and reliable for climbing.

Gate Types

When choosing the right quickdraws for sport climbing, one of the key factors to consider is the type of gate that the quickdraws have. There are three main types of gates that you will come across: straight gate, bent gate, and wire gate.

Straight Gate

Straight gate quickdraws are the most common type of gate used in sport climbing. They are easy to clip and unclip, making them a popular choice for lead climbing. The straight gate design allows for quick and efficient clipping, which is essential when moving quickly up a route.

Bent Gate

Bent gate quickdraws have a slightly curved gate, which makes clipping the rope easier than with a straight gate. This type of gate is often used on the rope end of the quickdraw, as it provides a larger opening for the rope to slide into. Bent gate quickdraws are a good option for climbers who struggle with clipping the rope quickly and efficiently.

Wire Gate

Wire gate quickdraws have a gate made of thin wire, which makes them lightweight and easy to handle. They are less prone to freezing in cold weather compared to solid gates, making them a popular choice for alpine and ice climbing. Wire gate quickdraws are also less likely to gate flutter, which can be a common issue with solid gates in windy conditions.

When choosing the right quickdraws for sport climbing, consider the gate type that best suits your climbing style and preferences. Each gate type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to test out different types to see which one works best for you.


In conclusion, selecting the right quickdraws for sport climbing is a crucial decision that can impact your safety and performance on the rock. By considering factors such as weight, length, gate type, and price, you can make an informed choice that suits your climbing style and preferences. Whether you prefer lightweight and quick-clipping draws for redpoint attempts or more durable options for projecting hard routes, there are a variety of options available on the market to meet your needs. Remember to always prioritize safety and functionality when choosing quickdraws for your next climbing adventure.