How to choose your quickdraws


Need to get started or replace your rock climbing or mountaineering gear? We’re here to help you choose!

What is a quickdraw and what is it used for? 

You’ve heard of quickdraws and pairs, but you’re not entirely sure what they are. Let’s look at the definition you’ll find in our glossary of climbing terms. A quickdraw consists of “two carabiners connected by a sling... (they form a pair)”. For lead climbing, pass the first carabiner through the anchoring device set in the rock, and the second through the rope, to make sure you climb safely.
In concrete terms, you need quickdraws to keep you safe during ascent.
Quickdraws have two non-locking carabiners.
These two carabiners are different: one is straight so that it can be attached easily to the anchoring device, the other is bent so that the rope can be passed through.

As is often the case with climbing, the quickdraws that are best for you will depend on the type of terrain and your objectives.

  • How to choose your quickdraws

    For single-pitch climbing on a bolted rock face

    For single-pitch climbing, you need to consider the practical aspect first and foremost: you must be able to clip (attach) your quickdraws easily to the anchoring devices. In other words, you need standard carabiners (solid straight gates) with a thick sling. The thicker the sling, the more rigid it is, and that can help you position the quickdraws more easily. On top of that, it you are working on a movement, a rigid sling will be easier to pull on and clip.

  • How to choose your quickdraws

    Do you enjoy lead climbing? 

    The Panic Kong quickdraw was designed for clipping hard-to-reach anchoring devices! It is a rigid quickdraw with extra reach for an easy catch of the most distant anchoring devices.
    Its carabiner is fitted with a system that keeps the gate open until it is clipped to the anchoring device.

  • How to choose your quickdraws

    For multi-pitch climbing and mountaineering

    For multi-pitch climbing and mountaineering, your quickdraw needs to be lightweight. You will usually take a dozen or so quickdraws with you. So every gram saved is one less gram to carry! The carabiners are usually smaller and fitted with a wire gate.

How to choose your quickdraws

Wire gate, solid gate... what’s the difference?

The gate is the part of the carabiner that moves when you open and close it. On versions with lightweight carabiners, it is hollowed out: we call it a wire gate.

On standard versions, you’ll see the terms “solid” or “tubular” gate.  

Length, how many quickdraws... Read on to find out the right answer!

  • How long should your quickdraw be? 

    Several quickdraw lengths are available. Most range between 11 and 17 cm. Though lengths vary depending on the brand and technology. Key takeaways: a quickdraw for every situation, as little rubbing as possible for your rope. Generally speaking, if the route is straight up along the wall, short quickdraws will do the job. However, if the route zigzags, you will need longer quickdraws to reduce drag, which means excessive rubbing between the rope and the quickdraw carabiner.
    So the idea is to take several quickdraws of different lengths, so you are prepared for any situation. For rock climbing and multi-pitch climbing, you will need to prepare your expedition and check out the location beforehand to help you decide which quickdraw lengths you require.

  • How many quickdraws should you take? 

    It all depends on the length of the route you’re going to attempt. Before you set off, talk to other climbers who have completed the route recently, or get hold of a guidebook to find out more about the site.
    Generally speaking, if you have a dozen or so quickdraws (including two big ones) with you, you’re well covered. That said, preparing your route is crucial and will help you decide exactly how many quickdraws you need to achieve your goal!

You’re all set! If you have any more questions, please send them to us in the comments box.