“Light is right” is the mantra of the alpinist and the trad climber, who face long approaches and expeditions in the mountains. Weight is a bit less important for the recreational sport climber, who often doesn’t venture very far for their climbs.
Nonetheless, ultralight quickdraws do exist for sport climbers who are looking to shave a few grams from their crag packs. Most of the quickdraws in this roundup aren’t the lightest ones possible, but rather the models which combine lightness with premium design.
For climbers looking to upgrade their quickdraws, this list is the place to start.
Wild Country Helium 3.0
Weight: 83 grams
Expensive, but high quality, the Wild Country Helium is the best ultralight quickdraw we have ever tried. The carabiners are light, while still remaining large in your hand, making clipping easy. The snag-free, hooded design works well and remains grit-free even when ice or desert climbing.
The downside: the noses on these carabiners are so large that they will not fit through some older protection, such as pitons and ancient bolts. For modern sport climbing bolts, there is no problem.
Single draw: $$22 on Amazon
Multi-pack: $150 for a 6-pack on Amazon
Petzl Ange Finesse L
Weight: 78 grams (with L carabiners), 63 grams (with S carabiners)
The Ange is Petzl’s most innovative carabiner, and it has avid fans and detractors in equal measure. We like the non-traditional gate design ( a single wire), as well as the in-hand feel of the Ange L (large) carabiners. For those of you who want to save every ounce possible, consider using the Ange S (small) carabiners.
This quickdraw comes in a few configurations, with different options for both the carabiners (L and S) and the dogbone (10 or 17cm).
Petzl Ange S versus Ange L Carabiners
The Petzl Ange S weighs 28g and fits in the palm of an average hand. It is best considered a micro-carabiner in competition with the Camp Nano 22.
The Petzl Ange L weighs 34g and is slightly larger than your palm — consider it a “normal” sized carabiner. Learn more on the Petzl site.
Single Draw: $26 on Amazon
Multi-Pack: Not available
DMM Alpha Trad
Weight: 79 grams
These are similar to the Wild Country quickdraws, featuring huge baskets and wide noses. As the name implies, these quickdraws are for trad climbers — the skinny dyneema slings don’t offer great ergonomics for grabbing. Sport climbers who like to dog their way up routes may prefer the heavier, beefier DMM Alpha Sport. Those looking for the best ultralight gear, however, should stick with the Alpha Trad Quickdraws.
Multi-pack: $145 for a 5-pack on Amazon.
Single draw: $31 on Amazon
Black Diamond Miniwire Quickdraw
Weight: 53 grams
The miniwire is new to Black Diamond’s lineup for 2020, and therefore we have not tested this quickdraw personally. However, it has two big advantages: it is cheap and light. The miniwire carabiners are small, asyou can see in the photo abovIn our testing the action on the gates is much less pleasant than on the similarly-sized Petzl Ange S carabiners. But the miniwire is a lot cheaper, a definite advantage for the climber looking for a budget recommendation.
Multi-pack: 5 quickdraws for $85 on Amazon
Single draw: $15 on Amazon
Looking for more recommendations on sport climbing gear? Check out our article on the best Personal Anchor Systems.