Quickdraws should be inspected before every use as per the manufacturer’s instructions. On carabiners, keep an eye out for sharp rope grooves, easy operation of the gate mechanism, and wear from contact with bolts or rock. Inspect quickdraw slings (dogbones) for frayed edges, damaged stitching, and check that it is still within its maximum usable lifespan from the date of manufacture. Replace quickdraw components immediately if they are not in good condition, and refer to the manufacturer’s instructions if you are unsure.
Quickdraws are an essential part of a climber’s rack, allowing the connection of the climbing rope to a bolt or piece of protection while reducing rope drag. Quickdraws are assembled with two carabiners and a sewn sling, and are often cheaper than buying these components individually.
Quickdraws are available in a range of lengths to suit different climbing conditions. While shorter 12cm and 18cm quickdraws are often suitable for sport climbing routes, longer quickdraws are essential for wandering routes to reduce rope drag. When trad climbing, longer quickdraws help extend the sling on your protection, reducing rope drag and ensuring that any force on the protection is in the desired direction of pull. Alpine draws are commonly made with two carabiners and a 60cm sling, allowing even more extension for severely wandering routes or to reduce rope drag through an overhang.