No longer considered appropriate solely for sport climbs or “clip-ups,” quickdraws have become standard equipment on almost every climber’s rack. Crack climbers, trad climbers and ice climbers alike all agree that they’re time-savers and a vital piece of the climbing system. Used to reduce rope drag and to prevent accidental dislodging of protection on the lead, quickdraws are specialized pieces of equipment that come in a variety of styles, lengths and with varying types of carabiners dedicated to either end.
In general, longer ‘draws are better for wandering face climbs (tripled shoulder slings like our Alpine Draws are the best) or traditional crack climbs, but for short routes that are—primarily—bolt-protected, shorter quickdraws are the norm. For ice climbing, select one of the Five-O series draws for their ease-of-use with gloves; if you’re on a budget, select the Dirtbag Draws for their low cost. No matter what your preference or style of climbing, you’ll find an Omega Pacific quickdraw that’s up to the task.
We orient our carabiners on all our standard quickdraws with the gates facing opposite each other. We feel that this is the safest method to minimize the possibility of simultaneously loading both carabiners in a gate-open position while leading routes which may wander above and to the left or right of your last placement. Under certain circumstances, it is possible for both gates to open during a fall as the ‘draw is scraped along the rock while it orients iteself below the point of protection. By opposing the carabiners on a draw, we reduce the possibility of simultaneous gate-opening in this manner.