Spirit Express 12cm
The SPIRIT EXPRESS quickdraw offers better clipping for sport climbing. Weighing less than 100 g, it is versatile and moves easily from the crag to long sport routes. It has a straight-gate SPIRIT carabiner on top and a bent-gate version on bottom. The top carabiner, equipped with the Keylock system and a special nose shape, facilitates clipping and unclipping the anchor. The bottom carabiner, with bent gate and Keylock system, facilitates clipping the rope. The EXPRESS sling is equipped with a STRING protector to hold the lower carabiner in position. Its ergonomic shape offers excellent grip when working a route.
- H-shaped profile offers an improved strength/weight ratio
- wider contact surfaces for better rope glide and reduced wear on the carabiner
- SPIRIT straight gate (upper part): facilitates clipping and unclipping, thanks to the Keylock system and the shape of its nose
- SPIRIT bent gate (lower part): facilitates clipping the rope, thanks to the Keylock system
- ergonomic shape for excellent grip
- lower end equipped with STRING to hold the carabiner in position and protect the webbing from wear
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Warning: This video is dubbed in English. If you're getting antsy, skip to section 7:40-8:15 for one of the most interesting parts, where they show a hardware specific camera inspection.
No one draw can have every feature or be best at everything, but when it comes to sport climbing, our Editors' Choice winning Petzl Spirit Express is our hands down favorite. It clips and unclips better than most other draws that we tested, and the ease of grabbing can't be beat. They are not the lightest draw, but the updated model shaves some ounces off your rack and wont weigh you down as much when you go for that hard on-sight attempt. They are on the expensive side, but we consider it money well spent. We're happy that Petzl didn't mess with near perfection when they retooled the Spirit Express.
Overall, the Spirit Express has become my favorite quickdraw for both sport and trad climbing. If I had to make a recommendation in terms of choosing sizes, I’d opt for a 50/50 split between 12cm and 17cm lengths.
While you can order individual 12cm slings for $4.95, it would also be great for Petzl to offer Spirit Express in a 21cm or even 30cm size for steep or traversing sport climbs when you need extended slings.
Testers found the clipping action of both biners snappy and easy to perform. An increase in the surface area of the rope basket will reduce the erosion of that high-friction area, so it won’t turn into a rope-damaging sharp edge. Lastly, Petzl redesigned the dogbone (available in two lengths: 12cm and 17cm) by giving it an ergonomic grip shape (smaller at the top and wider at the bottom), making it easier to grab onto when working routes.
Quickdraws are utilitarian and having the best ones available isn't going to make you climb harder, but even though your 1991 Chevy Cavalier will still get you to the crag, it sure would be fun to roll up in a Ferrari. The new Petzl Spirit Express quickdraw is the Ferrari of quickdraws. Since their debut in 1991, the old Spirit draw has been a tried and true favorite among sport climbers. Now, Petzl has refined every detail to improve it while still maintaining the much-loved design.
The draw has an fumble-resistant stiffness that I like, and the sling is wider at the bottom than the top, making a nice gripping handle for pulling through bolt-to-bolt.
Weight is middling. At about 100 grams for the 17-cm and 93 grams for the 12-cm version, these draws aren't featherlight. They are solid, beefy draws that can take a lot of wear and tear. They are especially durable for temporarily fixing on projects: Their thick H-frame construction lets them tolerate bolt hangers and they are kind to your rope. The Spirit Express does cost about $6 more than other draws in the same class, such as the Black Diamond Positron. Think of them as lifetime investments.