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Wire gate or full gate, what's your quickdraw going to be?

Quickdraw Carabiners

How to Choose Quickdraws

When you are out shopping for quickdraws there are several things to look out for. The three basic questions you need to ask yourself are first of all, how many quickdraws do I need? Second, ask yourself what gate opening you need/prefer. And finally you need to decide on the length of the sling. More advanced climbers know that there is a bit more to it, like carabiner size&shape or sling material&width and of course weight strength ratio but let's stick to the first 3 for now. 

So here we will be focusing on point 2, what gate opening do you need?

What gate opening do I need?

The 3 main gate openings on quickdraws are:

Straight Gate - straight gate: solid straight gates that are easy to operate

Bent Gate - bent gate:  concave gate that makes clipping a rope quick and easy

wire gate - wire gate: loop of stainless-steel wire for a gate decreasing overall weight 

Also watch out for the keylock system, a system which keeps the carabiner from hooking and catching on your harness gear loop and other annoying places, by giving it a smooth notch at the point where gate and carabiner interact. 

keylock it can be found on some straight&bent gate openings. You will most likely pay a little extra for this but it's worth it.

non keylock Wire gate are always non keylock quickdraws.

Now that you know what gates and openings there are, which one should you choose?

Full gate is solid, weighs a bit more and most likely has a keylock system. They are the standard quickdraws, come in different lengths and colours but are generally more than enoiugh for sports climbing. 

The wire gate is a bit more fragile, weighs less and most likely does not have the keylock system. These draws are first of all better for alpinism, with dropping temperatures the wire gate has no risk of freezing shut the way a full gate would do. They are better if you have to carry loads of gear, every gram saved is essential. The only downside is the unclipping of plaquettes. It can get annoying when the little hook on the biner gets stuck in the bolt, however this is on the way down so it will not impact your climb.