For both sport and general use, I would probably avoid the cheapest option of DMM Prowires. They were brilliant in 2000 but DMM Spectre 2 and WC Helium (or Nitro) are much, much better if you want a 'full size' straight back wiregate. In fact I would go as far as the say that the WC Heliums are still the best wiregate, period. They are also the most expensive so I would say you certainly cannot go wrong with DMM Spectre 2 if you want a safe bet to cover both sport and trad.
That said, there are very few krabs on sale these days that are anything other than perfectly adequate, so in the end, personal preference and what is on special offer are probably the biggest considerations.
All round draws something like the spectre 2/heliums are great. - Try to get lighter than the budget ones as you'll be using them for a number of years. money permitting.
Wire gates are fine.
If just sport climbing, then you can go for the heavier but more robust/easy to grap and pull on types. Eg alphas etc.
Why don't you rate the Prowires anymore out of interest?
They seem to be at least as good as any other brand's (not including the Helium, which is made by DMM anyway) top end wire gates.
DMM Alpha Trads look quite nice, but like you if I was wanting some big krabs for all round use I would probably go for Spectre 2s.
If its for sport , you cant go wrong with DMM shadows (clean nose, nice smooth clipping) which you should be able to get as cosmetic seconds , with petzl express tapes (nice and stiff,and good for dogging)
Buying a premade quickdraw is often cheaper than buying two separate carabiners so can be worthwhile in some situations.
The Prowire shape is a fairly big compromise. It was designed as very 'triangular' in order to keep the weight down. I never had any real problems with them, but another MIA I know did and convinced me that the shape is not really ideal (IIRC it was to do with cross-loading, but this late at night the details escape me).
The compelling argument to me is taking everything in the round. You can now get a Spectre 2 wiregate which is 11% lighter, 12.5% stronger open gate AND it has a much better shape with no compromises as regards handling and all-round use.
Prowires are not bad, it is more that Spectre 2s are now so much better.
FWIW my rack is currently all original Spectres as I got them massively cheaply as the Spectre 2 was coming out.
that is clearly not the case, and here is why:
- the dmm draw is only 104g which is only slightly more than a more traditional one eg the BD Hotwire at 91g
- advising the saving of 13g per draw for somebody who is probably climbing VS renders your argument invalid :p
- many climbers (myself included) use pre-made draws for both sport and trad. Those of us who really care about such things might end up with a trad set and a sport set over the longer term but until then your bog standard quick draw will suffice for both.
- the home made draws which you are alluding to can be useful for extending pieces (typically a 60cm sling doubled over) and I carry two on my trad rack, however the OP should be aware of the safety issues:
- at 16 quid a draw, that is the same price as buying 2 biners separately, so i'm not sure there is necessarily an economic argument to be made.
err so there.
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