/ GEAR REVIEW: DMM Shadow and Phantom Quickdraws by TobyA

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Michael Ryan - on 05 Nov 2007
Just before the snow started to fly TobyA took the DMM Shadow and Phantom Quickdraws for a ride at Rollarit, near Helsinki.

"For most of us punters the weight of the gear isn’t the thing that is going to stop us from getting up a route or not, but for anyone who has to carry their rack in a pack for a couple of hours uphill, you’ll take my point. Secondly, when you are pushing your grade on long mountain or sea cliff pitches, lighter gear helps you carry your courage with you; allowing you to take those extra pieces that might be the difference between doing the crux, or backing down psyched out by it."

You can read his first impressions here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=606
Skyfall - on 05 Nov 2007
Interesting review Toby.

You're always worth listening too and I 100% agree with you on this. Phantoms get a big thumbs up. I bought a handful of shortish ones and now have a full set, plus I then bought a separate set of the DMM extenders so that I can convert them to trad stylee all with long slings. They have been my QD of choice ever since. They weigh nothing and they clip just fine, despite small size.

The only think I have not given them a proper test on is steep sports routes. So far they've been given thorough try outs in the alps on big rock routes (trad and clip up) and UK trad. Excellent on both. My climbing partner has also re-equipped with them on the back of this.

The Shadows feel lovely but I wasn't convinced enough by them to shell out for a set for sports stuff. Think I'll see how the Phantoms go first. If they don't clip too well when pressured on steep stuff I'll consider them again.

TRip - on 05 Nov 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Interesting Toby. I've also written some gubbins on the Phantom, I'll type it up and up load it soon.

An interesting ponit to consider with the Phantom's size is comparing to the old DMM prowire. Hold them next to each other and the prowire is only 1mm wider and the same length.

Having use the BD is oz, it is marinally smaller then Phantom, which i feel is at the limits of useability.

The majority of my Quickdraws are spectres, with a few heliums and revolvers. In my opinon biners of this size are much better all round crabs.

I use phantoms for my cams and have been very impressed, by their size and weight.

I would consider putting them on the gear end of my quicdraws; but it isn't as if that will make me lead E5!
In reply to JonC: Have you noticed any difference with them not having any shrouding around the gate? i.e. the gate getting pushed open against the rock? I used to have lots of Wild Wires and it was one of things I never liked so much about them. In comparison the DMM Sheilds and WC Helium have really clever gates which totally enclose the end of the gate in krab body.

Its one of those things where it is really hard to tell how important it is.
John2 - on 06 Nov 2007
In reply to TobyA: Last year I was resting on a cam on a route at Bamford when I noticed that the unshrouded nose of the krab had allowed it to come open. I made a substantial investment in Wild Country Heliums soon afterwards - a similar situation could easily occur in a fall.
In reply to John2: I've noticed very similar which makes you wonder just how often it happens with rope drag on krabs below you that you can't see doesn't it?!
Skyfall - on 08 Nov 2007
In reply to TobyA:

Not really noticed this as a big issue though have seen it happen on rare occasions (with old BD and WC wiregates).

> Its one of those things where it is really hard to tell how important it is.

Yes and I have to admit I tend not to worry about it too much. My fuzzy thinking is that gate open strength is not that bad on most and you'd need to really take a big lob for it to matter, and it would be v v bad luck to have a big lob and a gate to be held open. But maybe I am entirely wrong here..
Fiend - on 08 Nov 2007
In reply to TobyA:

Is the lack of gate shrouding really an unusual issue. Unless I'm deluded / deranged, haven't all solid gates and many wire gates come without shrouded gates anyway??
In reply to Fiend:

> Is the lack of gate shrouding really an unusual issue.
No its not that unusual at all, but it is definitely something that separates the cheaper wire-gate-banged-on-an-old-plain-gate-biner-body from the purpose designed wire gates. Interestingly the first wiregate - the BD hotwire does have shrouding - beside weight, they are still my fave wire gates, its amazing they got it that right first time around.

> Unless I'm deluded / deranged, haven't all solid gates and many wire gates come without shrouded gates anyway??

Solid gates don't but maybe their rounded shape makes them less likely to be pushed open? It would be interesting if Simon from DMM, or anyone else involved in krab design could comment on this:

Gate shrouding - worthwhile safety feature or go-faster stripe of krab design?

In reply to JonC:

> Yes and I have to admit I tend not to worry about it too much. My fuzzy thinking is that gate open strength is not that bad on most and you'd need to really take a big lob for it to matter, and it would be v v bad luck to have a big lob and a gate to be held open. But maybe I am entirely wrong here..

I tend to agree with you, but krabs do break from time to time which is why I like krabs with gate open strenghts of 9kns. Supposedly 7 kn is doable in a not too massive fall.

The funny Swede who cycled to Everest and back, Goran Kröpp, died single pitch cragging in a "normal" fall when a krab broke. So very rarely it does have awful consequences.
Fiend - on 08 Nov 2007
In reply to TobyA:

Good points, I agree. Anyone would think you were smart ;).

Errr I think the shrouding is good, although I like it because it tends to produce "notchless" gates that won't snag on wires etc whilst desperately clipping / unclipping (the Helium being a prime example). DMM do do that one with the little ball in the end and the twisted gate but the twisted gate just doesn't feel good to me...

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