I'm buying my first set of quickdraws in advance of a sport climbing trip to the costa blanca, but I want to use them for trad and possibly winter as well. So all rounders.
I'm a fairly novice climber just now but, perhaps optimistically, see my self sport climbing in the high sevens and something similar for trad in the next few years (e4/5?). No idea about winter climbing really.
I've found the following at around a tenner a pop
DMM spectre, DMM phantoms and Wildcountry nitros.
I think the DMM spectres are winning just now as bigger than the phantoms and they have the non snag nose thing going on.
Any thoughts/recommendations/links to good deals most appreciated.
Well, the key issues are a) size of the krab (standard vs micro), b) length of the tape and c) wiregate vs solid.
I think you have chosen all wiregates, two standard size and one micro (phantom).
Wiregates are supposed to be less prone to gate "flutter" and so arguably safer if you fall. Many, however, find solid gates easier to clip and somehow more reassuring on sports routes. Some people get quickdraws with a solid gate at one end a wiregate at the other - supposed best of both worlds. I recall Black Diamon did one such set but you could make your own up even (tho probably an expensive way to do it).
Micro vs standard size is just personal choice. Some people claim the micros are fiddly to use if you have big hands but I have a rack of phantoms and get on v well with them. In winter, however, you undoubtedly be better off with full size krabs due to wearing gloves.
For sports you want primarily short tapes in between the krabs, whereas for trad you want a good range of longer tapes. Note, however, you can buy tapes of different lengths separately and convert your quickdraws fairly quickly.
It's hard to have one set of quickdraws to be a perfect all rounder. I have a sports set of short solid gate QD's and a trad set of phantoms with mostly long tapes.
I would perhaps go for the krabs of your choice and get them all with short tapes (for sports) but buy half a dozen long tapes separately (DMM do them for example) and just convert them as and when.
In reply to Donnie: I like your optimism regarding your climbing. Best of luck with that! When i started out 20 years ago I was trying to lead VS but have finally made it up to about e3. It took 20 years though which is a pretty slow progression.
v12 outdoor have good deals on the wildcountry nitros as have rock and run. But they can snag stripping steep sport routes. You will pay more for the dmm spectre 2. I think if I were you I would go for the nitros at the moment. I have used them and they are a great all rounder.
In reply to Donnie: IMO the best all-round quickdraw available in your price range is probably the DMM Spectre which you've already shortlisted. However the Nitro is very similar and you would not go too far wrong with buying either of them as a starting point.
In a couple of years you can then decide whether you are predominantly sport climbing and perhaps look at (generally more expensive) specialised sport draws or go down the route of the latest superlight 'micro' krabs for trad.
PS Needlesports for the Spectres, Rock+Run for Nitros or GoOutdoors (via their price match) if you are just after Nitros in 15cm.
In reply to Donnie: It is also worth bearing in mind length which is important. Most people tend to have a seperate set for sport and trad. Short for sport and long for trad. You can still use the same draws for both but you will definately need at least 5 or 6 long draws for trad to stop the gear being pulled out when the rope moves.
In reply to all: Thanks for the advice. Looks like Iíll be getting the spectres or the nitros for now then.
At least for the foreseeable future Iím going to be using the same quickdraws for sport and trad and not getting separate quickdraw slings. Although I'll have some slings and crabs for extending. So, in a rack of twelve what lengths should I get?
Nitors come in 10, 15 and 20 cm but I think the 20cms are sold out at the website Iíd found the deal at.
Spectres come in 12, 18 and 25.
And if I get spectres I need to buy in multiples of five.
> Most people tend to have a seperate set for sport and trad.
I think that in reality very few people do.
I've used the one set of draws for the last 18 years for everything. A separate set has been on my 'wishlist' for perhaps the last decade but dozens of other items of climbing or mountaineering equipment (or paying for trips/expeds) have always been more far important.
> Short for sport and long for trad.
In practice 15cm-18cm works fine for both. Using a single krab helps cater for most of the rare exceptions when sport climbing.
> You can still use the same draws for both but you will definately need at least 5 or 6 long draws for trad to stop the gear being pulled out when the rope moves.
I'm afraid that is utter nonsense. You do not "definately need at least 5 or 6 long draws for trad" even if you could spell correctly.
I rarely carry anything other than standard 15-18cm extenders. I've not owned any 25cm-30cm extenders and I've not carried more than 2 extendable ones for most of the last decade and never have any problems.
Some people find long draws useful but they are certainly not essential. A few 60cm/120cm slings and some spare wiregates are more than a sufficient alternative even on the longest or most awkward pitches.
You should remember when trying to offer advice that there is not a 'one size fits all' solution to how people choose to climb.
> (In reply to The Ex-Engineer) Sorry for offending you. I retract all my advice and wallow to your superior views.
You must be feeling pretty low at the moment. Don't dwell on it, trust me there are always others out there that know better than you, and they are always keen to foister their 'one size fit's all' response on to anyone offering their personal opinion, and to and anyone that accepts it. Chin up, eh.