We are positively spoilt for quality gear these days, and the arrival of the Italian Climbing Technology (CT) brand in the UK just further adds options to your gear shopping. I've been using their Nimble and Lime quickdraw models for all my climbing over the last three months, and haven't found much to complain about.
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As friends have been about to set off up a route, I've pinched all their quickdraws off their harnesses and replaced them with the CT draws and then quizzed them on their return to terra firma as to what they thought. "Yeah, well, ummm... they're fine aren't they?" has been the standard response. Nothing flashy, nothing amazing but, resolutely, nobody has had a bad word to say about them.
So, a little more description is order. Both the Nimble and Lime draws are plain-gate karabiners: a straight gate at the top, and a bent gate at the business end. The Limes are small, classic offset D shape krabs and weigh a very reasonable 43g per 'biner.
The Nimbles are bigger, slightly heavier at 50g, and have a kinked back bar giving both a wider gate opening and making the krab slightly easier to steady for a clip. For those old enough to remember some classic 90s gear, the Nimbles are quite reminiscent of DMM Truclips: a much-loved design.
The Limes I used came with short dyneema slings with a nifty plastic widget that holds the bent gate krab firmly in place for clipping. My Nimbles came with the same length but wider nylon slings, making them slightly more comfortable to grab when bolt to bolting. The Nimble draws, reflecting their bigger size, are also stronger with a 10kn gate open strength compared to the Lime's 8kns, which makes them as strong as current top-of-the-line sport krabs from the likes of DMM and Petzl. Both models have great keylock gate designs making them less likely to catch on anything when clipping and that makes stripping sport climbs a breeze.
"...Climbing Technology look set to provide the more established brands in the UK, both domestic and imported, some healthy competition...."
Overall, the Nimble is more clearly designed as a sport climbing draw, and in that role it does very well, while not costing too much. The Lime quickdraw is probably designed as more of an all-rounder for anyone who favours a plain-gate style over wiregates. They may feel a little small in the hand for some but I could still clip them ok with medium weight ice climbing gloves on and the pronounced nose helps locate the rope in the right place to push it through the gate when using them on sport routes. Smaller size of course also means lower weight.
The biggest drawback with the Lime quickdraws I received to review is that they only came with 10cm slings. While this works fine in many cases, most trad climbers like to also have some longer floppier quickdraws to make gear lifting out less of a possibility. CT are soon offering the same krabs but with the option of 12, 17 or 22 cm dyneema slings, or 12 or 17 cm nylon slings, so look now to be on to a winner with climbers looking for lightweight, non-wiregate 'biners for all sorts of different climbing. The Nimble draws are also now sold with the same option of three different length dyneema, and two different lengths of nylon slings. Both quickdraws will be available in either coloured or slightly cheaper polished finishes. Many will be happy to take the advantages of different sling lengths.
So, in conclusion, both the Nimble and Lime quickdraws are solid products with few downsides. It is great that you can now get them with a mix of sling lengths unlike the ones I tested that all came with short slings. Those with big hands might find the Limes a little small (although they aren't as small as things like BD Neutrinos and DMM Phantoms) otherwise it's all good. Climbing Technology look set to provide the more established brands in the UK, both domestic and imported, some healthy competition. And for the climber shopping for new gear, that can only be a good thing.
MORE INFO: on the Climbing Technology website
About Toby ArcherToby Archer is based in Finland, where he works as a researcher specialising in terrorism and political Islam.
He describes himself as an "international politics think-tanker, perennial PhD student, hopeless but enthusiastic climber, part-time gear reviewer, often angry cyclist, idealist, cynic."
Climbing keeps him from getting too depressed about politics. He blogs about both at:
UKC Articles and Gear Reviews by Toby Archer: