With a lot of new quickdraws these days, we find ourselves trying to fumble the rope through tiny wire gates, or a thin strip of dyneema cutting into our hands as we pull on the dogbone to cheat out way through the crux. Which is just one of the reasons we’re fans of the Black Diamond LiveWire Quickdraw: for those of you without child-sized hands but still looking for a top-end draw, look no further.
The LiveWire has a nice, large, solid-gate Nitron carabiner on top, and a similarly-sized LiveWire wiregate on the bottom. The latter incorporates Black Diamond’s proprietary HoodWire design: a piece of metal on either side of the nose prevents it from snagging on your harness or other gear; this means it functions like a keylock carabiner, but still saves weight compared to the solid gate. We enjoy wiregates for the rope-side biner— we find they allow for a quicker, more responsive clip—so we appreciate this design choice.
Another welcome feature is the rubber “straightjacket” in the bottom loop of the dogbone. This little rubber grommet keeps the rope-side carabiner correctly oriented and is sewn into the dogbone itself, unlike many other quickdraws where it is a free-floating piece. The dogbone is stiff and fits comfortably in the hand (it is widest in the middle and tapers toward either end) so it is easy to grab and pull on if need be.
At $25.95 these suckers don’t run cheap, but the LiveWire Quickdraw is worth it: at 12 centimeters long and 108 grams (3.8 ounces), it proves that you can indeed have a lightweight, high-performance draw without relying on gear better-suited to Trump-sized hands.
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