Edelrid Bulletproof quickdraw set
- Thursday 12th December 2019
RRP: £27 (both sizes)
Review by the Climber Test Team
The Edelrid Bulletproof quickdraw is a new twist on a standard sport climbing quickdraw, the twist – adding a steel insert to make the quickdraw more durable to rope wear.
Each karabiner is made from a weight-saving aluminium H-profile construction to provide good strength ratings – closed gate 24 kN, open gate 8 kN, minor axis strength 8 kN. The set is made from one standard aluminium Bullet karabiner and one Bulletproof bent gate karabiner joined by a ‘dogbone’ style polyamide quickdraw sling. This is wide in the middle and narrow at each karabiner end and gives a chunky sling that is easy to grab – a bonus when working routes bolt-to-bolt a route. The slings come in two lengths – 12cm and 18cm and each karabiner features a keylock closure that helps prevent snagging. In addition, there’s an ‘anti-twist’ rubber fixing on the clipping end karabiner to keep the sling in place to assist rope clipping.
The Bulletproof karabiner was first introduced by Edelrid back in 2016 when they took a normal karabiner and added a steel insert into the lower area of it where there is most wear from a rope constantly running across it. In a standard aluminium karabiner, this can result in a groove which can form a sharp edge and damage your rope. You need to bear in mind that this can take quite a while to happen, depending on how much you use your gear, but it can happen, resulting in replacing the worn-out karabiner and maybe a new rope.
In terms of handling, they work well with a pleasing ergonomic shape to the karabiner making it comfortable to hold and clipping is quick and smooth. The gate has a good action and closes with just the right amount of tension and the chunky sling gives you something to pull on when working a route. And yes, the steel insert does make for less wear, in fact, these have been heavily used for a few months now and there’s no sign of any wear where the rope runs.
You could buy a full set of these quickdraws in the two lengths and this would suit climbers who have projects and take repeated falls. However, our testers have found carrying three, alongside regular quickdraws, works really well. You use one on the first bolt and save two for the lower-off as these are the two places that the karabiners see the most wear. Using two on the lower-off also saves wear on the belay rings/karabiners and is something we should all do. Too many times you see top-roping direct through the fixed belay causing premature wear and the need to replace the belay quicker than it should be.
There is a small downside to this set – the upper karabiner is a standard aluminium one without a steel insert. For those after the ultimate in wear resistance, Edelrid should offer a set with the top straight gate karabiner being a steel insert Bulletproof karabiner. It may add extra weight but would save wear and nicks on the aluminium karabiner where it meets the bolt hanger. You can buy the Bulletproof karabiners individually and make up a double set yourself but at a cost.
This aside, whilst a bit on the heavy side (117g and 122g respectively) and not cheap, the Bulletproof quickdraw set would make a worthwhile addition to a sport climber's quickdraw rack, whether you go for some to supplement what you already have or go the whole hog, and some now adorn the harnesses of those involved in this test, which says it all. Worth a look.