First Look: Black Diamond LiveWire Quickdraw
A quickdraw for sport climbing that incorporates many of Black Diamond’s most appealing innovations.
BEST FOR: Sport climbing
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.
Rock and Ice vigorously tests all gear it reviews for either 50 days or 50 pitches. This is a time-consuming process and limits the amount of new equipment we can present to our readers. Every year hundreds of new products hit store shelves, and most of these aren’t reviewed due to our stringent selection and review process. To better keep you more up to date on what is new, we present First Look. Gear in First Look has not always been field tested, but is gear we think you’d like to know about as soon as it is available. Some of the gear will be reviewed using our 50 days/50 pitches criteria, in future print and online editions of Rock and Ice. We have opted to use affiliate links in our gear reviews. Every time you buy something after clicking on links in our gear articles you’re helping support our magazine.
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