Black Diamond HoodWire Quickdraw ReviewApril 16, 2014
- Innovative design makes cleaning routes easier, prevents snags
- Carabiner gates snap close quickly and assertively
- Straitjacket system keeps rope end carabiner in position
- Wire gates are easy to manipulate due to flat wire design
- Heavier than other wire gate quickdraws
- During initial opening, wire gates feel stiff compared to other wire gate carabiners
- Dogbone runner is smaller than other heavy-duty quickdraws, making it harder to grab
The Black Diamond HoodWire is a great quickdraw for people looking for the benefits of a wire gate (such as less weight and resistance to freezing during winter). The innovative HoodWire design prevents the carabiner’s nose from snagging on hangers, harnesses or ropes, and the Dynex dogbone runner with the Straitjacket system keeps the rope end carabiner in position.
The Black Diamond HoodWire quickdraw features an innovative design to prevent the nose snags common on traditional wire gated quickdraws. Two HoodWire carabiners are combined with a Dynex dogbone runner that includes BD’s Straitjacket insert to keep the rope end carabiner in place.
The HoodWire carabiners used on the quickdraw feature an innovative design where a wire stretches across the nose of the carabiner to prevent snags on the notch where the wire gate fits.
Traditional wire gate carabiner noses have a notch where the wire gate fits when closed. On those traditional carabiners, it is easy to snag the nose on harnesses, ropes, hangers, and slings.
The HoodWire carabiners virtually eliminate that snagging and make for the kind of easier cleaning common on keylock carabiner designs. The HoodWire does still have a noticeable bump or feel when cleaning quickdraws from hangers on steep sport routes and doesn’t clean quite as smooth other keylock carabiners we tested, such as the C.A.M.P. Photon or Petzl Ange. However, the HoodWire drew rave reviews from testers for its ability to make cleaning easier and with fewer snags.
The HoodWire carbiners are full size carabiners that have an ample gate opening comparable to other quickdraws tested. The carabiners handle well and are easy to grab compared to the smallest carabiners tested. The wire gates are responsive and snap close quickly but have more resistance than many other wire gates tested. The stiff gate action caused some testers to not like them as much but there was no doubting that the gate was going to close after being released. Additionally, the wire gates proved easier to manipulate than traditional wire gates because of a flat wire design near the nose that helped climbers find extra purchase instead of slipping off a rounded wire gate.
The HoodWire features 14-mm wide Dynex dogbone runners that are 12 cm long. The width of the runner is in-between what you find on a beefy performance sport draw and a lightweight unit. The compromise between the two provides for a runner that is reasonably easy to grab but features some of the weight saving features of Dynex over nylon.
Some climbers looking for a heavy duty sport draw will desire a wider runner for easier handling when dogging a sport route or making emergency clips. Others will appreciate the stiff runner that is stitched to keep the hanger side carabiner loose and able to move while the rope end carabiner stays in place with the BD Straitjacket insert. The Straitjacket is a rubber retainer that is stitched inside the runner and does an effective job of keeping the carabiner in place. During testing the carabiner never moved out of position and the Straitjacket rubber retainer proved durable and resistant to abrasion because it is stitched inside the runner.
In terms of weight, the HoodWire is in the middle range of full wire gate quickdraws. At 2.9 ounces, the HoodWire is as much as an ounce heavier than the lightest wire gate draws tested, such as the Metolius Bravo, Cypher Mydas or C.A.M.P. Nano. However, it is lighter or similar in weight to other full size wire gate draws such as the C.A.M.P. Orbit Wire or Trango Neo Classic.
The HoodWire costs $19.95 or $19.33 each when purchased in the 6 quickdraw Quickpack. The HoodWire is comparable to many other draws tested. Because of its’ features, the HoodWire is a good value for those looking for a quality wire gate quickdraw that may not be the lightest on the market but offers great features that other wire gate draws don’t, like a snag free nose.