Black Diamond LiveWire Quickdraw Review

April 16, 2014
Black Diamond LiveWire Quickdraw
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Black Diamond LiveWire Quickdraw 2Black_Diamond_LiveWire 3Black_Diamond_LiveWire 4Black_Diamond_LiveWire 5Black_Diamond_LiveWire 6Black_Diamond_LiveWire 7Black_Diamond_Hood_Live_Harness 8Black_Diamond_Hood_Live_Harness
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
86
Weight
5
Gate Responsiveness
8
Gate Opening
8
Nose Snagging
7
Runner Quality
10
Value
8

The Good

  • Grooves and ridges on carabiners make them easier to hold and clip
  • Wide dogbone runners that make it easier to grab when working sport routes
  • Keylock nose on Dynotron straight gate carabiner helps prevent snagging on slings or bolt hangers
  • Dogbone runner is stitched loose on top to allow movement but has the Straightjacket System rubber retainer on rope end side to keep carabiner in place

The Bad

  • One of the most expensive draws on the market
  • Heavier than most other quickdraws
  • The keylock nose is more square than other keylocks, doesn’t clean as easily as others tested
THE VERDICT

The Black Diamond LiveWire is a quickdraw for serious sport climbers who aren’t worried about weight and are looking for features with hard redpoints in mind. The full size carabiners are featured and shaped to make handling easy while the wide Vari-width dogbone runners makes it easy to grab the draw when working a sport route. 

FULL REVIEW

Carabiners
The Black Diamond LiveWire quickdraw has two featured, full size carabiners, the Dynotron straight gate carabiner and the LiveWire.

The Dynotron features a keylock nose to prevent snags when unclipping from a harness or when cleaning a steep sport route. The nose has a square shape compared to the tapered noses on many other keylock carabiners tested so they don’t clean as smoothly as some of the other quickdraws tested. The gate has grooves along the side to help provide additional purchase when clipping. The contoured shape and large size of the Dynotron is similar to the Cypher Cicada and made the handling of the carabiner of favorite of testers.

The LiveWire carabiners on the rope end of the quickdraws have a responsive gate action and a large gate opening. The noses are slightly tapered to help prevent snags such as when cleaning a tensioned rope out of the carabiner. On the spine of the carabiner are three raised grooves to help with finding purchase when clipping. The shape of the LiveWire is similar to a fishhook to help make the carabiner easier to hold and clip. Instead of a traditional, straight spine, the spine arcs back, opposite from the gate, making a pronounced fishhook shape. The large gate opening is similar to the Trango Smooth or Petzl Ange and leaves plenty of room for dropping the rope in.

Dogbone Runners
The LiveWire quickdraws use 12cm long Vari-width dogbone runners that are wide and easy to grab when working hard sport routes or making an emergency clip. The top of the quickdraw is stitched loose to allow the hanger side carabiner to move and the Straightjacket system keeps the rope end carabiner in place with a rubber retainer stitched inside the runner. The Vari-width draws were a favorite of many testers because of their value when climbing hard sport routes.

Value
The LiveWire quickdraw was a favorite of testers because of the full size carabiners, responsive gate action and wide runners that kept the rope end carabiner in place. At 3.7 ounces, the LiveWire was one of the heaviest quickdraws tested. Many sport climbers may overlook the weight of the LiveWire because of the sport climber friendly features offered. Other climbers looking for a quickdraw to take on long routes may balk at the weight.

At $23.95, the LiveWire is one of the more expensive quickdraws reviewed but it is packed with features that many sport climbers will appreciate and value.

 


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