Omega Pacific Dirtbag Draw ReviewJuly 6, 2012
- Carabiner gates are responsive and snap close quickly
- Rope-end side of dogbone runners is stitched so carabiner stays in place
- Tapered noses on carabiners help prevent snagging on slings
- Rivets flush with carabiner to prevent snagging on slings
- Low price
- Heavier than other quickdraws
- Traditional nose of carabiners can catch on things when clipping
- Fraying noted on ends of two of the runners
The Dirtbag Draw is a simple, reliable quickdraw at an affordable price—a great draw for climbers who want to start climbing outside or those looking to add to their rack. The carabiners function well with responsive gates that close with certainty. The runners work great for sport climbing because the rope-end carabiner stays in place while climbing and the draw is stiff enough to make it easier to reach hard-to-reach bolts.
The Dirtbag Draw is an affordable quickdraw, particularly when purchased in the 6 draw Rack Pack offered by Omega Pacific that includes a Classic Locking carabiner. (If you consider the $8.75 retail price of the included locker you are getting 6 draws for just over $11 each, less expensive than the Black Diamond FreeWires, MadRock Ultralight Wires, or Wild Country Wild-Wire draws.)
The draws consist of carabiners from Omega’s line called the Classic carabiners. In this case, a Classic Straight and a Classic Bent Gate, connected by a 4-inch dogbone runner. The Classic carabiners used on the Dirtbag Draw are D-shaped carabiners rated to 24kN when closed.
The noses of the carabiners are tapered to help clip them into pesky things like slings but connect with a traditionally designed, riveted pin gate that catch bolt hangers more easily than comparable keyhole style gates. Additionally, rivets on the gates of the carabiner are manufactured flush with the gate compared to traditionally manufactured rivets that protrude slightly from the gate. This helps make for smoother clips or unclips of slings.
Clipping under loads: Prone to catching
During testing the Dirtbag Draws clipped bolts with ease but in situations where you had to clip into or unclip out of a tight, weighted sling there was difficulty due to the larger carabiner size compared to other carabiners with a more narrow profile. Unclipping can be difficult because of the traditionally constructed noses catching on the sling or cord. For example, when rebolting Pump-o-rama this winter in Rifle, a steeply overhanging route, the noses of the carabiners would catch when there was tension on the sling or rope and you were trying to unclip them. The size of the carabiner nose makes it more difficult to clip compared to ones with a narrow nose like the C.A.M.P. Photon or Petzl Spirit.
The 4-inch, single color runner connecting the carabiners is a half inch wide and is stitched tightly on the rope side carabiner to keep it in place and prevent spinning.
During testing on a multitude of sport routes in Rifle and trad climbs in Glenwood Canyon and the Moab area, the rope side carabiner never moved out of position while clipped to a harness, hanging from a sport climb, or while the rope was moving through draws during climbing. The top of the runner is stitched loosely to allow movement.
The stitching of the runner takes up approximately three-quarters of the runner, thus creating a reasonably stiff runner for the draw. If you needed to clip a desperately out of reach bolt you could turn the draw upside down so the bent gate was at the top and due to the stiffness of the draw you could clip that pesky bolt with reasonable certainty.
During testing a couple of the runner ends, beyond the stitching, started fraying, presumably from repeated contact with the wall while climbing as well as the wear and tear of being in a pack and continually taken in and out during the many times they were used during testing. This may have been due to the way the runner end protrudes from the draw after where it’s been stitched slightly more than other draws tested.
Heavier than others
The Dirtbag Draws are heavier than other draws tested and available on the market. There is a noticeable difference when racking up a dozen or more Dirtbag Draws compared to other, lighter draws such as the C.A.M.P. Photon or Trango Superfly draws.
The Dirtbag Draws also lack nice, user friendly features like wire or keylock gates but the draw’s sturdy feel provides confidence and the construction of the draws tested was consistent and quality. When you grab a Dirtbag Draw off your harness, you know you have a draw in your hand and you can feel confident about it. The price of the draws are hard to beat and make for a great value.