Monday, July 23, 2012


I've known about ClimbTech for a few years now as the "Perma Draw" company. If you've ever climbed at any steep crag around the country then you've no doubt seen the Permas hanging. Their quality and reputation could not be any higher. Nonetheless, when Chris Vinson (ClimbTech's marketing and sales manager) told me about their new line of quickdraws I was skeptical. I mean, how could ClimbTech possibly compete against the quality and reputation of Petzl or Black Diamond, or against the price of Omega Pacific? What were they going to do, reinvent the wheel? Despite my hesitation, Chris sent me a some samples and asked me to give them a try. What I found is that the ClimbTech draws are just as good if not better, and priced similarly if not lower, than their competition.

ClimbTech offers three draws in its lineup, the Anejo (which can be had in four different configurations), Blanco, and Resposado. The lineup ranges from heavy-duty workhorse to ultra-light, high-end performance, with the retail price ranging from $13.95 to $15.95. Yep, their most expensive draw is $15.95! Here they are:

(The extra wiregate is shown because it is one of the configurations of the Anejo.)

Let's start with the Resposado, their ultra-lightweight, high-end draw. It features two wiregate, I-beam biners, one straight and one bent gate. The dogbone is 10mm wide and 11cm long Dynema. Its second-best aspect is that it is rated at 25kn, but yet weighs only 74.5 grams. Its best aspect is that it retails for only $13.95! Yeah, there are other draws out there that are a bit lighter, but they're not as strong and can approach two times the cost. Impressively, the biners are a normal size (unlike the super small ones other companies use to save weight) and are very smooth to keep clipping easy. With the Resposado you don't need to worry about sacrificing strength or functionality to achieve significant weight savings.

The Blanco is also lightweight (84 grams), strong (24kn), and inexpensive (retail $13.95). It has two keylock, I-beam biners, one straight and one bent gate. The dogbone is also 10mm and 11cm Dynema. It also has normal size, smooth biners. I think a good comparison draw is the Black Diamond Positron/Posiwire. Here is a picture comparing the two:

You can see that the Blanco is a bit shorter, and the biners are bit smaller. In my experience these do not lead to any noticeable differences when using the draws. Again, the ClimbTech draws are less expensive and stronger.

Where ClimbTech really has a winner though is with the Anejo. Despite my initial skepticism, I will now say that it is the best draw on the market in its "class." By "class" I mean a heavy-duty, workhorse draw meant to take years of abuse, be left up on project routes, or maybe even be the first draw a newer climber buys. I think there are two well-established, super popular draws in this class: the Petzl Spirit and the Omega Pacific Dirtbag. The Spirits are commonly thought of as the Cadillac of draws: pretty, very smooth clipping, strong, and so on. The Dirtbags are probably the most common first-purchase draw because despite not being pretty or smooth, they are strong, simple, and cheap. Here is the Anejo next to them:

Note that shown is the 11cm Anejo; 17cm and 25cm versions are available, each with either a normal or wire gate clipping biner.

The Anejos feature a nylon dogbone, rounded (i.e. not I-beam) keylock biners that are rated at 28kn(!). Depending on the combination of length and clipping biner, the retail price ranges from $13.95 to $15.95. Again, the biners are a normal size and are super smooth.

Now that the Anejo is available, I can't think of any good reason why anyone would purchase either the Spirit (or similar draws like Black Diamond's new LiveWire) or the Dirtbag. First, the Anejo is equally as smooth, pretty, and polished as the Spirit, but yet is lighter, has stronger biners, and is nearly half the cost ($14.95 for the 17cm compared to $23.95). It seems to me only a gear snob would purchase the Spirit over the Anejo. Honestly, I think the biggest competition the Anejo has is against the Dirtbag as a first-purchase draw, and I think the only reason why there is some competition is because the Dirtbag is a bit less expensive ($12.60 vs $13.95). But for less than $1.50 difference per draw, the Anejo is superior in every way. Here they are side by side:

They are almost identical in size, although the Anejo has a much wider dogbone. This is really nice because it makes it much easier to grab the draw when cleaning (or too pumped to clip!). I think it also looks a lot nicer. But what really separates the two are the weight and biners. OP doesn't list the weight of the Dirtbag on its website, but it is obvious by just holding each in your hand that the Anejo is significantly lighter. The savings across a whole rack of them would be substantial. The Anejo's biners are also much smoother than the Dirtbag's. Finally, the Anejo's biners are key-lock and the Dirtbag's are not. Here is the difference:

See that big, gaping hook on the Dirtbag biner? It catches on everything! Traditional hook gate designs make unclipping the rope, cleaning routes, and even getting the draw off your harness' gear loop much more difficult. There is no good reason, other than cost, to use a hook gate biner. Compared to the $24 Spirit, yeah maybe the Dirtbag's gritty feeling action and hook gate can be overlooked. But with the all the Anejo's advantages, I don't think saving less than $1.50 is worth it.

Overall, I am very impressed with the quality and value of ClimbTech's quickdraws. With any of them, you'll get the best combination of value, strength, weight savings, and smoothness available.

**Please click "Comments" below and let me know what you think!**


  1. now you just need to sell these @ HH :)

  2. We added four of the Anejo draws to our inventory (we have both Petzel Spirits and Black Diamond Positrons). Love these draws!

  3. That's great David! We can't hardly keep them in stock at Hoosier Heights.

  4. This is very well done!! Thank you for all your hard work and knowledge!! :) I just baught my first set of quickdraws and this reveiw was the deciding factor for me!

  5. I agree that the Black Diamond Posiwire is in the same class. Either one is a good entry-level draw. Thanks for your in-depth review.


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