The Alpinist Mountain Standards reviews apply Alpinist's tradition of excellence and authenticity to gear reviews by providing unbiased, candid feedback and anecdotal commentary to equipment tested (hard) in the field. Our panel is comprised of climbers who use the gear every day as part of their work and play. Only the gear they would actually buy themselves, at retail price, qualifies for the Alpinist Mountain Standards award. The five-star rating system is as follows:
One Star = Piece of junk.
Two Stars = Has one or more significant flaws, with some redeeming qualities.
Three Stars = Average. This solid piece of gear is middle-of-the-road on the current market.
Four Stars = Better than most comparable gear on the market. It has one or two drawbacks, but still 90% positive.
Five Stars = Is there such thing as perfection? An Alpinist Mountain Standards award-winner.
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DMM Shadow Quickdraws: Hot-Forged Goodness
Posted on: April 9, 2008
Price: $24.50 (12cm), $25.50 (18cm)
Weight: 3.2 ounces (12cm)
With a huge rack in my pack and a bunch of loose 'biners and runners for alpine draws, I sometimes overlook a fundamental piece of climbing gear: the standard quickdraw. New for spring 2008 DMM is introducing the Shadow Quickdraw. The Shadow is a desirable piece of gear for the discerning climber who wants full-sized carabiners yet appreciates that ultimate combination: light weight and super strong.
This quickdraw set up—bar stock 'biners with a Spectre draw—appeals to all styles of climbing, be it traditional or sport. The quality hot-forged hybrid is innovative in how light, but still strong the design is. The Shadow is rated up to 24 kilonewtons closed gate and 10kn open. I found the Shadow to be a great lightweight alternative to bulky runners when adding length to gear in deep pods and chimneys.
In the world of lighter and smaller I do prefer a larger carabiner for clipping. The Shadow's solid gate has two features: a key lock nose to reduce snagging, and a recess on the plain gate. Both features make the draw solid in hand, and they inspire confidence while you are super pumped and clipping. An entire quickdraw weighing in at 3.2 ounces with full size 'biners is unheard of in the cold-forged world.
The Shadow crossbreed is able to navigate the boundaries of light weight, crazy strength and full size. The end result is less clutter on your rack and less weight in your pack. If they weren't so darned expensive, they'd deserve five stars.
Pros: Hot forged, and therefore strong but light; full-sized 'biners; key lock and recess features on plain gate make for easy clipping; come in two lengths.