Sunday, 7 September 2014

Grivel Plume Quickdraw Review

The Plume quickdraw is Grivels lightest offering in the world of Quickdraws.
They come in a range of sizes with slings from 11 to 23cm. These slings a made of 10mm dyneema, which is pretty standard for quickdraws, decorated in Grivels gold and black. 
Both ends feature a plume karabiner, which has a wire gate, a nice clipping action and a large opening. These karabiners are colour coded with black on the gear end and a fixed gold biner on the rope end.
This all looks very promising, however the proof of the pudding is in the eating, or climbing in this case as they are a bit tough.
Plumes in use on The Diedre, Kilnsey (and Alex)
I have used these quickdraws quite extensively since getting them, from limestone sport crags to gneiss trad sea cliffs, and lots in between. In all of these setting they have performed very well.
Some Plume draws on my harness somehwere
These draws are very lightweight, meaning that they feel very light on your harness. Less weight means the potential to carry more gear, or just be lighter.
The large gate opening means that these quickdraws are very easy to clip. This has come in handy when you really don't want to fumble a clip, like during the awkward crux of Silkie on Dun Mingulay!
The easy clipping also makes them great to use whilst sport climbing. Grivel do a version of these with a plastic dog bone style cover, making the sling rigid. The idea behind this is to make them easier to pull on whilst working a sport route, but honestly I find these much harder to hold onto than just the basic sling.
Plume Draws in use at Traprain Law (and Elaine)
I couldn't find any faults with these quickdraws until, disaster! One of the gates became sticky and stopped springing closed. This has only occurred on one of the karabiners, and will occur in time with any wire gate karabiner anyway, although it has happened rather quickly with this one. Maybe its just the runt of the Plume litter. A bit of WD40 should sort it out.
All in all I think these are great bits of kit and deserve a place in anyones rack, however for the sticky gate I can only give them 1 thumb up, otherwise it would have been a definite two.