Does anybody use half-draws (dogbone with 1 carabiner) ?

Original Post
Serge Smirnov · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 160

For placements where the ideal amount of extension is about 1 quickdraw, and assuming you carry each cam on its own biner and don't expect to place many nuts, has anybody used quickdraws with 1 carabiner missing ?  The purpose would be to save weight on the harness - I'd rather bring more pro than carry redundant biners.

I imagine some dogbones are too tight (opening too small) to be easily hung on a carabiner with 1 hand while leading, but I have some that seem ok in that regard.  So I'm wondering if the approach has pitfalls besides the potential diffculty of hanging the dogbone on lead.  My plan for occasional nut placements would be spare biners.

Obviously, this doesn't rule out carrying full / double slings for those placements that need more extension - I'm thinking of half-draws as an alternative to alpine quickdraws, for situations where the ratio of long / short extension pieces is easy to gauge in advance.

Also, to clarify, I'm not talking about routes where you know exactly how many of each cam size you need ahead of time.  I'm picturing routes where the degree of wanderingness is obvious but the gear size isn't.

AndrewArroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

I wonder if the problem you're trying to solve (extra weight) would be easier to address simply by changing out your racking carabiners for the lightest possible versions, ie. Camp nano 22s or something like that? I'm not saying your idea doesn't have merit but a 1/2 draw seems like a very special purpose thing to carry that wouldn't get used a ton. So instead of reducing the amount of extraneous gear it would actually increase it. I sometimes carry regular sport draws in addition to alpine draws but I often use them on nuts, so need both carabiners on them.

Give your idea a try and report back. 

Downtownt Kay · · Everett, WA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 110

i'd think its easier to use an alpine draw slung on the chest with one biner, a half dogbone just seems like too much work.

Will S · · Joshua Tree · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,053

Short answer: no. 

If you're that bothered by it, you could always rack those dragon cams with extendable slings, or have someone replace your existing cam slings with extendables.


Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

Yeah, it seems to me that it would be hard to place on the cam biner on lead, unless you pre-rigged them this way.  Out of curiosity, is there a particular reason why you wouldn't want to just use slings?  It's fairly rare that overextending is a problem and you couldn't just clip the racking biner directly.

Healyje · · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 285
Serge Smirnov wrote:

...where the degree of wanderingness is obvious...

If it does any wandering at all then you should be carrying trad/alpine draws and using them as appropriate to the line of the rope/route.

Mike Womack · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 1,297

a wire gate biner is around one ounce, and say you place 10 pieces of gear with alpine or quick draws on all of them, then you've brought up 10 unnecessary ounces with you.  That's like the same difference as wearing heavy duty jeans instead of shorts. In my opinion, the conveniences of having complete draws outweigh the weight.   

Igneous · · Estes Park, CO · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 20

If you are climbing routes with good stances for placing the gear (most routes below 5.10) rack some slings over your shoulder with one biner on them. Much more versatile than a dogbone. If it is a harder route where placing gear quickly with one hand is an issue, racking slings over the shoulder presents more problems, but so would a dogbone. On the harder routes you are going to want alpine draws or normal quickdraws just to simplify things. I find that I rarely regret having to many carabiners, but have often found myself needing more on long pitches. 

Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 115

I use half dog bones all the time.  They just have a second biner on them and I call them quickdraws.

Carry a full draw, it is just way, way easier.  Assuming that the bone s big enough to clip easily, it is still a pain.  You need to unclip the biner from your harness, which means the now rope-end biner is in your hand.  So you need to switch it so you are holding the bone part, which givers you an chance to drop it.  And for what?  You save the weight of a single biner for this, and it means that if you want to use it to extend passive gear that generally doesn't have a dedicated biner, then you can't use the 1-biner draw, which means that it is only useful for extending cams a short distance.  If you use a sling with a biner, it is easier to carry, just a light, easier to clip, and you can shorten it by making it into an alpine after you attach it to the cam.

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,470

I tried it years ago. I didn't use bones though , just short runners. Maybe 8"? Can't remember now, but short open loops. 

Found out quick it wasn't worth the hassle and lightweight quickdraws worked better for short extension. 

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530

Imho, when weight matters, you're probably red pointing, and you've got the gear in order on your harness with the exact sling/draw necessary for each piece and nothing else. 

Options when onsighting are well worth a bit of extra weight, imho. 

PatMas · · Tulsa, OK · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

Buy a couple 30cm slings and stick a biner on one end.  Little more versatility.

druss uk · · Bracknell, Berkshire · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0

Yep, I have a few half draws setup for clipping to gear with racking biners rather than carrying extra quickdraws, but my routes tend to wonder so almost always benefits from extending.  Works well using 60cm (4 feet?) and 30 cm (2 feet?) slings with single biners.  Dogbones are not as versatile.  No point on straight line routes.  

I just hate the idea of carrying carabiners that don't get clipped because of extensions.  Annoys me rather than actual weight thing - seems wasteful.  :)

Roamin' Buffalo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 50

This is a solution looking for a problem. Buy lighter biners and rack alpine draws.

Nathan.H · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 0

Yates sold a product called  "Speed Draw" - Small loop bar tacked at one end to hold carabiner securely. 11 mm Dyneema, 12 inch. (Part number 628)

Its basically a 30cm sling with one end bar tacked for the carabiner.  They are great for extending cams.

Russ Keane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 140

"I find that I rarely regret having too many carabiners"

I second this.  Also your idea sounds like a ton of fiddling, fumbling, and dropped gear.

Hobo Greg · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 110

Unless you're sending .12s and .13s, it's probably not the extra weight that is holding you back.

Jon Frisby · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 100
Hobo Greg wrote:

Unless you're sending .12s and .13s, it's probably not the extra weight that is holding you back.

And in that event, you're probably not onsighting, so you can pre-rig for whatever the route demands. If none of this applies then congrats, you're a badass!

JohnnyG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 10

no, I don't

I think the time spent fumbling with the tight opening of a dogbone would require more energy than carrying a few more ounces in carabiners. 

I do sometimes carry runners over my shoulder with one biner. This make it for pretty fast extension and clipping of cams. Faster and lighter and smoother than have a tripled up alpine draws that you extend each time you need them.

Jim Titt · · Germany · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 490

Am I the only person who just racks the cams I´m likely to use on draws anyway?

Ronald B · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

I second the suggestion to use cams with the built-in extendable sling if this is a major concern for you. I have several that do that and I find it a very handy feature to have.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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