ProView – Omega Pacific Five-O Quickdraws
What sets the Omega Pacific Five-O Quickdraws apart? Two main components: the size and shape of the carabiner, along with a solidly thick dogbone of nylon connecting the carabiners. While the basic design of two carabiners attached by a piece of webbing seems simple, there can be a wide variation between how different draws perform when actually climbing. The OP Five-O’s are one of the few draws that I find have a specific niche for rock climbing, and when used properly, are one of the coolest, simple, useful innovations for rock climbing.
The carabiners on the Five-O (which come in a combination of styles: straight gate or wire gate) are comparatively bigger than most other draws, and have a unique curved shape. In many situations, this has made them incredibly casual to clip, even from strenuous positions – there is just a lot of carabiner to drop a rope into. Despite the larger size, they really don’t feel heavier than smaller draws, and if you are equipping a route to project and leaving them up for an extended period of time, the weight difference in non-existent.
Many quickdraw manufacturers have been pushing for an as-light-as-possible style by using very thin dogbones between draws. While that does save weight, it does also detract from the ability to grab a draw when working out the movement on a route, or if you find yourself dangerously pumped out in a bad fall zone. I think climbing movies, which only show elite athletes on their best attempts, fail to demonstrate to many new climbers how often people will grab quickdraws when figuring out the movement on routes (in fact, many routes have bolts and draws that are only really used during this stage, and are more likely to be skipped on the actual redpoint attempt). The Five-O’s have a good, thick section of nylon that feels very controlled and comfortable to grab when necessary, unlike some of the very light and thin designs also on the market.
Personally, these are some of my favorite draws and I’ll always have at least several of them on me when attempting a new route. However, if you have small hands (for example, children or smaller adult climbers), clipping the large carabiners can actually be more difficult, as it is harder to keep the draw stable and clip simultaneously if you have small hands. There have also been a few older routes that I’ve climbed on with small bolt hangers, and getting the large draws to fit into them can be cruxy – so I think these are a great part of a sport climbing rack, but it is a wise idea to have a few different types of draws on you at any point. Omega Pacific also supplies the “Dirtbag Draw,” which has similar dogbones attached to smaller carabiners, and using the two designs concurrently is a winning combination.
Mike Kimmel is a gear reviewer for Outdoor Prolink who can usually be found out climbing.