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When I first got my hands on the Vacuoquickdraws, my very first impression was “…Wow, these are heavy!” Noticably heavier than the Petzl Spirit quickdraws which are considered a sport climbing standard, the Vacuoquickdraw offers the same meaty dogbone and keylock features of any good sport climbing quickdraw. In addition, the bent gate on the rope end of the Vacuo allows for a slot for the rope to slide effortlessly into when clipping. Overall, I was initially impressed. It was time to take them to the crag!



The Vacuoquickdraws were tested at my home crag, Reimer’s Ranch, in Austin, Texas. Reimer’s Ranch offers spectacular limestone sport climbing with short (10-12 meter), bouldery sport climbing routes with little rests and lots of power endurance. Every occasion I went out I brought the Vacuo’s with me alongside my trusty Petzl Spirits to compare use, as well as asking friends their opinions.


Over the course of a few months of testing once a week or so, I began to notice features of the Vacuo that I both enjoyed and thought could be improved. We’ll begin with the former. As far as ease of clipping, the Vacuo’s were high on the list of easy clipping thanks to the bent gate with a rope groove, allowing for a natural position for the rope to slot into when clipping, similar to the widely used DMM Alpha Sport quickdraws. In addition, the meaty dogbone allowed for easy yarding up sport climbing projects and provided a stiff resistance against the draws rotating. Additionally, the added weight of the carabiners makes the draws hang nicely, and the thicker carabiners provide an easy grasp. The keylock design on bolt and rope-end carabiners allowed for effortless cleaning while lowering on overhanging sport routes. An issue I’ve had the withPetzl Spirits is the thin carabiners sometimes slips in my grasp when clipping. With the Vacuo’s, I haven’t noticed this problem. Lastly, the rubber holder keeping the rope end carabiner in the right position works wonderfully, allowing me to never have to think about a flipped carabiner when clipping.


In addition to the above benefits of the Vacuo, there are some features that could use improving. For instance, while the weight and thickness of the carabiners provides marginally better clipping, I think the weight of the draw needs to be paired down considerably, as there is no way I would drag 12 of these up long sport routes in Mexico. Furthermore, the thicker carabiners are a bit awkward to use with the Trango Squid stick-clip, although the Superclip offers better usability with the Vacuo’s. Another feature I was quite disappointed with was the gate action. While the gates open smoothly enough, there is increased resistance the further the gate opens, making clipping action awkward and sluggish compared to the snappy, responsive gates of the Petzl Spirits. On gates-in clips while clipping with my middle finger in the draw, the Vacuo’s often had the rope stop halfway through the clip and be pinched in between the gate and carabiner due to increased resistance as the gate opened. I often opted to clip gates-in using the whole-palm method (similar to how Adam Ondra often clips) to mitigate this problem.



Overall, the Vacuo High Performance Quickdraws offers a unique blend of elements from other manufacturers in an easy-clipping, confidence inspiring package. However, there are a few features that could be improved, such as a better gate action and decreased weight and thickness of carabiners. At a hefty price tag of $50/draw on, I would be hard-pressed to buy a set when other options such as the Petzl spirit almost half the price (in the United States, anyways), but if a set of Vacuo’s were already hanging on a sport project, I’d be happy to have them because I know easy-clipping is ahead of me!

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