Combine two Positron carabiners with one Straitjacket Dogbone and you have Black Diamond's Positron Straitjacket Quickdraw which looked good enough to get our tester drooling all over his rock shoes. Naturally, we got him one or two to play with.
At first glance, the new Positron straight carabiner appears to be a clone of the ever-popular Petzl Spirit. Both have a keylock gate (no notch to snag), hold 25 kN, weigh 49 grams, and cost nearly the same. What the newcomer brings is much greater gate clearance (5 mm more), a sleeker nose for tight clips, and better handling due to the flat gate profile.
To achieve extra clearance, the back of the biner is slightly bowed. The tradeoff is an open gate strength (the most important number) of 8 kN instead of 10 kN for the Spirit. Despite this, the Positron Straight ($8.50) has now become our SNEWS tester's favorite all-around carabiner.
The Positron Straitjacket Quickdraw retails for $19.95, nearly $1 less than the Petzl equivalent. While there are plenty of less expensive quickdraw sets on the market, this combo has a better feel than the rest -- something that can be appreciated for decades. The Positron is a great example of Black Diamond's talent for making a good thing better.
SNEWS Rating: 5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested Retail: $19.95
For more information:www.blackdiamondequipment.com