CGR test out the new and mighty DMM Thor quickdraw sets for all mountain use.
This biner is truly versatile, and could equally be used for trad, sport or winter climbing alike. If its extra security and robustness you are looking for, then this is an obvious choice.
Late last year CGR tested the latest sport climbing quickdraws from the DMM Alpha range the DMM Alpha Pro. We concluded that apart from stick clipping issues it was a great sport climbing so it was great when a set of the new DMM Thor quickdraws landed on our desk for review.
DMM are world renowned for their well designed and high quality hardwear and the DMM Thor is no exception, based on the highly popular DMM Spectre 2 the differences are very subtle but useful.
The DMM Thor is a thicker and more robust carabiner than the Spectre 2. The differences this make are that it has a rating of a whopping 28kN against 24kN for the gate closed strength and a rating of 11kN against 9kN for the gate open strength. This one is more important as it could mean the difference as it gives you the same safety strength as a DMM Wallnut 3. The cross gate strength is similar to both with the Thor offering 7kN and the Spectre 2 8kN, this being due to the wire gate for both biners. If that’s worrying for you the Thor also comes with a Shadow top biner which ups the rating to 9kN (but drops the overall rating to 24kN). Confusing? Well just think of the DMM Thor as a mighty Norse version of the Spectre 2, beefed up and more robust.
So where does this extra strength come from? Well it comes from the additional thickness in key areas: the basket (the area where the rope lies or wire/tape lies depending on the which way round it is), the back bar and the tape end (where the quickdraw tape lies). These are all thicker areas than the Spectre and really make the DMM Thor so much stronger.
Although the styling is based on the DMM Spectre 2, the Thor definitely feels more large hand friendly even though they are the same size, so if you have large hands you are going to like the Thor biners. They also worked well with gloves on, I wear gloves a lot for winter climbing and my summer rock climbing work, so it’s important to have biners that work well with gloves on. The DMM Thor didn’t disappoint, this must have been down the small difference in the width. I have got these too early for winter climbing but I can already see these becoming my regular winter quickdraws. So a great handling quickdraw with or without gloves on.
Other styling differences are the nice ribbing on the back bar. We saw this in the DMM Alpha Pro and it’s been reproduced in a similar fashion in the DMM Thor. It’s a small thing but does make a difference to the friction when clipping, helping to ensure the biner isn’t slipping around. There is also a slight grooving on the rope radius to ensure the rope sits in the right place. Other than that you’d need a close inspection to see where the extra thickness comes from. This extra thickness, of course comes with a weight difference with the Thor weighing at 36g which is 3g heavier than the Spectre 2 (33g).
The DMM Thor quickdraw set comes with the familiar 11mm Dyneema tape (rated 22kN) and the silver and gunmetal carabiner colour styling. With the silver being the carabiner that clips into the protection and the gunmetal the rope. The rope end is firmly held with a rubber insert (in fact so firmly that if can actually manage to get one out you‘ll be hard pushed to get it in again!). The colour range is same as the Spectre range with the 12cm coming in gold, the 18cm coming in grey and the 25cm coming in red. They come separately or in sets of 5.
So, in conclusion I have no hesitation in awarding the DMM Thor quickdraws 5 stars for performance. I have used them for all my Trad climbing this season, they perform well enough for sport climbing (although they work better for on sighting as the thin Dyneema slings are not good for grabbing) and I feel they will perfom great in winter. The sets come with either a Thor top biner or a shadow top biner, my preference has definitely been for the wire gate Thor.
If you only want to buy one set of quickdraws that will serve all your climbing needs then the DMM Thor will not disappoint. And if you are of a nervous disposition that extra thickness and the robust feel should give you extra confidence in you gear placements. If price is an issue then the sets are sold with a Shadow top biner and a Thor rope end.
Thor Carabiner – £8.50
12cm QD – £16.00
18cm QD – £16.60
25cm QD – £17.00
QD set 1 x 12cm, 3 x 18cm, 1 x 25cm – £75.00
QD set 12cm (5 pack) – £75.00
QD set 18cm (5 pack) – £75.00
Thor / Shadow QD
Shadow straight gate / Thor 12cm Combo QD – £16.00
Shadow straight gate / Thor 18cm Combo QD – £16.00
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