Dogbones convert carabiners into quickdraws
Whereas in the past carabiners were often clipped individually into pitons, nowadays the use of two carabiners connected by a dogbone is standard practice. A dogbone is a sewn loop of webbing and when used to connect two normal carabiners, this piece of equipment is known as a quickdraw. The benefit of using dogbones is obvious. They act as a link between the rope-side carabiner and the rock-side carabiner and they extend intermediate belay points. The quickdraw reduces friction on the rope and makes lead climbing easier.
Different dogbone variations
Dogbones come in different lengths and different materials. Choosing the right dogbone depends on the intended use and personal preferences.
The dogbones used for sport climbing are typically 9 to 12 cm long. This is long enough to provide a flexible connection between the rope and the anchor, but not so long as to get in the way on the harness. Longer dogbones are used primarily in alpine terrain and help to minimize rope friction.
Dyneema or nylon dogbones?
Dogbones are usually made of polyamide or Dyneema. Dyneema is light and thin, nylon slightly heavier, but easier to grab. So if you do want to grab hold of a dogbone whilst climbing, nylon is certainly the better choice. The thicker nylon dogbones also inspire more confidence simply because they look more substantial, even though Dyneema has been proven to be just as strong, if not stronger. At the end of the day, the material you go for comes down to personal taste.