A quickdraw (also known as an extender) is a piece of climbing equipment used by rock and ice climbers to allow the climbing rope to run freely through bolt anchors or other protection while leading. The straight gate carabiner is clipped to the protection; a bent gate is used for the rope.
A quickdraw is a specific type of runner. Runners are used by rock and ice climbers to extend the distance between an anchoring device and the rope.
A quickdraw consists of two carabiners connected by a semi-rigid material. One carabiner connects to an anchoring device. The other carabiner connects to a rope.
A quickdraw is differentiated from a simple open loop of webbing with 2 carabiners on it by the following attributes: 1) The material that connects the 2 carabiners is semi-rigid. It is not as flexible as an open loop of webbing. This rigidity facilitates quicker clipping to an anchoring device. 2) The gate (on the carabiner that clips to a rope) is held in a specific orientation that facilitates quicker clipping to a rope.
These two attributes differentiate a quickdraw from other types of runners. These two attributes are literally what makes this special type of runner "quick" to "draw". If either of these two elements is missing the runner is not a ″quickdraw″.
The methods by which a quickdraw maintains gate orientation vary. The most popular method involves the use of an elastic polymer band around the outside of the point of connection between the carabiner and the semi-rigid material.