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Reviewed by Gears Geeks:

The Best Carabiners Reviewed in 2020

Z

Our experts at work

We gave our Gear lovers one job:
Test 36 different Carabiners and write reviews of the best.

The result is 18 of the best carabiners on the market today.

Anastasia Hamurari

Travel and Gear Writer
An ambitious writer with a thirst for content creation through storytelling.

torben lonne

Torben Lonne

Editor at DIVEIN.com
Torben is a dive nut, with a passion for traveling and gear.

Originally created for climbers who need additional storage for essentials that cannot be left behind, carabiners have evolved to accommodate non-climbers too. Everyone from factory workers to corporate office moguls found a good use for a carabiner or two, whether it be for storing a backpack or a set of keys.

That being said, outdoor enthusiasts will get the most use of high-quality carabiners that will save them not only time but also energy.

Carabiners come in different shapes and sizes, with some serving great for ice mountaineering and others handy in securing a water bottle to a hiking backpack. They are further differentiated by those that have a locking mechanism and those that don’t.

Since carabiners constitute a part of the toolbox required for a stress-free climbing session, manufacturers from across the world have managed to develop dozens of them.

You will find carabiners made from aluminum and those made from stainless steel. There are carabiners that are oval-shaped and those that have an asymmetric D-shape.

To make the right decision and purchase the carabiner that will meet your particular needs and last a long time, we compiled an extensive guide for you to consult. These picks have passed the rigorous testings in icy and warm weather conditions all while remaining robust and ready for more challenges.

Depending on what rock climbing you are planning on doing, how much weight you are willing to carry and what your spending budget is, this guide has the right carabiner for you. Alternatively, if you are searching for an everyday tool that will act as a sturdy storage expander, you will find one too.

The Best Carabiners In 2020

See our quick top 10, or go further down and read our in-depth reviews.

Top 10 Best Carabiners

Still unsure as to what carabiners to choose? We have answered the most popular questions about the towel in the last section of the guide.

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Get a better climb with our Climbing series: Climbing Shoes, Climbing Rope, Carabiners, Chalk Bags & Climbing Harness.

1. PETZL ATTACHE Screw-Lock Carabiner

Everyone’s favorite PETZL ATTACHE screw-lock carabiner is a universal tool that can be used for anchoring, belaying and tying in alike. Its compact shape makes it easy to handle when up high in the mountains without too much hassle. In addition, the 3D pear shape of the carabiner contributes to the low weight of the instrument and the increased strength of the gate opening. The manual screw-lock setup has a red band indicator that helps in finding out whether your carabiner is locked or unlocked. You won’t experience any snagging with this carabiner in use – its construction doesn’t allow the accidental snagging of your gear. This is particularly helpful when you have got many essentials attached to your carabiners and the tool’s malfunctions are the last thing you need.
PETZL ATTACHE Screw-Lock Carabiner
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the PETZL ATTACHE Screw-Lock Carabiner:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Carabiner Type: Locking
  • Gate Opening: Screw-lock
  • Major Axis Strength: 22 kN
  • Dimensions: 4.1 x 2.7 inches
  • Weight: 0.12 pounds
What we like:
  • The lock indicator is a big help when confused whether your carabiner is locked or not
  • The compact size along with the 3D shape of the carabiner makes it lightweight yet sturdy
What we don’t like:
  • Not the cheapest carabiner on the market

2. Wild Country Helium Carabiner

The primary choice of climbers in the past decade has been the Wild Country Helium carabiner. It has received a lot of praise over the years for a good reason – its hot forged structure makes it durable yet feather-like that won’t occupy too much space. It has got a slim ‘I beam’ spine that gives it strength to withstand heavy load and a small wire gate that enables you to easily snap it back and forth. The nose of the carabiner is clean and hook-free, which means that the tool is quick to use and easy to rely on. If you are in search of a long-lasting carabiner that will do its job well while remaining looking new after years of rigorous use, look no further.
Wild Country Helium Carabiner
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Wild Country Helium Carabiner:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Carabiner Type: Non-Locking
  • Gate Opening: Wire
  • Major Axis Strength: 24 kN
  • Dimensions: 5 x 2 inches
  • Weight: 0.07 pounds
What we like:
  • The 2mm wire gate is spacious enough to attach multiple things to the carabiner
  • Its construction allows you to complete 2 iterations of pass-through-and-clip technique for racking draws
What we don’t like:
  • You might want to stock up on it as it goes out of stock fast

3. HEROCLIP Carabiner Clip

The HEROCLIP carabiner is Amazon’s bestseller that looks nothing like your typical carabiner. It’s recognized as the first-ever designed hybrid everyday tool that keeps your stuff free from the ground dirt by neatly organizing it in accordance with your preferences. The medium size is perfect for load weighing up to 60 pounds, whereas the 360-swivel equipped with 2 folding joints allows you to hang stuff in the seemingly uncomfortable places. The mix of a clip and a hook differentiates it from other carabiners and makes it stand out from the crowd. It is built from the high-grade aluminum that is almost impossible to ruin and has a rubber tip that increases the security of your items. The hook of the carabiner can twist, nest and fold around the clip into a closed state, which results in a compact tool that is handy to have in your pocket at all times.
HEROCLIP Carabiner Clip
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the HEROCLIP Carabiner Clip:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Carabiner Type: Non-Locking
  • Gate Opening: Wire
  • Dimensions: 7.75 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 0.13 pounds
What we like:
  • The size of the carabiner makes it easy to attach hefty things that won’t budge
  • One of the few carabiners that have a clip and a hook
What we don’t like:
  • Not suitable for climbing

4. Favofit Heavy Duty Carabiner

This multipurpose carabiner from Favofit is a game-changer for every backpacker and camper out there. Attach your water bottle, shoes and a jacket to your backpack and you are good to explore the surroundings for days. It has no sharp edges that would be detrimental for your stuff but rather a smooth design with a flat wire gate that fosters the quick and easy adjunction. The compactness of the carabiner is not questionable – it is the definition of short and sweet. Made from high-grade aluminum, it will last you at least a few consecutive years of consistent use. Although it is rated at 12 kN, it is not enough to be used for climbing as it is not designed to withstand huge loads of weight. Instead, use it for running errands and for hiking weekend adventures and you will quickly reap its benefits.
Favofit Heavy Duty Carabiner
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Favofit Heavy Duty Carabiner:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with Worldwide Shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Carabiner Type: Non-Locking
  • Gate Opening: Wire
  • Major Axis Strength: 12 kN
  • Dimensions: 3.2 x 1.9 inches
  • Weight: 0.04 pounds
What we like:
  • One of the most lightweight non-locking carabiners on the market
  • Comes in a pack of 4, which is a steal
What we don’t like:
  • Not suitable for climbing

5. Black Diamond Positron Screwgate Locking Carabiner

Black Diamond is known for producing high-quality equipment for outdoor sports, and the Positron Screwgate locking carabiner is not an exception. It is a small-scale tool that has a D-shape everyone seems to prefer over any other shape. This is mainly due to the biner’s ability to maintain a good ratio of strength to weight, which, in turn, contributes to the carabiner’s outstanding performance. The carabiner has got a keylock nose that prevents snagging and a deep basket that eliminates the muddling around when clipping. The gate can easily be locked and unlocked without any accidental openings in the midst of a climb. This means that no matter how high you climb, you will be safe at every point.
Black Diamond Positron Screwgate Locking Carabiner
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Black Diamond Positron Screwgate Locking Carabiner:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Carabiner Type: Locking
  • Gate Opening: Screw-lock
  • Major Axis Strength: 25 kN
  • Dimensions: 3.7 x 2.4 inches
  • Weight: 0.12 pounds
What we like:
  • The D-shape makes the carabiner easy to hold and to use in all circumstances
  • Works well if you want to shift some of the weight away from your harness
What we don’t like:
  • Rain can cause rust to develop inside the screw gate

6. Metolius FS Mini Carabiner

This asymmetrical-shaped carabiner by Metolius is a mini tool that uses a wire gate to help you clip on your small-scale climbing essentials. Despite being small, it holds a substantial amount of load while disposing of 22 kN of strength. That’s impressive for a carabiner of 0.05 pounds. It features a large gate opening and a flared nose that helps secure the gate in the closed position. Regardless of what you stumble upon during your climb, your carabiner won’t accidentally open up. Many prefer using it as a key holder, which is to be expected – its cost is low while the performance is high. You can choose from 8 different colors the manufacturer provides and match it with your other accessories.
Metolius FS Mini Carabiner
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Metolius FS Mini Carabiner:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Carabiner Type: Non-Locking
  • Gate Opening: Wire
  • Major Axis Strength: 22 kN
  • Dimensions: 4 x 3 x 1 inches
  • Weight: 0.05 pounds
What we like:
  • The flared nose design makes the carabiner safe to use
  • Comes in a wide variety of colors
What we don’t like:
  • The compact size makes it difficult to use with gloves on

7. DMM Rhino Locking Carabiner

DMM Rhino locking carabiner offers the solution to maintaining the correct orientation of braking-assist belay devices. Its small spine horn along with the wide gate opening prevents cross-loading caused by the sideways flipping prior to catching the fall. The shape of this carabiner’s model enables it to withstand huge loads and distribute them along the strongest axis. The full section top bars make it easy to control the rope and reduce the wear and tear that inevitably occurs with consistent use. Whether you choose to attach a slim or a thick rope, the carabiner will perform well in both scenarios. Bring it with you to your next hiking expedition and see the Rhino’s many benefits for yourself.
DMM Rhino Locking Carabiner
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the DMM Rhino Locking Carabiner:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Carabiner Type: Locking
  • Gate Opening: Screw-lock
  • Major Axis Strength: 27 kN
  • Dimensions: 4 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 0.16 pounds
What we like:
  • Suitable for any climbing application, which makes it an appealing contestant among other locking carabiners
  • The gate and lock mechanism is super smooth and secure
What we don’t like:
  • Cannot prevent tube-like belay devices from the cross-loading

8. Camp USA Nano 22 Carabiner

Proudly carrying the title of the lightest carabiner on the market, Camp USA Nano 22 carabiner has an asymmetric D shape that reduces its weight and increases its strength. Its innovative design involves a sturdy open gate and a deep basket that holds the rope steady in the desired position. The safety of the instrument is not compromised – rather, it is enhanced by the profiled nose that securely holds the gate closed. ‘Small but mighty’ is the perfect description of this carabiner, especially when taking into consideration its affordability. When looking to bring your climbing game to the next level, think about investing in a few of these clippers that won’t disappoint you with their top-notch performance.
Camp USA Nano 22 Carabiner
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Camp USA Nano 22 Carabiner:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Carabiner Type: Non-Locking
  • Gate Opening: Wire
  • Dimensions: 7 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 0.05 pounds
What we like:
  • The asymmetric shape of the carabiner helps to distribute the load proportionately
  • The wire gate has a hook-like nose that prevents it from opening
What we don’t like:
  • Can be inconvenient to use for climbers with bigger hands

9. Mad Rock Ultralight Wire Gate Carabiner

This budget-friendly number is the killer in the lightweight category – it is light enough to not weigh you down yet robust enough to last you a long time. The Mad Rock ultralight carabiner is great for building a rack, in particular when you are just starting out with climbing. Its asymmetric D-shape enables it to limit the load shifting when you have to rely on it the most. You won’t be let down by it, that we can confirm. Surely, there are a couple of trade-offs you will have to come to terms with as the carabiner is on a low-end side, but its performance is not one of them. The 22mm gate opening is bent, which allows you to easily clip it when needed. Although color-coded racking is not the option since this model comes in two colors only, you get a high-quality tool that will come in handy more often than you would assume.
Mad Rock Ultralight Wire Gate Carabiner
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Mad Rock Ultralight Wire Gate Carabiner:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Carabiner Type: Non-Locking
  • Gate Opening: Wire
  • Major Axis Strength: 25 kN
  • Dimensions: 4 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 0.07 pounds
What we like:
  • Comes at an attractive price point that allows you to purchase a few of them and thus create a rack
  • The major axis strength is high for a non-locking carabiner of these dimensions
What we don’t like:
  • Can cause snagging at times if not careful with it

10. ASP Polymer Carabiner

It’s true, you shouldn’t be using ASP Polymer carabiner for climbing – its strength is not high enough to withstand big loads of weight. That being said, this carabiner does provide you with enough capacity to move the gear along the rope and store your essentials close to you. Having the ability to withstand up to 275 pounds of weight, the carabiner can be used as a tool for drying your wet laundry. The rugged design of the carabiner ensures the ultimate safety that is backed by the stainless spring construction and a robust interlocking clip. The manufacturer designed the carabiner to have purpose-driven ribs and angles that work together to create a secure instrument for you to use in a wide variety of scenarios.
ASP Polymer Carabiner
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the ASP Polymer Carabiner:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Carabiner Type: Non-Locking
  • Gate Opening: Interlocking Clip
  • Dimensions: 7 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 0.05 pounds
What we like:
  • The Polymer construction ensures the non-snagging performance and the low weight of the tool
  • Perfectly suitable for hiking enthusiasts who need to securely clip their stuff
What we don’t like:
  • Not suitable for climbing

11. Gold Lion Gear Aluminum Carabiner

In case you are in search of a tool that would help you organize your keys or hiking essentials like a water bottle and shoes, Gold Lion Gear aluminum carabiner is the way to go. The set includes 12 carabiners that can be used by you and your family for many arrangement scenarios. Regardless of whether you keep them all to yourself or gift some to your friends and family, the value you are getting from them is high. Not only do they have a light finish that still enables them to hold heavy stuff, but they can also be handled easily by one hand only. The aluminum material makes them strong and long-lasting, which means that you won’t have to purchase a new set anytime soon. Bring them with you to your next kayaking or backpacking trip and you will greatly benefit from them.
Gold Lion Gear Aluminum Carabiner
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Gold Lion Gear Aluminum Carabiner:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Carabiner Type: Non-Locking
  • Gate Opening: Large Latch
  • Dimensions: 3 x 1 inches
What we like:
  • The finish of the aluminum is smooth enough to easily accommodate your keychain and hiking needs
  • Some of the most affordable carabiners on the market
What we don’t like:
  • Not suitable for climbing

12. PETZL OXAN Carabiner

When looking for a heavy-duty carabiner with the highest strength ratio, PETZL OXAN oval model is your best bet. Its oval shape is the classic go-to option that is able to limit the load shifting and thus provide you with the most secure arrangement possible. Set up an anchor to connect metal structures or attach your belay rope to the carabiner – the high-quality performance of the carabiner won’t change. The 38 kN strength is one of the highest on this list, which means that this item is able to withstand every load that comes its way. PETZL allows you to choose from two different locking systems – an automatic TRIACT-LOCK mechanism with a triple-action gate or a manual SCREW-LOCK system with a visual lock indicator. Either one will have your best interests ‘in mind’ when in use.
PETZL OXAN Carabiner
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the PETZL OXAN Carabiner :
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Carabiner Type: Locking
  • Gate Opening: Automatic/Manual
  • Major Axis Strength: 38 kN
  • Dimensions: 4.37 x 2.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.15 pounds
What we like:
  • The design of the carabiner is unique, while its steel construction is of an excellent quality
  • The two locking gate options allow you to choose the most preferred variant
What we don’t like:
  • One of the more expensive carabiners on the market

13. EDELRID HMS Strike Locking Carabiner

Alpine climbing has never been easier with the EDELRID HMS Strike carabiner in use. The superb performer in its category takes pride in meeting the needs of every customer who makes an order and goes on to conquer the biggest heights. The easy-to-handle slide gate mechanism allows the climber to clip his stuff in a fast manner, while the lock minimizes the risk of accidental opening of the gate. Whether it be belay or anchor, the carabiner is able to freely move with no restrictions due to the convenient keylock closure. The manufacturer ensures the design of the carabiner allows you to clip and unclip the carabiner without any limitations. Ultimately, you cannot expect anything less from a tool with the strength of the 23 kN and the smooth slider slate construction.
EDELRID HMS Strike Locking Carabiner
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the EDELRID HMS Strike Locking Carabiner:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Carabiner Type: Locking
  • Gate Opening: Slide
  • Major Axis Strength: 23 kN
  • Dimensionsv: 5.5 x 2 inches
  • Weight: 0.9 pounds
What we like:
  • Suitable for extreme outdoor sports like alpine climbing and mountaineering
  • Stays in place no matter what
What we don’t like:
  • On the more expensive side

14. Black Diamond Gridlock Magnetron Locking Carabiner

The Black Diamond Gridlock Magnetron locking carabiner might be the most expensive tool in this guide (and on the market in general), but it’s worth every penny. It is high tech from top to the bottom – its hot-forged construction along with the unique shape no other carabiner has are to thank. Unlike other carabiners, the Magnetron has got two magnetic arms you have to manually depress to open the carabiner. This eliminates the risk of the gates accidentally opening by themselves in the midst of a risky climb. The locking gate is thus able to equip you with the highest level of security you can possibly receive from a belay device. You can freely operate the tool with one hand without worrying about cross-loading and not having enough rope-bearing surface.
Black Diamond Gridlock Magnetron Locking Carabiner
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Black Diamond Gridlock Magnetron Locking Carabiner:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Carabiner Type: Locking
  • Gate Opening: Auto-lock
  • Major Axis Strength: 22 kN
  • Dimensions: 4.3 x 2.6 inches
  • Weight: 0.17 pounds
What we like:
  • The keylock nose doesn’t allow for snagging and makes it easy to clip
  • The symmetric design of the carabiner allows you to open the gate with one hand only
What we don’t like:
  • The price tag is high

15. Gilmars D-Ring Carabiners

Camping, fishing, hiking and cross-country traveling can be stressful at times, which is why a set of tools that would get rid of the tension is a must. Gilmars D-Ring carabiners do just that – they allow you to attach anything from as small as a pair of keys to as big as ski equipment and thus keep your hands free. The spring-loaded gate provides you with the option of quickly attaching the fixing points with one hand while also remaining lightweight and durable. Even if your load is as heavy as 100 pounds, Gilmars carabiners won’t have an issue with managing it for many hours at a time. What’s more appealing about these carabiners – they come in a set of 10. Ranging from purple to pink and to yellow, you will have a set of tools that will shine brightly on your backpack/suitcase or a tent while doing their primary job well.
Gilmars D-Ring Carabiners
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Gilmars D-Ring Carabiners:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Carabiner Type: Non-Locking
  • Gate Opening: Spring
  • Dimensions: 3 x 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.45 pounds
What we like:
  • The spring-loaded gate helps the carabiners to withstand up to 150 pounds of weight without breaking apart
  • The service life of the carabiners equals over 5000 uses
What we don’t like:
  • The built is cheap

16. Fding 25KN Climbing Carabiner

When looking for a set of locking carabiners that don’t cost a fortune, Fding climbing carabiners come to mind. Not only are they made from a high-grade aluminum that lasts a long time, but they also have a silky smooth locking gate mechanism that lets you hand up to 5511 pounds of weight. That’s impressive considering the relatively low price of the set of 4 this lot offers. The asymmetric D-shape along with the anti-skid design makes it easy to connect the belt and the protector and fix them in a way that fosters the lengthy holding time of the load. Whether you are engaging in an ice climbing or a two-day hiking trails adventure, the 25 kN of the carabiners will continuously back you up.
Fding 25KN Climbing Carabiner
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Fding 25KN Climbing Carabiner:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Carabiner Type: Locking
  • Gate Opening: Screw-lock
  • Major Axis Strength: 25 kN
  • Dimensions: 4 x 2.2 inches
  • Weight: 0.52 pounds
What we like:
  • The quality of the carabiners is high, meaning that they will last you up to 5 years of constant use
  • The carabiners have a European Union’s CE safety certification, which makes them a safe choice
What we don’t like:
  • The carabiners are not suitable for use with sand and chemical substances

17. XINDA Climbing Carabiner

The sweet spot between a tool meant for keychain use and an instrument required for high-risk mountaineering is occupied by the XINDA carabiner used for rappelling, mixed terrace climbing and caving. It is rich with features like a wide gate opening, high-quality aluminum construction and a hefty major axis strength reaching 22 kN. The anodized surface layer of the carabiner makes the tool water-resistant, non-slippery and free of harmful chemicals. You have the choice of either a screw-lock or an auto-lock gate that both perform well in the harshest weather conditions. This bright-colored piece of metal is an eye-catching device that will serve you in a wide variety of scenarios. It comes in a pack of 2, which makes the deal appealing and hard to pass by.
XINDA Climbing Carabiner
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the XINDA Climbing Carabiner:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Carabiner Type: Locking
  • Gate Opening: Screw-lock/Auto-lock
  • Major Axis Strength: 22 kN
  • Dimensions: 3.97 x 2.24 inches
  • Weight: 0.13 pounds
What we like:
  • The two gate options give you the opportunity to pick the carabiner that will entirely meet your needs
  • The material of the carabiner is sturdy enough to withstand up to 4800 pounds of weight
What we don’t like:
  • On the pricy side

18. Nite Ize S-Biner Dual Carabiner

The Nite Ize S-Biner dual carabiner is a new player on the market as it has 2 opening gates and a smaller frame than other carabiners. What does this mean? It means that while one of the gates is holding some load, the other one is capable of holding on to the anchor. The twist-lock mechanism of the carabiner allows you to easily connect hang paint cans and luggage zippers without risking either one of the sides starting to malfunction. The carabiner is built from qualitative stainless steel that features a wire lock from the same material on each end of the S-curve. This allows it to be used for hanging heavy-duty stuff and expect it to stay put no matter what. Combing in a pack of two and for a fraction of the price of a regular carabiner, there is simply no way you could go wrong with the Ize S-Biner.
Nite Ize S-Biner Dual Carabiner
We’ve done all the work for you and found the best prices on the Nite Ize S-Biner Dual Carabiner:
Our recommendations:
  • Amazon with worldwide shipping
Specs & Features:
  • Carabiner Type: Non-Locking
  • Gate Opening: Twist-lock
  • Dimensions: 2.67 x 1.18 inches
  • Weight: 0.03 pounds
What we like:
  • One of the most lightweight carabiners on the market
  • The twist-lock mechanism make sit easy to open and close the gate with one hand
What we don’t like:
  • Not suitable for climbing

Questions & Answers:

1. Do carabiners break?

Unless you use the carabiner for activities it is not designed to accommodate, your carabiner shouldn’t break. Statistically speaking, the majority of the carabiners that have broken within a certain period of use time had nose damages that resulted from the weight overload. As the nose of the carabiner is considered to be its weakest point, it tends to suffer the most. This means that you should never attach too many things to your carabiner, especially if its kN rating is not high enough to withstand the load.

Unfortunately, nose strength isn’t a part of the carabiners’ evaluation, which is why it may seem frustrating when this part breaks. The reason for that is the additional resources required for the testings that the manufacturers are not willing to spend. And although the higher the strength rating of the carabiner is, the stronger it is, even the weakest carabiners will perform well if used appropriately.

2. What should I look for in a carabiner?

Before purchasing a carabiner, you must consider a few elements upon which your decision will be made. Since carabiners tend to come in different sizes, the choice of the right size will positively affect your tool’s performance. The general rule states that the bigger the carabiner is, the easier it is to manipulate. Ice climbers, in particular, will benefit from a large carabiner as opposed to the small one. Furthermore, the more experienced you get, the wider will be your array of carabiners.

As carabiners come in 4 shapes, you are bound to find the shape that will meet your needs. The most popular one is the asymmetric D-shape – it’s gate opening is a bit larger than the one on the standard D-shaped carabiner, which is perfect for attaching thick ropes. The standard D-shape is the most versatile shape that can be used for climbing just as much as for backpacking or keys-securing. The pear shape works well for maintaining the best control of the rope due to its semi-isolated loop. At last, the oval shape is the old-fashioned shape of carabiners used for mountaineering that holds a lot more gear than the D-shape because of its symmetry.

When it comes to the carabiners’ material, they are often constructed from either high-grade aluminum, stainless steel or the combination of both. The carabiners made from stainless steel tend to weigh more than the aluminum ones, which means that they are able to withstand a heavier load. Besides, they are proven to last longer than the aluminum carabiners that are discouraged from being used on fixed rope systems.

If you have never used carabiners before, you would be surprised at the fact that not all carabiners have a locking mechanism. Those that do, however, provide the climber with security that his load won’t fall in the middle of the climb. Surely, the locking and unlocking of the carabiner when you are up high is not the most convenient thing to do, but they do offer the safety that the non-locking carabiners won’t. To ensure you don’t get frustrated when you need to unlock your carabiner in the midst of a tough climb, choose the easy-to-open carabiners that can be handled with one hand in an instant.

The vast majority of carabiners is designed to withstand no more than 50 pounds of weight. This is handy for the use of carabiners around the house and when running errands. It is, however, not enough for a climber who is prone to falling. Measured by kN, kilonewtons, carabiners with high strength indicators are the only ones that are appropriate for rock climbing. If these indicators are missing, don’t use the carabiner for rock climbing or any other intense outdoor activity.

3. What is the difference between the locking and non-locking carabiner?

Unlike the non-locking carabiners, the locking ones have gates that can be tightly secured in a way that prevents them from opening up. Typically, they have either an auto-locking or a screw-lock system that allows you to lock your stuff in place. If you are attaching a belay device or are attaching yourself to some kind of an anchor, you need a locking carabiner. Also, when you are top-roping through an anchor or are carrying essentials that you don’t want to risk losing, a locking carabiner is a must. Your carabiner has to be fail-proof – at the end of the day, you don’t want to injure yourself or put yourself in the position when you have to cut the climb short because something valuable is lost along the way.

The non-locking carabiners, on the other hand, are great for carrying non-essential items that you have to unclip to use. Quickdraws, alpine draws and keys are perfectly compatible with non-locking carabiners. It is crucial to know when to avoid locking carabiners as they can be burdensome for scenarios when the non-locking carabiners can replace them. Moreover, you can always put two non-locking carabiners in the ‘opposite and opposed’ system where the tops and bottoms are stuck together. This setup ensures nothing slips off and is considered to be the safest way to use two non-locking carabiners.

4. How many carabiners do you need for rock climbing?

There is no universal answer as to how many carabiners are enough for rock climbing, and no matter how many outdoor sports professionals you ask, you will receive different answers. Those who claim that 2 carabiners are enough don’t disclose the fact that they always have a dozen quickdraws – protection systems – with them for a backup. This means that although they might be saying that you don’t need more than 2 carabiners, in reality, they consistently use over 10 protective setups.

A rule of thumb states that you need around 4 to 5 locking and about the same number of non-locking carabiners if you are new to rock climbing. Quickdraws should also have a place in your pockets. This quantity will ensure you are not low on any gear and can count on your handy tools at all times. The more experienced you become with rock climbing, the clearer the number of carabiners you actually need will be for you.

5. When should I retire a carabiner?

Damaged carabiners are not to be taken lightly – they have to be retired immediately. If you see any cracks or big scolds on the carabiner, or if its gate isn’t properly working anymore, you should get rid of your carabiner as soon as possible and replace it with a new one. Carabiners that were dropped from a big height should also be thrown away as they can possess damages not visible to your eye. It is better to be safe than sorry.

You can, however, consider giving your carabiners a second life in a non-climbing scenario in case you don’t want to dispose of one. Use it as a keychain or as a keeper of some household items that won’t be damaged if they fall. Once your carabiner has exhausted all of its uses, bring it to your nearest recycling center and get a new one.

If you already have a carabiner or you just bought one, leave a comment in the comment section below and share your experience with it.

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