These devices are a gated connecting device used in rock climbing to attach a rope to a fixed anchor, tie in to protection points and the Belay Device. They are which are either non-locking or locking, and hinged with a spring to snap shut when released. They are lightweight, most commonly made with aluminum, and specifically designed to be operated with one hand. They are built to withstand a high shock force, and yet are light enough for climbers to carry between 6 to 30 without being hindered by the weight or bulk. The sizes range from big 3.7 ounce--to the mini 1.2 ounce aluminum carabiner. There are three basic types:
Snap Gate Aluminum Carabiner
Oval. The semi-circle at each end distributes the load while allowing the rope or another carabiner to shift with movement. Typically these are the least expensive, lightest in weight to include the mini size. The tradeoff is they are not as strong and a little more difficult to clip than other styles, but are is ideal for clipping gear and rack items to the climbing harness.
"D" - Symmetrical. The "D-shape" causes the connecting runners or rope to shift toward the spine side (away from the gate). The spine side of the aluminum carabiner is stronger than the gate. This type will take more shock and weight force than the standard oval. They are easier to clip into runners and anchors points than the oval. This type works well for lead and top rope clipping.
"D" - Asymmetrical. The asymmetrical function provides space for a larger gate opening. This facilitates clipping and reduces weight a little. The asymmetrical has a larger gate opening than the symmetrical, but has less space inside the carabiner. It is also a good choice for lead and top rope clipping for experienced climbers.
Type of Gates, Gate Options
- Straight Gate. These are straight as the name implies. This is a little less expensive than the bent gate, more common and offers good functionality.
- Bent Gate. This type of gate has a slight concave curve. The purpose is to provide more room for the rope, runner or anchor point which allows faster clipping. Some climbers believe this type of gate is slightly more prone to unintentional unclipping. This could happen if another carabiner or protection point is twisted against the gate. For this reason, the bent gate type should be used with a runner or quickdraw. When used properly these provide added advantage of easy, smooth and quick clipping.
- Wire Gate. The thinner gate of the wire is an advantage in two ways: It provides more room, and is not as susceptible to "gate lash". Gate lash is the momentary opening of the gate caused from jarring or impact during a fall. This momentary opening weakens the carabiner at the instant of impact stress--when the full strength is needed most. When the gate is closed the gate contributes to the overall strength. When the gate is open, the spine carries the full strength. This is called open gate loading. Open gate loading is the leading cause of failure of aluminum carabiners. Since the wire gate has less momentum than the other gates it is less prone to pop open on impact.
Also see locking carabiners.
Carabiners for Sale
Sale Price: $2.71
The Nite Ize Slidelock Carabiner is the classic utility carabiner. The folks at Nite Ize took a hard look at this ubiquitous device and saw two good opportunities to make it more efficient. They designed an innovative slide-to-lock feature that securely locks the gate with a simple push and slide movement, and unlocks when you want it to just as easily. Then, instead of a bulky tubular construction,...
Stansport Oversized Carry Handle Carabiner, Black
Sale Price: $3.99
Stansport Oversized Carry Handle Carabiner is made of aluminum with a spring loaded gate. The soft, rubber cushion-grip makes it comfortable to carry. The jumbo size allows you to carry multiple items at one time from packages, sports gear and even walking multiple dogs at once by attaching the leashes. Color: black.
S-Biner Microlock Carabiner
Sale Price: $3.99
The Nite Ize S-Biner MicroLock is the perfect size to hold and organize keys to rings or for organizing other smaller items. And now, with its added twist lever, it also locks perfectly, preventing any unintended or accidental openings. Made of high quality stainless steel, the S-Biner MicroLock features a center lever made of durable plastic--a simple twist effectively and securely locks the gates,...
Black Diamond Oval Carabiner
A favorite on gear racks for years, the Black Diamond Oval carabiner is a fine all-around choice.
Swiss Tech MFTCSOR-CFK-NA Carabiner Folding Knife
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Scuba Choice Boat Marine Clip Stainless Steel Safety Spring Hook Carabiner, 3 1/8-Inch
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Oakley Large Oakley Carabiner
The large carabiner offers a secure, easy-access attachment for your essential stuff. Made with a lightweight alloy for toughness and reduced bulk, this carabiner is a must for the athlete who wants to stay prepared.
Keeper (06300) 12-Piece Bungee Assortment
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Keeper Bungee Cords are made from the highest quality materials for long-lasting dependability no matter what the application. All Keeper bungee cords are designed to withstand UV rays and weather damage with durable outer jackets in bright, visible colors. Inside, premium rubber ensures top quality performance and outstanding toughness. Heavy gauge steel Carabiner style hooks are stronger that conventional...
Motorcycle Helmet Lock Combination Carabiner Secure Steel Construction (Carabiner)
Racing 1 Motorcycle Helmet Lock is the Safest Way to Protect Your Motorcycle Gear Including your Helmet. It's Quick, and Easy to Secure. Why Lug Around Your Gear After you Park off Your Motorcycle Make Sure You Have the Number 1 Best Motorcycle Helmetlok on the Market. Compatible with any Motorcycle, Motorbike, Scooter, Moped, Bicycle, or even Stroller. 6 Feet of Steel Braided Cable Coated with...
Qliplet by Lulabop Carabiner Hanger with Rotating Folding Hook - Strong Clip for Camping, Travel; Adventure Tool; Sports Accessory; Organizing Gadget; Baby Gear
The Qliplet is the revolutionary carabiner with a rotating, folding hook so you can hang or rest your things anywhere.