Carabiners are a staple tool for any rope-intensive activities. The best example of these activities are climbing, rope rescue, caving, hot air ballooning, sailing, and any job that requires a person to work in high-altitude areas.
Most carabiners are made of both aluminum and steel. Climbing carabiner or sport those used in sports are usually lighter in weight compared to carabiners used in commercial purpose and rope rescue.
The harness of the climbers can be found somewhat adorned by varieties of carabiners; not for vanity but for necessity. A climbing carabiner can be considered as a lifeline of climbers, it holds and secures them during a climb. Due to this, the climbing community strictly insists on the usage of carabiners rated 20kN, manufactured and passed safety-critical system in load-bearing typically for mountain and rock climbing.
Divers use load-bearing screw-gate carabiners for connecting the umbilical cable to the air supply from the surface attached to the harness. This kind of carabiner for diving is usually rated for a safety load of 5kN or more.
Hot air balloons use carabiners for connecting the basket to the envelope, usually made of steel, and are rated at 2.5 t to 4 t.
But because of its popularity, there are carabiners that are made as key holders that are labeled as not suitable for climbing, these “mini-biners” or light clips did not pass the safety standards and load testing. Therefore, it is always best to read labels and confirm the appropriateness of the carabiner before using it.
The following are the best carabiners on the market.
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This climbing carabiner of Black Diamond features a hot-forged construction to remove unnecessary weight where it was not needed and add material where it needs to be. This is a carabiner that is lightweight but durable and reliable for climbing.
Built for an Intense Climbing Activity
The Hotforge is to be used at top-roping, belays, and any activity where you need to be secured by a carabiner. This is built for any climbing activities that require you to be fast and agile.
These are the other features of this carabiner that made it best for climbing: keylock nose to prevent snagging, large size to accommodate a clove hitch, screw gate sleeve, easy to hold functional shape, and Type B “Basic” locking connector.
- Lightweight - climbers will not be burdened by its weight while climbing
- Comes in 3 per pack
- Ideal for pairing with Black Diamond LINK Anchor System
- Screwgate is not that easy to twist for opening and closing
Made of high-quality steel alloy that can withstand a beating. Strengthened to industrial quality, it will not easily deform when dropped, smashed, or slammed. The galvanized body of the carabiner is built from steel with balanced anti-skip curves, and a smart lock mechanism, it is strong enough to bear 25kN (5,520lbs) of heavy equipment while hanging.
Load Shifting Made Easy
The oval shape and the curves of this carabiner give balance to enable load shifting and maintain a high holding capacity for gears that making this carabiner the best to use for camping, TRK exercising, anchoring, rigging, climbing, belaying and rappelling.
Single-hand Locking Mechanism
The XTEK carabiner is equipped with a twist-it smart screw lock. It is designed as a single-hand locking carabiner. This comes in handy to mountaineers, construction workers, climbers, and sports adventurers whose hands are almost always occupied with tools.
- Durable and heavy-duty
- Higher gear holding capacity
- Single hand locking carabiner
- Tends to be heavy
For a hand-held size, this carabiner is versatile and durable. This is made of a lightweight 7075 aluminum material with a meticulous design to satisfy your carabiner needs without cramping your style.
Although it is not suitable for climbing because it is a wire gate type, there are several activities and uses that this carabiner can fulfill like: Hiking, backpacking, traveling, hanging hammocks, camping, weighing, and hunting.
It can also be a stylish accessory while doing its purpose as a key ring for outdoor activities like fishing and cycling.
Rated and passed at 12kN with a recommended load of below 2,645lbs. Available in different colors, this carabiner is a must-have.
- Versatile and multi-purpose
This light but a sturdy one-hand carabiner is rated for outdoor use like rappelling, hiking, holding hammocks, swinging, and rescue. The tensile strength of this carabiner is up to 27kN but the brand labels it at 25kN as standard to avoid overloading and to prolong the carabiner’s lifespan.
Double Locking Feature
There are two steps to open this carabiner: first, is to twist; second, is to push to completely open. It will only take 1 second to twist the lock. But the best highlight of this carabiner that is beneficial to the users is its double locking feature. It automatically locks once the pressure to open has been released.
Unlike the traditional screw-gate carabiner, this carabiner does not require you to fasten it up to lock. So, even if you accidentally forgot to lock the carabiner, you will still be secured.
Weighing only 2.03oz, it is relatively lighter than steel/iron, and copper carabiners. Great to carry outdoors, you can as many as you need without feeling burdened by the weight.
Scratch and Rust Proof
The sleek and glossy finish is a result of the anti-oxidation process that also made this carabiner scratch-resistant and rust-proof through rain and snow. The locking gate surface is also smooth to avoid scratching and inflicting blisters to beginner users.
Experts will appreciate this carabiner as it is designed with keylock nose guards to avoid snagging, a deep basket to reduce fumbling, and made a d shape for easy grasping.
- Auto-locking carabiner
- Smooth finish
- Rust-proof and scratch-resistant
- Not recommended for climbing
If you’re looking for a belay carabiner, the Black Diamond Gridlock Screw gate is specifically designed for belaying. It has a unique shape gate and easy-to-use gridlock to isolate the belay loop behind.
Smooth Rope Feeding
Because of this design, it eliminates the hazard of cross-loading. The Gridlocks I beam construction spine can shift into a round rope-bearing surface for smooth rope feeding at maximum strength. In other words, there is no need to worry about cross-loaded belay shift carabiner. When used for belaying and rappelling, the harness loop stays on the smaller area while the belay device is placed in the larger section.
This carabiner weighs 76g, gate openings are at 21mm, minor axis strength of 7kN, open gate strength of 8kN, and closed gate strength of 22kN. Available in one color and one size only.
- Best carabiner for belay
- Eliminates the dangers of cross-loading
- Hot-forged construction
- A bit bothersome to connect and disconnect this carabiner
Finished with exquisite polish, this titanium heavy-duty key ring weighs only 7.5 grams. Because of its gr5 titanium alloy built, these mini carabiners are corrosion-free, rust-proof, high heat-resistant, non-toxic, and non-allergenic.
Strong While Light
While it’s light, it is still considered heavy-duty in terms of its hardness and strength that can bear up to 138kg of load. The spring clip of this carabiner is 13.55mm, and the strong wire gate stays closed and secured.
It’s the best gift to your family, friends, and even yourself especially if you enjoy having carabiners clipped on your keys, bags, apparel, and outdoor tools.
- Made of titanium alloy; non-corrosive
- A strong wire gate can securely attach keys to the belt loop
- Pricey for the size of the carabiner
A safe carabiner in the palm of your hands. The Vanwalk carabiners have a screw lock, with a large and easy to access gate opening but and don’t have sharp or rough edges so it won’t scratch or snag the fabric of your hammocks, clothes, backpack, or even your skin.
A Versatile Carabiner
Built from steel alloy material, this carabiner is lightweight at 25 grams but can hold a load up to 12kN. Although it is sturdy, this carabiner is not intended to be used in high-altitude activities such as climbing.
It is multi-functional for the following purposes: fishing, camping, hiking, swing strap, and setting up hammocks.
This D shape form carabiner provides a stronger frame compared to an oval shape and is available in various colors.
- Multi-purpose carabiners
- The joints for gate opening are operating smooth
- Not suitable for climbing
It comes with two, 18kN heavy-duty carabiners when you purchase. Each carabiner is strengthened by a steel alloy that can bear up to 4,000 pounds of weight.
It also features snag-free springs and single-hand use to loosen and tighten the screw lock while securing the items attached to the carabiner.
Rust and Weather Resistant Carabiner
Best to be used for indoor and outdoor activities. These carabiners are rust-proof and weather-resistant. There’s a wide range of activities for which the Trekproof locking carabiners can be used such as backpacking, camping, hiking, hammock-setting, hanging bags, and more; except for climbing.
- Durable and heavy-duty
- Locking carabiners well-secure the attached items
- Quite heavy
These locking carabiners are made of aircraft-grade aluminum, guaranteed to be strong and reliable. Each carabiner weighs 0.7oz but amazingly has the strength to hold up to 5kN of force. The gate openings smoothly glide to easily clip into your hammock straps without snagging and tearing the fabric of your gears.
Furnished with two-lock security nuts, which protect the screw gate from sliding open while at the same time strengthening its gate. This is a multi-function carabiner other than hanging your hammock, this also can serve as a hook for your dog leash, key holder, and bag clip.
- Secured by screw lock
- Not suitable for climbing
The Super Tech from Mad Rock is a compact and lightweight d shape carabiner. The technical specs in terms of load-bearing are as follows: The major axis is rated at 24kN, the minor axis at 8kN, and the open gate at 9kN. It is made from hot-forged aluminum and weighs 43 grams.
Easy to Grip
Built with a screw gate and I beam construction for minimizing weight while carrying the required load. Ideal to be deployed for building anchors, or tether clipping. However, unlike pear-shaped carabiners, these are too small to hold two ropes, therefore, it is not recommended as a belay locker.
Usually, screw gate carabiners best perform in winter conditions because it doesn’t easily freeze and are still accessible even with gloves on. Though it’s easy to grip for unlocking and locking gate as the auto locker carabiners do, on average it’s still relatively easy to grip and spin to open and close.
- Best for winter conditions
- Too small to hold two ropes; not recommended for belay and rappel activities
These carabiners are not meant to be used for climbing activities, but it is strengthened with aircraft-grade 7075 aluminum materials, therefore, making them strong enough to be deployed multi-purposely.
Lightweight But Heavy-duty
Weighing 1oz each, these carabiners are lightweight but heavy-duty, rated at 12kN that can bear up to 2,697 pounds of force. These are best to be used for the following purposes: horse rein, aerial yoga, hanging swing, camping, pet leash, hiking, backpacking, and key ring. Guaranteed that you will enjoy carrying this around without burden.
These d shape carabiners are designed to be rust-proof and durable for longer a lifespan.
- For multi-purpose use
- Easy to use with twist-lock mechanism
- Not applicable for any safety climbing or rappelling
These palm-size carabiners are lightweight but strong. Just like the other lightweight carabiners, these are made of aircraft-grade aluminum – guaranteed high-quality kind. The weight of this carabiner is 0.7 oz each.
A Travel Essential
This carabiner is absolutely essential for travel, carrying this around will not be a burden to outdoor adventurers when hiking, camping, and backpacking. It can serve as a key ring, pet leash accessory, and hammock hook.
These wire gate-type carabiners are easy to open, and designed with wide gate opening. Very practical and convenient to use for your outdoor and indoor endeavors.
- Wide gate opening
- Light and convenient to carry
- Not recommended not approved for climbing
Made of Strong Aluminum
This carabiner is not suitable as climbing equipment but it has many uses for indoor and other outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. Made of strong aluminum, and weighs 0.05lb, this carabiner is light. It features a spring load gate, with a gate opening of 1.6cm, screw lock – type with a tight spring that snaps back in place when released.
Waterproof, wear-resistant, and rock hard. This carabiner won the hearts of pet owners and hikers because of its versatility of use. It’s best to be used to customize dog leashes as well as carrying drinking bottles and keys during hiking.
So, if you’re a hiker and pet lover who enjoys the great outdoors with your dogs, these carabiners are suited for your needs.
- Comes in 4 carabiners per purchase
- Lightweight to be worn as a bag accessory and dog leash
- Not for climbing and not suitable for heavy-duty load
Rust-proof & Durable
The non-locking carabiners of Favorit are rated at 12kN and can withstand 2697 pounds amount of weight. 7075 aircraft-quality aluminum is used to construct these carabiners, designed to be rust-proof and durable.
Each carabiner weighs 0.71lbs which makes it easy to be clipped and carried. This is a wire gate type with smooth edges to prevent snagging and hurting your gear and fabric.
Take these carabiners to your outdoor activities to support you in carrying your camping, hiking, trekking, cycling, backpacking, and hunting gear.
On a daily basis, you may depend on this carabiner to hang your keys on your belt loop, hang your bags, and even take your dogs on a leash with carabiner support.
Definitely not for extreme load-bearing like rock climbing, rappelling, or belaying but other than that, this is the carabiner for your needs.
- Multi-purpose and versatile
- Smooth edges to prevent snagging
- Not anodized, not scratch-proof
Comes in two when purchased. These carabiners are rated 12kN, strengthened to bear up to 2,697 pounds. Specifications include 3.15inches in length, 0.75inches in gate opening, and 22 grams in weight.
Easy-open Without Snugging
Made from top-grade aluminum, light, strong, easy to use, and easy to carry. These types of wire gate carabiners make it easier for you to open without snagging or ripping materials.
This is one of the best carabiner options for general use on your household needs as a dog leash, hanging plants and bags, and outdoor adventures like traveling, hiking, and camping. These are also great to be used with gym equipment.
- Strong gate
- Best for general purposes
- Quick single-handed set-up
- Great for carrying gears but not the best to carry bodyweight
This carabiner from Black Diamond truly rocks. It uses the force of magnets for its locking mechanism for the locking gate of the carabiner. The magnetron technology of Black Diamond ensures and protects anything that is attached to the carabiner; all thanks to the two magnetic arms in the gate and a steel insert in the keylock nose for snag prevention.
Wearing materials and fabric attached to the carabiner will not be a problem. To maximize gate opening, it is designed with a slightly curved spine, while its square hinged end securely holds the belay loop in place.
Innovative But Simple
Other specifications include: 21mm gate opening, rated 24kN closed gate strength, 7kN open gate strength, 7kN minor axis strength and weighs 87 grams.
Innovative but a simple carabiner that will take you to high-altitude activities such as rock climbing, sports climbing, and gym climbing. Strong, durable, and multi-purpose.
- Best auto locker
- Magnetized locking mechanism
- Best for rock climbing
- Tends to freeze in alpine and ice climbing
How to Choose the Best Carabiner
If you’re looking for a specific climbing sports carabiner, always go for tough, heavy-duty, and tested carabiners. It should be designed and made for the heavy demand of bearing load because, in these types of activities, your life is on the line. These built of carabiners are usually pricey compared to other carabiners on the market.
For multi-purpose use but requires heavy load duties, you may opt for strong carabiners that are made from sturdy materials like stainless steel alloy. Although it’s always best to have heavy-duty carabiners, one must still consider the value for money. If the carabiner does the job without having to spend a lot, that will be the best product to fulfill your needs.
Carabiners come in different shapes, sizes, materials, and colors. It greatly affects the performance and function of the carabiner.
The D-shaped carabiners excel when it comes to locking anchor points and clipping protection. The design enables it to draw the force away from the gate in the direction of the carabiner’s spine. The D shape carabiner can be constructed lighter than other shape types, and the gate open is wider. Though this carabiner shape is tagged as the strongest, it doesn’t mean that all D-shaped carabiners can withstand any force or heavy load.
The oval-shaped carabiner is probably the oldest type there is but still relevant for modern purposes. Because of its shape, this carabiner can be easily flipped. They are not as strong as the other shape type carabiners but their shape reduces the shifting of the wights.
The pear-shaped carabiner excels when it comes to attaching belay devices. However, because of its shape, there’s a tendency of weight and strength drawbacks. But they compensate when it comes to the carabiner thickness. Still, it is the best shape option for your belay devices.
The asymmetrical d shape carabiners on the other hand have similar functions and designs as the d shape carabiner. The only difference is the wider gate opening because of its larger asymmetrical design.
There are different metals used in constructing the carabiners. The lightweight kind is usually made from high-grade aluminum to maintain its weight while being sturdy at the same time. Heavy carabiners are usually made from stainless steel alloy but there are some heavy-duty carabiners that are made from a combination of aluminum and zinc.
For undemanding purposes such as key holders and water bottle clips, the carabiners are preferred to be light. The same goes with traveling, carabiners that are made to be light are very helpful for the users to not worry about the burden of carrying extra weight. Just be careful of sub-standard carabiner knock-offs.
There are 2 kinds of carabiner locking mechanisms. The non-locking carabiners are the following: straight gate, bent gate, and wire gate. While the locking carabiners are the following: screw lock and twist lock.
The most distinguishable difference between non-locking and locking carabiners is the weight. Locking carabiners are more dependable when it comes to securing the load. That is why it is widely used for climbing. Non-locking types are often used for general clipping purposes.
Some carabiners are available in different colors. Choosing the right color is fully dependent on your personal preference. But there are also carabiners that are made as plain as possible without any choice.
Strength, Durability, and Certification
To ensure that you bought the right carabiner suitable for your need, it’s best to check the certification and the product test result. There are different load tests, pressure tests, and force tests conducted to certify the rate of a carabiner.
The shape and materials play a big role in the carabiners’ strength and durability. But ultimately, the test will determine the strength and limit of your carabiners. Do not use carabiners above the limit load to avoid accidents.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the strongest carabiners?
The D-shape carabiners are considered to be the strongest type of carabiner. Its shape is a big factor in carrying weight.
How much weight can climbing carabiners hold?
Climbing carabiners should be rated 20kN. It is rated based on its ability to hold the force, not on the weight it can carry.
When to retire carabiners?
When a carabiner dropped from a high distance, it should be replaced. When there are signs of being worn out such as cracks and malfunctioning gates, it should not be used anymore.
How long do climbing carabiners last?
Carabiners can last a long time, longer than climbers keep them. But lack of care can retire a carabiner.