• The Carabiner Handbook

    The Carabiner Handbook

    Surpassing chalk, puffy jackets, and beer (OK, and ropes too), carabiners are the most essential piece of the climbing life. These small metal clippers are both the staple of any rack and the icon by which non-climbers identify our sport. Once a simple concept—a metal oval with a spring-loaded gate—the intended uses, designs, and details of the carabiner have grown exponentially from their original purpose: helping soldiers carry their inventory efficiently. Below, we outline the history of the carabiner, important vocabulary, and the rest of the basics of these clippers’ designs so you can pick the best biner for the job.

  • HPECAlpine

    Gear Guide 2014: Alpine

    Rock, ice, or snow, these 12 tester-approved toys will get you to the top.

  • HPECTrad

    Gear Guide 2014: Trad Climbing

    From cams to carabiners to shoes, here are 18 of the best new products for plug-and-chuggers.

  • ECSport

    Gear Guide 2014: Sport Climbing

  • Cassin-X-Draw

    Cassin X Draw

    For sketchy aid or trad placements and ice screws, a load-limiting quickdraw can provide a margin of safety and confidence. These runners are sewn into a compact bundle with stitching designed to break under a heavy load, absorbing some of the impact force. (The expanded runner retains full strength.)

  • Trango-Phase-Quickdraw

    Trango Phase

    The name says it all: This is one simple gear sling. And that’s a good thing. Constructed of black webbing that’s double-width over the shoulder to distribute the load, it weighs only 2.5 oz. and hangs the rack just above your hip. (It’s available in two sizes: 20” and 24”.) “Initially I was concerned about a lack of padding, but the webbing was wide enough that it was adequately comfortable, especially over a jacket or other layers."

  • Petzl-Spirit-Express

    Petzl Spirit Express

    Ask a group of climbers what their favorite standby quickdraw is, and the majority will answer with the Petzl Spirit Express. Petzl decided to give this classic draw a facelift, while managing to drop the price by $4. Each biner has been tweaked to maximize performance for its specific duty.

  • Metolius-Bravo-Quickdraw

    Metolius Bravo

    Svelte, ultralight carabiners tend to slide around in quickdraws, even when the draw is cinched tight with an elastic band or bartacking—this can leave the biner cockeyed and hard to clip. Not so with these Metolius draws, which have a rubber fitting that loops up around the biner and locks it in place (Metolius calls this the JIG).

  • Edelrid-Nineteen-G

    Edelrid Nineteen G

    Tagged as “the lightest carabiner set on the market,” these clippers barely tip the scales at 19.5 grams (about 0.7 oz.) per biner—hence the name. That’s about 20 percent lighter than the sveltest micro-biners out there. Put another way, a rack of 10 Edelrid Nineteen G quickdraws with 10cm Dyneema slings weighs less than a pound.

  • Climbing-Tech-Concept-SGL-Biner


    Although I’ve heard anti-crossloading carabiners derided as “taking a problem that doesn’t exist and making it worse,” that would only be true if the cross-loading protection made the biner a pain to use. In fact, carabiners rarely—if ever—break during belaying, but cross-loading can cause untimely opening of improperly locked gates and other problems.

  • Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009

    Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009

    The Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, is madness this time of year—the reason is the summer Outdoor Retailer Trade Show, a massive gathering (over 20,000 people, I've been told) of outdoor gear and apparel companies, retailers, media, and athletes.

  • Gear We Like: Omega Pacific Dash Biners

    I've been adding more and more micro-carabiners to my rack, mostly for racking cams and for the free biners I carry on slings... and especially when I'm doing long approaches into the mountains. And of all the micro-biners I've tried, my favorite is the Omega Pacific Dash with the new Infinity wire gate. The Dash, which was introduced in 2009 and is named after the late Micah Dash, isn't the lightest or smallest rock climbing biner on the market, but I find it the easiest to handle of all the mini-biners I've tried.

  • Black Diamond Hoodwire Quickdraw

    2012 Gear Guide: Hardware

    Black Diamond Hoodwire Quickdraw - This is the first ready-to-buy draw using BD’s clever HoodWire technology. A standard wire-gate biner has a hook in the nose that can snag on bolt hangers or gear loops on your harness, but the HoodWire shields this hook with little stainless-steel strips for hassle-free clipping and unclipping. The hood will not trap debris that could cause open-gate failures, and it protects the nose from wear.

  • GG-DMM-Phantom_31310.jpg

    2011 Gear Guide: Carabiners

    Micro-biners slash grams but not performance - There was a time when biners came in very few flavors: You had ovals, Ds, lockers, and bent gates. And all of them, with their solid-gate construction, were fairly heavy. Then the wiregate revolution hit, letting climbers shave ounces off their draws and racks. With the new millennium’s push for ultralight wiregates, clippers have became so svelte (typically 30 grams—1.1 ounce—or less), using them can save up to a pound or more in a big rack.

  • EC-Singing-Rock-Crux_31219.jpg

    2011 Gear Guide Editors' Choice

    After months of testing on hundreds of routes, we offer up our picks for the most innovative, useful, and just damn good gear of the year. The Singing Rock Crux, Mammut Smart Alpine, Black Diamond Gridlock Screwgate, Petzl Grigri 2, Five Ten Arrowhead, Arc'Teryx Squamish Hoody, Beal Joker 9.1, North Face Verto, and Salewa Rapace GTX all won our high praises and took home the Editors' Choice Award.

  • MadRockTriggerWire_26214.jpg

    New and Notable: Mad Rock Trigger Wire - 2010 Gear Guide

    You’re at your limit, pumped, panicked, and staring down the barrel of 20 feet of slack. Shaking, you go to clip a draw that’s just within reach, but the rope gets stuck between the gate and biner nose, popping out and setting the biner swinging. Luckily, this unpleasant scenario has a solution: the new Mad Rock Trigger Wire carabiner.

  • PETZL ATTACHE 3D - 2009 Gear Guide

    PETZL ATTACHE 3D - 2009 Gear Guide

    It’s not easy to lose even a little weight — for any of us — which makes the Attache 3D locker from Petzl, due April 2009, impressive: it’s 37 percent lighter than the popular Attache, on which it’s modeled. To accomplish this slimming, Petzl’s R&D masterminds turned to computer models, to determine where to subtract aluminum (to drop ounces) and where to add it (to maintain strength). Click here to buy now from

  • From Monsters to Bastards - No. 246

    From Monsters to Bastards - No. 246

    A year and a half ago, I noted in our leashless tool review that the designs then available were only a precursor of shapes to come.

  • Holiday Cheer - No .244

    Holiday Cheer

    Whether you’re giving or receiving we have you covered with everything from stocking stuffers to the big tickets.