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. And there’s no downside when the biner is as simple to use as Climbing Technology’s Concept SGL locking carabiner ($19.95, Distributed in the U.S. by Liberty Mountain (, the Concept SGL is a pear-shaped (aka HMS), screw-gate locker with a spring-loaded wire that clips over your belay loop to keep the biner from shifting. Once you get the knack, this “belay bar” is simple to use, and it held the biner firmly in the correct orientation on several harnesses with varying belay-loop widths. The Italian company also makes a twist-lock HMS locker and two oval lockers with the belay bar. Note: Metolius and Sterling are both introducing anti-cross-loading lockers in early 2013. Watch for reviews after testing. —Dougald MacDonald