Standing Ovalation

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If you’ve climbed long enough, you’ve clipped a few ovals. But though today’s biners trend more toward pear shapes, Ds, and other asymmetricals, the AUSTRIALPIN OVALO ($6.99 for the screw-gate, is going retro. However, unlike ovals of old, the midsized screw-gate version of the ovAlo is light (1.98oz) for its strength (25kN major axis, 10kN minor, and 8kN open gate) and, when used with a belay device, offers pleasing stability — i.e., no crossloading during highenergy slack feeding. Another plus: the round, low-profile shape lets you flip these biners around at anchors on multi-pitch routes, to adjust or clip in extra gear. The ovAlos come in wire, straight, and two-way autolock versions, too.

—Justin Roth

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