Be it Rock Climbing or an Expedition, Carabiners plays a major role

Carabiners are light- to heavy-duty, designed to hold anything from a set of keys up to the full weight of a climber. It is a tool designed to keep you safe while performing an activity. It is usually a D-shaped or oblong metal ring with one spring-hinged side. Unlike a traditional coupling link, which has no closure point, carabiners offer easy clipping ability and a secure waypoint for whoever might need one.

They are widely used in rope-intensive activities such as climbing, arboriculture, caving, sailing, hot air ballooning, rope rescue, construction, industrial rope work, window cleaning, white water rescue, and acrobatics. Most noteworthy, different activities require different kinds of carabiners. Hence to choose and use them properly, you must first understand the differences between them.

Carabiner Shapes

- Asymmetric D Shape: Asymmetric carabiners generally have larger gate openings than regular Ds, which makes clipping them even easier. But they don't have as much inside a room as similarly sized Ds or ovals.

- Pear Shape: Similar to the asymmetric D shape, pear-shaped carabiners have large gate openings to allow easy clipping of ropes, knots and gear. Pear-shaped carabiners are used primarily for belaying and rappelling, but also can be used at anchor points for top-roping or multi-pitch climbing.

D Shape: D-shaped carabiners are excellent for most kinds of climbing. They hold loads off-centre toward the stronger, non-gated side, so a smaller, lighter D carabiner can be just as strong as a larger oval.

- Oval: Oval carabiners are the original style. They're versatile and affordable, though not quite as strong as other shapes. Oval carabiners have smooth, uniform top and bottom curves to limit load shifting.

Types of Carabiner Gate

- Wire Gate Carabiner: It’s called a wire carabiner because the locking mechanism is a wire loop that usually hooks onto the nose of the carabiner. They are meant to be convenient devices for keychains, water bottles and minor household uses.

- Straight Gate Carabiner: These type of carabiners can be opened with pressure alone. Straight gates are known for being easy to latch and operate on the go.

- Bent Gate Carabiner: Similar to a straight gate carabiner, bent gates are exactly what they sound like: carabiners with a slightly curved gate. These carabiners are primarily used by climbers, as the curve in the gate allows for extremely quick hook-ins, which can be vital as climbers make their way up the wall.

- Twin Gate Carabiner: As the name suggests, they have two gates that open on opposite ends, creating a sort of lock that requires special pressure to open. 

- Locking Gate Carabiner: This type of carabiner is most widely used in outdoor sports, climbing in particular. They have gates reinforced by a locking mechanism, which secures the carabiner in its closed position and ensures absolute safety. They are ideal for setting up climbing gear and securing kayaks or boats as it requires a double motion to open them.

- Carabiner Size: Carabiners come in a variety of sizes. Large carabiners are typically easier to handle and easier to clip and they can hold more gear inside. They are commonly used with belay and rappel devices. Smaller carabiners are lighter and take up less room on your rack, but they can be harder to clip.

- Carabiner Weight: In general, the less weight you carry with you as you climb, the better. But lighter carabiners are not always best.

- Carabiner Strength: Carabiners are rated for strength in three directions: lengthwise (major axis), sideways (minor axis) and while open. These ratings are typically marked on the spine of the carabiner. All climbing carabiners pass UIAA and CE standards, which means they are plenty strong enough as long as you use them correctly.

The best carabiner for you depends on how you want to use it. Also, consider the colour of the carabiner. Additional features like auto-locking gates or a built-in anti-cross loading element might make it easier to use a carabiner, though these components aren’t necessary for everyone.

Some of the renowned brands available in the market based on quality, price, and reputation are Petzl, Edelrid, Black Diamond etc.

Top 5 Carabiners from Edelrid

- Edelrid HMS Triple Lock Carabiner: The name says it all! With a triple-lock gate, this HMS aluminium carabiner is an ideal choice for belaying persons with Munter hitch. This mechanism offers extra safety and the Ergonomic shape makes it apt for activities like Camping, Climbing, Industrial Safety/Applications, Travel, Trekking etc.

- Edelrid Steel Oval Twist Carabiner: It is an Easy-to-handle steel carabiner for various applications, e.g. for setting up permanent anchors, for use with pulleys and in belay chains. The keylock closure mechanism makes clipping and unclipping process easy and smooth. And the Oval shape offers optimum gear positioning.

- Edelrid Bulletproof Straight: This carabiner is quite innovative and robust with steel insert at the apex of the biner. It prevents premature wear from rope friction or bolt hangers. H-profile construction ensures the best possible use of material and minimal weight.

- Edelrid Steel HMS Screw Carabiner: This HMS carabiner is made of hardened steel for maximum protection, which makes it ideal for top-roping, outdoor centres, high ropes courses, climbing gyms or for other uses where a regular strain is placed on the carabiner. And the brass sleeve ensures optimum gate strength.

- Edelrid HMS Magnum Twist Carabiner: This HMS carabiner with a larger design is ideal for stances, belaying and rappelling. Its H-profile construction ensures the best possible use of the material and minimizes the weight. The Extra-large gate opening and generous inner dimensions, along with the large inner radius minimizes the rope wear. Also, the key lock closure mechanism offers optimum handling when clipping and unclipping. It is available either with the screw, twist-lock or triple lock. And useful for activities like Climbing, Industrial Safety/Applications.