The Different Types of Carabiners

A carabiner is a metal shackle used to connect and hold objects together. It is simple to use. You open the spring-loaded gate and attach it to the object’s loop. Then you let go to secure the connection. Some carabiners are solid and are used by mountain climbers, firefighters, sailors, technicians, and construction workers.

There are many types of tactical carabiners that you can buy. The carabiner’s gate and shape can significantly affect what you choose to bring with you. Each type of carabiner is designed for a different situation. Using a suitable carabiner is very important when your life is on the line.

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Oval Shaped


Screw Lock

Triple-Action (Auto Lock)

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Different Shapes of Carabiners

Oval Shaped

The oval carabiner is the most popular type because it is versatile. It is not as strong as other types, but it has more space to hold your gear. Another benefit is that it balances the weight so you can remain steady when you climb. You can also use it to rappel down if you want.


  • The available space can support a good amount of gear.
  • Oval shapes tend to have less load shifting than other shapes, which can assist you in keeping your balance.


  • The gate opening is moderately smaller.
  • The gate opening is moderately smaller.


Climbers prefer oval carabiners to D-shaped carabiners. The gate is more stable because of the D-shape. Lightweight and long-lasting. The D-shape shifts weight away from the gate, making it more durable. They are also lightweight and long-lasting.


  • D-shape offers superior strength.
  • Due to the D-shape’s balance of weight, it keeps loads steady.


  • D-shape typically costs more.
  • For a larger gate opening, a modified D-shape may be necessary.

Screw Lock

The Screw locks carabiner is the most popular type because it is versatile. It is not as strong as other types, but it has more space to hold your gear. Another benefit is that it balances the weight so you can remain steady when you climb. You can also use it to rappel down if you want.


  • One hand is enough to tighten the sleeve to the gate.

  • Screw locks are resistant to the elements and dependable in challenging environments.
  • Screw locks are resistant to the elements and dependable in challenging environments.


  • It takes a reasonable amount of time to tighten or release the lock from the gate.
  • There’s a chance you’ll forget to screw the lock shut.
  • There is a risk that rubbing against the sleeve can cause it to unlock.

Triple-Action (Auto Lock)

A triple-action gate requires three motions to unlock the carabiner. These three gestures are 1) moving the sleeve up or down, 2) rotating the sleeve manually, and 3) drawing the lock inward—the carabiner locks when you release it automatically.


  • Triple-action gates are highly secure.
  • Forgetting to lock your carabiner is not an issue, thanks to instant auto-locking.


  • Unlike double-action, triple-action requires the use of two hands.

  • It takes slightly longer than double-action to unlock your carabiner.
  • Difficult environments such as mud or ice can interfere with automatic locking.

Double-Action (Auto Lock)

To release a double-action auto-lock gate, you need to do two things. First, rotate the sleeve by hand. Second, pull the lock inward. Once you release the lock, it will automatically secure itself again.


  • Double-action locks open quickly and easily.

  •  The quick auto-locking removes the risk of forgetting to lock.


  • You are required to unscrew the sleeve every time you open the gate.
  • Double-action is not as safe as a triple-action auto lock.

Straight Gate (Non-Locking)

Straight gate carabiners do not lock and should never be used for climbing. However, they are useful for many outdoor activities because their spring-loaded gate is easy to push open and shuts automatically. They can be used to store equipment such as cameras or stoppers. Straight gate carabiners are most often used in conjunction with quickdraws. Several straight gate carabiners offer key locking to avoid hooking and catching.

Bent Gate (Non-Locking)

Just like their straight gate counterparts, bent gate carabiners do not lock and are unsuitable for climbing. Bent gate carabiners are easier to clip the rope into quickly and are often used at the quickdraw’s rope end. Some brands of bent gate carabiners offer key locking to prevent snags on your harness gear.

Wiregate Carabiners

Wiregate carabiners have a stainless-steel wire loop for the gate. It reduces the weight and makes it easier to operate. Wiregate carabiners also have a larger gate opening and are less likely to freeze in cold temperatures. Some people worry that wire gates aren’t as strong as other types of carabiners. But this isn’t true because of the lower mass in the gate itself. It makes them less likely to vibrate during a fall.

Choosing the Right Carabiner

The carabiner you choose for your next climbing trip will depend on what kind of climbing you are doing. You need to consider why the carabiner is shaped a certain way and its strength, size, and load limit. U.S. Rigging Supply is a great place to start if you are looking for a good selection of carabiners. They make some high-quality and reliable carabiners.

Be responsible and only buy high-quality, heavy-duty carabiners designed for your climbing activity. These simple metal shackles can greatly impact your safety and ability. Carabiners are some of the most important tools to bring along on your climbing adventures.

Carabiners Used in Climbing: Comprehensive Guide

Using an appropriate carabiner is of the utmost significance when it is critical to maintaining one’s safety. Carabiners are used to going up and down safely. There are different carabiners for climbing, and it is necessary to choose the right one.

If you’re looking for a carabiner, this guide can help. You will know what to look for and how to select a carabiner from the information provided.

What Is a Carabiner?

A carabiner is a metal shackle that is used to connect objects. It is a simple and handy tool. You can open the spring-loaded gate and attach it to the object’s loop. When you are done, release it to connect securely. Carabiners can be used for many things, like sailors, firefighters rappelling, technicians, and mountain climbers.

Why Choose a Suitable Carabiner?

There are many different types of carabiners. It can make it hard to choose the right one. But it is essential to understand them before you buy one. There are some things you should think about before going out and purchasing a carabiner, such as the following:

  • Carabiner Shapes;

  • Carabiner Gate Types;

  • Weight, strength, and sizes of Carabiners.

When selecting a carabiner, there are numerous factors to consider. Even though all carabiners use the exact primary mechanism, they are designed for different purposes. Here’s what you need to know when making the best choice.

Carabiner Weight, Strength, and Size

Carabiners’ Size

There are different sizes of Carabiners. The large Carabiners are easier to use and can hold more gear. They are popularly used with rappel and belay devices. The smaller Carabiners are lighter and take up less space, but they can be harder to clip.

When looking at different carabiners, check the Gate Open Clearance. It is a metric that tells you how wide the carabiner gate can open. It’s also essential to look at the shape and depth of the Carabiner’s bottom.

Smaller Carabiners have less clearance between the Carabiner’s body and their gate. It means there is a greater risk of your fingers getting stuck between them if you try to clip the Carabiner. On the other hand, if the clearance is too deep, it becomes harder to clip the Carabiner.

Carabiners’ Weight

The less a carabiner weighs, the easier it is to use. But sometimes, a lighter carabiner might not be the best option. For example, a smaller, super lightweight Carabiner can be more challenging when you clip a bolt or a rope.

Narrower carabiners are not as strong as bigger ones. It is because they are made from thinner metal rods. They also have a smaller gate opening, making it challenging to put ropes through them.

Carabiners’ Strength

The Carabiner’s strength is measured in three different ways: minor axis (sideways), major axis (lengthwise), and gate open (major axis open). You can find these ratings marked on the Carabiner’s spine.

A Suitable Carabiner Should Have CE and UIAA Strength Standards

When choosing your Carabiner, finding the right weight and size is essential. You also want to make sure that it is solid. However, you should be aware that while lighter, smaller carabiners are weaker than heavy, large ones, this is not always the case.

You should watch out for gate lash as it reduces the strength of your Carabiner and increases the risk of it breaking. The inertia of the gate’s gate causes gate lash since it can overcome the tension of the retaining spring. Additionally, it can happen from the tool’s gate colliding with an object.

You can prevent this issue by utilizing a gate with a specialized design (such as a wire gate) or a carabiner with stiff spring tension. Make sure to consult an experienced REI professional before making your decision.

Which Is the Best Carabiner to Use

Carabiners come in different sizes and weights, each suited for a particular purpose. For instance, large and heavy carabiners are suitable for clipping heavy gear and maintaining balance during a climb.

It does not apply to small wire gate carabiners. Which are ideal for attaching equipment and keeping your rack a little less heavy; they tend to limit the amount of gear you can carry around.

Different climbers have different preferences for carabiners. Some climbers prefer carabiners with a particular shape or size, and some prefer Carabiners with a specific type of gate. It is true for professional climbers.

For starters, below are a few recommendations:

  • Asymmetric D, D, and oval carabiners: best Carabiners for racking trad gear.

  • Asymmetric D carabiners with wire gates: ideal for trad-climbing quick-draws.

  • Asymmetric D carabiners containing wire gates, bent gates, or straight gates: suited for sport-climbing quick-draws.

  • Large pear-shaped carabiners: best for rappelling and belaying activities.

After looking at different carabiners and finding the right type for what you need, go to your local climbers’ shop. You can try out a few different designs and see how well their gates work. You should also check how efficiently they clip and unclip and how they feel when you wear them. Make sure to choose carabiners that are easy to operate and perform well.

Frequently Asked Questions About Carabiner Types

What Else Are Carabiners Called?

Carabiners are also dubbed “crabs” A fingertip opens the spring-tensioned gate. It makes it easy to clip it onto climbing gear like a rope. Usually, the spring inside the carabiner holds the gate closed.

Why Do Carabiners Say Not for Climbing?

Carabiner keyrings and other light-use clips have become popular. They are usually stamped with a warning that they are not for climbing because they often do not meet safety standards for manufacturing.

What Is a Double Locking Carabiner?

A tree climber’s carabiners must be “self-closing and self-locking.” It means that the carabiner must require three distinct motions to open the gate and that it will auto-close and auto-lock when the gate is released.

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