Best Carabiners: Climb Safely and Secure Your Camping Gear
Enjoy mountain climbing, and secure your hiking gear with some of the best carabiners
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.
PUBLISHED ON December 6, 2019
Campers, hikers, and rock climbers use carabiners for different tasks. However, choosing a good one for the job can be tricky. Fortunately, we have the solution. Our buying guide will help you find the best carabiners for climbing or securing your extra camping supplies on your backpack.
- Best OverallBlack Diamond Rocklock Screwgate CarabinerSummarySummaryA heavy-duty climbing carabiner that’s best for setting anchors, belaying, and securing gear.ProsProsVersatile. It features an innovative screw lock design. It has a nice smooth shape. Feels heavy and secure. It has a large gate opening. Allows for easy feeding of the belay rope. One-hand operable.ConsConsToo big for a key ring. Doesn’t offer a quick-clip lock. It may feel big and heavy for people with small hands.
- Best ValueNite Ize SlideLock CarabinerSummarySummaryA stainless steel carabiner with a slide lock that keeps all your valuables secured.ProsProsStrong and durable construction. It has a sleek design that can fit in a pocket. Large gate opening. Lightweight and easy to use. It can be opened with one hand. It comes in a variety of colors.ConsConsNot strong enough for climbing. May get deformed with heavy loads. Too large for keys without a keyring.
- Honorable MentionHEROCLIP Carabiner ClipSummarySummaryA hybrid carabiner with a swivel hook that can be used to hang any item almost anywhere.ProsProsMade of strong aircraft-grade aluminum. Features a rubber tip for optimal grip. Has a 360-degree swivel that can hang items in awkward positions. Available in multiple colors.ConsConsIt’s slippery on smooth surfaces. The pivoting plastic part cannot handle heavy loads. Not for climbing.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
- Place the loads along the major axis (length) and not the minor axis (width/opening clearance). The carabiner gate may bend under heavy loads.
- Not all carabiners are designed for rock climbing. Consult with the manufacturer's instructions on the use of the product to prevent injuries.
- Do not use a climbing carabiner that’s damaged, worn out, or has a faulty locking mechanism. Also, discontinue use if one of the parts is missing.
- Regularly inspect your carabiner for any signs of stress, such as bending, corrosion, or cracking before use. Also, check the nose and hinge of the carabiner for any obstructions.
- Always store your carabiner in a cool and dry place. Wipe off any dirt and moisture from the mechanism before storing it to prevent rust and corrosion.
Q: Can I repair a climbing carabiner?
A: If the damage was as a result of a fall, the carabiner could lose its locking strength. Even if you manage to fix the locking clip, there’s a high chance that the unit will break since the spring tension on the locking mechanism won’t be enough to sustain your weight.
Q: Which is the best carabiner for climbing?
A: Climbing carabiners are much stronger than others and the shapes depend on your climbing style. In general, a carabiner with a pear shape and screw gate design is easy to use and allows for a larger gate opening clearance that’s convenient for any climber.
Q: Can I use a carabiner as a lock for my backpack?
A: Assuming that you want to keep your items safe, using a carabiner won’t be as effective as using a luggage lock. A carabiner lock doesn’t prevent unauthorized access since anyone can open it. However, if you have a double zipper bag, you can use the carabiner to prevent the zippers from running.
Our top pick is the Black Diamond Rocklock Screwgate Carabiner. It has an ergonomic design and tough construction that makes it one of the best carabiners for climbing.
A more affordable and easy-to use-option for securing your water bottle on your backpack (as opposed to climbing) is the Nite Ize SlideLock Carabiner.