Last updated: 17/10/2022

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Welcome to our big carabiner test 2023. Here we present all the carabiners we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best carabiner for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a carabiner.




Summary

  • There are different types of gas cartridges: piercing cartridges, screw-in cartridges and bayonet valve cartridges. Piercing cartridges are the most common internationally and are the cheaper option.
  • Depending on the intended use and your preference, you can choose normal carabiners, HMS carabiners, via ferrata carabiners, screw links or material carabiners.
  • Before you take your carabiners on your next climbing trip, you should test them on a climbing wall. When buying, look for the presence of an EN standard or CE standard.

The Best Carabiner: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a carabiner

What types of carabiners are there?

Normal carabiner

First of all, there is the standard carabiner. It has no special locking system and is usually used for express slings. They are often attached to the sling with rubber fixings to prevent cross-loading.

Karabinerhaken

Especially with carabiners that are to be used for climbing, it is imperative to focus on good quality and also to buy only products with EN or CE standards. (Photo: Skitterphoto / pixabay.com)

HMS carabiner

The HMS carabiner is probably the most commonly used carabiner. It has either a screw thread or another locking system to prevent the carabiner from opening unintentionally. It has a narrower and a thicker end, which is particularly advantageous for the half-mast throw knot.

Via ferrata carabiner

Via ferrata carabiners have special locking mechanisms to make it easier and quicker to hang on a wire rope, for example.

There are two mechanisms that are most commonly used: the palm lock and the thumb lock. You should try out for yourself which one suits you better. However, this type of carabiner is only suitable for via ferrata and should not be used in climbing gyms.

Screw-Links or Maillon Rapide

Screw links are used as a substitute for carabiners when climbing down. They are often left behind instead of carabiners. We recommend that you always make sure that they are closed. You should also always make sure that they have been adequately tested for safety and comply with an EN or CE standard.

Material carabiners

Material carabiners are used to attach smaller items such as a chalk bag or valuables bag to the climbing harness. Never use them for belaying and do not subject them to high pressure. They are only used for very small weights.

If they were to hold heavier things or even people, there is a very high risk of them breaking. This means danger to you or other climbers below you!

Each type of carabiner has some disadvantages and advantages, so take note of your purpose when buying.

How much do good carabiners cost?

You can buy carabiners from around six to seven euros. Depending on the model and brand, the price can be considerably higher. Material carabiners are already available for a few euros.

The following table gives you a small overview:

Carabiner type price
Carabiner approx. 6 – 7 €
Carabiner – upper class up to 25 €
Material carabiner approx. 1 – 2 €

In general, we recommend that you buy carabiner sets. Most of the time you need several carabiners anyway. Then this is a good way to save some money, as you pay a little less per piece than if you buy them all individually.

When buying, you should pay attention to the breaking load of the carabiner. These parameters are extremely important for your safety.

Decision: What types of carabiners are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between five types of carabiners:

  • Standard carabiners
  • Screwgate carabiner
  • Twist-lock carabiner
  • Magnetic carabiner
  • Safety carabiner

Due to the design, the respective functionality of these types of carabiners is different. Depending on the type of fastener, the intended use and your preference, there are different advantages and disadvantages with each of these types.

Did you know that carbines were originally used by cavalrymen?

Cavalrymen used these hooks to quickly attach military equipment to loops or eyelets.

The following section explains the differences between the various types in more detail to help you decide which one to buy. This will help you decide which snap hook is best for you. The individual advantages and disadvantages of each type are also described in more detail.

A basic distinction is made between normal carabiners and locking carabiners. While the standard carabiners do not have a locking mechanism, the locking carabiners are equipped with different locking mechanisms to secure the attached ropes.

How do standard karabiners work and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

As mentioned at the beginning, standard karabiners are not equipped with a locking mechanism. Standard karabiners, such as material karabiners, can be purchased at reasonable prices and are ideal for quickly securing objects.

The hooks can be opened and closed quickly. For this reason, and because of their round shape, they are particularly popular in climbing, as the climbing rope can be quickly and easily hooked in and closed again with one hand.

Advantages
  • Relatively cheap
  • Fast hooking possible
Disadvantages
  • No locking mechanism
  • Cheap models not break-proof

How do screw karabiners work and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

The screwgate karabiner is a locking karabiner. Due to an additional sleeve that can be screwed directly onto the closure, the hook remains closed and secure even under greater loads and jerky movements.

For safety reasons, most sleeves must travel at least three turns on the thread to expose the gate for opening.

This prevents accidental opening of the mechanism. Some models are also equipped with an additional fold-out safety catch to prevent accidental opening of the carabiner when the locking sleeve is not screwed on.

Advantages
  • Additional securing by screw lock
Disadvantages
  • Screw lock is often forgotten
  • Time spent unscrewing and screwing

How do twist-lock karabiners work and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

The so-called twist-lock carabiner is a locking carabiner. As the name suggests, the thread must first be twisted so that the lock on the hook can be opened.

The surrounding sleeve dwells in this state so that the gate only has to be released. The sleeve then turns back to its original position.

The tri-lock carabiner is a further development of the twist-lock mechanism. With this lock, the sleeve must first be pushed upwards. Then, as with the twist-lock, the sleeve must be turned to expose the gate. The lock works in exactly the same way.

Advantages
  • Increased safety
  • Closure closes automatically
Disadvantages
  • Rope and clothing can get caught in the thread more easily
  • One-handed operation more difficult

How do magnetic karabiners work and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Magnetic karabiners are locking karabiners. The aim of the karabiner is to prevent the mechanism from opening accidentally and thus to increase safety. Instead of the spring mechanism that is used in many locking karabiners, magnets are used in this karabiner for the locking mechanism.

Advantages
  • Very strong closure
  • No spring mechanism
Disadvantages
  • Very expensive

How do safety carabiners work and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

The safety carabiner is a locking carabiner. The technique is not unlike that of a twist-lock carabiner. An additional shackle prevents the locking mechanism from opening accidentally.

As soon as the shackle is folded down, the gate itself can be opened. Since the gate can open quickly when increased force is applied, this type of locking mechanism is rarely used any more.

Advantages
  • Very good value
  • Double catch
Disadvantages
  • Opens when strong force is applied

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate karabiners

Application

Always make sure you buy a carabiner that is suitable for your intended use. Otherwise, the wrong model can result in a major safety risk or cause other problems.

Via ferrata carabiners, for example, should always be used in combination with a climbing harness in open terrain, but not in the climbing hall. The most important thing you should pay attention to is that the carabiner is not loaded with more weight than is recommended. Especially with material carabiners, this can otherwise be fatal.

Standard

When you buy a new carabiner, you should always check whether it has been tested according to the standard. Only then is your safety guaranteed. The most common standards are the EN and CE standards. They are usually engraved on the carabiner.

We would like to briefly introduce the two standards in the following table:

Marking Meaning
CE According to Article 30 of EU Regulation 765/2008, the CE marking may only be affixed by the manufacturer himself or by an authorised representative. By affixing the CE marking, the manufacturer assumes responsibility for the conformity of the product with the requirements contained in the harmonisation legislation. However, it should be noted that a CE marking does not mean that the product has been classified as safe by the EU or any other authority itself. Nor does it indicate any information about the origin of the product.
EN A variety of EN standards exist. EN 12275 is of particular importance for karabiners. It specifies various test procedures and requirements for the product. These include various definitions of different karabiners (e.g. basic karabiner, screwgate, HMS karabiner, etc.) based on certain properties as well as safety requirements for these. According to EN 12275, some markings are also mandatory for the manufacturer to affix to the product. These include the karabiner category, the CE marking already mentioned, and the reference to instructions for use.

The standards are internationally recognised. They guarantee that carabiners have passed all the necessary tests to be used safely in climbing. They also include, among other things, the maximum permitted load on the carabiners.

Check

Before using a carabiner for climbing, you should always check that it works properly. You should pay particular attention to the problem-free opening and closing of the carabiner.

If the carabiner is connected to harnesses, you should also check the harness for damage. As soon as there is any sign of damage or excessive wear, you should sort out the affected carabiners and no longer use them.

Did you know that there are carabiners with integrated knives?

The so-called carabiner knives are carabiners with an integrated pocket knife. If you are in distress, you can use them to cut a rope, for example.

Picture source: pixabay.com / Rudy and Peter Skitterians

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