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Grivel Twin Gate Review - Sigma K8G & Mega K6G


Original Post
mattm · · TX · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,396

This is a first impressions review of two of the three newly introduced Grivel Twin Gate carabiners. I ordered them from a UK site and paid full retail to check them out. I've had a few days to play with them inside and took them out for a day of sport climbing this past weekend. I'll post a further review update when I get some more time with them on the multi pitch/trad side. I don't believe they'll be available from US retailers till spring '15 so if you really want some, Euro sites are your only option at this point. Cost was ~$16.50ea after shipping and import duties (I split the order with a friend and we ended up getting hit with duty fees. If you keep your order small you'll likely avoid this cost).

Alright, so what are these things exactly? Grivel marketing aside, they're essentially a locking carabiner made so by incorporating two opposite and opposed gates onto one biner. I feel there's a bit of room for debate on how "secure" these are vs say, a Petzl Spin Ball that had a mechanically locked barrel vs these two gates but for most situations I think most climbers would deem these "Good Enough".

Grivel Twin Gates

I'll tackle the Sigma K8G first as I've had more time with this one and feel it has a bit more "value" of the two. The Sigma if fairly close in size to a WC Helium although at 57g it's not light by any means. Not a huge deal as it's unlikely you'll carry many of them with you. The biner fit and finish is top notch and feels very much like a Petzl Spirit and WC Helium had some weird love child. The inner solid gate has machined notches on either side that let you get your finger tips on it and under the outer wire gate. The outer wire gate is also wider than typical gates. This also aids in helping get your finger tip behind it. So how does it FEEL? Well, it really is almost as easy to clip and unclip into things as a normal biner. I found the best technique was to open the solid gate most of the way as you might normally do, then wiggle your finger tip behind the wire gate and start to let the solid gate close. This action helps to push your finger out and thus also push open the wire gate. It's much harder to describe than do honestly and after maybe two minutes of messing with it I was clipping a bolt hanger from either direction with ease. It's not exactly as easy as a normal one but by no means cumbersome. If I had one gripe out this part it would be that the outer gate tension is a bit stiff.

Grivel Sigma K8G

Opening the Sigma Twin Gate

Wide Profile of the Outter Gate. Helps with opening.

In use, clipping into or out of bolts or gearloops was very straight forward. You learn pretty quickly how to work the outer gate. No biggie. I don't think there's much revolutionary on this end of things as you could essentially do the same thing one handed with an auto locker or magnetron style locker.

Where I feel this biner IS a huge improvement is when you need to clip something INTO IT one handed. So clipping a rope in while on lead or perhaps throwing a clove hitch into at an anchor. Those things are quite difficult if not impossible to do one handed with the other auto lockers out there. One of my mentors taught me to carry a "Jesus Draw" with me to use on a bolt or piece that MUST NOT unclip. (This topic has come up recently with the tragic accident in Eldo where the rope unclipped from TWO PIECES). In the old days, this Jesus Draw had two screw gates on it. it worked but was slow and cumbersome. These twin gates make that Jesus Draw a TON easier to use. I will honestly say clipping the rope into the rope side Twin Gate takes a bit of practice. You essentially get the rope situated on top of the biner, open the wire gate with your fingers, drop the rope in a bit and then pull it down all the way to get it clipped. Again, much easier to watch or try than type. I think the ease that one can do this will vary a bit on how you normally clip in your draws. I'm very much a middle finger holds the biner while my thumb/index push the rope in OR thumb/middle steady the biner while the index pushes it in. This makes using the Twin Gate a bit of an adjustment. If you're one of the people who does it the other way (rope placed above draw and then your index/thumb pull the rope down into the biner) I suspect using the Twin Gate will be easier as the motion is similar. It took me about 5 minutes of playing with it to figure out a good way to do it but after that, not a huge deal. MUCH faster than a screw gate and doable, unlike auto lockers.

Mega K6G

So the Mega is a bit easier to review. It's darn close in size and feel to the venerable Petzl Attache. It's actually SLIGHTLY larger which I like. So think of the Mega as a Twin Gate Attache and you're real close. The Solid Gates are a bit different. The outer gate doesn't open quite as far as the wire on the Sigma. A limitation of the mechanics of a solid gate I suspect. I've only played with this one in the house - clipping into and out of belay devices and about hanger or two. No outside use yet. I don't like it as much as my magnetron rock lock or attache for belay use (though I haven't had a chance to use it with my GriGri2 - that's on loan for a week or two) Using it with an ATC or ClickUp, the smaller gate opening and "extra" gate metal you had to work through the device etc was less ideal than a standard, key lock nosed carabiner. Again, I think where the value of these designs lies is in one handed use clipping things INTO them. So here, I can see them being handy as master point biners etc. I've thrown a clove hitch into one one handed at it was pretty straight forward. I'll get them out on some multi pitch to test more but I suspect having one or two might be handy.

So, are they world changing? Perhaps for the very specific purpose of an easy-to-use rope side locker but for other things, I think they're a nice improvement but not a must have. I suspect people who see the utility of a Jesus Draw etc or one handed clipping will get a few for those needs. They're a mid range price so the value is there over fancy auto lockers etc. I'm quite happy with mine and will likely have a few on my rack. Thumbs Up

When I get some videos uploaded I'll update the post here...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKaLorYs8rQ

youtube.com/watch?v=8M_n17u…

Kris Fiore · · Burlington, VT · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 2,566

I just thought I'd put it out there that this was a sweet review that got no love. Thanks for taking the time to type it up. I read the whole thing.

Cheers

Gavin W · · Langley, BC · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 181

I'm with Kris, great review.

One question I had was how secure these actually are. It looks to me like they really only protect against back-clipping (which is definitely useful) but it does look like gate flutter could still be an issue, especially since the solid gate is on the inside of the K8 (unless you think that the dangers of gate flutter are a myth).

Any thoughts on that?

mattm · · TX · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,396

The gates work in opposite directions so any flutter inducing motion (i.e. banging against the rock) will work to CLOSE the other gate IMO. While probably not "as secure" as a TriLock system I'd say these are certainly more than "good enough" to be secure.

With more time behind the wheel with these and the Edelrid Sliders system I'll make some followup observations.

For rope end ease of clipping the Edelrid Slider biner is both lighter and easier to clip one handed. The trade off is that, IMO, the slider system on the gate is NOT as secure as a true locker or the twin gate system.

The Twin Gate K8G is a good trade off for more security while still being "on lead" clip-able. I can see using this on a 60cm sling where you really want that security (the eldo accident comes to mind)

The Attache-esque twin solid gate is quite nice so I could see using it as your belay biner, just not sure that system is "Better" than say the magnetron setup.

I honestly just need to get more mileage on a lot of the new tech. Many times your preferences take a while to sort themselves out (hence why I tend to gear whore and then sell later)

Gavin W · · Langley, BC · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 181

Yeah, I just figured that if gate flutter opens up your inside gate, and the rope slips in between, then it doesn't matter if the outside gate is closed because the rope can push it right open. I definitely see the appeal, I just don't think that I would go for this over the Magnetron system.

tomW · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2011 · Points: 10

Nice review. Thanks!

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 526

Yes, good job. The clipping videos are especially helpful.

Deimos · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 35

I just acquired a third variation on this theme: the Grivel Lambda K7G twin-gate carabiner.

The Lambda is exactly the same size as the old classic Petzl Attache, but it has a slightly better shape. Specifically, the wide end is a little steeper, directing the rope toward the spine side, and the narrow end is a little squarer, for a more natural fit on webbing. It also has a more sophisticated cross-sectional shape, with a nice fat round end for the rope and much less metal everyplace else. I like this shape much more than the new I-beam Attache.

Grivel Lambda K7G twin-gate carabiner

Each of the Lambdas that I got weighs just under 67g, which is a bit lighter than Grivel's other HMS carabiner, the Mega, which is a slightly larger carabiner.

Oddly, though smaller overall, the Lambda has a larger gate opening than the Mega. The Lambda K7G has exactly the same gates as the Sigma K8G -- a bent key-lock gate on the inside and a wire gate on the outside.

My first impression was of the amazing fit and finish. These are truly objects for gear porn, with no evidence that any flash ever needed removal after they were forged. And the satin finish seems really classy. Even my DMM carabiners look crude in comparison.

I have only had a little while to get used to operating the twin gates, but it feels pretty easy, especially for unclipping.

Though some have said that the Grivel twin-gates are a solution looking for a problem, I think they are the future of auto-locking carabiners.

J Mo · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 1,005

Great review thanks. Saw this and bought some for anchors and long slings on runouts when I prefer more piece of mind. Not hard to learn to operate. Rest assured your friends will bitch. But they gotta bitch about something. Better they deal w this than fs minis I guess

Mr.Andreson · · Pittsburgh, PA · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 55

Solid reviews guys.

Overall I do like the concept of these biners and I feel like I might invest in two quick draws for my rack for putting into the anchors at the top of a route. I would say that they beat traditional screw lock biners and are as good as (or maybe a notch below) the BD magnetron lockers which are also pretty sweet if you get the light weight version of the magnetron.

I don't feel like these would be the best for aggressive sport routes where you just want to slap the draw in and move though. And traditional biners are safe if you don't back clip them which is how grivel presents traditional carabines when they're trying to sell these twin gates. Their sales video is fairly obnoxious if you haven't seen it.

StephenW · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 0
Gavin W wrote:...it does look like gate flutter could still be an issue, especially since the solid gate is on the inside of the K8 (unless you think that the dangers of gate flutter are a myth)...
I agree that flutter does not appear to be solved by this interesting design. If you smack the spine of the biner against a rock hard enough, the inside gate will open. If at the same time the rope on the inside of the biner falls inside the open gate, it can still fall completely out.

It solves the more common problem of the gate being accidentally opened by pressure on the outside of the gate.

That being said.. I'm not sure flutter would ever be a problem while attached to your harness and ..probably.. not an issue as part of your anchor.

I'd also be curious to try a diagonal sawing/twisting action from the rope against the side of the gate. Seems much improved, but not as secure as a locking gate.

Edit: Your images suggest using this as part of a QD where use of locking devices are uncommon anyway. Seems annoying for a QD, but if it's replacing a non-locking device it's clearly safer.

-Stephen
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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