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Gear carabiners

Original Post
David N · · Los angeles · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

I tried to look up this topic - couldn't find what I was looking for.

I want to standardize the carabiners I use to rack my cams (all black diamond) right now it is a mashup. 

Besides the fancy color coordination, what do you look for/prefer when purchasing gear for this purpose, i,e easy to get off harness, weight, etc???

Discalimer: I am relatively new to the trad game, hence the noobish question. 

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348

My main concerns are price, weight, ability to clip easily and fluid gate action (many wiregates have poor gate fluidity). Also, it's worth considering what type of climbing you are doing and where. If you're climbing at the Creek on sandstone and you're falling or weighting your gear all the time, you might want biners cast from thicker stock so you wont wear out the biners as quick. If you're not climbing on sandstone and/ or dont weight the gear often, you can get away with thinner carabiners that weigh less without replacing them all the time.

My all-time favorite trad biners are the Camp Nano 22 (not the older 23s), becuase they are relatively cheap, in the top 10% for low weight, and they are still reasonably easy to clip which becomes a problem with many ultra-light biners which tend to be very small. They also come in many colors if that's your thing. If you want something that is really easy to clip but still reasonably light, the Camp Photons are great as well, although the gate action is a tad on the weak side which would theoretically make an open gate loading situation more likely (although still very unlikely). Unless you're climbing really hard trad where you're placing gear when pumped to hell and about to fall, I'd go with the lighter Camp Nanos.

Jonathan Awerbuch · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 38

I like the camp nano's too for their very light weight. Some of my partners hate them because they are so small. Other carabiners I would consider are the Oz Hoodwire (Black Diamond), Black Diamond Hoodwire (not the Oz, it's a little bigger), DMM Alpha light, and Wildcountry Helium. Just my two cents.

Jonathan Awerbuch · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 38

Oh, and what you are looking for is called a "racking carabiner" aka "racking biner"

Ben Stabley · · Portland, OR · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 171

oz or hoodwire rackpack.

Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 20

I'll add a +1 for the BD Oz carabiner. My last set of cams got racked on these, they are my favorite now. I REALLY hate carabiner noses that hook and snag onto things. The Oz is good without being to expensive. 

Daniel H · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 15

Pretty spendy, but I'm a big fan of the DMM Chimera. Clean nose, like the heliums so they won't snag, come in a few different colors to coordinate with your cams, 30 grams, and a 22mm gate opening.

Michael A Parker · · Tulsa, OK · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 2,787

I originally purchased the BD Neutrino rack packs with coordinated colors for racking cams.  I quickly upgraded to the BD Oz rack packs.  They are lighter and have the hoodwire technology which prevents snags.  I really do feel like the color coding, while not necessary, is a big bonus.  

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 430

All of the above are telling you one thing: Handling, handling, handling in that order.

Unfortunately how each biner feels in your hand and goes on and off the rack can take months to years to get to know and figure out. Weight is important, but I would go a little bigger than smaller, esp with gate openings. Occasionally I have gone with ultralight and small biners for a particular redpoint project. But ultimately, day in and day out you want something that is easy to use (big gate opening), has just the right gate tension, doesn't snag and lasts.

Rob Warden...Space Lizard · · Between Zion, Vegas, LA, an… · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 115

Camp photons are the best racking biner bar none. Cheap light huge strong. 

Gavin W · · Surrey, BC · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 183

I use the Oz as well. The handling on them isn't as nice as the DMM Chimera, but the thinner profile means that I can fit more cams on the gear loops on my harness. 

I rack different cams (C4, X4, Totem, C3) on different style biners as well so that I can easily tell looking down at my harness which can is which. 

Zach Harrison · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 1,130

Ovals! Not only do they make you look like you are climbing in the 70's, but they tend to scare people away from borrowing or even using your gear. This way you don't ever have to buy new gear and can survive your whole climbing career rocking cheaply purchased used ridged friends and off brand recalled gadgets! And they only cost like $3 used from some blown out aid rat.

Firestone · · California · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 449

Another vote here for CAMP photons. They have a really narrow profile so you can rack more gear on your gear loops. They are light and I personally like the soft gate feeling.

Politically Correct Ball · · From WA to AZ · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 5

Just use your old biners

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

A better question, straight gate or wire gate?? I always prefer wire gate. 

Andrew Herring · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 5

I have a mix of CAMP Photons on my C4s, and Trango Phase on C3s/TCUs. The color coding helps, and the two different size biners are easy to differentiate at a quick glance. They're both nice and narrow for racking, and very light. As nice as it is to have a straight gate/key-lock for clipping bolts, I've never really struggled with the nose-lock on these with trad.

David Kerkeslager · · New Paltz, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 55
Gavin W wrote:

I rack different cams (C4, X4, Totem, C3) on different style biners as well so that I can easily tell looking down at my harness which can is which. 

I think this is the direction I'm going as well. I have color-coded Heliums on my C4s, but I don't get much out of the color coding. However, I have Ange Ss on my Master Cams, and being able to tell which area of my harness is C4s and which is Master Cams is really nice. I had started getting color-coded Heliums for my Totems, but I think I'm going to go with another light carabiner instead (maybe the Black Diamond Oz) and sell the extra Heliums.

ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 235

Honestly the color is the most important thing when it comes to racking cams. Sure lighter weight is nice, don't want them to be to small, etc but when you are climbing and you have full double or more set of 0.2 to 4 cams you want to be able to grab the right cam and if the biner's color match the cam color it makes it so much easier.

anotherclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 70

I like and use the Camp Nano 22, but also have some legacy Nano 23's that work fine for this. It's the light weight that I prefer over the very common Neutrino. The only exception is my plethora of tricams I put on an oval carabiner.

David N · · Los angeles · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Thank you all for the input. Started with some oz rackpacks since they were on sale to rack the c4's. Probably go with a different set for the smaller size gear to make it that much easier to distuingish what is what. 

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483

I would likely use the OZ because of the wider rope bearing surface and snag free nose, but the fact that BD only sells them in rackpacks discouraged me. I have lots of different cams down in the finger to micro range and need to be able to buy individual biners for them. 

I use the nano 22, upside of the slightly narrower rope bearing surface is that I can cram more junk on a gear loop. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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