Mountain Project Logo

Best autolocking mechanism?


Andrew Lamb · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 0
MyFeetHurt wrote: Magnetron is definitely a one handed carabiner once you spend a couple minutes playing with it (spine against web between the thumb and finger, use the same thumb and finger to unlock). I have noticed it is much easier with the bigger version. It can freeze, but usually only happens if you get snow on it which is rare for a belay biner. Easily (relatively) solved with a tap of an ice axe, which I think is an underrated quality. Try unscrewing a frozen screw gate without pliers...

That said, just pick one (one being the key word). Screw gates are tough to beat.

The magnetron is openable with one hand but not clovable with one hand like the twin gates.


 Check the vid on Grivels site and the guy clove hitches with one hand on an autolocking twin gate.... Not actually impossible on other styles but way less intuitive and nearly impossible. 

I have been using three twin gates for over two years now with the mega jul and i have loved them. Only thing would be gate flutter of inner gate but this is solved in the wire gate models. 
Nick B · · Anchorage, AK · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 61

Edelrid sliders are neat, but I could never in good conscience recommend them due to the sticking.  The sticking can be quite severe if the mechanism gets old/dirty and will not close if the gate is not released from the end of its arc or forcibly closed.  Dangerous in autolocker.  I think they are good in the context of things like locking quickdraws, but shouldn't generally be used in a single biner holding a life situation EG: Belaying.   I have been using mine on my PAS if I am using one, but it often has a second quickdraw coming off of it to the anchor.

Magentrons are nice.  

I am really a big fan of petal triact biners/dmm triple action biners. They are super secure and pretty damn reliable.  I have regular sized hands and have no problem working triple action biners with one hand, on lead.  Just takes practice.  

Andy W · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 31
apoet wrote:

I have always been curious about these. They seem like a hassle to clip, but I have only handled them in the store.

Not sure if you're specifically curious about the Lambda, Tau, or twingates in general. There is no doubt a learning curve with operating twin gates. Smoothness opening the Lambda came quicker than with the Tau, but now that I'm fluid with both the Tau is easier to clip because it has a "normal" keylock nose. It's become my favorite auto lock for everything but belaying, and it would do that job just fine but the rope bearing surface is a little narrow. Thus why I have the Lambda for belay. The only hassle I've found with the Lambda is if rushing to clip rappel ropes the outer gate will direct itself up into the belay plate rather than going thru the ropes. It only takes 1 second of extra attention to make sure the gate goes the correct direction and has become second nature.

Disclaimer - I've only tried the Lambda and Tau, regular screw gates, classic 2-phase twisters, magnetron, and mammut slide lock. The mammut has the same problem as the edlreid mentioned above -- needs maximum force to automatically lock after 6 month regular use. Magnetron was a great easy mechanism, but I didn't like the gridlock and haven't found rocklocks and vaporlocks at a reasonable price. I have a grivel plume coming that I hope will become a go-to like the Tau.
Mason Stone · · Island of misfit toys. · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

Screw gate, forces me to check it periodically.

Paul Hassett · · Aurora CO · Joined Oct 2002 · Points: 161

Personal favorite in auto-locking mode:

https://dmmclimbing.com/Products/Locking-Carabiners/Ceros

Scott Kilts · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 5
Mason Stone wrote: Screw gate, forces me to check it periodically.

It's always a good habit to check your locker, but it's a flaw in the design of your locking carabiner if you actually have to. 

there are a lot of positives to the screwgate design, but there's a reason that 100 manufacturers are making 101 types of auto locker.

They are trying to solve that problem. (And also sell stuff ... )
Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 521

For most belay devices there are 1001 caribiners that are perfectly serviceable. Pick the one you like, stop worrying about the “best” one, and go climbing.

Northeast Alpine Start · · Conway, New Hampshire · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 122

I wrote about this two days after your post! My opinions and some suggestions here:

https://northeastalpinestart.com/2018/09/28/how-to-choose-the-best-locking-carabiners-and-giveaway/
Andy W · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 31
Dylan B. wrote:For most belay devices there are 1001 caribiners that are perfectly serviceable. Pick the one you like, stop worrying about the “best” one, and go climbing.

I find this kind of contribution to a thread in a "Climbing Gear Discussion" forum to be a waste of time and space. Extended discussion is exactly what this space is meant for. Perhaps take your own advice: don't worry about telling other people what they should or shouldn't do and go climb a rock.

Northeast Alpine Start wrote: I wrote about this two days after your post! My opinions and some suggestions here: 
You didn't even mention twin gates in your review, which the OP was specifically asking about. Care to explain why?
Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 521
Andy W wrote:

I find this kind of contribution to a thread in a "Climbing Gear Discussion" forum to be a waste of time and space. Extended discussion is exactly what this space is meant for. Perhaps take your own advice: don't worry about telling other people what they should or shouldn't do and go climb a rock.

You didn't even mention twin gates in your review, which the OP was specifically asking about. Care to explain why?

And I find this entire thread to be a waste of time and space. Sometimes people get too bogged down in minutia, and lose sight of the big picture. That was my point; sorry you missed it.

Andy W · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 31
Dylan B. wrote:

And I find this entire thread to be a waste of time and space. Sometimes people get too bogged down in minutia, and lose sight of the big picture. That was my point; sorry you missed it.

If it's such a waste, why bother responding? I am genuinely curious, because threads that I don't find value in I usually don't click on, almost never read thru, and certainly don't write comments in.

I can appreciate your sentiment, but just "pick the one you like" is hard to do with so many options, and without buying all of them to personally find out, we're left with forum discussions to help narrow it down. I'm sure most of us would love to know which option we will like best without having to invest any time in finding out.
Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 521
Andy W wrote:

If it's such a waste, why bother responding? 

To provide a little perspective.

If my post was such a waste to you, I presume you bothered to respond for the same reason.
Squeak · · Perth West OZ · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 21
Dylan B. wrote:

To provide a little perspective.


You're not even close to providing perspective. 

To anyone new to the game of carabiners it can be very confusing, there are many reasons why differing types exist (other than more sales). Someone asking for clarification as to why a person should or would choose one or other item is a perfectly valid discussion.
All car get you from A to B, why have one or another.
As was previously mentioned, you really haven't contributed here other than to say "Look at me  I can type."
Harumpfster Boondoggle · · Between yesterday and today. · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 0

What I would add to this scintillating MP discussion is that "non-cross loading" carabiners (those with some extra mechanism for positioning the biner) are useless and a PITA IRL.

If you have a Gri-Gri you cannot beat the AM'D dual action for general Spurt Wankery belaying. It's ergonomics for use with the GG are perfect as a belay biner. Given the "D" shape I can't see it cross-loading ever. Note afaik Petzl is not really into "non-crossloading" style biners (they don't sell one). There is a good reason for that and it just doesn't happen with the AM'D design, imo, which is also intended to mate with a Gri-Gri and it does so perfectly.

Screw gates probably best around snow and ice (but you should be using as few as you possibly can, cause they will freeze. Not a question of if, but when).

Triple action gates for when it is going to be used for self belay (ie mini-trax solo TR) when you are pre-occupied elsewhere ie climbing. Basically anytime you can't easily monitor the gate but you really, really want it locked. I have never heard of one opening when it shouldn't, the other types of lockers certainly can. The caveat of course is that depending on circumstance they may require two handed operation.

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 521
Squeak wrote:

You're not even close to providing perspective. 

To anyone new to the game of carabiners it can be very confusing, there are many reasons why differing types exist (other than more sales). Someone asking for clarification as to why a person should or would choose one or other item is a perfectly valid discussion.
All car get you from A to B, why have one or another.
As was previously mentioned, you really haven't contributed here other than to say "Look at me  I can type."

Or perhaps you’re myopic.

My perspective is that all this fussing over minutia is silly. You’re free to disagree, but that doesn’t make it a meaningless contribution.
Jack Servedio · · Raleigh,NC · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35
Andrew Lamb wrote:

The magnetron is openable with one hand but not clovable with one hand like the twin gates.

Genuinely curious if people ever use more than a single autolocker for belaying - when would you ever need to clove into an autolocker (other than the twingate)? Do people actually lug heavy autolockers like giant magnetrons up a multi-pitch when a cheap small screwgate is by far the best tool for the job when cloving into the anchor.

Jfriday1 · · Conifer, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 40
Andy W · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 31
Jack Servedio wrote:when would you ever need to clove into an autolocker (other than the twingate)?
I'm a little confused by this. Why would an auto locker being a twingate change the need to clove in? Anytime you would clove into a locker is the same time you would clove into an auto locker. Nearly every belay station in multi pitch climbing I am cloved to an autolocker.

Genuinely curious if people ever use more than a single autolocker for belaying
Every time I bring up a second -- one auto locker for rope thru belay device (Grivel Lambda), one auto locker attaching belay device guide mode to anchor (Grivel Tau). Again same uses as regular locker.

Do people actually lug heavy autolockers like giant magnetrons up a multi-pitch when a cheap small screwgate is by far the best tool for the job when cloving into the anchor.
First, "best tool for the job" is subjective. Secondly, auto lockers are no longer heavier than small screw gates. According to weighmyrack.com, the lightest screw lock is the Grivel Plume K3N at 37g, but followed closely by the auto locking Plume K3Gs at 38g. Next lightest is a rarely seen Climb Tech at 40g, and then countless screw gates at 42+g. To further drive the point, there are 8 more auto lockers weighing under 60g -- Edelrid Slider 42g, Climb Tech Lime 50g, Petzl SM'D 51-55g, Mammut Wall Micro 51g, DMM Shadow 56-58g, Grivel Tau 55g, BD Vapor Magnalock 56g, and Grivel Sigma 57g. For reference a BD Nitron screw is 50g and BD Positron is 56g.
Dan Gozdz · · Louisville, CO · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 0
Jack Servedio wrote:

Genuinely curious if people ever use more than a single autolocker for belaying - when would you ever need to clove into an autolocker (other than the twingate)? Do people actually lug heavy autolockers like giant magnetrons up a multi-pitch when a cheap small screwgate is by far the best tool for the job when cloving into the anchor.

I bring 4 autolockers for multipitch. The autolockers are for my clove to the masterpoint, 2 for the ATC in guide mode, and one in case I need to set up a 3:1, rescue situations, or one gets dropped. The small weight penalty is well worth the additional safety from the lock engaging as soon as the gate is closed. There's also a very small time aspect to it.

And yes, 2 are still rocklock magnetrons, mainly because my climbing funds have better uses than switching them to 2 of the vaporlocks.
Jack Servedio · · Raleigh,NC · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35
Andy W wrote: I'm a little confused by this. Why would an auto locker being a twingate change the need to clove in? Anytime you would clove into a locker is the same time you would clove into an auto locker. Nearly every belay station in multi pitch climbing I am cloved to an autolocker.

Every time I bring up a second -- one auto locker for rope thru belay device (Grivel Lambda), one auto locker attaching belay device guide mode to anchor (Grivel Tau). Again same uses as regular locker.

I was simply separating out the twingates from my question, since they are light and not a standard "auto lock" (as in twistlog, magnet lock, etc.) and make sense. I am more curious if people are using twistgates or mag gates (basically anything not one handed like a small screwlock d) for anything other than belaying considering they are not lighter and 3x the price.

Edited to add: Also the fact that twingates are one handed for a clip or clove like a screwgate when an autolocker really isn't. I use one for my belay device, but I can't see any justification for buying any additional autolockers (other than the twingates I was trying to exclude) when they are significantly more money, generally heavier, can't use them one-handed, and provide no extra safety on an attended clove hitch or guide plate hanger.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Climbing Gear Discussion
Post a Reply to "Best autolocking mechanism?"

Log In to Reply