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Best snag-free very light trad carabiner

Original Post
thepirate1 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

What is the best very light biner for trad, i.e. a UL biner that DOES NOT CATCH OR SNAG on runners or anything else?

(EDIT: somewhere toward the end of P. 2 I added a "Summarizing the summary of the summary" which people may find useful.)

Look up the reviews and the Camp Photon Wire, 30g, is supposed to handle by far the best of any of the UL biners, even with gloves on.  There is a thread on that here, but it's like 5 years old. So, let me ask for a different take and more modern (post-discontinuation of the BD oz) discussion:

On the Photon Wire discussion, not one person commented on THE issue for me - does the nose snag on runners? I'm a trad climber, and all too often I have been in a sketchy stance trying to get a placement, when I clip the sling...oops but the nose catches.  Well, I'll just try aga... another snag. OK, I'll just pull this out and... arghghghg the biner pulled the sling out of position and my feet are about to blow out and arghghghghggh... you get the picture. At one point I started to buy the lovely petzl "keyway" design biners, but those are HEAVY - currently on the petzl site at 39 g. The Petzl Ange L is a full-size biner that is 34 g - not bad - but came in waaaay behind in the reviews in outdoorgearlabs.com review.  Both it and the Wild country Helium 2 are nearly 2X the price of the Camp Photon Wire as well.

I have a pair of old, at the time very very fancy, ultra-light dmm biners that are the king of heinous snagging.  Pictures of the photon wire nose, which looks like a fish hook, also looks exactly like the old DMMs, and that terrifies me.

In the Photon wire discussion several people pointed out that they had poor quality control, holes looked in the wrong places, some gates were so soft they were returned or refused, and someone said they were made in china - off my list for human rights reasons.

So are you a trad climber and if so, how would you rate the "snagosity" of the Camp Photon Wire?  It would be a service to the community here to compare "snagaceousness" to the best-known biners.  E.g.: "yes I'm a strictly  trad climber, and it snags never/rarely/noticeable amount/frequently out of hundreds of uses".  

Elseways, what is your trad favorite lightweight biner and why?

Thanks,

-TPC

SeƱor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

I never have trouble with my Photons.

I also like the Mammut Wall Light carabiners. They're about the same weight and size as the CAMP Nanos but handle better, IMO. 

greggrylls · · Salt Lake City · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 237

This was discussed in a recent thread but I couldn't find it. EDIT linked

Photons have the problems you mentioned and I've looked down to see them nose snagged before.  + i've had to retire a bunch from the springs wearing out on the gate.

Dyons all the way. Light, don't snag, and can be found for reasonably cheap if you look around and use a deal.

Alpine draw biner discussion thread

Gold Plated Rocket Pony · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 91

Wild Country Helium: https://www.wildcountry.com/en-us/helium-40-hel2 
Light and snag free. Been using them on my cams and alpine draws for years and really like them. 

Mike Byrnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 0

Sounds like you’re looking for the Wildcountry Helium Biner, or maybe the DMM Alpha Trad Biner. Both are great but the Helium gets my pick of Cost/handling 

Eli 0 · · northeast · Joined May 2016 · Points: 5
Sam Cieply · · Venice, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 30

+1 for Dyons. They are the best snag free biner I have tried, and the nose is tiny unlike DMM Alpha, Petzl Ange, or WC Helium.

Kevin Crum · · Oakdale || Santa Cruz · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 20

Big fan of dmm alpha trad
not cheap
Not super light
Pretty colors
Lots of fun 

Chuck D · · Dallas, TX · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 25

This has been discussed extensively and it always seems that most people prefer either the Wild Country Helium or CAMP Dyon.  I use dyon's for alpine draws and love them, but the helium is great too, I'm sure you wouldn't be disappointed with either.

Although the dyon is basically just a snag-free photon, the gate feel is completely different and I much prefer it to the photon. It also seems to me that the quality is overall higher on the dyon's than the few photon's I have. Regarding CAMP quality control, I've been using dyons since they came out and have had no issues with any of them, they all still feel great.  For whatever reason my photon's seem to be aging less gracefully, despite having either similar or less mileage on them than my dyons.

Sam X · · Bend, OR · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 30

Snag free biners are going to be more expensive, no way around it. Photons will not do the trick. Go for the dyons.

thepirate1 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

Thanks everyone for great ideas and suggestions. I'll update this if anything new comes along, but...

Along with the complaints about the build quality of Camp biners, they are made in China (see last paragraph), according to sierra.com.

Biner           mass           best price I found      comment
He II              33g           $ 10.88                         Great reviews, many fans, big nose, not that light , similar wild country items are made in UK on sierra.com, could not find this one.
Camp Dyon 33 g            $10.46                        many fans, not in best-known reviews,  made in china?

So, nothing new to add really, because some people recommended biners with standard noses and wires, which I reject out of hand:

DMM Alpha Trad 35 g has standard wire hook nose.
DMM Chimera 30g standard wire hook nose
Mammut wall light - 23 g, has standard wire hook nose.

Now, I grant you - subtleties of designs that you can't really see from pictures could do a lot.  So,
***if*** someone is really willing to go out on a limb and say
* I AM A TRAD CLIMBER
* I have used these on dozens trad routes (anything with more than one bolt disqualified)
* I'll stake my reputation that they never or almost never snag
.... then I'll promote that biner to the list and note the highly selective response.  However, in the posts above, I'm just not seeing that.

I like to avoid products made in China for human rights reasons - don't like to support countries with aggregious human rights abuses (e.g. mass detention of Uigurs) and censorship (i.e. the great firewall), and those two criticisms are overwhelming, clear and objective.  

I would not, personally, bet my life on anything made in China, either, but that's just a grossly prejudiced opinon - no defending that. (I've seen behaviors in US manufacturing facilities that would not inspire confidence, that that's just from the management...)

-TPC
Rob Warden...Space Lizard · · Between Zion, Vegas, LA, an… · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 115
thepirate1 wrote: Is it true that the Dyons are made in China?

Thanks everyone for great ideas and suggestions. I'll update this if anything new comes along, but...

Biner           mass           best price I found      comment
He II              33g           $ 10.88                         Great reviews, many fans, big nose, not that light
Camp Dyon 33 g            $10.46                        many fans, not in best-known reviews, maybe made in china?

DMM Alpha Trad 35 g has standard wire hook nose.
DMM Chimera 30g standard wire hook nose

Dyon is made in china. Almost all of camps line is. 

Nothing wrong with them. However for the money, id spend the money on DMM. The alpha Trad and light are snag free. The chimera is also snag free
The Petzl Ange is snag free and if you like the single wire they are great.

I sport dork but have climbed alot of trad. If i was buying more biners I would get DMM alpha or chimera biners. 
Brandon R · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 63

So you want people to jump through hoops for you, proving their worth to you, because you can't manage to get a carabiner through a sling? And you can't even get the facts straight on the advice already given to you? 

Hobo Greg · · My Van · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 200
thepirate1 wrote:So,
***if*** someone is really willing to go out on a limb and say
* I AM A TRAD CLIMBER
* I have used these on dozens trad routes (anything with more than one bolt disqualified)
* I'll stake my reputation that they never or almost never snag
.... then I'll promote that biner to the list and note the highly selective response.  However, in the posts above, I'm just not seeing that.


Hobo Greg · · My Van · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 200
thepirate1 wrote:
I like to avoid products made in China for human rights reasons - don't like to support countries with aggregious human rights abuses

Yea it's a good thing the US never did anything bad to anyone. Especially not Indians and slaves.

Christian Hesch · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 12

Pirate, agree with you on the china aspect and I should really put my money where my mouth is... but I've yet to find a better biner than the Dyon and, at $7.50 each, that adds up when we're talking a few dozen of them. Very easy to score them on sale for anywhere from 7-8 bucks, and I don't even like heliums as much, let alone for 10 bucks (don't seem to find them at as good of sale prices as dyons)

acrophobe · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 0

Perhaps it is a small benefit, but the wiregates that are snag-free and enclose the gate in a hood have the added benefit of reducing the chance of the gate opening when scraped against the rock.  It seems to me that the Dyon is actually more likely to have this happen than many other biners.

With the Alpha Light and OZ apparently being discontinued, that leaves the Chimera and Helium as two excellent choices (but unfortunately pricey).  I like the lighter Chimera for racking cams, and the larger Helium for general purpose use.

I've also used the Ange S, which has the smoothest clipping nose, but do not particularly like pinching the single wire when holding the spine.

Luc-514 · · Montreal, QC · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 10,232

Smaller options are the WC Helium and DMM Chimera, both have a nose that protects the wire gate.
Larger option with great clip ability with gloves is the DMM Alpha Trad.

Dave K · · San Diego · Joined Jul 2019 · Points: 0
Hobo Greg wrote:

Yea it's a good thing the US never did anything bad to anyone. Especially not Indians and slaves.

That's why I don't buy American climbing gear that was manufactured in the 19th century.

Matt N · · Santa Barbara, CA · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 394

DMM Alpha Light for only $8 - click here!
shameless plug

I like WC heliums for my draws. Wish they weighed 28g, but their handling makes up for the extra weight. Reducing fumbling while pumped is more likely to help me than shaving 100g off my rack.

Also, if you buy $100+ from leftlanesports, and use their $30 off $100 code CYBER, you can get a decent price on Dyon Rack Packs (don't forget 8% from AJ too)
Hobo Greg · · My Van · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 200
Dave K wrote:

That's why I don't buy American climbing gear that was manufactured in the 19th century.

Hahaha you really think the US just stopped doin evil shit and became the good guys? Not to mention we wouldnt be where we currently are without those acts of the past? Do you know how many violent coups we have initiated this century? Do you have any idea how many civilians have been killed by drone strikes? Every nation on this planet has committed terrible atrocities, bar none, so using human rights violations as a reason not to purchase gear from a particular country, especially by implying that by buying US gear keeps you safe from that fact, is asinine.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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