Casper's Climbing Shop

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Carabiners in ALL shapes and sizes | available in store & online @CCS


How to Choose Carabiners

Just like with quickdraws, there are certain things to consider when shopping for carbiners. Different tasks require different tools and the three main categories to consider would be the shape, gate opening and weight/strength.

Shape Pro Con
D shape carabiner

Strongest shape

Larger gate opening than Oval Shape

Smaller gate opening than Asymmetric D

Heavier than Asymmetric D

More expensive than Oval Shape

Asymmetric D Carabiner

Large gate opening

Strong and light

More expensive 

Not as strong as D Shape

Pear Shape

Large gate opening

Designed for belaying and rappelling 

Heavier and more expensive than most other carabiners

Not as strong as D & Asymmetric D shape

Oval Shape

Limits load shifting

Can hold more gear than D Shape

Not as strong as other shapes

Smaller gate opening than other shapes

Heavier than other shapes

The Gate openings are the same here as they were with the quickdraws. Main categories to look out for are straight, bend or wiregate carabiners. 

gate opening pro con

durable and easy to use

available with keylock system

heavier than wiregate

clipping rope is easier


available with keylock system

heavier than wiregate


reduce gate lash

less likely to freeze shut

less durable than straight&bent gate

Carabiner Size, Weight and Strength

SIZE: Carabiners exist in lots of different sizes, the bigger they are the easier it is to clip because the opening is generally bigger. Smaller carabiners have the advantage of being lighter.

Weight: Generally the lighter the carabiner the better because you want to minimise the load you have to carry up the route/mountain. But as previously mentioned, light carabiners are usually smaller and harder to handle.

Strength: Carabiners are rated for strength in three directions: lengthwise (major axis), sideways (minor axis) and while open (major axis open or "gate open").

Which Carabiner To Use

First think about what you will be using the carabiner for. Now that you know about the technical aspects of the carabiner it is time to choose one that fits your needs. This might help:

Belaying and rappelling

pear-shape locking carabiner

Sport-climbing quickdraws

Asymmetric D carabiners with straight gates, bent gates and/or wiregates

Trad-climbing quickdraws

Asymmetric D carabiners with wiregates

The choices are endless and difficult today so ideally come down to Casper's Climbing shop to get a feel for this gear and get some more advice. Also, you can contact our Customer Service or send us a mail to help you choose the right product for your needs. 

Shop online.........more time to climb.

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