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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.

Casper's Supports Your Summit


  • HMS Carabiners
    <p><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>What is a HMS carabiner? If you don’t speak German, it’s a reasonable question.</strong></span></p> <p>It’s actually an acronym for “Halbmastwurf sicherung”, which kind of translates to “Munter hitch belay carabiner.” </p> <p>In American climber slang, the HMS biner gets shortened to a “pearabiner”, which is certainly easier to remember when looking at it's shape. So basically it is a large, locking pear-shaped carabiner, suitable for belaying with a Munter hitch.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>Why use the HMS?</strong></span></p> <p>What are the advantages? For one, using a pearabiner like this offers a wide, quiet flat bottom edge, making it easy to belay off of this with a Munter hitch. The wide gap in the bottom allows the knot to flip back and forth as you take in or let out rope.</p> <p>Furthermore, this wide, flat surface allows you to clip other carabiners onto it and be able to add or remove them easily, even if one carabiner is loaded. If you were to use a different carabner like an asymmetric or  “D” shaped one on your master point, the loaded carabiner will often slide/pinch down on the other ones, making removal very difficult.</p> <p></p> <p></p>
  • Locking Carabiners
    <p><strong>Locking Gate Carabiners</strong></p> <p>Locking carabiners have gates that can be locked once closed in order to add safety and prevent accidental gate openings. They either provide a manual (a.k.a. screw-lock) or auto-locking system.</p> <p>With screw-lock the climber is require to manually screw the sleeve onto the gate to lock it.</p> <p>Auto-lock carabiners however lock as soon as the gate is closed.</p> <p>When using a belay or rappel device it is recommended to use a locking carabiner. You should also consider using them at belay stations and at critical protection placements for more peace of mind.</p> <p><strong>Pros:</strong></p> <p>Locking gate adds security</p> <p><strong>Cons:</strong></p> <p>Heavier than other styles</p>
  • None Locking Carabiners
    <p>Non locking carabiners come in three different categories:</p> <p>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. </p> <table width="387" style="height:80px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td>gate opening</td> <td>pro</td> <td>con</td> </tr> <tr> <td>straight</td> <td> <p>durable and easy to use</p> <p>available with keylock system</p> </td> <td>heavier than wiregate</td> </tr> <tr> <td>bent</td> <td> <p>clipping rope is easier</p> <p>durable</p> <p>available with keylock system</p> </td> <td>heavier than wiregate</td> </tr> <tr> <td>wire </td> <td> <p>lightweight</p> <p>reduce gate lash</p> <p>less likely to freeze shut</p> </td> <td>less durable than straight&amp;bent gate<br /><br /></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>The main thing to keep in mind here is that non locking carabiners should NEVER be used as belay, rappel or anchor devices. They are essentially carry tools and should not be used for anything else (except quickdraws).</p>
  • Low Load Carabiners
    <p>Low load carabiners can ONLY be used as carry tools. They come in different shapes, sizes and colours but are never suited for climbing. </p>