April 12, 2022

We’ve Picked 10 of the Best Belay and Rappelling Carabiners

by Kevin

While each climber strives to reach the summit of a pitch, coming back down is just as vital. When you first begin climbing, you usually lower on belay. However, if you want to be a well-rounded hiker, you’ll need to learn how to rappel.

Rappellers and climbers must have rappelling carabiners in their gear for rappelling. They’re made to stay shut in most cases. However, once you’re high off the ground, you don’t really want to take any chances with it staying closed.

Climbers choose the locking carabiners because they ensure that the carabiner will not open unless you do it yourself. Many people associate carabiners with mountaineering and climbing because it’s what they are commonly used for.

However, there are various uses for carabiners to consider before making your pick. Technicians who frequently go up the poles for work could use carabiners to anchor themselves as they proceed upward.

Survivalists use carabiners to hold their gear together and conduct emergency rappels. Also, you can use carabiners as makeshift keychains to store numerous keys or credit cards by certain people. There are no limits to what you can do.

Before choosing belay and rappelling carabiners, think about what you’ll do with them. Select carabiners flexible enough to fulfill all of your needs if you want them to serve multiple purposes.


Table of Contents

Why is the Carabiner’s Shape Important?

A carabiner is a small, metal loop with a spring-loaded gate that is used to quickly and easily connect the rope to an item. Carabiners are made of aluminum or stainless steel. You can read about the process of making carabiners here.

If you use an offset D-shaped carabiner, which is common in quickdraws, the rope will end up settling into a specific corner.

It’s logical for a quickdraw or other purposes but also causes a particular wear area to develop, which is referred to as a “groove.” Sharp corners are left on the rope, causing it to degrade and, in some situations, cutting it during a drop.

Second, a greater top-end indicates a wider gate opening. It simplifies the process of loading a belay device and putting up a quick munter hitch.

Third, the wide top-end allows for many clove hitches necessary for anchoring off a belay or tying at the summit of multi-pitch routes. Using a munter hitch, this vast area will be primarily used for urgent belaying or rappelling.

What is the Best Carabiner Shape for Rappelling?

Pear-shaped carabiners are used in general for rappelling and belaying, but they can also be used at anchor points for multi-pitch climbing and top-roping.

Carabiners are required for a variety of climbing tasks. To correctly choose and apply them, you should first comprehend their differences. There are four major aspects to think about before buying belay and rappelling carabiners.

  • Carabiners’ shape.
  • Carabiners’ type of gate.
  • Carabiners’ locking mechanism.
  • Carabiners’ size, strength, and weight.

Consider your requirements once you’ve grasped the distinctions. Which type of carabiners you purchase will be determined by the ascending you undertake and how you’ll use them.

The 10 Best Carabiners for Rappelling and Belaying

You might think that all carabiners are the same, but a suitable belay carabiner can make all the difference when it comes to releasing slack, dropping safely, and avoiding tragedies.

Take a look at the top 10 picks for the best belay and rappelling carabiners for your partner so you can have the best rappelling and belaying experience possible.

  1. Black Diamond Rocklock Twistlock Carabiner
  2. Storesum UIAA Certified Climbing Carabiner
  3. Petzl OK Carabiner
  4. Black Diamond MiniWire Carabiner
  5. EDELRID HMS Bulletproof Carabiner
  6. Petzl Sm’D Twist Lock Carabiner
  7. DMM Belay Master Carabiner
  8. Mammut Smart HMS Carabiner
  9. Black Diamond Magnetron Gridlock Carabiner
  10. Black Diamond Rocklock Screwgate Carabiner

1. Black Diamond Rocklock Twistlock Carabiner

Black Diamond Equipment - RockLock Twistlock Carabiner - Gray
133 Reviews
Black Diamond Equipment - RockLock Twistlock Carabiner - Gray
  • Hot-Forged for lighter-weight construction
  • Square hinge end holds belay loop securely in place
  • Slightly curved spine maximizes gate opening

Last update on 2022-10-05 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

As a conventional belay carabiner that’s equally adaptable and affordable, the Black Diamond Rocklock Screwgate is for you. It includes a snag-free keylock nose and is wholly rounded for easy belaying.

It’s also huge enough for a munter hitch whenever a belay device isn’t in the budget. The Rocklock is ideal with an ATC rappelling device (Air Traffic Controller) unit or as a general-purpose lock.

It’s less probable to cross load due to its size and smoothness than other smaller cutout design biners, though it could still happen. You’ll be alright if you keep a closer eye on the rappel device when belaying.

2. Storesum UIAA Certified Climbing Carabiner

Sale
Storesum UIAA Certified Climbing Carabiner -3 Pack 24KN (5400 lbs) Carabiner Heavy Duty Locking Carabiner Clip Climbing Gear for Rock Climbing Gear,Camping,Climbing Equipment,Large Carabiner
1,378 Reviews
Storesum UIAA Certified Climbing Carabiner -3 Pack 24KN (5400 lbs) Carabiner Heavy Duty Locking Carabiner Clip Climbing Gear for Rock Climbing Gear,Camping,Climbing Equipment,Large Carabiner
  • ✔️ AUTO LOCKING CLIMBING CARABINER, JUST RELEASE THE GATE AND BE STRESS-FREE: Heavy-duty spring is sturdy enough and will work for a longer period of time. Regardless if you are hanging in the air or your energetic dog is trying to let go, it will not unlock itself
  • ✔️ TWISTLOCK CARABEANER HOOKS PROVIDE EASE OF USE FOR SINGLE HAND OPERATIONS: Aircraft-grade aluminum material, design & sturdy twist lock spring make sure, you can operate this large carabiner with just one hand, without much effort. Use just one hand while you are hanging over a tower or rock or rappelling or zip-lining etc
  • ✔️ HEAVY-DUTY CARABINER HOOKS TO MAKE YOU FEEL SAFE AND SECURE: Its UIAA certified (Certificate No.:USA 20-5754) and went through an EN 12275:2013 test methods with 24KN (5400 lbs.) major axis strength and 7KN (1573 lbs.) minor and open gate strength

Last update on 2022-10-05 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

For an auto-locking climbing carabiner, you release its get for it to be stress-free. The heavy-duty spring is strong and durable, and it will last for a lengthy period. It will not release itself, whether you are suspended in mid-air or your eager dog is attempting to let go.

Its twist-lock carabiner hooks offer ease of use for single-hand operations. Material, design, and a robust twist-lock spring are aircraft-grade aluminum.

It ensures that you can easily operate this huge carabiner with just one hand. Use only one hand when hanging from a rock or tower, ziplining, rappelling, etc.

3. Petzl OK Carabiner

PETZL, OK Carabiners, Ball-Lock
1,280 Reviews
PETZL, OK Carabiners, Ball-Lock
  • Oval carabiner for use with pulleys and ascenders
  • Symmetrical oval shape allows optimal loading of devices with a wide cross-section, such as pulleys, rope clamps and mobile fall arresters
  • Aluminum carabiner whose light weight reduces the weight of equipment the worker at height needs to carry

Last update on 2022-10-05 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

Aluminum makes up the compact OK carabiner. Its oval design allows it to efficiently load items with a large cross-section, including rope clamps, mobile fall arresters, and pulleys.

It has an internal fluid design and a Keylock system that makes handling easy. There are three locking mechanisms available: automatic BALL-LOCK or TRIACT-LOCK, or manual SCREW-LOCK.

You can attach OK to the CAPTIV bar to facilitate carabiner placement along the principal axis, reduce the chance of it inverting, and keep it incorporated with the device.

4. Black Diamond MiniWire Carabiner

Black Diamond Equipment - MiniWire Rackpack - Pack of 6
156 Reviews
Black Diamond Equipment - MiniWire Rackpack - Pack of 6
  • Color-coded to match Camalots for easy identification
  • Lightest fully-functional Black Diamond carabiner
  • Hot-Forged construction

Last update on 2022-10-05 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

The MiniWire is the smallest, perfectly functioning carabiner in the Black Diamond line-up, designed for the fast and light climber who counts every gram. The MiniWire is best for clipping gear to your harness while rappelling.

The MiniWire is a sturdy, modern design with a hot-forged lightweight design and an improved nose geometry for effortless unclipping and clipping on long trad or alpine climbs. Go big or go home with MiniWire.

5. EDELRID HMS Bulletproof

EDELRID HMS Bulletproof Locking Carabiner - Icemint Triple Lock FG
36 Reviews
EDELRID HMS Bulletproof Locking Carabiner - Icemint Triple Lock FG
  • Spring bar holds carabiner in place when belaying to prevent cross loading
  • Keylock closure mechanism for optimum handling when clipping and unclipping
  • H-profile construction ensures best possible use of material and minimal weight

Last update on 2022-10-05 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

D-shaped locking carabiner that is very adaptable, lightweight, and compact. EDELRID HMS Bulletproof is a lightweight, compact D-shaped locking device that you may use in various scenarios; it’s easy to handle, even while putting on gloves for the rappels, and comes in two locking device types.

6. Petzl Sm’D Twist Lock Carabiner

Petzl SM'D Carabiner - Versatile, Lightweight, Compact, D-Shaped Locking Carabiner for Rock and Ice Climbing - Twist-Lock
586 Reviews
Petzl SM'D Carabiner - Versatile, Lightweight, Compact, D-Shaped Locking Carabiner for Rock and Ice Climbing - Twist-Lock
  • LIGHTWEIGHT PERFORMANCE: D-shape is functional regardless of orientation, meeting multiple uses: attachment of a belay system, a pulley, or on the end of a lanyard. Light enough for mountains, durable enough for the crag.
  • ERGONOMIC: H-shaped cross-section contributes to better grip when wearing gloves. Keylock system, to avoid any involuntary snagging of the carabiner. Keeper hole allows a TIBLOC or a MICRO TRAXION to be connected to the carabiner with a cord, helping prevent accidental gear dropping.
  • TWIST-LOCK: Automatic locking, optimal for connecting lanyards and connecting a GRIGRI to the harness.

Last update on 2022-10-05 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

Petzl Sm’D Twist Lock Carabiner is a favorite carabiner because of its adaptable shape and easy-to-open twist-locking gate style.

Petzl Sm’D Twist Lock Carabiner, a full-sized rappelling carabiner, has a superb twist-locking gate that’s possible to open with one hand, snaps closed, locks automatically for maximum security, and a big basket that can fit numerous rappelling ropes and knots and nearly any type of belay gear.

It’s a general-purpose locker that works well for anchoring and rigging applications like big wall climbing or rope access, where the twist-locking mechanism saves time due to repetitive and frequent use.

7. DMM Belay Master Carabiner

DMM Belay Master 2 Carabiner, Silver
145 Reviews
DMM Belay Master 2 Carabiner, Silver
  • Belay Master 2
  • Silver Color Style
  • Weight: 100g

Last update on 2022-10-05 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

The DMM Belay Master is one of most people’s favorite belay carabiners, and after years of use in many scenarios, we can say that the layout is ideal – albeit a touch is heavy.

Because the upper end is big and curved, it doesn’t wear out quickly and is gentle on ropes. The plastic clip on the carabiner entirely conceals the screw piece of the gate, so you can only lock or do up if the clasp is closed. It implies less wear and tears on ropes and equipment.

8. Mammut Smart HMS Carabiner

Mammut Smart HMS Biner
134 Reviews
Mammut Smart HMS Biner
  • Key lock nose for easy clipping and unclipping without snagging
  • Safety gate to secure the carabiner in the right position
  • The safety gate means the carabiner can be used only when it is securely closed

Last update on 2022-10-05 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

A great design that allows for cross-loading while also ensuring that the gate can be closed correctly. The Mammut Smart HMS has a rounded top for easy lowering and belaying, but it also includes cut-outs for saving weight.

Although the gate is a screw-lock, an additional piece of hard plastic gives an extra degree of security. The plastic gate serves two purposes: it prevents cross-loading and prevents the screwgate from closing unless it is latched.

It won’t clip onto the gate unless you screw it up properly, so you’ll know whenever it’s safe to say “on belay.”

9. Black Diamond Magnetron Gridlock Carabiner

Black Diamond Equipment - Gridlock Screwgate Carabiner
374 Reviews
Black Diamond Equipment - Gridlock Screwgate Carabiner
  • Hot-forged construction
  • I -beam spine transitions into a rounded, large ropebearing surface
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use design

Last update on 2022-10-05 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

The biner’s virtually “figure eight” style is unusual, yet it works well. With a GriGri, you wouldn’t need a nice edge on the tiny end because the rope doesn’t go in the carabiner.

The bigger end, on the other hand, is huge and rounded. As a result, you could use it for belaying and rappelling with typical tube-style equipment for an urgent munter hitch rappel or belay.

The Magnetron lock needs you to press the two red buttons on either side of the gate. It’s really simple to access when you want to and nearly hard to open by accident.

10. Black Diamond Rocklock Screwgate Carabiner

Black Diamond Equipment - RockLock Screwgate Carabiner - Gray
830 Reviews
Black Diamond Equipment - RockLock Screwgate Carabiner - Gray
  • Black Diamond Equipment: Designing and constructing the world's best climbing, skiing & mountain gear since 1957

Last update on 2022-10-05 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

It includes a snag-free keylock nose and is completely rounded for seamless belaying. It’s also big enough for a munter hitch whenever a belay device isn’t in your budget.

The Rocklock is ideal with an ATC (Air Traffic Controller) device or as a general-purpose lock. It’s less willing to cross load due to its size and smoothness than other smaller cutout design biners, though it could still occur.

What Does HMS Mean? What Is An HMS Carabiner?

The belay or HMS carabiner may be the most significant carabiner you would purchase. If you’re curious, HMS stands for “Halbmastwurfsicherung,” which translates to “Munter Hitch” or “half clove hitch belay.”

It’s a word for carabiners designed to have rope threaded through them. Such carabiners are typically bigger, with a wide, seamless diameter for your rope to run around, and are offset “D” or more symmetric pear-shaped.

They are simple to use, include a locking mechanism on the gate, and are gentle on the rope that passes through them. Why will you need to do something like that? So, you and your partner are halfway up the “fun” local pitch wall and almost to swap the belays.

You reach for your smartphone to pass it over, but it slides from your grasp and falls into No Man’s Land, where it will be scooped up by a roving scumbag, just as nature intended.

How does one go down, or how do you get out of it? It is when knowing how to use a munter hitch to rappel and belay comes in helpful.

Best Rappelling Belay Carabiners

It’s simple, though it needs continual attention and the use of both hands – hire a pro to tell you how. A broad top carabiner is also useful in this situation. It allows a rope munter hitch to be attached and swing easily without snagging.

Finally, a curved top edge on a carabiner is excellent for rope longevity and smoother descending. If you cut the top of a tiny, lightweight carabiner in half, you’ll see that it has a slender rectangular shape. The smoothest but heaviest carabiners are completely rounded.

Because of the visual resemblance to a capital H or I, specific belay carabiners feature a rounded bottom or top with a hollow middle known as an “I” or “H” beam. It creates a nice rounded edge while still saving weight. They’re a bit more costly to create, but they’re light and serve the same purpose.

Which is the Best Belay and Rappelling Carabiner Locking Mechanism?

Ultimately, this is a matter of personal taste. Screw Locks are the easiest and cheapest to use; however, they can come unraveled in some instances.

Keep a close eye out for “gravity loading,” which occurs when the carabiner’s lock is at the summit and progressively unscrews downward. Keep an eye out for places where a rope scrapes on the screw-gate and causes it to open.

You must open triple-action and twist-lock gates by twisting them open or adding an extra lift up and twist. Certain carabiners require you to operate a lever or press a button before opening. 

Which are the Best Belay Carabiner Extra Features?

Ensure your new rappelling and belay carabiners are CE and UIAA approved by a reputable climbing manufacturer. It should be sturdy enough for rock climbing and all types of rappelling. That’s all you must do to make sure the carabiner is sturdy enough to ascend on.

Climbing carabiners must meet minimum strength criteria to ensure that the gear does not shatter when used correctly. Climbing carabiners are classified into different orientations, but you should still know when to retire your climbing carabiners.

A snag-free point is one of the climber’s favorite accessories because it reduces fumbling while unclipping and loading. For quick buddy checks, color or other visual indicators that the carabiner is unlocked or locked are excellent.

As the central point for rerouting or hooking in with a belay, the capacity to belay in guiding mode or on the harness are all important qualities.

To reduce money and weight, most carabiners are manufactured of aluminum, which is suitable for decades of service. Steel carabiners are more expensive, but they last far longer. You can find carabiners with metal inserts were rope scrapes frequently, for the best of both attributes.

Can You Use any Carabiner for Belaying and Rappelling?

You can’t use just any carabiner for belaying and rappelling. Carabiners are for rappelling and belaying as what queens are to chess: they’re not the spectacular pieces that make all the movements, but they’re crucial, and you will require them to perform their job.

Carabiners are necessary for a variety of climbing activities. To correctly choose carabiners and apply them, you should first comprehend their differences. You’ll need carabiners for various applications based on what you’re ascending (and how). Go further with your knowledge and read how to rappel with a carabiner or how many carabiners you will need when rappelling.

How to Attach a Rappelling Carabiner to Harness?

So, on the harness, where does the carabiner get attached? Any carabiner or rope attachments are made straight toward the front loop of the harness, excluding the retaining loop that prevents the carabiner on a rope from moving sideways, especially with a classic harness.

The rankings on rappellingequipment.com are curated to save you time by aggregating the best reviewed products from the most reputable companies. We may receive a commission if you buy something using a link on this page.

About the author 

Kevin

Kevin loves bouldering. Mainly because he can practice it alone without considering other people. Although he rediscovered this hobby in the last three years, the boulders turned out to be his most visited landmarks.

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