What Are the Best Locking Carabiners This Year?

Carabiners are one of the most crucial pieces of equipment used in a range of outdoor activities.

From rock climbing and mountaineering to camping and backpacking, carabiners play a significant role in keeping us safe and secure.

Among the various types of carabiners available, locking carabiners are the most popular ones, known for their enhanced safety features.

These carabiners come with locking mechanisms that secure the gate in place, preventing accidental opening and potential accidents.

With a plethora of locking carabiners available in the market, choosing the right one can be a daunting task.

To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of the best locking carabiners available today.

Our list includes carabiners from top-rated brands that have been tried and tested by professionals in the industry.

We have considered factors like weight, strength, gate opening, and durability to ensure that our list includes only the best carabiners that offer optimal performance and safety.

Best Locking Carabiners List and Reviews
What Are the Best Locking Carabiners This Year?

What Are Locking Carabiners?

Locking carabiners are specialized metal clips used in rock climbing, mountaineering, and other outdoor activities to connect ropes, harnesses, and other gear securely.

They have a locking mechanism that prevents accidental opening, ensuring the safety of the climber or adventurer.

There are different types of locking carabiners, including screw-lock, twist-lock, and auto-lock, each with its own unique locking mechanism.

How Do Locking Carabiners Work?

Locking carabiners work by providing a mechanism to secure the gate of the carabiner in a closed position, preventing accidental opening and potential danger.

There are several types of locking mechanisms, including screw-lock, twist-lock, and auto-lock.

These mechanisms are designed to either require manual twisting or screwing to release the gate or automatically lock the gate once it is closed.

This added level of security is essential for climbing and other activities where safety is a top concern.

A List of the 10 Best Locking Carabiners This Year

For this list of the 10 best locking carabiners, we chose products that have the highest ratings and the highest number of reviews that our team was able to read and synthesize.

Based on this information, we have selected the ten best locking carabiners to present to you.

1. PETZL Attache Screw-Lock Carabiner

No products found.

The PETZL Attache is extremely light, user-friendly, and easy to unscrew. It is the most user-friendly carabiner we tested. With its compact design, you would expect it to feel cramped, though it feels pretty spacious.

PETZL Attache Screw-Lock Carabiner Distinctive Features:

  • The compact shape is purposely incorporated for several belaying utilizations like linking to a harness, among others
  • The gate is 24mm wide and weighs 56 grams which are supremely light, and the strength stands at 22 kN
  • The H-shaped cross-section enhances the ratio of strength to weight
  • The wide surface makes it swift to untie and tie a munter-hitch knot
  • The lock closure mechanism is a screw-lock system that provides decent management and reliable locking
  • The lock indicator is also an appreciated bonus
  • The key lock mechanism aids in avoiding catching the locking carabiner on your paraphernalia by mistake

Additionally, it has the most extensive gate clearance out of the carabiners we tested. This makes it straightforward to unclip and clip back on almost anything. It features a wide basket, while the H-shape cross-section allows for a comfy circular belay surface.

The mid-range gate tension has a satisfying snap, and the screw gate is soft and highly functional, and it has PETZL’s s customary red coating to alert you once it’s unlocked. On the other hand, this carabiner does come with a few drawbacks.

The lightweight build may translate to insignificant sacrifice on robustness, though the PETZL Attache was very sturdy throughout our tests. This locking carabiner proved to be perfect for all climbing expeditions.

When we require a pre-rigged rappel and a swift top-rope arrangement, several of these locking carabiners can make great rope carabiners. The PETZL Attache has made a name for itself as a classic and the best lock climbing carabiner. 

PETZL Attache Screw-Lock Carabiner Pros:

  • The considerable gate clearance allows for reduced hassle
  • Versatile and high-performing
  • The safety stripe reveals when the gate is locked
  • Economical price tag

PETZL Attache Screw-Lock Carabiner Cons:

  • Absence of auto-lock

2. PETZL Sm’D Locking Carabiner

No products found.

This is the best D-shaped locking carabiner we’ve tested. It is a lightweight full-sized locking carabiner. It has extra security and is easy to use, considering its twist-locking gate.

PETZL Sm’D Locking Carabiner Distinctive Features:

  • The shape allows for flexibility and warrants effectiveness in most climbing situations
  • The 20mm wide gate is relatively light, and it has a strength that stands at 23kN
  • The D-shape provides decent management, while the H-shaped cross-section is built to allow for an enhanced grip even when wearing gloves
  • The two closure mechanisms – the twist-lock systems for swift opening when linking a Grigri and the screw-lock for infrequent utilization or dirty surroundings

Whereas these types of locking carabiners are normally thought to be flexible enough for rappelling ropes and belaying, this one features a wide and flat basket than most of the ones we’ve tried out, guaranteeing more than enough space for two ropes to fit when rappelling comfortably.

Moreover, PETZL Sm’D Locking Carabiner works excellently when coupled with a belay gadget for setting up anchors. It was challenging to find any drawbacks with this impressive locking carabiner.

However, it is somewhat heavy though the additional weight is due to the impeccable double-action twist-lock system, which is definitely worth the extra grams. 

PETZL Sm’D Locking Carabiner Pros:

  • Automatically locks once closed
  • Simple to unlock
  • The D-shape allows for all kinds of utilization
  • User-friendly and lightweight

PETZL Sm’D Locking Carabiner Cons:

  • Somewhat costly

3. CAMP Photon Lock Carabiner

No products found.

This stylish locking carabiner features an offset D-shape; thus, it is perfect for setting up attaches on multi-pitch climbs. Also, the CAMP Photon Lock Carabiner is ideal for attaching to one end of your anchor structure. Its versatility allows for it to be utilized for belaying.

CAMP Photon Lock Carabiner Distinctive Features:

  • It’s lightweight though this does not sacrifice durability or flexibility
  • It has a sphere-lock closing mechanism
  • The full-size construction is excellent for utilization when wearing gloves
  • The optimized body build surges strength and firmness

Its I-beam build aids in reducing weight, and without a doubt, this is among the lightest locking carabiners you can purchase. It features a screw gate that’s straightforward to close and open with just a few revolutions.

Imprinted on the gate bar is a visual indicator so you can comfortably see if the gate is entirely closed or not. However, there are several drawbacks to the CAMP Photon locking carabiner, and the most significant is that the offset D-shape is not flexible enough for rappelling.

Besides, it has a narrower gate clearance, but we didn’t have a hard time integrating clove hitches or attaching them to anchor points when necessary. Lastly, the gate’s spring screeches when closing and opening it, though it’s most likely to annoy you than compromise your safety. 

CAMP Photon Lock Carabiner Pros:

  • Extremely lightweight
  • The visual indicator is handy in showing whether the gate is locked or not
  • Screwing is easy
  • Inexpensive

CAMP Photon Lock Carabiner Cons:

  • The gate screeches when you open it

4. Black Diamond Rocklock Twistlock Carabiner

No products found.

This impressive locking carabiner is ideal for belaying, considering its robust construction. Black Diamond Rocklock Twistlock Carabiner is the kind of locking carabiner that will last you a long time.

Its screw gate is exceptionally soft and supremely user-friendly with marginal tension.

Black Diamond Rocklock Twistlock Carabiner Distinctive Features:

  • Square hinges support the loops firmly for belaying
  • The key-lock nose stops snagging
  • Auto-lock twist-lock sleeve
  • Marginally curved spine optimizes gate opening

After some time, the springs begin to wear out though this is after taking heavy loads for a long time, which is impressive considering its price. It has a sizeable sphere-shaped stock which allows for the ropes to move through it comfortably when belaying.

The basket has enough room for hitches and knots. On the other hand, the Black Diamond Rocklock Twistlock Carabiner has one downside: it’s relatively heavy. But, other than that, this is a highly versatile locking carabiner.

Black Diamond Rocklock Twistlock Carabiner Pros:

  • Automatically locks once closed
  • Unlocking is easy
  • User-friendly and versatile
  • Its shape allows for multiple uses

Black Diamond Rocklock Twistlock Carabiner Cons:

  • A bit heavy

5. DMM Phantom Screw Gate Carabiner

No products found.

This is the way to go if you’re searching for a lightweight locking carabiner. DMM Phantom Screw Gate Carabiner is among the most lightweight locking carabiner we tested.

Even though it doesn’t lock automatically, it has a compact build making, reducing the weight easily.

DMM Phantom Screw Gate Carabiner Distinctive Features:

  • It’s light, with its weight standing at 41.5g
  • Has strength count of 23kN
  • The gate opening is somewhat wide at 16mm
  • The compact design makes reducing weight easily

We could hardly find a drawback to the DMM Phantom, lest you’re attempting to rappel or belay with it as a major locker.

Indeed, it is not the type of locking carabiner you’d utilize to attach multiple loads or use for several knots and ropes, although it’s incredibly supportive for almost anything else. Our testers found it to be ideal for multi-pitch climbers. 

DMM Phantom Screw Gate Carabiner Pros:

  • It requires a bit of screwing to lock the gate; thus, it saves you time
  • It is supremely light
  • Soft screw lock and gate
  • Compact build

DMM Phantom Screw Gate Carabiner Cons:

  • A bit small, but some buyers said they love it because it’s small and lightweight

6. Petzl – William, Locking Carabiner for Belaying

No products found.

Introducing the William Locking Carabiner, a versatile and reliable belaying tool by Petzl. Constructed with high-quality aluminum and weighing only 90 grams, this D-shaped carabiner features a large-capacity design that is both lightweight and asymmetrical.

The William Locking Carabiner is equipped with a keylock system that effectively prevents any involuntary snagging of the carabiner. With a generous gate opening of 28mm, this carabiner is designed for easy and smooth clipping.

The TRIACT-LOCK triple-action gate ensures automatic locking, providing an extra level of safety and security for belaying. Trust Petzl’s commitment to quality and excellence with the William Locking Carabiner.

7. Black Diamond Hotforge Screwgate

No products found.

The Black Diamond Hotforge Screwgate is a top-quality climbing gear designed with a D-shape that can accommodate a clove hitch. Its hot-forged construction makes it lightweight without compromising on strength.

The keylock nose of the Screwgate prevents snagging, while the easy-to-hold functional shape ensures a comfortable grip. The Screwgate sleeve is reliable and user-friendly, providing a secure locking mechanism.

The Hotforge Screwgate is a type B “Basic” locking connector, which makes it an essential tool for climbers and mountaineers seeking optimal safety and performance.

8. EDELRID HMS Bulletproof Locking Carabiner

No products found.

Introducing the EDELRID HMS Bulletproof Locking Carabiner, designed with advanced safety features to enhance your climbing experience. The spring bar effectively secures the carabiner in place while belaying, preventing any potential cross-loading.

The keylock closure mechanism ensures seamless handling when clipping and unclipping. The H-profile construction is expertly engineered to optimize material use and minimize weight.

Additionally, the steel insert effectively prevents premature wear from rope friction or bolt hangers. Invest in the EDELRID HMS Bulletproof Locking Carabiner for a reliable and secure climbing experience.

9. Black Diamond Gridlock Screwgate Locking Carabiner

No products found.

The Black Diamond Gridlock Screwgate Locking Carabiner is a high-quality product that is manufactured in the USA.

The carabiner is hot-forged and features an I-beam spine that seamlessly transitions into a large, rounded rope-bearing surface.

The intuitive and user-friendly design of the carabiner is complemented by its screwgate sleeve, making it easy to use. Additionally, the carabiner is equipped with a belay loop that is isolated to eliminate the possibility of cross-loading.

10. Metolius Element Key Lock Belay Carabiner

No products found.

Introducing the Metolius Element Key Lock Belay Carabiner – a high-quality, hot-forged carabiner with a key-lock design that ensures smooth clipping and unclipping.

Its compact, pear-shaped design makes it an ideal choice for both belaying and rappelling. This carabiner is a workhorse belay biner that offers exceptional value for its price.

It is perfectly suited for use with our BRD, munter hitch, and other belay devices. Each carabiner is individually tested to ensure it is capable of withstanding half its rated strength, guaranteeing its reliability and safety.

What Characteristics Should I Look for When Choosing Locking Carabiners?

When it comes to choosing locking carabiners, there are several important characteristics to consider.

First and foremost, you want to ensure that the carabiner has a reliable locking mechanism.

Look for carabiners that have a secure and easy-to-use locking system, such as a screwgate or a twist-lock mechanism.

These locking systems provide an added layer of safety and security, especially when you’re using the carabiner for critical applications like climbing or rappelling.

Another important characteristic to look for is the carabiner’s strength and durability.

Make sure to choose a carabiner that is made from high-quality materials like aluminum or steel and that has a high weight rating.

You should also consider the carabiner’s size and weight, as these factors can affect its ease of use and portability.

Additionally, look for carabiners that have smooth and well-machined surfaces, as this can make clipping and unclipping easier and more efficient.

Ultimately, choosing the right locking carabiner depends on your specific needs and preferences.

By considering factors like locking mechanism, strength and durability, size and weight, and surface finish, you can find a carabiner that meets your requirements and provides the safety and security you need.

Now, let’s take a look at all the details when you are choosing the best-locking carabiner.

Locking carabiners value

While climbing is fun, it is a pricey sport, especially once you start to explore multi-pitch climbs, which need a lot more gear than working out in the gym.

Whereas we don’t rate gear according to its value, it is an essential consideration before buying.

Locking carabiners work differently depending on their shape; thus, the most flexible ones could be viewed as the most valuable.

Additionally, our testers found that lightweight locking carabiners are more valuable since the lighter they are, the higher the chances we clip them on the harness.

Therefore, they will be utilized more.

The Petzl Attaché is our top pick, and it is as well highly versatile and supremely lightweight.

Besides, it is pretty cheap, and it offers incredible value.

The CAMP Photon is more affordable, light, and full-sized.

On the other hand, the Petzl Sm’D be a high-performance locking carabiner as well.

Locking carabiners overall utility 

This is an evaluation of how well a locking carabiner achieves its envisioned purpose and how flexible it is.

Typically, D-shaped and HMS-style pear-locking carabiners are built with different intentions.

However, when climbing, you can carry the smallest weight to enhance your performance; therefore, a locking carabiner that achieves more than one purpose is an excellent choice.

For this reason, we will as well consider each locking carabiner’s flexibility.

Among the five locking carabiners we tested, we found that the Petzl Attaché is the best combination of flexibility and functionality.

It is user-friendly and spacious enough to be utilized for almost any purpose.

With its flexible pear-shaped basket and its lightweight build, it’s no wonder our testers carried it with them on every adventure.

This is why it is the highest-ranking HMS/Pear-style locking carabiner for rappelling.

As for D-shaped full-sized locking carabiners, the Petz Sm’D be our highest-rated when it comes to flexibility and function.

According to our testers, the DMM Phantom was also quite impressive, offering plenty of versatility in various situations.

Ease of unlocking and locking crabiners

Among the five locking carabiners we tested they have different locking systems; the double-action auto-locks and screw locks.

By testing these closing systems multiple times, we found that some open quickly while others are challenging to open and close.

For this category, the gates that opened easily are the highest-ranking, and the ones that were a bit difficult to open and close scored poorly.

Locking carabiners’ compactness and weight

Nowadays, most locking carabiners are made using an aluminum alloy that is significantly lighter than steel, and it will meet the breaking strength requirements by CE.

Additionally, some rocking carabiners are made of an I-beam.

The I-beam construction lets engineers eliminate additional metal while meeting testing requirements, thus lightening the locking carabiner’s weight.

For aluminum alloys, the construction begins to show wear much sooner, though it is significantly comfortable.

Compactness is another consideration.

In most situations, you don’t require a large locking carabiner that can properly attach to a munter-hitch.

But having a smaller one will save you weight and consume less space on the harness.

So, why do we need climbing gear to be as compact as possible?

To evaluate compactness, we measured every locking carabiner on a scale and modified the scores depending on their size and weight.

Lightweight and small translated to better scores.

DMM Phantom took the first position in this category at 41 grams.

The CAMP Photon was a close second weighing 43 grams.

Even though compact is an excellent way to go, larger locking carabiners translate to easier ropework and increase flexibility.

Lightweight and compactness cover 20 % of a locking carabiner’s overall score.

Locking carabiners gate security

While all the locking carabiners we’ve reviewed will remain closed when you lock them, some climbers trust the gearless, which is why gate security is a critical consideration.

Auto-locking carabiners provide impressive gate security since they automatically lock once closed.

If it is closed, you can be sure that it’s locked.

Screw gate lockers have a huge limitation; you need to screw them to seal them properly.

The Petzl Sm’D is auto-locking, and it is quite easy to open.

The CAMP Photon and Petzl Attache have visual indicators so that you can see whether it’s unlocked, though it’s covered up once locked.

Locking carabiners gate clearance

Locking carabiners come in different shapes and sizes, which have various sizes of gate clearance.

This is the space between the nose and the gate when the gate is completely open.

This is not a vital feature if you are looking to clip a single rope or sling via the locking carabiner.

However, when you’re utilizing the locking carabiner as the main point and have numerous knots or ropes attached to it, this could become a problem.

Specifically, if multiple items are clipped to one compact locking carabiner, it can sometimes become challenging to open the gate and put a rope or knot.

For this reason, we frequently carry several HMS-Style spacious locking carabiners to utilize as master points on multi-pitch attaches.

D-shaped locking carabiners have a less spacious gate clearance than their pear-shaped counterparts.

Regardless of not being the roomiest locking carabiner on our list, the Petzl Attache has a gate clearance of 2.6 cm, which is the largest.

Taking second place is the Diamond Rocklock, with a clearance of 2.5 cm.

On the other hand, the DMM Phantom is last in this category, with a gate clearance of 1.6 cm only.

Best Locking Carabiners FAQs

What is a locking carabiner?

A locking carabiner is a carabiner specifically constructed for rigging or climbing with a system that keeps the gate locked.

What is an auto-locking carabiner?

An auto-locking carabiner is a carabiner that guarantees safety by automatically locking itself after you open it.

These locking carabiners have featured several frustrating twists to get the gate open, but it locks automatically once you release the gate.

How do auto-locking carabiners clips work?

Auto-locking carabiner clips need two steps to work.

You open them by twisting and then applying pressure on the gate.

As for closing, once the gate is released, it closes and locks automatically.

What is a triple-locking carabiner?

A triple-locking carabiner is a carabiner that features three different actions necessary to open the gate.

Usually, that’s sliding the metal sleeve, then winding it, and finally opening it.

How to use a belay locking carabiner?

To use a belay locking carabiner, clip it to your harness belay loop.

However, belaying auto-locking carabiners are a better option than screw-gate carabiners because they will not open by mistake.

How to use a locking carabiner?

Using a locking carabiner depends on the closing system.

For screw-lock closures, you need to screw the sleeve on the gate manually to lock it.

As for auto-locking carabiners, they close and lock automatically.

How to open a locking carabiner?

Opening a locking carabiner depends on the closing mechanism.

For the screw-lock gate, you open it by manually unscrewing the sleeve from the gate.

As for auto-locking carabiners, you open them by twisting and then applying pressure on the gate. 

To Summarize: The Best Locking Carabiners

In conclusion, the best locking carabiners are essential for any climber or adventurer.

These carabiners provide a secure and reliable connection between ropes, harnesses, and other equipment, ensuring the safety of the user.

The carabiners on this list are some of the best available, offering a range of features and benefits to meet the needs of different users.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, investing in a quality locking carabiner is a wise decision that can make all the difference in your next outdoor adventure.