How to Choose the Right Carabiner for Your Needs

Your Guide to buying the best carabiner


A carabiner is an essential piece of equipment for any climber, hiker, or outdoor enthusiast. It is an incredibly versatile and secure device, allowing you to easily attach and detach items to your belt, backpack, or clothing. When buying a carabiner, it is important to consider a variety of factors, such as size, material, strength, and shape. This buying guide will go into detail about each of these considerations to help you make an informed purchase. With the right carabiner, you can ensure that all your outdoor adventures are safe and enjoyable.

Key features

  1. Materials & Construction - Look for carabiners made of lightweight but strong metals such as aluminum, stainless steel, or titanium. Check for corrosion resistance and smooth edges, and pay attention to the strength and durability ratings.
  2. Shape & Size - Carabiners come in various shapes and sizes, with different styles and sizes for different applications. Consider the size of the items you are attaching, and select the carabiner shape and size accordingly.
  3. Safety Features - Look for carabiners with safety features such as locking mechanisms, anti-twist gates, and steel or plastic inserts to prevent accidental openings. Check for certification and safety ratings.
  4. Weight Capacity - Determine the weight of the items you are attaching to the carabiner and make sure the carabiner’s weight capacity is adequate for the load. Look for weight capacity rating on the carabiner.
  5. Functionality - Select a carabiner based on the function you need it to perform. If you need it to hold a large load, look for a carabiner with a high load rating. If you need it to hold a light load, a carabiner with a lower load rating may be suitable.

See the most popular carabiner on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Durability: Carabiners are designed to be strong and durable, able to withstand a variety of weights and pressures.
  • Versatile: Carabiners have many uses, from rock climbing and mountaineering to industrial and safety applications.
  • Lightweight: Carabiners are designed to be lightweight and easy to carry.
  • Easy to Use: Carabiners are designed to be easy to open and close, and can be used with one hand.
  • Secure: Carabiners are designed with a secure locking mechanism to ensure that any items attached to them will remain secure.


  • Rust: Carabiners are often made of metal, so they may be prone to rusting in certain weather conditions.
  • Strength: Carabiners are designed to hold weight, but they are not indestructible. It is important to check the strength rating of a carabiner before using it for a particular purpose.
  • Shape: Carabiners come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so it is important to select the right shape and size for the intended purpose.
  • Locking Mechanism: Carabiners may come with either a locking or non-locking mechanism. Locking mechanisms are more secure, but they can be more difficult to open and close.
  • Maintenance: Carabiners need to be inspected regularly for wear and tear and should be replaced if any damage is found.

Best alternatives

  1. Locking Carabiners - Carabiners with a locking gate that requires two hands to open and close.
  2. Quickdraws - Pre-assembled two-piece carabiners connected by a sling.
  3. Anchor Slings - Straps with carabiners on each end for setting anchors.
  4. Ascenders - Hand-held devices with a clamp and carabiner for climbing or ascending a rope.
  5. Nuts - Metal wedges with a carabiner hole for use in rock climbing.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

  • Carabiner - A metal loop with a spring-loaded gate used to quickly and reversibly connect two items.
  • Rope - A length of strong, lightweight cord typically made of nylon, polypropylene, or polyester.
  • Quickdraws - A combination of two carabiners connected by a short length of webbing.
  • Belay Device - A tool used to control the rope during rock climbing, rappelling, and other activities.
  • Protection (Pro) - A metal or plastic device used to protect climbers from falling.
  • Climbing Harness - A padded, adjustable harness used to connect the climber to the rope.
  • Helmet - A protective headgear designed to protect the climber from debris and falls.
  • Descender - A device used to control and lower a climber to the ground.

Common questions

  1. What is a carabiner? A carabiner is a metal loop with a spring-loaded gate used to quickly and reversibly connect components, most commonly in safety-critical systems like those used in climbling and mountaineering.
  2. What are the different types of carabiner? Carabiners can be divided into two main categories: locking and non-locking. Locking carabiners have a gate that requires manual locking in order to remain closed, while non-locking carabiners have a spring-loaded gate that can be easily opened and closed.
  3. What are the different shapes and sizes of carabiner? Carabiners come in various shapes and sizes and are designed for different purposes. Common shapes include oval, D-shaped, pear-shaped, and asymmetric D-shaped, while common sizes range from small keychain carabiners to large industrial carabiners.
  4. What is the best type of carabiner for a specific application? The best type of carabiner for a specific application depends on the weight and strength requirements of the application. For example, a small keychain carabiner is best suited for lightweight applications such as attaching a keychain to a backpack, while a large industrial carabiner is best suited for heavy-duty applications such as rock climbing.
  5. What are the safety considerations when using carabiners? It is important to always inspect carabiners for any signs of wear or damage before each use. Additionally, locking carabiners should always be locked before use, and non-locking carabiners should be checked to ensure that the gate is properly closed. Finally, carabiners should never be used in any application where a significant amount of force is applied, such as in rescue scenarios.


An interesting but little-known fact about carabiners is that the word itself is derived from the German word karabinerhaken, which means “spring hook.” The name was adopted by English speakers in the 1900s, and the device itself has been used for centuries as a way to quickly and securely attach two objects. The modern carabiner has been adapted for a range of uses, from rock climbing, to keychains, to everyday items like backpacks. Today, they are available in a wide range of types and sizes, and are one of the most popularly used devices in the outdoors. Source: History of the Carabiner

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.