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After more than nine hours of research and testing the best carabiners, our top pick goes to the Favofit Ultra Sturdy carabiner. It has a monstrous 12KN (2,657-pound) weight rating and heavy duty aircraft-grade aluminum construction. With its large gate opening and frost-proof wired gate, it offers plenty of clearance and works well outdoors.
The best carabiners are a dependable option for everything from hanging keys on your belt to proper suspension in climbing expeditions. Our evaluation focused on the material, durability, shape (d-shaped vs. oval carabiners, etc.), locking mechanism, number/type of certifications (CE and/or UIAA), weight rating, and ease of use. Keep reading to learn more about the Favofit Ultra Sturdy Carabiner and the other quality outdoor gears.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best carabiner for a hammock with a 12KN (2,697 pound) weight rating and large gate opening for easy clipping.
This 0.72 oz. carabiner is very durable, made using rust-resistant aircraft-grade aluminum with no sharp edges. It is rated at 12KN or 2,697 pounds, which can easily support most non-climbing activities like clipping a hammock. Its D-shape design is amongst the most popular used for carabiners, which are designed with larger gate openings for easier clipping. A stainless steel wire hook also makes it less susceptible to freezing shut and breaking with no internal parts.
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This carabiner has a variety of uses, including attaching to a dog leash or as a simple keychain holder. Kudos for coming in a set of four, which should accommodate a small group of campers or hikers well. If you want your vehicle prepared for anything, take a look at the best water bottle to keep full of cold water for when you need it.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: Thanks to a large gate opening and spring lock, this carabiner is great for casual use as an alternative to plastic gear straps or for clipping multiple items together.
This 3″ straight gate carabiner is made out of rust-resistant, lightweight aluminum, great for use outdoors. An oval shape is great for large attachment holes, allowing more even loading than our #1 Favofit’s D-shape. A spring-loaded gate also opens and closes it smoothly.
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Note, these carabiners are rated at 1 KN or 224 pounds. This makes it more useful for light duty and casual use, such as with clipping water bottles and gears to your gym bag or doubling as a dog leash connector. It is not recommended for hanging hammocks or any gear where body weight generates weight and pressure beyond 1 KN. If you’re worried about your leg circulation on long car rides, take a look at the best compression socks to keep the blood flowing.
Award: BEST FOR BICYCLES
WHY WE LIKE IT: These carabiners use a string gate for easy one-handed operation, making it very convenient for bicycle lock clipping.
This D-shaped 3″ carabiner is very durable, constructed using rust-resistant lightweight aircraft aluminum. Its max load of 150 pounds and large gate opening makes it very useful in doubling as a handle to clip ropes, gear, and other buckled items in place. However it is not recommended for climbing, which requires a much higher weight rating.
A spring loaded gate can also open and close with a quick thumb press, locking back into place when not in use. It is estimated to be able to open 5000 times without any noticeable issues, lasting practically an entire lifetime of use. If you’re worried about being stranded on the side of the road, store some of your best survival knives in your vehicle too, just in case.
Award: MOST SECURE MECHANISM
WHY WE LIKE IT: These are the best carabiners for kayaking, featuring a monstrous 25KN (5,500 pound) weight rating and a screw gate to help prevent accidental gate openings.
This 3.9″ carabiner is super durable, with the major (long) axis its strongest at 25KN, followed by its short axis at 8 KN (1,750 pounds) and its open gate side at 7 KN (1,573 pounds). With the long axis accepting most of the weight and pressure, we are very comfortable using this for climbing (belaying and rappelling) and other high altitude activities.
This carabiner is also easy to use, in an asymmetric D -shape with a 60-degree opening, providing enough clearance to clip easily. Note, unlike our first three carabiners, this one includes a screw lock, which needs to be spun several times to lock in place.Plus, an anti-slip anodized surface does not rust or frost, making it great for the outdoors. Speaking of the outdoors, it never hurts to have a pack of the best all-weather matches handy.
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: These 3” carabiners are light, affordable and come with a spring-loaded gate for easy one-handed operation, working great with a set of heavy keys.
Our favorite feature with these best carabiners for keys is its asymmetrical D-shape. It carries a wide gate opening and uses a nice angle for easy clipping and closing, even with one hand. Because of this, we like it for use as a keychain or backpack clip. You’ll always have the lock on your key ring next to your best pocket knife, this way you can be prepared for anything.
Kudos for coming in an 8-pack, which makes it easy to lose on occasion without breaking a sweat. It also comes with a stainless steel wire keychain, the only set of carabiners on this list to offer an accessory. This makes it a winner in our book.
Award: BEST FOR CAMPING
WHY WE LIKE IT: This locking carabiner comes with a 150-pound weight rating and large gate openings, making it good for light use as a backpack and key attachment.
This carabiner is very durable, made of rust-resistant anodized aluminum alloy. Its asymmetrical D-shape allows the load to sit on its major axis, where the concentration of the weight rating is. An easy-to-spin and smooth nut screw also helps prevent accidental openings, which makes this great for attaching items to climbing gear, but not for a hammock or for climbing itself.
Bonus points for coming in a six-pack. Although it looks and unlocks very sturdily, it takes up to 12 turns for the carabiner to fully lock and unlock, so this is a better choice for people who do not need to clip as often.
Award:HIGHEST WEIGHT CAPACITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: These are the best carabiners for ice climbing, made from high strength steel with a 38 KN, 8,542-pound weight rating, tops on our list.
This Petzl carabiner measures 4.37” and comes in an oval shape, which helps keep load shifting to a minimum. Its major axis carries a monstrous 38 KN, 8,542 pound rating which is good for rappelling or tethering an anchor while climbing. Kudos for its steel construction, which is a bit more durable than aluminum.
This carabiner comes with a key lock design, which works great to prevent accidental openings. Two different locking systems use screw or twist locks for manual or automatic locking. Though it has the heaviest load rating on our list, its gate clearance is lower than average, which does not make it work as well with multiple knots.
In determining the best carabiner to buy, we explored material, durability, shape (d-shaped vs. oval, etc.), locking mechanism, number/type of certifications (CE and/or UIAA), weight rating, and ease of use.
Locking mechanisms are very important. Carabiners typically have two locking mechanisms – wire gate, spring gates, and screw locks. Wiregate carabiners and spring gate carabiners use a thin wire or loop or stainless steel to lock, tending to be more rust and frost-resistant than screw locks. However, they hold a lower weight rating. We always advise going with screw locks for climbing and other high altitude activities.
The number/type of certifications (CE and/or UIAA) is critical. CE and UIAA attest to each carabiner’s load rating. Led by the International Union of Alpine Associations, which sets safety standards for rock and mounting climbing equipment, this gives us all the confidence in the world each carabiner will work as intended.
As for weight rating, the less intensive the activity, the lower the weight rating can be. For climbing carabiners, look for a minimum of 25KN, followed by its short axis at 8 KN (1,750 pounds) and its unlock side at 7 KN (1,573 pounds, as is the case with our #4 pick Xinda Screwgate Locking Carabiner. This is more than enough to carry an average-sized adult, even with heavy bouncing and movement.
Ease of use is very important. We love spring and wire gate carabiners kayaking, dog leases, key fobs, and similar uses, which can be opened, clipped, and closed using one hand. If you are more concerned with accidental gate openings opt for a locking gate carabiner instead.
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