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The 5 Best Carabiners (2022 Review)

From a reliable keychain to a trustworthy rock climbing device, carabiners are versatile accessories. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the five best carabiners on Amazon to help you find the one that’s right for you. The products included in this article are available at various retail stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

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Carabiners are small, oblong clips. While some can hold the weight of rock climbers or mountaineers, others are rated for keys or other light-duty use. To help you comb through the various size, quantity, color, and material options, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best carabiners on Amazon. Learn more about our top five recommendations below.

Best For Keys: CampTek Carabiner Clips

Offered in numerous colors, this six-pack of three-inch carabiners is meant for light use. Each carabiner comes with a keyring and supports 50 pounds. If you don’t need six clips to hold all of your keys, you can use the spare ones to hang a lantern above your campsite, secure a water bottle to your backpack, or perform other tasks.

Key Features

  • Six carabiners
  • Three-inch size
  • Made of aluminum
  • 50-pound load capacity
  • Non-locking gate

What Customers Are Saying

Although most customers agreed that these light-duty carabiners weren’t suitable for climbing or mountaineering, they did find them useful around the house. Their light weight was a consistent highlight in many positive customer reviews. However, some customers said that their size and quality didn’t meet their expectations.

Best For Climbing: FresKaro Climbing Carabiner Clips

If you’re a climber, consider these three carabiners. They’re made from aircraft-grade aluminum that can support up to 5,621 pounds. They also have a twisting locking mechanism to keep you and your supplies secure.

Key Features

  • Three carabiners
  • 3.93-inch size
  • Made of aluminum and zinc
  • 5,621-pound load capacity
  • Locking gate

What Customers Are Saying

Positively, customers highlighted the light weight, sturdy construction, and double locking mechanism of these climbing carabiners. Some customers also used these carabiners to secure their hammocks. Negatively, some users complained about the twisting lock getting stuck.

Best Size Assortment: Sucrown Carabiners

Made from 304 stainless steel, these carabiners are heavier than those made with aluminum to support several hundred pounds. They come in two-, 2.36-, and 3.15-inch sizes with load capacities of 198, 297, and 440 pounds, respectively. They’re also easy to open and close with one hand, as they feature a non-locking gate.

Key Features

  • Six carabiners
  • Two-, 2.4-, and 3.2-inch sizes
  • Made of stainless steel
  • 198-, 297-, and 440-pound load capacities
  • Non-locking gate

What Customers Are Saying

Many users appreciated the variety of carabiner sizes that came in this six-pack. They said that they could bunch several keys together, especially with the larger size. The stiffness of the gate was a point of contention for some customers. Others thought that the metal wasn’t true stainless steel.

Best S-Biner: Nite Ize S-Biners

These carabiners are small but mighty. Each one has two gates to secure up to three keys or other small items. A sturdy plastic twist level is positioned in the middle of the two sections to lock or unlock the gates as needed.

Key Features

  • Two carabiners
  • 1.4-inch size
  • Made of stainless steel
  • Three-pound load capacity
  • Locking gate

What Customers Are Saying

Some customers had success using these S-shaped carabiners as a way to secure multiple zippers together on a backpack or jacket. They also mentioned their durable construction. Conversely, users with arthritis or large hands struggled to handle the small gates.

Best Plastic Carabiner: ASP Carabiner

This polymer carabiner can hold up to 275 pounds despite its light weight. Though it’s not suitable for climbing, you can use it for heavy gear. The ribbed edges also give it a non-slip quality that aluminum and steel clips don’t have.

Key Features

  • One carabiner
  • 3.5-inch size
  • Made of polymer
  • 275-pound load capacity
  • Non-locking gate

What Customers Are Saying

Positively, customers cited the light weight, strength, and durability of this carabiner as qualities that they liked about it. Some customers thought that the carabiner was able to hold more weight than advertised. Negatively, some users received a carabiner with a loose gate.

Buyer’s Guide

The versatility of carabiners makes them a useful addition to your toolbox or home. Below, we’ve outlined several factors to help you find the best carabiner for your needs.

Size

Most carabiners range from one to three inches. Heavy-duty carabiners are usually larger than light-duty ones, but this isn’t always the case.

Shape

Most carabiners have a D-shape, but oval- and pear-shaped carabiners also exist. D-shaped carabiners come in asymmetrical and standard versions, with asymmetrical being what most people picture when they think of a carabiner. Although standard D-shaped carabiners are stronger with a larger locking gate, asymmetrical ones are easier to open and feed objects through.

Material

Most carabiners are made from aluminum or stainless steel. High-grade aluminum is strong, durable, lightweight, and corrosion-resistant. Like aluminum, stainless steel is also corrosion-resistant. However, it’s typically not load-bearing like aluminum.

Gate

The gate of the carabiner is the part that opens when you want to add or remove items. Some carabiners, especially ones for climbing, have a locking gate. You usually lock and unlock this mechanism using a twisting motion. Although this can be somewhat of a burden toward the end of a long and exhausting climb, it’s a necessary safety feature. With that being said, try to find a locking mechanism that you can undo with one hand. If you’re purchasing a carabiner for light-duty use around your home, you can avoid a locking gate altogether.

Strength

Many light-duty carabiners are only designed to hold five to 50 pounds. While this is fine for keys, decorations, and other household items, you need a carabiner with a kiloNewton (kN) rating for climbing. The kN rating should be engraved on the spine of the carabiner, and it should be in the thousands of pounds.

Quantity

Many carabiners are sold in packs. The packs are usually larger for cheap light-duty carabiners and smaller for heavy-duty climbing clips.

Carabiner Safety Tips

Since many carabiners are used for rock climbing, mountaineering, and other sports that involve the risk of falling, it’s imperative to know how to safely use them. We’ve outlined several basic safety tips below, but make sure to take a rock climbing class for detailed, scenario-specific information.

  • Before you start climbing, make sure that you’re absolutely certain about the weight rating and intended use of the carabiners you have.
  • Inspect your carabiners and other climbing equipment for visible signs of damage before you start climbing.
  • Clean your carabiners after every use. A citrus-based detergent works well.
  • Note that some carabiners have a sharply pointed gate. This is characteristic of cheaper models. To avoid scraping or poking your skin, we recommend choosing a carabiner with a rounded gate.
  • Store your carabiners in a dry and temperature-controlled environment that’s away from direct sunlight.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will carabiners rust over time?

Carabiners that are frequently exposed to or submerged in saltwater will rust relatively quickly. However, quality carabiners that stay dry and clean should last 15 years or longer without corrosion, rust, or oxidation.

Who needs a carabiner?

Carabiners are versatile. Anyone who wants to organize keys or attach objects can find value in a carabiner. Even if you don’t have a specific use for a carabiner at this time, it doesn’t hurt to have a few light-duty ones on hand in case a situation arises where you need one.

How many carabiners do I need for rock climbing?

The specific number varies, but it’s usually more than you think you need. Experienced rock climbers or mountaineers may only use two or three carabiners per pitch of climbing but have at least 10–15 extra ones fixed to their person. If you’re new to climbing, ask a climbing instructor or experienced climber about carabiners, especially as they relate to what you plan to climb.

Do I need a locking carabiner?

If you’re climbing with a harness, you need at least a few heavy-duty locking carabiners. However, if you’re only using a carabiner as a keyring, it doesn’t need to lock. You can opt for a locking one, though, if you want the extra sense of security of knowing that it won’t unclip.

Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

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