Best Overall Carabiner
Wild Country Helium Carabiner
The Wild Country Helium did it again
, winning our Editors' Choice award for the second time. There have been some exciting new additions to the market in the last four years, but none good enough to take the top spot from the Helium (in our minds anyway!). This product does everything well: it's easy to handle and can hold multiple ropes thanks to its full size, it clips nicely and has a smooth pull, it's lightweight and suitable for all types of climbing, and most importantly, it marries the best of wiregate and keylock designs into one package. You can purchase it in five different colors to match with your cams or go on your slings, or they come on the pre-assembled Wild Country Helium Quickdraw
. The only thing we don't like about this product is its price, but we truly believe that the Helium is worth the extra cost. Start a savings account, shop the sales, and try it out.
Best Bang for the Buck
Mad Rock UltraLight Bent Gate
If you just checked out how much the Heliums are selling for and are having a panic attack, take a deep breath and buy some Mad Rock UltraLight Bent Gates instead
. They're a little smaller than the Heliums and have an unprotected notch in the nose, and they only come in two colors (red for the bent gate and silver for the straight), but they are half the price! You might decide that you'll put up with a little snagging for all the money you'll save with this one. Pick some up for you next set of slings, or you can also find them on the Mad Rock UltraLight Quickdraw
Top Pick for Lightweight
Black Diamond Oz Carabiner
Have you ever taken your heavy pack off after a long hike and had the sensation that you were floating? This is what switching to lightweight gear is like for your trad rack. The Black Diamond Oz
is not the
lightest product out there, but in our minds it is the lightest product that still retains as much functionality as possible. At a scant 28 grams, or 1 ounce, you barely notice it in your hand, yet you can still clip and handle it fairly easily. Black Diamond recently updated the Oz and placed a stainless steel wire hood over the notch in the nose for snag-free unclipping. It comes in six different colors to rack with your camming devices. You'll be floating up your next crack with these on your harness.