Indoors, your focus will be on choosing your belay carabiner: the one that connects your harness, your descender and the rope used for belaying.
Whether you are into indoor climbing or love a bit of big wall, multi-pitch or mountaineering. A carabiner is something you should be able to rely on for safe climbing.
First of all, you should know that there are two types of carabiners: non-locking carabiners (simple carabiners that do not lock) and locking carabiners (such as screwgate carabiners)... each with their own uses!
Classic locking mechanism
A belay carabiner has a locking mechanism to protect you from any risk of the carabiner opening in the event of an impact.
Auto-lock carabiners are heavier than classic screwgate carabiners but are very user-friendly. The spring-loaded mechanism closes by itself. This also makes this type of carabiner easy to operate with one hand.
Still not sure? we asked Jean-Charles, climbing product manager, to give us his recommendations.
For beginners, safety is your priority.
If you are new to climbing, I recommend a pear-shaped auto-lock carabiner with BLC, like the Goliath HMS auto:
For experienced climbers, choose a low weight.
If you are more experienced and are looking for a smooth, lightweight and compact carabiner, I recommend the spider screwgate HMS BLC:
Are you a lead climber? In addition to the carabiner for your belay system, you will also need a second carabiner for your lanyard: on one side the lanyard is connected to your harness and on the other you will need a carabiner to attach it to the rock.
Once you have set up your station, you will then need a third carabiner to attach the rope to your harness.
Which shape to choose?
Carabiners have different profiles: some are pear-shaped (called HMS* carabiners) others are D-shaped.
HMS carabiners have a more ergonomic shape than D-shaped ones, flaring out towards the top of the carabiner, giving a wide opening that can be used for belaying with a Munter hitch.
For anchoring, we recommend D-shaped carabiners
This is the standard and most common shape. They are less expensive and deliver uniform strength over the entire carabiner, making them perfectly suited to this specific use.
*HMS = Halb Mastwurf Sicherung = Munter hitch belay, in German.
Locking mechanism, check, carabiner shape, check. But some carabiners have even more features! What are they for? Do you need them or not? Read on for our explanations to help you make an informed decision.
"Secure" locking indicator
For maximum safety, some models have a red band that lets you see whether the gate is screwed shut at a glance. Double check, ready? Climb!
Blc or directional carabiner
A carabiner is strongest in its longitudinal direction. But during an ascent, the carabiner could turn sideways. Some carabiners therefore have a BLC system (Belay Loop Controller). This is a bar that restricts (without inhibiting) the movement of the carabiner. It keeps it in the right position, i.e., correctly aligned in the direction of the force. Safety guaranteed!
Developed by Simond, the Spider system ensures easy clipping in all situations. Move the male part of the Keylock system from the nose of the carabiner towards its gate to release the mechanism. A smooth and snag-free system
That's it, you are almost an expert in carabiners.
Do you have any other questions? Please feel free to ask us. Do you have a favourite carabiner? Tell us why in the comments.
And remember, before you set off, to always check that your carabiner is closed and in the right position. Happy climbing!
Did you know? All of our carabiners are made in our factory in Chamonix, France.