Everyday Carry

15 Best Carabiners for EDC in 2023

Gabriel Colin
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15 Best Carabiners for EDC in 2023

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Today’s new carabiners have come a long way since their original use as part of a climber’s tool kit, transformed into nifty tools that help round out and make your EDC kit work. Spring-loaded mechanisms make it easy to latch them onto your clothing or bags, turning them into helpful linking devices that make your different everyday essentials more accessible and easier to carry. Whether it’s an effective way to carry your keys or a convenient way to attach your essentials to your pack or your person, we’ve covered you in this guide.

NOTE: These products are meant to carry an assortment of your gear. The original climbing carabiners inspired some designs, but not all of them are rated to bear heavy loads. Review your requirements before buying and ensure you’re using the right carabiner for the job.


Our Top Picks

The Best Overall Carabiner: Petzl Attache [Buy]

The Best Carabiner on a Budget: Black Diamond HotForge Screwgate [Buy]

The Best Carabiner for EDC: Heroclip [Buy]

The Best Carabiner for Sport Climbing: EDELRID HMS Strike [Buy]

The Best Carabiner for Trad Climbing: Black Diamond RockLock Twistlock [Buy]


Petzl

Petzl Attache Carabiner

Purchase
Key Features
Locking system screw-lock
Major axis strength 22 kN
Sideway strength 7 kN
Specifications
Length
5.51"
Weight
2.11 oz
Materials
‎Aluminum
EDC Rating


Price
$
The Petzl Attache will make a fine addition to your climbing gear if you like to partake in more extreme adventures. Optimized for belaying, the Attache enjoys a 4” size and ultra-light 1.8oz weight. This is achieved by its aluminum construction and its H-Shaped cross-section. The shape increases its strength-to-weight ratio and provides a broader surface area for better gliding of the rope, reducing wear on the biner itself. It uses a SCREW-LOCK system for its gate, equipped with a red visual locking indicator for improved safety. Finally, its nose and Keylock system dramatically reduces the chances of snagging during use.
DMM

DMM Alpha Trad Carabiner

Purchase
Key Features
Wire gate for maximum weight saving
Clean nose for snag-free clipping
I-Beam construction for optimum strength to weight ratio
Specifications
Length
5"
Weight
1.12 oz
Materials
Aluminum
EDC Rating


Price
$
Like its name suggests, the Alpha Trad will make another fine addition to your trad rock climbing gear. For its purposes as a trad biner, the Alpha Trad uses an auto-locking wire gate. This helps with functionality and keeps the overall weight down at a feather-weight 1.2oz, despite its 3.9” size. Another focus of the Alpha Trad is its ergonomic shape. The back of the carabiner features grooves for a better grip, and the nose (and overall body) was designed smooth to prevent snagging.
Black

Black Diamond RockLock Carabiner

Purchase
Key Features
Hot-forged for lighter-weight construction
Square hinge end holds belay loop securely in place
Keylock nose prevents snagging
Specifications
Length
3.9"
Weight
3 oz
Materials
Synthetic
EDC Rating


Price
$
Another belaying carabiner, the Black Diamond RockLock Twistlock has everything you need to support yourself and your fellow climbers. It starts with a Type H or HMS connector designed for dynamic belaying using a Munter Hitch or belay device. Its locking gate features a twist-lock mechanism to reduce accidental openings. A Keylock Nose reduces the chances of rope snagging considerably. Finally, its redesigned spine and shape allow for a more effortless one-handed operation if you find yourself in a pinch.
EDELRID

EDELRID HMS Strike Locking Carabiner

Purchase
Key Features
H-profile construction
Keylock closure system
Ideal for alpine climbing
Specifications
Length
3.5"
Weight
2.3 oz
Materials
Aluminum alloy
EDC Rating


Price
$
The HMS Strike places safety above everything else. It uses a triple-locking slide gate. This means that unlocking it requires three separate actions. While this does provide more protection, it may need additional practice to perform a one-handed operation. The HNS Strike is also outfitted with a steel insert to prevent premature wear from rope friction. Like other climbing carabiners, the HMS Strike features a Keylock closure system to avoid rope snagging. Finally, a spring bar holds the carabiner in place when belaying to prevent cross-loading.
Heroclip

Heroclip Carabiner

Purchase
Key Features
3-in-1 Clip and hook
Can hold up to 60 lbs of load
Compact design
Specifications
Length
3"
Weight
2 oz
Materials
Aluminum
EDC Rating


Price
$
While it may look like a technical climber’s tool, the innovative Heroclip is designed to securely hang your bag or other things like a traditional carabiner. In its extended form, it gains double its height and a 360-degree pivot to better secure your gear. Use it to hang your EDC pack onto a table edge, off the back of a chair, or even over a restroom stall door, keeping your belongings elevated and clean. The latest version of its largest model can handle up to a 60-pound load—more than enough for your typical daily carry—yet its compact size and form factor make it easy to hang off your pack or bag’s strap out of the way until needed.
Nite

Nite Ize S-Biner SlideLock Carabiner

Purchase
Key Features
Made in the USA
Lockable dual carabiner
Gates lock independently
Specifications
Length
3.6"
Weight
2.4 oz
Materials
Stainless steel
EDC Rating


Price
$
These nifty, lightweight, double-gated carabiners offer more flexibility and utility than a traditional, single-gated carabiner. The addition of the SlideLock mechanism, a plastic boot that slides over the gate spring to prevent it from accidentally opening, gives it a locking capability that affords an extra level of security and peace of mind. Depending on the size you choose, these can be used to individually hang keys, a small light, or even a tiny multi-tool off a keychain, or even become a hanging keychain itself.
RovyVon

RovyVon U4 Carabiner

Purchase
Key Features
Foldable multitool keychain
Compact and lightweight
Replaceable blade
Specifications
Length
2.64"
Weight
0.55 oz
Materials
Titanium
EDC Rating


Price
$
If you are looking for something more suited for EDC than rock climbing, the U4 might be just what you need. Sporting a premium titanium construction, the D4 will securely hold on to anything you attach, thanks to its double loop design. Since it’s more EDC-focused, the D4 also comes with a small ruler and a tiny folding blade, perfect for opening up packages. This sharp addition uses #11 scalpel blades, which are entirely replaceable. Its EDC focus also means it sports a much more compact frame at 2.64” and an ultra-lightweight 0.56oz.
Black

Black Diamond HotForge Screwgate Carabiner

Purchase
Key Features
Hot-Forged for lighter-weight construction
Keylock nose prevents snagging
Screwgate sleeve
Specifications
Length
6.3"
Weight
1 oz
Materials
‎Synthetic
EDC Rating


Price
$
This lightweight, screw-lock, offset-D locker is an affordable, more traditional choice from the climbing and skiing enthusiasts from Black Diamond. While it may not be the lightest in its class, the hot-forged, I-beam construction removes material where it isn’t needed and beefs up high-stress areas, leading to a high functional strength-to-weight ratio, crucial for camping and climbing applications. The multi-twist Screwgate sleeve ensures safety during locking, and it’s sized up to fit a clove hitch knot. The gate opens up to 0.7”, and it’s rated for up to 24kN when locked. You can get this no-frills, utilitarian climbing carabiner in a value-packed set of three.
James

James Brand The Mehlville

Purchase
Key Features
Simple and sleek design
Dual compartments secure your keys
Integrated bottle opener
Specifications
Length
3.125"
Weight
0.58 oz
Materials
Aluminum
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$$
While this has been produced in 6063 Aluminium and CNC-machined titanium, the stainless steel version of the James Brand Mehlville still keeps weight down to a respectable 1.58 ounces while bringing extra strength and durability to a key carrier that will likely be jingling around in your pocket or hanging off a belt loop, along with the rest of your keys. Dual compartments allow the single spring-loaded pivot to easily attach this carabiner to your pants or pack while ensuring your keys don’t fall off carabiner to your pants or pack while ensuring your keys don’t fall off when you do. A stainless steel disk at the mouth of one of its notches allows you to use The Mehlville as a bottle opener.
CRKT

CRKT Compano

Purchase
Key Features
Slip joint secures knife in the open and closed positions
Black stonewash handle with bronze accents
Designed by Mike Bond
Specifications
Length
1"
Weight
2.2 oz
Materials
Blend
EDC Rating


Price
$
While some might argue that the Compano seems more knife than a carabiner, its versatile functionality is undeniable. The Compano is a highly versatile tool for those who like something with a little more edge. It features a carabiner-shaped shaped body, complete with a wire gate. This self-closing gate makes it easy to attach to any belt loop or bag. The hole on the other end is a deployment platform for the knife part and allows you to connect additional gear securely. The small blade measures 1.42" and uses a slip joint for deployment.
GPCA

GPCA Carabiner Pro

Purchase
Key Features
Lots of integrated utility and tools
Secret capsule compartment for small medicines
Screw-locked spring-loaded carabiner gate
Specifications
Length
4.25“
Weight
4.1 oz for stainless steel
Materials
Aluminum/titanium/stainless steel
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$$
This uniquely designed carabiner seeks to maximize the utility you get from your carry by integrating multiple functions into its design: a screw-lock gate for security, a small secret capsule compartment for carrying flintstones or emergency medicine, a box cutter, and a locking blade, plus Philips and flathead screwdrivers and a pry tool machined into its chassis. Par for the course, it also includes a nifty bottle opening notch. It’s available in lightweight aluminum, titanium, and robust stainless steel.
BLANK

BLANK FORCES HyperLink Carabiner

Purchase
Key Features
Front Pocket Deep Carry
Gate anti-deflection features
Stainless steel spring & pivot mechanism
Specifications
Length
2.5"
Weight
0.7 oz
Materials
Titanium
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$$
This svelte and streamlined design features an integrated deep carry clip, giving you multiple pocket and bag carrying options and letting you maximize convenience according to your use. Primarily meant as an EDC key hanger, the HyperLink is 3D-machined from solid Grade 5 titanium, lending the material’s high durability, corrosion resistance, and lightweight to something you’ll likely have on you all the time. A wide gate opening lets it quickly latch on to your belt loop or bag strap, while smooth and rounded edges all over its body reduce the possibility of hotspots while in your pocket or pack.
Handgrey

Handgrey H6 Carabiner

Purchase
Key Features
Full Grade 5 titanium construction
Wire EDM-cut for precision
Traditional reliable carabiner design
Specifications
Length
2.5"
Weight
N/A
Materials
Grade 5 Titanium
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$$
The Handgrey H6 exhibits an industrial, Bauhaus-inspired design, supported by the fact that it’s completely EDM (electrical discharge machine) wire-cut, ensuring high levels of precision. This two-piece design sports a simple and symmetric traditional carabiner’s profile, executed in Grade 5 6Al4V titanium, pairing the material’s strengths with sound and precise construction. The stone-tumbled finish keeps it scratch-resistant and looking new even after years of use. This simple yet elegant key carrier is a tribute to the original carabiners that provided immense utility and reliability to climbers of old, offered in a premium, minimalist, and exotic modern iteration.
KeyBar

KeyBar KeyVice Carabiner

Purchase
Key Features
Collaborative design between KeyBar and ViceHardware
Designed to prevent any accidental slip
Available in 4 colors
Specifications
Length
2.75"
Weight
>2 oz
Materials
Titanium
EDC Rating


Price
$$
Coming in as a collaborative design between Keybar and Vice Hardware, the KeyVice carabiner is an excellent choice if you want to add a bit of flair to your EDC. Featuring a premium titanium construction, the KeyVice stays solid and lightweight at less than 2 oz. Its compact 2.75″ length further helps this. The design features sharp angles, unlike traditional biners, giving it a futuristic look. Adding to that appealing aesthetic, the KeyVice is available in 4 different colors for the body and five for the gate. The KeyVice is also available in a more wallet-friendly aluminum option if you don’t care as much for the titanium body. Finally, you can attach a Keybar organizer to the carabiner by using a set of MagNuts with the hole on the bottom.
Dango

Dango Carabiner and Shackle

Purchase
Key Features
Stainless steel bolts
CNC machined
Made in USA
Specifications
Length
3.35"
Weight
2 oz
Materials
6061 Aerospace aluminum
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$
Sporting Dango’s traditional overbuilt design, this two-part carabiner holds more than just your keys. As its name suggests, this Dango product comprises two items, a carabiner, and a shackle. The carabiner features a CNC-machined, 6061 aerospace aluminum body with two separate gates. The first chamber is helpful for anchoring, while the second can help you segregate the rest of your items. The carabiner also features multiple holes along its square body to attach more articles. The shackle is designed to hold up to 8 of your keys, keeping them organized while reducing jingling. Both of these parts can be attached or used separately to increase versatility.

How to Choose the Best Carabiner

Carabiners exist in many different types, shapes, and sizes due to their versatile nature. Some might be more suited for EDC as a hanging point for your keys and gear. Others were designed as tools of paramount importance when climbing. Below, we’ll show you the characteristics you should consider when purchasing a carabiner.

Use Case

  • Everyday use: Small, portable carabiners with additional tools like bottle openers or screwdrivers. They’re used as hanging points for backpacks, coats, or purses. They also attach your keys to your belt or some gear to another.
  • Belaying and rappelling: Large, pear-shaped locking carabiners. Belaying is a variety of techniques used to create friction within a climbing system, particularly on a climbing rope, so that a climber does not fall very far or fast. This system is created with these carabiners.
  • Quickdraws: Asymmetric D carabiners with straight, bent, and wire gates. A quickdraw consists of two carabiners connected by a semi-rigid material. One carabiner has a straight gate and connects to an anchoring device, while the other is for the climbing rope and uses a bent gate.
  • Racking trad gear: Asymmetric D, D, or oval carabiners. A “trad rack” is the equipment climbers need to keep themselves safe during “traditional” climbing. Carabiners allow you to easily clip the rope into the protection you’ve just placed.

Locking carabiner vs. non-locking carabiner

Locking carabiners are best used when you want an extra step for safety. They usually include a protective sleeve or lock that requires additional steps for opening, giving their operators extra peace of mind. This does mean that by design they’re “slower” to use. For quickdraws, a lot of people prefer non-locking carabiners instead.

Gate type

  • Straight: These are the most common carabiner type due to their versatility and reliability. They feature a straight piece of metal, straight from hinge to closure.
  • Bent: Since the shape of the gate makes clipping and unclipping significantly easier, bent gate carabiners are perfect for quickdraws. Keep in mind that bent gate carabiners shouldn’t be used for clipping directly into protective gear as their nature makes them more prone to accidental unclipping.
  • Wire: Wire gates can come in both straight or bent designs. However, some people prefer wire gates over traditional gates due to their superior resistance to corrosion, snow, and freezing. Their wire construction also means less mass, which in turn means significantly lighter weight.

Shape

  • D-shape: These are generally the strongest carabiners out of the three. Their design directs force away from the gate and points it towards the spine instead. This shape excels at quickdraws, clipping protection equipment, and locking anchor points. They also tend to be more expensive.
  • Oval: The oldest design of all, the oval shape has been around for quite a while. Oval-shaped carabiners are inexpensive and more accessible to rack and manipulate due to their symmetry. However, this also makes it so that they transfer force equally between the gate and the spine, making them weaker in comparison.
  • Pear-shape: Also referred to as HMS carabiners, these are larger versions of D-shaped carabiners. Their oversized nature makes them excel at belaying tasks. Just like the oval carabiners, they tend to be weaker due to how they distribute force. However, they compensate for it by using thicker, more robust materials for the spine.

Certifications

For such a potentially dangerous activity, your gear needs to have certifications, ensuring that the carabiner will be strong enough to hold your weight or more in the event of a mishap. On the spine of every certified carabiner, there will be a CE and/or UIAA icon.

CE stands for European Conformity (translated from French). In broad terms, CE certifications are required by the European Commission to establish specific safety standards. They help ensure carabiners are strong enough to climb on.

The UIAA is the first and foremost developer of global climbing and mountaineering equipment standards. The UIAA board is made up of climbers and manufacturers. The UIAA has an online database where you can search and confirm each model name of a particular brand is UIAA certified.

Since Brexit, England, Scotland, and Wales have created their CE-equivalent standard, the UKCA.


Carabiner FAQs

With so many types, shapes and sizes, understanding carabiners can sometimes be a little confusing. Below you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about carabiners:

When should I retire a carabiner?

The best time to retire a carabiner is if the body has any type of crack, if the locking mechanism seems excessively worn or if the gate doesn’t function properly anymore.

Is a carabiner a good gift for a climber?

Carabiners can make excellent gifts for climbers. Make sure you research the product and your giftee’s climbing habits to give a biner that meets their needs.

What is the difference between a D and an HMS carabiner?

D-shaped carabiners transfer more force away from the gate towards the spine, making them the strongest type of carabiner. HMS (or pear-shaped) carabiners are oversized versions of the offset D-shape optimized for belaying.

What is a locking carabiner?

Locking carabiners have a mechanism that can lock the gate in a closed position, protecting against accidental gate openings.


How we picked

Decades of experience and deep connections in the everyday carry industry give us a unique viewpoint on the market to inform our product recommendations. We have the depth of information for thousands of products that have come before and an extensive eye on the market to see what’s new and trending for each piece of gear. The result is a buying guide that we feel is informative and useful for EDCers of every trade, industry, and budget.

What is Everyday Carry?

Everyday Carry is both the concept of what people carry in their pockets and the process of picking out gear that thoughtfully considers what one wants or needs in their daily lives. It encompasses everything from style to preparedness to utility, meaning an entire industry full of valuable tools and essentials to choose from.

Why you should trust us

Our team has decades of combined experience in all aspects of everyday men’s essentials, from wallets to pens to bags and everything in between, and we know where to find great gear ideas that you may not come across at your local stores or when shopping online. Our expertise with the industry and familiarity in design, materials, and usability help you make more informed choices when it comes to picking up your next piece of gear.

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