Mathews Inc.
Carabiner Type Advice?
Contributors to this thread:
Candor 29-Dec-21
Corax_latrans 29-Dec-21
Bow Bullet 29-Dec-21
Overland 29-Dec-21
Corax_latrans 29-Dec-21
Overland 29-Dec-21
2Wild Bill 30-Dec-21
CAS_HNTR 30-Dec-21
Overland 30-Dec-21
KSflatlander 30-Dec-21
TGbow 31-Dec-21
Tracker 01-Jan-22
c3 01-Jan-22
Corax_latrans 01-Jan-22
Candor 01-Jan-22
From: Candor
My original safety harness came with a couple of styles of carabiners/clips. Both are made of steel. One was for using the strap as a climbing belt (pear shaped) the other was for when you are hanging and hooking to your back mounted tether (this one was more D shaped with a screw sleeve on the gate).

The two functions I need are for the climbing harness and then for hanging. Some carabiners have wire clips others have a screw gate.

What are the pros and cons for what we hunters need? I know I want to buy aluminum to reduce weight.

Thank you!

Go to a climbing shop and ask someone at the hardware counter for what you need. The alloys are PLENTY strong, provided that you buy the ones that are intended as climbing pro.

JMO, anything you’re planning to hang off of should have a lock on it. I would get one of the spring-loaded auto lockers, just because they are super convenient and since there’s nothing to remember… There’s nothing to forget.

Otherwise, just make sure you have some thing which is clearly mart… Most of them are going to be “go on green/red, you’re dead“.

Alternatively, you can go with two non-lockers with the gates opposed. That’s what we did before we had lockers.

From: Bow Bullet
Only use locking biners on anything that will catch your fall, never non-locking and especially wire gates. Saving a couple ounces is not worth the risk.

From the Black Diamond website.

Wiregate vs Non-Wiregate

In 1995, Black Diamond brought wiregate technology to the climbing industry with the HotWire carabiner. Wiregate carabiners are typically lighter, less susceptible to freezing, and because of the reduced mass, less susceptible to gate whiplash. During a climbing fall there is a lot going on-carabiners are getting loaded, ropes are stretching and getting tight, things are bouncing around. Traditional gates on carabiners have more mass to them, and during all of this bouncing and vibration, it has been shown that the mass of the gate can allow it to open slightly which in effect results in an 'open gate' loading scenario. And as stated above, carabiners are typically 3 to 4 times as strong when the gate is closed. The reduced mass of a wiregate carbiner alleviates this.

I would Stick to the type sold with a harnesses. Unless your knowledgeable in rigging and climbing gear. Or get professional advise and training

From: Overland
I'm a rock climber and own somewhere around 400-500 carabiners presently. Yes, you're correct that the steel carabiners that treestand safety harnesses often come with are less than ideal. They're safe but they're heavy and a bit unwieldly.

You want any standard aluminum locking carabiner. Go with a screw-gate, not an auto-locker. Any climbing brand will do (Black Diamond, Petzl, Omega Pacific...or many others). I'd personally recommend a Black Diamond Pearlock, Vaporlock, or Rocklock, depending on your size preference. If you're near an REI stop in and see what feels best in your hand.


Why the aversion to auto-lockers? I started climbing about 40 years ago and used screw-gates for years… I kinda like the autos, but I’ve never had a bad experience with one.

Always good to learn something new…

From: Overland
In climbing applications (and in the very limited hunting applications that carabiners have) autolockers are not worth the added effort and frustration. It can be difficult to manipulate an autolocker with one hand, or when wearing gloves. They're just generally annoying. In all of my climbing around the world, I've only had one climbing partner who used an autolocker and it was because she had them from an adventure race where they were required.

I do use autolockers in some technical rigging/rope work that I do. They have their place. Climbing (and hunting) is not that place.

I agree, but for the untrained hunting masses. That may not treat their gear as Climbing gear. It’s a pain when your hands are not working well and a spring loaded screw gate is frozen.

Corax, Overland, How about a quick climbing Bio. Mine is limited because it was only A hobby

I got interested in 1980 in Yosemite, then as I could afford gear and trips, I stared Ice climbing then rock and Alpine. Then Extreme Alpine, 4 peaks over 20k one over 26k

About 2008 or so maybe more we built an ice climbing tower and now rock and ice. With an altitude simulator.

Look up (Peabody Ice climbing in Fenton Michigan) if you want a great time training. Or first timer trying it Out. Great friendly atmosphere

From: 2Wild Bill
I use a pear shape to hang my pack. The gate is offset as it opens and makes it easier to catch my hanging rig loop. It has a screw lock which I seem to only use when the pack is not hanging.

I just went to REI one day and bought a few replacements for the steel ones. That was the best way to do it in my opinion as I was able to mess with them and pick the right size, etc.

From: Overland
Altitude Sickness, sure, it's always fun to talk climbing. You surely have a more extensive mountaineering resume than I. The highest I've been is 18,500 (Pico de Orizaba, which was essentially a walk-up). Guessing your 26k peak was Cho Oyu?

You got started in the true golden age of climbing in Yosemite. Very jealous! I started much later. I've climbed extensively around North America and lived in Yosemite and Joshua Tree for good amounts of time each. My climbing has been primarily trad climbing with some sport and a decent amount of aid. I also ice (and mixed) climb and generally prefer ice to rock. For a period I was climbing 100+ days per year, all outdoors.

I'm climbing far less these days (and hunting more). I've climbed El Cap but my proudest climbing accomplishment was organizing and leading a 35 day expedition to do something that had not previously been done. Good times, all!

From: KSflatlander
“Then Extreme Alpine, 4 peaks over 20k one over 26k“

That’s next level stuff right there…screw that…next 10 levels. Hats off to you Altitude Sickness.

James, the 26k+ Climb was the yellow band above camp 4 on Everest

From: TGbow
REI sells good quality but lightweight biners

From: Tracker
First of all don't buy some Chinese knockoff. Shop a reputable company known for making climbing gear. Get one with a satisfactory fall rating and lock.

From: c3
Interesting stuff here for sure !!!

Shoulda figured there's be some hardcore climbers who love to hunt as much :)

I climbed the nose in 1985 and was the one who actually machined the first mold for the hot wire back in the mid 90's. That guy Andrew McLain in that BD story was actually arrested and charged with stealing tree stands and trail cams a few years ago. Pretty sure he and his wife did some plea bargain out of it, but it was pretty pathetic. He got fired from BD for it.

Anyway, back to carabiners, I'd definitely use aluminum twist locking D's for everything. The weight difference for 3 or 4 you could ever use in one stand is nothing and you never have to worry about webbing or ropes twisting open and dropping something. Definitely the one you're tied in with should be a locking one.

Just my $0.02 after 45 years of climbing stuff and thangs.

Cheers, Pete

Wow, C3 that is some cool trivia and interesting that you were directly involved in the development of that Biner. It’s a small world Isn’t it amazing how most of us mortals take many Pitches and bivys on climbs like the Nose or ElCap

Now people free solo it in a couple hours.

Yeah, you guys are way outta my league!

I never climbed Ice because I was too busy skiing. Besides…. I lost interest after reading an article where they did a bunch of testing and concluded that most Ice Pro is mostly just for show anyway! LOL

And for kind of similar reasons, I never did direct aid because I was more interested in climbing rocks than ropes ;)

That’s why I asked why the dislike of auto-lockers. I never had an issue with one, but in snow or freezing rain, I’ll stay on the ground.

Besides. My fingers don’t work for JACK when they freeze up, which happens faster for me than for most….

From: Candor
I went bouldering once. I think I started at 800' msl and finished around 818', and was tired.

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