How to Choose Carabiners?

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-04-15      Origin: Site

Carabiner Shapes

Asymmetric D Shape

asymmetrical d-shaped carabiner

By far the most popular design out there, asymmetric D carabiners (sometimes called offset D or modified D carabiners) work like regular D's, but they're slightly smaller at one end to further reduce weight. Asymmetric carabiners generally have larger gate openings than regular Ds, which makes clipping them even easier. But they don't have as much inside room as similarly sized Ds or ovals. Asymmetrical carabiners make up the vast majority of the carabiners that most climbers own.

  • Pros:

  • Large gate opening

  • Strong and light


  • More expensive than other shapes

  • Not as strong as the D shape


Pear Shape

pear-shaped carabiner

Similar to the asymmetric D shape, pear-shaped carabiners have large gate openings to allow easy clipping of ropes, knots and gear. Pear-shaped carabiners are used primarily for belaying and rappelling, but also can be used at anchor points for top roping or multipitch climbing.

You’ll sometimes hear these called HMS carabiners, and some are even marked with HMS on the spine. HMS indicates that the carabiner is designed with a wide, more symmetrical top that works well with a Münter hitch.


  • Large gate opening

  • Designed specifically for belaying and rappelling


  • Heavier and more expensive than most other shapes

  • Not as strong as D and asymmetric D shapes


D Shape

d-shaped carabinerD-shaped carabiners are excellent for most kinds of climbing. They hold loads off-center toward the stronger, non-gated side, so a smaller, lighter D carabiner can be just as strong as a larger oval.


  • Strongest shape

  • Larger gate opening than oval shape


  • Smaller gate opening and heavier than asymmetric D shape

  • More expensive than oval shape



oval carabinerOval carabiners are the original style. They're versatile and affordable, though not quite as strong as other shapes. Oval carabiners have smooth, uniform top and bottom curves to limit load shifting. They offer more gear-holding capacity than D-shape carabiners and their symmetry permits them to be used for carabiner-brake rappels.

They're ideal for aid climbing because they center loads at their curve; runners won't shift under load. 


  • Uniform shape limits load shifting

  • Hold more gear than D-shape carabiners


  • Smaller gate opening and heavier than other shapes

  • Not as strong as other shapes


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