Climb Gear Reviews

Top 10 Best MicroCarabiners

Climbing equipment has evolved over the years, and manufacturers are always finding ways to scrap weight from your climbing rack, one gram at a time. A prime example of this is the introduction of the micro carabiner, also known as the small climbing carabiner and the mini carabiner. We have searched the current marketplace for these small alternatives to their full sized siblings and have detailed our findings below.

Please note, the smallest carabiner, or the lightest is not always the best for every situation. There are numerous options available, some of which (such as the micro locking carabiner) have been specifically designed for distinct settings. Lastly, before loading any weight onto any carabiner, be aware of its correct use and limitations – not all carabiners can survive the impact of a climbing fall.

What’s the Top 10 Best Micro Carabiner

It is very hard to settle on what we believe the best micro carabiner is, however the guide below will explain some popular choices available, and what each product is best suited for. At the end of the section, we will provide more detail by answering some FAQs. In no particular order, here are our favourite micro carabiners.

1. Nite Ize S-Biner Microlock

PROS

Fun, colorful and stylish

Easy to use, with two clipping sides, which makes attaching items to a backpack effortless

Useful for both climbing and non-climbing usage

CONS

Not weight bearing

Can be confused with weight bearing equipment when on a harness

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While this product is absolutely unsafe to use in any life saving situation, the S-Biner does have many versatile users that are appealing to climbers. These could include, but are not limited to, a stylish key holder, clipping your chalk bag to your harness, attaching your shoes to your gear bag and generally organising your gear. If you do attach these to your harness, please be vigilant not to confuse them with the essential gear you require to safely climb a route.

2. Mammut Wall Micro Oval Carabiner

PROS

Small and easy to carry

A light addition to any climbing rack with multiple purposes

Screw lock for maximum security

Provides maximum force resistance despite being smaller than a regular carabiner

CONS

Oval carabiners tend to be slightly heavier than D-shaped carabiners

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Moving on from hanging accessories and organising gear, the Mammut Wall Micro Oval Carabiner can actually be used for climbing protection. It has a vertical breaking load of 24KN when fully closed, and features a screw locking mechanism to ensure maximum safety. This capacity is comparable to a full-sized carabiner, the main difference being the size.

3. SWATOM Mini SF Alloy Carabiner Clip

PROS

Small and lightweight design

Increase the capacity of a small backpack

Increases the speed and ease of hanging accessories and gear

CONS

Not weight bearing

Looks similar to weight bearing carabiners and can potentially be confused

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Again, these are not suitable for weighting while climbing, but can be incredibly helpful for organising your outdoor gear, especially if your backpack is too small to fit everything inside. These small, lightweight accessories can easily be paired with a keyring loop to make it easier to clip and unclip items from a material loop on a rucksack. You could also use one to hang your chalk bag from your harness.

4. Edelrid Nineteen G Carabiner

PROS

Very fast and simple to use

Small and quick enough to be used for clipping accessories to a backpack

Can be confidently used as part of a protection chain

CONS

Easier to open than a screw-locking or auto-locking carabiner

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his lightweight product is comparable to what you might find on one or both halves of your sport climbing quick-draws. It can resist up to 20KN of force across the main axis, and the minimal wireframe gate can slightly stretch in the event of a large fall, reducing the “whiplash” effect on the closing mechanism.

5. Black Diamond MiniWire Carabiners

PROS

Fully functional carabiner

The small and colorful design makes a stylish addition to a daypack

Easily paired with compatible Black Diamond equipment

CONS

Easier to open while using vs an auto-locking/ screw-locking carabiner

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These fun and colorful carabiners are very similar in terms of their functionality to the Edelrid Nineteen G Carabiners. They also feature a wireframe self-closing gate and can resist forces up to 20KN, and they are color-coded to match the Black Diamond Camalots to help with identification.

6. Metolius FS Mini Carabiner

PROS

Small, lightweight and colorful enough that they do not look out of place off the climbing wall.

Wireframe gate to ensure speed of clipping and to reduce whiplash under extreme forces.

Small enough to squeeze into smaller bolts while still providing enough room to fit in equipment

CONS

Wireframe gate is not as safe a screw locking gate

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These small and vibrant wireframe gate carabiners are also resistant enough to be included as part of a protection chain when climbing. They feature a large gate opening to help you to squeeze whatever ropes, slings and equipment inside flared nose profile with ease

7. PETZL SM’D Triact-Lock H-Frame Carabiner

PROS

While slightly heavier than wireframe designs, the SM’D carabiner comes fully equipped with safety features.

Fluid interior design to reduce catch points and rotation of the carabiner while in use.

Easy and intuitive design

CONS

Longer to set up and heavier than a wireframe carabiner

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The compact aluminum SM’D carabiner from PETZL is available with an auto-locking device to ensure additional safety. As a result, one can quickly see if the carabiner is still open as it will only close when it also locks, reducing stress when setting up.

8. Mammut Wall Light Carabiner

PROS

Quick, intuitive and simple to use.

Load bearing design.

Portable and lightweight

CONS

Wireframe gate can potentially unclip unlike a screw-locking device

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Another light and durable wireframe gate addition to our list, the Mammut Wall Light Carabiner is a simple, affordable and functional clip.

9. DMM Phantom Screw Gate Carabiner

PROS

Screw-locking protection for maximum safety.

Simple and intuitive design.

Can resist 23KN of force across its main axis

CONS

Longer to set up and heavier than a wireframe gate carabiner

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Much like the SWATOM Mini SF, this is a screw-locking carabiner, which sacrifices a couple of extra grams for additional safety measures. This can hold up to 23KN of force and can be screwed shut when in use so that it is less likely to open than a wireframe design

10. Edelrid Pure Carabiner

PROS

Small, lightweight and easy to use.

Multiple designs – the user is able to decide which would be best for each situation.

Colorful and stylish

CONS

Each of the 3 gate designs has its own cons, depending on what is the most important feature you need

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As pure and simple as the name suggests, the Edelrid Pure Carabiner consists of an intuitive design. There are multiple versions of this carabiner, some with a sliding lock, some with a screw lock, and some with a wiregate, so there is no need to compromise as you can pick whichever version best suits your needs

If you are looking for small clips to help you organise your equipment or to expand the capacity of a backpack, it is hard to go wrong with the Nite Ize S-Biners. The dual clipping system makes these especially easy to use, and the vibrant design looks fantastic on any daypack.

If, instead, you are seeking for safety equipment, we recommend a screw-locking or auto-locking carabiner such as the PETZL SM’D Triact or the Mammut Wall Micro Oval Carabiner as these devices have been tested and proven to provide resistance protection and are harder to open during operation than a wireframe carabiner.

Questions and Answers About Micro Carabiner

What is a Micro carabiner used for?

There are two main uses for a micro carabiner. The first is for arranging and organising your equipment, such as hanging your climbing shoes on your backpack or your chalk bag on your harness. The second is being a smaller version of a regular carabiner, helping you to shed some weight when you want to be as light as possible. Some more ideas include setting up hammocks and building anchor points.

Why get a mini carabiner versus a normal size?

If you are simply using them to organise your gear, a mini carabiner is much cheaper and better sized for clipping equipment to loops. For actual climbing purposes, besides saving weight, sometimes small bolts are too tight for full sized carabiners, and a micro carabiner can more easily fit inside. It also can help to save some space on your harness when you are tackling a multi-pitch problem where a lot of equipment is required.

What is the difference between a small locking carabiner and a small auto-locking carabiner?

A locking carabiner is one that can be closed and locked so that it doesn’t open during operation. An auto locking carabiner is one that does not require the user to physically screw it up or to twist the locking device to close it, although usually requires the user to do something to this degree to open it again to ensure that it stays closed when needed.

Are tiny carabiners safe for climbing?

It depends on which carabiner you are using. Do only buy carabiners from reputable sources if you are going to use them for climbing, and do check the specifications first. Carabiners come with markings on the side determining the KN resistance across the major and minor axis. As a rule of thumb, if you are going to use it for climbing, anything with over 20KN of resistance should be fine. If there are no markings, do not use the carabiner for climbing.

What is the difference between a biner and a carabiner?

A biner is a synonym or abbreviation for “carabiner”, so are essentially the same thing. Some products, such as the Nite Ize S-Biner Microlock mentioned earlier are advertised as a “biner” but function exactly the same as an accessory carabiner.

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