Carabiner hooks are one of the necessary tools for mountain climbing sports. Whether you are a professional mountain climbing practitioner or amateur, it is for your safety. These simple rope accessories are a quick and easy way to connect different components, provide reliable support and keep you safe. But the question is, do you know which type of carabiner hook is best for your needs?
In this article, you will learn everything you should know about carabiner hooks – answering your most frequently asked questions and helping you choose the suitable climbing carabiner.
What is a carabiner hook?
A carabiner hook, also known as a mountaineering carabiner, is a small metal loop with a spring-loaded section on one side. This section can be opened and closed as many times as needed, and it allows the rope (and other components) to be attached in a secure but fully reversible manner.
They are usually aluminum or steel and have four essential components, including the door, spine, nose, and basket. The door is the part that opens and closes, while the spine is the longest side of the hook (located on the opposite side). The nose is the part of the door that snaps shut, and the basket is the prominent curved part of the climbing buckle – where the rope will naturally sit when clipped into place.
What types of climbing carabiners are available?
There are several different carabiner hooks available, and they vary depending on four main factors.
Both non-locking and locking carabiner hooks are available. While non-locking hooks spring open and close, when closed, the locking hook’s door is secured in place. This either happens automatically or as a result of tightening the screws. Locking carabiners are usually heavier than non-locking carabiners; however, they are essential for health and safety reasons in most cases.
Climbing carabiners come in various sizes, often categorized as “full size” or “mini.” The size you need will depend on the intended application. Smaller carabiner hooks are lighter and take up less space. However, they are of limited use. In most cases, a larger (heavier) hook will be a more practical and convenient option.
While many different shapes to choose from, offset D and pear shapes are the most common. These share many common characteristics. For example, they have a high strength-to-weight ratio, have a large gate for easy clipping, and hold the rope firmly in place. However, pear-shaped climbing buckles distribute weight more evenly and reduce rope wear because of their round baskets. Once again, the hook shape that works for you will depend on its intended application.
Safe working load
Carabiner hooks also vary significantly in their safe working load (SWL) and the level of weight they can handle. So, before investing in a new hook, be sure to pay attention to its SWL. You need to make sure it is strong enough to handle the weight for its intended use.