Biners of choice

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Biners of choice

Postby Chads93GT » Jan 5, 2009 6:36 pm

What's everyone's biners of choice when it comes to vertical rigging/gear/etc.

I see these steel screwlinks used and advertised on several sites, and until I started caving, I had never even heard of anyone using these, except for dual chain anchors at the top of sport climbing routes for rock climbing, and even then, they were permanently fastening the chains to the anchors. is it safe to assume that these steel screwlinks are for mroe of a permanent use? I can't imagine having to unscrew the entire link every time I wanted to open it to get something "Unclipped" unlike all of my black diamond lockers.

Anyway I was just wondering what everyone uses, I just read On Rope over the course of the past few days, and it got me wondering. I know biner technology changes all the time, I know I always see new ones every time I get a new issue of Rock and Ice, or Climbing. hard to stay on top of them all!
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Re: Biners of choice

Postby Scott McCrea » Jan 5, 2009 7:01 pm

Mostly, it depends.

General carabiner: The SMC Aluminum Locking D, cave tested and proven again and again. It's worth the money, IMO.
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Re: Biners of choice

Postby Ralph E. Powers » Jan 5, 2009 8:00 pm

I don't have a problem unscrewing the main link of my harness to my rack, or the croll with the triangle mallion I tend to use. I know that sucka ain't coming open easily... especially if the gate is against my body. I also have various size mallions on my hand ascender for the foot-loop and safety cord and use mallions to attach the ascenders on to either end of my bungee to their respective footloops. Everything else I use carabiners... and I've bought primarily SMC's both steel and aluminum and have a couple of Omegas.
To me a biner is a biner but I do have a preference to SMC brands.
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Re: Biners of choice

Postby Dangerjudy » Jan 5, 2009 8:14 pm

I am a big fan of the http://en.petzl.com/petzl/SportProduits?Produit=583Petzl OK carabiner with screw-gate.
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Re: Biners of choice

Postby Chads93GT » Jan 5, 2009 9:08 pm

Ralph E. Powers wrote:I don't have a problem unscrewing the main link of my harness to my rack, or the croll with the triangle mallion I tend to use. I know that sucka ain't coming open easily... especially if the gate is against my body. I also have various size mallions on my hand ascender for the foot-loop and safety cord and use mallions to attach the ascenders on to either end of my bungee to their respective footloops. Everything else I use carabiners... and I've bought primarily SMC's both steel and aluminum and have a couple of Omegas.
To me a biner is a biner but I do have a preference to SMC brands.



So I take it, these steel biners are actually used on the ascending rigs people have? I just use knots as all we have around here are 80 foot pits or so around here.
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Re: Biners of choice

Postby caverdoc » Jan 5, 2009 9:38 pm

Lately I've been using lots of Kong locking aluminum ovals (bolt climb). Probably on a yearly basis I use the aforementioned SMC locking D's and Omega Pacific locking D's more than any other. I use an old GI steel oval for a brake biner when using a Petzl stop. A lot of my "everyday use" carabiners date back to the late 80s when I was stationed in southern Germany with the army. Mixed bag of Stubai, Kong, DMM, Bonaiti, Mammut.

When I last counted biners (1996?) I had over 250. The overwheming majority were Omega Pacific and SMC, with a pretty fair bunch of Petzls thrown in.

I'm referring only to locking carabiners. I have a hodge-podge of nonlockers racked with the climbing gear...

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Re: Biners of choice

Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Jan 5, 2009 9:43 pm

Mailons have their place I reckon, they are cheap, strong, are generally lighter than carabiners, and if you go steel they are virtually indestructable, I carry a few on my harness as a set of emergency connectors, being stainless steel I don't worry about them bashing on rocks or getting worn etc. Mailons such as a Delta or D will also handle 3 way loads so they are good for Y hangs where these are arranged in tape or I use them where a hanger or anchor would put the carabiner in harsh or bending contact with the rock. I also use mailons to extend an anchor (hanger) down so that the rope is hanging free from the rock, they also help change the orientation of a twisted style hanger so the carabiner hangs better and the rope is less likely to contact the rock.

That said I figure there are two major disadvantages to mailons:
1. they take longer to do up or undo, this is cited as their major disadvantage but how much extra time is this really going to use up? I can't really see it using all that much extra. Probably more important would be that if you are hanging out somewhere that's uncomfortable or awkward you'll probably appreciate a carabiner much more.

2. If you are prone to forgetting to do up carabiners, mailons have very little of their strength when they aren't done up, that said I'd find it pretty hard to rig a pitch and get on it without doing the maillon up, much harder than with a carabiner anyway, as it's more obvious the mailon is undone.

As far as carabiners go I'd look for keylock gates if possible, I also like the Petzl OK carabiners, they are good for placing the rope away from walls when rigging and are useful when doing rescue/self rescue rigging, they are a slightly weaker shape compared to D shaped carabiners so they will weigh marginally more for similar strength but IMO it's not a huge deal, they also give more room to clip cowstails in at rebelays etc but I've never had a problem finding room to clip myself. :shrug: I wouldn't use OK's for cowstails but that's just me I don't really see any reason why you couldn't if you wanted to. The red mark on the OK and other Petzl carabiner gates is a good idea IMO.

For rigging seeing as you will use these connectors less often non keylock gates or carabiners which aren't quite as nice are OK as long as they do the job. Your cowstails should have the high quality carabiners you really want IMO because you use them all the time.

PS: I seem to remember writing a similar reply a while ago perhaps there's a similar thread out there somewhere.
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Re: Biners of choice

Postby JoeyS » Jan 5, 2009 10:50 pm

Great thread idea.
In my experience ,we use 7mm long oval screwlinks for rigging to bolts, and aluminum biners on the trees (I like the Petzl OK locking). I originally started my vertical caving gear collection with a bunch of Omega D's, but I slowly replaced most of them with OK's. I really like the notchless opening of the OK; it never snags on soft goods like webbing or clothing.
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Re: Biners of choice

Postby Dangerjudy » Jan 6, 2009 9:40 am

I wish all my biners were Petzl OK's and I expect that over time that is what I will do as I retire (I mean lose) biners...
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Re: Biners of choice

Postby Carl Amundson » Jan 6, 2009 11:30 am

For rigging I like to use SMC - Lite Steel D Lock biners.
It's a steel screw lock biner that is relatively light weight.
There is just something comforting about using steel for rigging.

For general use, I have a real miss-mash of aluminum screw lock biners.
I have tried the Petzl auto-locking biners and think they suck for caving (but that's just one man's opinion).
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Re: Biners of choice

Postby NZcaver » Jan 6, 2009 11:44 am

Hmmm... carabiners.

Like many of you I have different types scattered around in my gear, too numerous to list. But for rigging and general purpose use, I have a bunch of Omega Pacific ISO D Screwgates and a bunch of Omega Jake HMS Screwgates which I'm pretty happy with.

ImageImage

My cowstail carabiners are now Black Diamond Positron Screwgates, and I also carry a spare Petzl Attache HMS Screwgate or two on my harness most of the time.

ImageImage

(No, I didn't buy all my carabiners from REI - but their website does make a great online reference.)

fuzzy-hair-man wrote:Mailons have their place I reckon, they are cheap, strong, are generally lighter than carabiners, and if you go steel they are virtually indestructable, I carry a few on my harness as a set of emergency connectors, being stainless steel I don't worry about them bashing on rocks or getting worn etc. Mailons such as a Delta or D will also handle 3 way loads so they are good for Y hangs where these are arranged in tape or I use them where a hanger or anchor would put the carabiner in harsh or bending contact with the rock.

Agreed. I use a small stainless oval maillon to connect my footloop to my upper frog ascender, and my Swaygo pack connectors are small stainless delta maillons at the bottom, and a carabiner at the top. Any of these can be swapped out and used in situations which call for improvisation.
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Re: Biners of choice

Postby Carl Amundson » Jan 6, 2009 12:16 pm

I also carry the Petzl Attache HMS Screwgate on my harness at all times.
It works real well as a reppel devise when used with a munter hitch.
Great for short drops or emergency situations...

A quick disclaimer:
Always practice any vertical technique above ground before you try it underground...
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Re: Biners of choice

Postby Rick Brinkman » Jan 6, 2009 1:35 pm

I have always chosen my biners by price...cheapest ones I could find.
Some I like better than others, but as long as it does it's job... :banana_yay:
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Re: Biners of choice

Postby Scott McCrea » Jan 6, 2009 2:43 pm

NZcaver wrote:...my Swaygo pack connectors are small stainless delta maillons at the bottom, and a carabiner at the top. Any of these can be swapped out and used in situations which call for improvisation.

:big grin:

I use a regular, locking aluminum biners on the sides of my Swaygo packs and a Mad Rock HMS on the top. That way, I always have a good biner for an emergency Munter Hitch.
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Re: Biners of choice

Postby caverdoc » Jan 6, 2009 4:20 pm

Scott
Those Mad Rock biners are pretty good kit at a reduced price. I picked up a pair recently, keylocks reminiscent of the discontinued Petzl Spirit lockers (likelly my all time favorite lockers). From the same company I bought three "Cypher" keylock ovals that are light but quite spacious--I bought these specifically for use with my Raumer Stick-up mini climbing pole (used bolting).
Two Xmas' back my suave younger brother bought me 8 Black Diamond Positron lockers. They've been ghosting in a plastic tub but I just put some into the rotation, in fact my most used cowstail uses one on the long leg with a keylock Kong oval on the short leg.

Over time I'm trying to replace my "all the time" carabiners with keylocks.

This morning I was working on vinyl tape ID marking my "rescue reserve" boxes of gear, I think I marked 5 chunky Stubai asymmetric steel D's (excellent for Munter hitch belays) and 15 black OP locking D's I got at a good price some months back. None of them will probably ever see the muddy underworld unless there is a major rescue in the midwest USA.

Damn gear addiction :tonguecheek:

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