Petzl Carabiner Basics

Written By: Lance Piatt

The carabiner is an essential link in any vertical equipment kit. It is very strong when used correctly, but can break or come open if misused. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of carabiners allows the user to make the most suitable choice for each application.

  • The risks associated with incorrect loading can be reduced:
    • by choosing a suitable carabiner (carabiner shape and locking system)
    • by using specific accessories (STRING, CAPTIV, TANGA, plastic sleeve)
    • by suitable usage precautions (vigilance, monitoring, good initial placement…)
  • For each use:
    • Anticipate the risks of dangerous loading during use.
    • Position and load carabiners on the major axis, gate closed, sleeve locked.
    • Monitor your carabiners regularly during use.
  • Follow the instructions presented in your carabiners’ Instructions for Use
The balance between a carabiner’s ease of opening and security of locking

A secure lock reduces the probability of accidental opening in use.

The most secure lock is that of a quick link tightened with a tool, with a near-zero probability of accidental opening. But such a lock does not make for efficient operation in the field.

Ease of opening (ergonomics) enables quick and efficient connection and disconnection. In certain situations, this contributes as much to user safety as the security of the lock.

This balance must be finely tuned: the user must choose what is suitable for each type of use. The other parts of this document give details, based on the application, to aid the user in this choice.


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