AskDefine | Define carabiner

Dictionary Definition

carabiner n : an oblong metal ring with a spring clip; used in mountaineering to attach a rope to a piton or to connect two ropes [syn: karabiner, snap ring]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


from German Karabinerhaken


  1. A metal link with a gate that can open and close, generally used for clipping ropes to anchors or other objects.


metal link with a gate

See also

Extensive Definition

A carabiner or karabiner (colloquially: crab, D ring, krab, or biner) is a metal loop with a sprung or screwed gate. The loop part opposite the gate is referred to as the spine. It can quickly and reversibly connect components in safety-critical systems. The word comes from "Karabinerhaken", meaning "hook for a carbine" in German.


Carabiners are widely used in sports requiring ropework, such as climbing, slacklining, caving ("Single Rope Technique"), canyoning, and sailing, and in industrial rope access work, such as construction or window cleaning.
Carabiners used in sports tend to be lighter than carabiners used in industry. For recreational climbing, almost all carabiners are made from 7075 aluminum and are treated to a T6 temper (solution treated and then artificially aged). For rope rescues and industrial uses, where the weight of the carabiner is not an important factor and larger working loads are encountered, steel carabiners are commonly used. Some carabiners used in industry do not have a sprung swinging gate but have a screw shut gate that generally can be opened and closed only using a special tool.
Carabiners have also found a place in popular usage as key holders, and as water-bottle holders for hikers.


When sold for use in climbing in Europe, carabiners must conform to standard EN 12275:1998 "Mountaineering equipment - Connectors - Safety requirements and test methods," which governs testing protocols, rated strengths, and markings. A strength of around 20 kN with the gate shut is considered a standard strength for most climbing applications, although requirements vary depending on the activity. Carabiners are also marked on the side with single letters showing their intended area of use, for example, K (via ferrata), B (base), and H (for belaying with an Italian / Munter hitch).
When used for access in commercial and industrial environments within Europe carabiners must comply with EN 362:2004 "Personal protective equipment against falls from a height. Connectors" As climbing and access in these environments use shock prevention devices the minimum strength of a carabiner to EN362:2004 is lower than that of a carabiner compliant with EN 12275:1998 at around 15 kN. Carabiners complying with both EN 12275:1998 and EN 362:2004 are available.


There are two broad categories of carabiner used in climbing—nonlocking and locking—with some subdivision within those categories.

Nonlocking carabiners

Nonlocking carabiners have a sprung swinging gate that can be opened to insert or remove a rope, webbing sling, or other climbing hardware. The gate snaps shut under the spring's pressure. Mountaineers also frequently use a short sling to connect two nonlocking carabiners to each other, creating a quickdraw.
The gate used depends on the use and preference of the user. The following are the different types of gates for nonlocking carabiners:

Locking carabiners

Locking carabiners have the same general shape as nonlocking carabiners, but have an additional sleeve around the gate. The sleeve can be released along the gate and, when it is at one end of the gate, cannot be opened (except by releasing the sleeve and moving it to the other end of the gate). This provides security against the carabiner opening accidentally, for example, if struck against a rock or if caught in a loop of rope. The sleeve can be either auto-locking or a twist-lock.


There are several different shapes of carabiners.


Carabiners are also useful in everyday life. Cheap and colorful carabiners that vaguely resemble mountaineering carabiners, but are generally thinner have become quite popular as keyrings or in other applications as a universal connector. They have an extremely simplified latching mechanism, without a pin to allow the gate to carry a load. Such novelty carabiners are typically marked with an explicit liability warning, e.g. "Not for climbing", as well as their notational weight load, e.g. "Not to exceed 20 lbs."



carabiner in Czech: Karabina
carabiner in Danish: Karabinhage
carabiner in German: Karabinerhaken
carabiner in Estonian: Karabiinhaak
carabiner in Spanish: Mosquetón (escalada)
carabiner in Persian: کارابین (ابزار)
carabiner in French: Mousqueton
carabiner in Italian: Moschettone
carabiner in Hebrew: טבעת (טיפוס)
carabiner in Dutch: Karabijnhaak
carabiner in Japanese: カラビナ
carabiner in Polish: Karabinek (wspinaczka)
carabiner in Portuguese: Mosquetão (escalada)
carabiner in Russian: Карабин (устройство)
carabiner in Simple English: Carabiner
carabiner in Swedish: Karbinhake
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