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This is the personal collection, musings and work-in-progress of Sam Johnson.

I welcome any questions/comments/suggestions through this contact form.

About the Author

A few brief highlights of my experience in the vertical world:

Carabiner Collection Criteria

I have chosen to shape this personal collection with a few criteria given the availability of various carabiner models.

My primary interest and expertise is in tree climbing, which uses locking carabiners almost exclusively. As such, I primarily focus on the acquisition of locking carabiners, but non-lockers have been produced in far greater numbers, for much longer.

Non-lockers tend to highlight changes or dead-ends of carabiner design and seem to keep showing up in my collection... plus I'm not one to toss aside a carabiner even if it's a little boring.

I am regularly surprised how a seemingly plain carabiner will end up revealing something interesting once I learn a bit more about it - and often this tidbit of info is uncovered while researching another carabiner.

I have outlined 5 overlapping and interrelated themes which represent my interest in collecting a carabiner and help steer my research efforts. Listed below in order of importance are these themes, along with a few examples:

Mechanically Unique or Interesting

My core interest and the core focus of the collection - by definition mostly secured/locking carabiners.

BD Magnetron - magnetic locking mechanism
CMC Manual Lock - spring assisted locking mechanism
DMM Durolock - quad-action autolocker using two nested locking sleeves
Grivel Tau T - single sprung multi-gate carabiner

Design, Engineering, & Manufacturing

A look into the minds of the makers.

Climb High Oval - Milled nose and recessed pins instead of modern forging and rivets
DMM Mamba - Hot-forged body
JC - split spine for increased rope bearing surface from smaller stock material
CAMP STEELKAR - dangerously wide gate causes accidental opening (poor design)

Discipline Demonstration

Highlights a particular use unique or core to a particular rope discipline. The tools look similar, but reveal differences in domain hazards and user needs.

YOKE N-256G - ANSI rated gate for working at height
Petzl Vertigo - light security but fast to operate for via ferrata

Iconic or Industry Standard

They may be common, but were an early example of "getting it right" or the culmination of years of small changes in the industry.

Petzl Attache - Iconic HMS
Petzl Spirit - a premium keylock quickdraw carabiner and for many years, the standard to beat

Part of a Historical Pattern

A complete range of carabiner designs from a particular company highlights how the company or climbing industry has changed over the years.

Black Diamond's compact screwgates: