D-shaped or HMS? Screwgate or automatic? There are different types of carabiners to choose from. Here are our tips on choosing the right model for you.

You should choose your carabiner based on 3 criteria: use, shape and locking system


They are mainly found as a component of quic kdraws or camming devices and will hold a climber in the event of a fall.

carabiner against body

They are equipped with a screw to lock the gate of the carabiner against the body, which prevents the gate from opening randomly. These carabiners are used for important connections such as anchor points, belay devices and systems, abseiling, safety lanyards...


Carabiners come in different shapes depending on their use

D-Shaped Carabiners

D-Shaped Carabiners
D-shaped carabiners can be used for clipping in (at the end of sling) or for belaying (only with a Grigri). Compared with pear-shaped models of the same diameter, D-shaped carabiners are stronger as the load is transferred along the major axis of the carabiner.

Pear-Shaped (or HMS) Carabiner

Pear-Shaped (or HMS) Carabiner

HMS carabiners can be used for belaying (with all kinds of belay devices or an Italian or Munter hitch) and for clipping in , using a clove hitch. Their shape means the gate can open wider than other carabiners, wich makes them easier to use.


There are two kinds of locking systems for locking carabiners

closure system

This is the classical closure system and comprises a ring on a threaded gate

closes automatically

The carabiner can be opened with two or three (depending on the model) movements of the gate. The main advantage is that the gate closes automatically, so there is no risk of forgetting to lock it.

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