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.
- Carefully read the Instructions for Use used in this technical advice before consulting the advice itself. You must have already read and understood the information in the Instructions for Use to be able to understand this supplementary information.
- Mastering these techniques requires specific training. Work with a professional to confirm your ability to perform these techniques safely and independently before attempting them unsupervised.
- We provide examples of techniques related to your activity. There may be others that we do not describe here.
A carabiner is designed to be loaded on the major axis, with the gate closed and the sleeve locked.
Only the strength rating for the major axis with gate closed is suitable for the loads sustained by a carabiner in vertical activities.
Loading a carabiner in any other way can be dangerous.
Examples of dangerous carabiner loading
• 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
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.