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Reinventing The Way You Rack

5 Min Read • The SPIRIT carabiner has been the benchmark in carabiner performance for almost thirty years. For the first time, in 2023, we are offering our SPIRIT carabiner in six different colors — bringing industry standard clipping performance to your trad rack. Below we've outlined some of the reasons why you should ditch your traditional wiregate carabiners for the new SPIRIT. Read through and decide for yourself.

November 14 2023

Rock climbing

The Obsession With Wire-Gates

Gates in, gates out. On the harness, on a sling. Nuts first, draws first. Every climber organizes their gear differently, because it’s based on personal preferences. But history has shown that most everyone racks their gear the same…using wire-gate carabiners. 

It makes sense; wire gates are light, inexpensive, available in colors that match your cams, and easy to find. Since the invention of the wire-gate carabiner, solid-gates were never seriously considered for this use. They were seen as heavy, bulky, and only available in one color.  But the updates made to the SPIRIT carabiner set it up as a viable option, if not a superior one.

Wire Gates Offer Minimal Weight Savings

Weight can affect performance. For some climbers, weight may be the determining factor when choosing a carabiner. Many wire-gate carabiners weigh an average of 5-15 grams less than their solid-gate counterparts. However, the new SPIRIT carabiner only weighs 37g. For a double rack of cams, those extra grams add up to about 150-170 grams. That’s roughly the weight of an empty — or barely filled — Nalgene (6-8oz). Will those ounces affect your performance? Maybe…maybe not.

What really might affect your climbing experiences are carabiners that don’t work as well as they should. Lighter wire-gate carabiners can be smaller, harder to handle, and difficult to clip. By choosing to go with a lighter, cheaper carabiner, you may unknowingly sacrifice performance and durability.

How The SPIRIT Outshines The Wire-Gate

Why would you choose the SPIRIT solid-gate carabiner over a wire-gate for racking traditional gear? Performance and durability. 


Have you ever gotten through the crux, only to fumble with the carabiner, pump out and fall off? Carabiner performance affects climbing performance. A good carabiner doesn’t impede your climbing. A great carabiner enhances it. 

The SPIRIT (and all Petzl carabiners) come standard with a keylocking nose — there is no ‘notch’ that will accidentally snag on gear or your harness. We reengineered the SPIRIT carabiner to reduce its measurements in two key areas without sacrificing its traditional performance and clippability. The solid gate of the SPIRIT is flat, making it easier for the round rope to ‘catch’ on this edge and drop into the carabiner basket when clipping. The SPIRIT has a bigger gate opening than most other racking carabiners thanks to the larger basket and low-angle nose geometry. So you can spend more energy placing your gear than clipping it. The SPIRIT also has the popular H-shaped cross section on the body of the carabiner, ensuring better grip and handling in tough situations or variable conditions. The H-shape also removes unnecessary material from the carabiner, reducing its overall weight. 


t seems like things don’t last as long as they used to. The desire to keep costs low has led other companies to sacrifice a percentage of quality in their products. Petzl doesn’t believe in lowering our standards for the sake of profits. That’s why you’ll still see ten, twenty, thirty year-old Petzl carabiners at crags around the world. Do we wish that folks would purchase new ones? Sure. Do we understand why they don’t have to? Absolutely. We build a long lasting product.

Petzl carabiners are conceived, designed, and built to last upwards of 100,000 open and close cycles. That’s a lot of clipping and unclipping. Petzl doesn’t manufacture traditional wire-gate carabiners. Because solid-gates — like the SPIRIT — clip better and last longer than their counterparts. Not having to replace your carabiners every 1-2 years is going to save you money in the long run. Climbers make hundreds, if not thousands of little decisions every day. Some of those decisions require compromise. But when it comes to your carabiners, don’t compromise.  

Experience the Difference — with Petzl. 

To learn more about the SPIRIT, or update your rack, click here

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