We chained 12 wiregate carabiners together and pull-tested them to destruction. Which carabiner survived the longest? Was it your favorite wiregate? Read on to find out.
Wiregate carabiners are extremely popular. They are lighter than conventional solid gate carabiners, offer wider gate clearances, and don’t suffer from gate flutter, or opening significantly when bumped. These advantages make them a staple on almost every climber’s rack.
Chaining a dozen carabiners together is not a normal usage. We conducted this test for “edu-tainment” purposes, not science, to show that all 12 wiregate carabiners are super strong enough. Any CE rated carabiner that meets UIAA specifications for climbing can withstand more force than you will generate under normal climbing conditions. It can be helpful to see what you are trusting your life to get pulled to failure to see HOW it fails and what it looks like when it does.
Some take aways are that they stretch but not that much. Steel stretches like playdough but aluminum doesn't go very far before it snaps dramatically. This is why gates need to be closed to retain most of their strength. I'm so sad that Camp Photon broke at 11kN because it's my favorite, but it was because the gate got stuck open when we over stressed it in the 3 prior tests.
Same Chart in 3 Different Orders
How NOT 2 Buy Carabiners
I do NOT recommend buying the strongest carabiner because it is irrelevant. I do NOT recommend buying the lightest because it's too small for big hands. I do NOT recommend buying the cheapest because depending what you use it for, the nose is fat (see Big Wall Course for those rants). Camp Photon broke the lowest because the gate was open but it is all around the best for size, weight and price. If you are willing to spend more, Camp Dyons are the best IMO, I have over 60 of these on my rack (and no, I bought them and they don't pay me to say this). Big & light biners with skinny noses for the win!
The big takeaway here is: use rated gear! There are a lot of dubious carabiners on Amazon these days! Check out this article for more information on ratings.
Behind the Scenes
This was an experiment, like all videos, on how to make an episode. We want to make videos about gear, tell you a little bit about them, and break them for fun. We figured connecting them in a chain and rooting for our favorite like people do for teams was a creative gamification of a gear review. According to the massive amount of views it seems to be a popular style. Our future videos dive a little bit deeper into the gear itself because absolute strength isn't really, or shouldn't be, a main driver in which one you buy.
After Posting Thoughts
It's shocking to me how upset people are in the comments about how this isn't science. First of all, who the F*** cares??? And what even is science??? We are exploring a hypothesis that the most durable carabiner will be the last one standing and hot damn, it was at 31.48kN after being pulled 12 times. It's edutainment and it is helpful for people to see what they trust with their life break in slow motion. But to isolate each carabiner and break it by itself is so much less entertaining and there is quite a wide range of strengths you can get breaking the same exact type of carabiner 10x. Since we were only breaking 1 of each, this was a fun way to test these. So chill out and grab your popcorn and enjoy the show. Speaking of showdowns, check out our NEXT ONE.