Carabiner basics

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.


  • Read the technical notice before viewing the following techniques.
  • It is important to fully understand the information provided in the technical notice before using this complementary information
  • Mastering these techniques requires training.
  • Consult a professional before attempting to perform these techniques on your own.

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.


• 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

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.


See the other parts of this document to find recommendations on carabiner choice and technical solutions for each use.

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