← Back to all articles

Introduction to carabiners

This is a short introduction to carabiners, along with their use and costs

What are carabiners?

A carabiner is a strong oval or D-shaped loop or hoop.  It has a gate which you can open in order to connect it to, and disconnect it from, safety ropes.  The gate is almost always spring loaded, and it also has a nut which screws into place when the gate is closed to ensure that it will not open by accident.

How strong are they?

Because carabiners are part of a safety setup, they need to be very strong.  Strength ratings vary, and are measured in KN which stands for kilonewtons.  This is actually a measurement of the force they can withstand, because they are designed to stop falling objects which create much more force that a simple hanging weight.  A typical climbing carabiner could have something like a 24KN rating.

What can carabiners be used for?

They can be used in various rope-based activities, such as climbing, caving, and abseiling.

How much do they cost?

Climbing carabiners cost aroud £5-10 each.

What else do you need for climbing?

Apart from carabiners, as a minimum you will also need climbing shoes, a helmet, a belay device, ropes, and a harness.

Author: Georgia Theakston