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Omega Pacific Doval Review

   

Carabiner

  • Currently 3.3/5
Overall avg rating 3.3 of 5 based on 6 reviews. Most recent review: July 9, 2011
Street Price:   $7
Pros:  Light but retains most of oval functions, easy to handle
Cons:  Not as good for racking gear as ovals, not the best to clip, not quite as smooth as ovals
Best Uses:  Trad climbers and big wall climbers and want a lightweight alternative to the oval
User Rating:     
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 (3.5 of 5) based on 5 reviews
Recommendations:  50% of reviewers (2/4) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Omega Pacific
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ May 20, 2010  
Overview
The Doval is a new take on the old-school oval design that incorporates lightweight with practicality. It is 40 percent lighter than most ovals out there due to the wire gate. Yes you can still use it typical oval tasks like carabiner brake rappel and opposite and opposed top rope anchors. I first saw these on Ammon McNeely's rack (Ammon is the most prolific Yosemite wall climber of the last decade). He likes 'em because they are very useful on wall but a fraction of the weight of ovals.

Overall, if you are a big oval fan, you may want to stay with a typical oval like the Black Diamond Oval or the lighter Black Diamond Oval Wire. Standard ovals are cheaper, smoother, and you can rack more stuff on them. That said, we like light gear so we wouldn't really consider buying ovals today. So for us, it comes down to do we like this more than other light biners like the Wild Country Astro or Trango Superfly. Here it comes down to how much you like the oval or Doval shape. Overall, we find the Doval not as practical as other light biners and would probably lean more toward an ultra light. But those are our leanings, if you like the oval shape and like light gear, this is a great bet.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
The main reason the Doval carabiner these are so light is the wire gate and smaller size. While these are not an ultralight biner compared to Black Diamond Oz or CAMP Nano 23, they are much lighter than ovals you find on most climbers racks. They are also much easier to handle than typical small biners because of their size and ridges on the beam. In fact, they are maybe easier to handle than a larger oval carabiner. For being smaller than most ovals, they are designed for the rope to run pretty smooth through them. That means these are still great for top rope anchors (just not quite as smooth as regular ovals). You can use them for a carabiner break rappel. This is not a huge plus, but important for die hard oval fans that want that function.

Dislikes
Part of the reason these are so light is they are smaller than typical ovals. This makes them not as ideal at racking lots of pitons or other gear on. Also, the rope does not run quite as smooth if you are using these for a toprope. They are not the easiest biners to clip when put head to head with typical sport climbing biners with an asymetrical D shape.

Best Application
These are ideal for oval fans that want to lighten their rack. Big wall and trad climbers will appreciate them the most (if you like oval functionality). They also come in handy if you are teaching classes and doing lots of toproping.

Value
While the retails price is listed at $8, you can pick these up more places for $7 or less. These makes them only a little more expensive than a typical oval carabiner. Overall, they are in the middle of the value range: not cheap and not expensive.

Chris McNamara and Chris Summit

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: July 9, 2011
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (3.5)

50% of 4 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
5 Total Ratings
5 star: 20%  (1)
4 star: 20%  (1)
3 star: 40%  (2)
2 star: 20%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 5 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Jul 9, 2011 - 02:18am
WML · Climber · Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Bought some of these from Sierra Trading Post before my first wall to rack my offset cams on. The lack of biner shift and how bomber they are was a comforting thought at some spooky times. These are awesome, would buy more if I had a legitimate excuse.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jun 5, 2010 - 03:34am
rockermike · Climber · Berkeley
hard to visually tell the top of the gate from the bottom. this drives my partners nuts.

if used for caribiner brake rappels, the wire gates get tweeked and don't close properly afterwards

for some reason (the lower corner is still just slightly "D" shaped), they still cause the dreaded "carabiner snap" when aid climbing - the avoidance of which is the whole purpose of using ovals in aid.

but they are light

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jun 2, 2010 - 11:21pm
tbones · Climber · Salt Lake City, UT
I have used these dovals on my alpine draws for awhile now and I dislike them because at first glance it is not obvious which end of the gate opens. I'll be pumped on a climb and go to clip and find that the biner is flipped and I did not notice. I would buy a regular lightweight wiregate anyday over these

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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May 23, 2010 - 11:51pm
 
rgold · Climber · Poughkeepsie, NY
I like them for racking wired nuts. I carry wired nuts with the gate up and in and remove the entire biner for placing. With D-shaped biners, this means all the wires sit down on the narrow end of the biner, and because of this are likely to "climb up" the gate. This in turn increases the possibility of dropping nuts from the biner when the gate is opened while removing the biner from the racking sling. After doing this a few times I realized an oval shape would help to eliminate the problem, and the Dovals seem to be the lightest ovals around.
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   May 23, 2010 - 01:40pm
Jay Wood · Climber · Land of God-less fools
I rack cams on these.

They have a good balance of features:

Light- not as light as the newer ultralights, but much lighter than hotwire, etc.

Thin- compact on gear sling or gear loops. Also, along w/ ultralights, excellent for clipping crowded anchor bolts, chain links.

Compact- smaller than standard biners, but oval shape holds more stuff w/ less biner shift, and not too small for large hands.

Large gate opening- Does your thumb fit through the open gate? Does your thumb fit through while holding the gate opening? Doval one of the very best here.

Other- good finish, shape in hand, sound (laugh if you want), price, appear strong.

The main drawback, and the complaint you will hear from your partners, is that the symmetrical shape allows the biners to flip easily, and it is difficult to tell the nose end. I mark the nose end with reflective tape.

I haven't rigged a carabiner brake in many years, not a big factor.

Lots of choices out there, but I don't think I would trade at this point even if it was for free.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Omega Pacific Doval
Credit: Omegapac.com
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