Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: One of the best biners to clip and unclip, durable
Cons: Expensive, heavy relative to other similar-sized carabiners
Best Uses: Sport climbing or general cragging
The Petzl Spirit is maybe the oldest and most popular sport climbing carabiner. More than a decade ago, Petzl's innovative keylock design of the gate was the first to eliminate the problem of the notch getting snagged on the bolt hanger when cleaning a steep sport route. At the time it was revolutionary. Today there are many keylock carabiners out there but the Spirit remains one of the best.
The feel of this carabiner along with small details like the tiny gate grooves make this one of the best biners for clipping and unclipping bolts. Only the Wild Country Helium is better and that is simply because of the added strength of the wire gate. If you want a less expensive keylock carabiner, check out the Black Diamond Positron or for a much cheap keylock biner there is the Mad Rock Ultra-Tech Straight. But none of those carabiners scored as high as the Spirit. In addition, the quickdraw that comes with the spirit, Petzl Spirit Express, is the most durable quickdraw we tested. So overall, if you sport climb a ton, its hard to beat this unless you want something lighter or less expensive.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Petzl Spirit is one of the most satisfying carabiners to clip. Part of this is due to the unique thumb grooves on the gate make which make it easier to open when reaching far for a bolt or piece of pro. Also, the spring is just the right tension: not too soft and not to hard. The gate gives just the right amount of resistance and snaps back responsively. And, of course, the keylock design keeps it from getting caught on the bolt hanger when cleaning steep routes (no notch to get caught as with almost all wiregate biners). The rope ran very smoothly through the Spirit(4 way tie for first). It also holds a number of knots well. In our figure eight holding test it took three figure eights and still had room for the gate to open. The gate is very durable and rarely gets sticky. Lastly, it is just one of the the most time tested biners around. The Petzl Spirit has proven effective on some of the hardest climbs in the world by some of the hardest climbers.
Other than being expensive, this biner is heavier than the similar biners with a wire-gate design (such as the Wild Country Helium)
This is one of the more expensive carabiners out there but it last forever. It has a great long-term value.
— Chris McNamara and Chris Summit
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: May 16, 2013
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