Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Very light yet easy to handle, easy to grip, hooded nose
Cons: Gets hung up when cleaning on steep routes, doesn't hold a lot of knots and slings
Best Uses: Any type of rock climbing
The Wild Country Astro is a great lightweight carabiner, especially for the price. Our Best Buy award winner, the Mad Rock UltraLight Bent Gate cost less but it is a little heavier and did not score quite as high. In our old review, the Black Diamond Oz Carabiner was similar in score to the Wild Country Astro, but in our updated review, the Oz took home our Top Pick award, thanks mostly in part to its new wire notch hood that keeps the nose from snagging. If you aren't in need of a snag-free carabiner, the Astro is still a good choice, but not quite as affordable as the Mad Rock biner.
If you are obsessed on weight, get the lighter yet smaller CAMP Nano 23 Carabiner. The Nano did not score as high because it is much smaller, harder to handle and not as versatile. But it is some grams lighter which the weight-obsessed will notice.
If you have deep pockets, consider the Wild Country Helium Carabiner which is not that much heavier and scored higher.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Wild Country Astro is just a great size and weight. It is not the lightest, but is pretty darn light. Unlike the mega light biners like the Metolius FS Mini, this biner is easy to hold both because it is a reasonable size and has an I-beam spine that is easy to grip. The hooded nose helps to protect the carabiner from getting opened by getting rubbed across the rock. It was on of the easiest to clip of all the small and light carabiners.
There were no major dislikes other than the standard two things:
On-sight climbing, trad climbing where light weight and size matter
If you like the Wild Country Astro, but want a product that is easier to handle and lighter for the same price, consider the CAMP Photon Wire Straight Gate. As mentioned above, the Mad Rock UltraLight also gives you a lot of bang for your buck!
— Chris McNamara and Chris Summit
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: April 20, 2010
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