Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: Varies from $9 - $11 | Compare prices at 8 resellers
Pros: Holds lots of knots, good gate clearance, great value, large
Cons: A little heavy and big
Best Uses: Belaying, all around use, great first carabiner
Manufacturer: Black Diamond
The Black Diamond Rocklock is Black Diamond's largest belay and rappel locking carabiner and it's an overall great deal. It was the highest rated $10 carabiner and scored only behind the Petzl Attache 3D, which was double the price. This is a good belay carabiner for sport climbing, top roping or gym climbing because it is easy to handle and a great value at $10 for such a large carabiner. It is not ideal for multi-pitch or mountaineering because it is on the heavy and bulky side. If you are looking for a locking carabiner to load up on, we would go with a smaller and less expensive locking carabiner like the Black Diamond Quicksilver Screwgate. The screw-gate gate model is good for top roping or as an all-around anchor or backup carabiner in winter or any season. If you want the ultimate big biner, it's a close call between this and the Dmm Boa but the Boa is double the price. If you want a belay carabiner that would also work great on multi-pitch climbs in the same price range, check out the Mad Rock Ultra Tech HMS and the Wild Country Synergy.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
It works great as a belay or rappel carabiner, especially as a first carabiner for new climbers because it is easy to handle and inexpensive. It also works well for anchors as its big size allows it to handle many knots and slings. It tied for top billing with the DMM Boa in our test of how many figure eights on a bite we could clip to it. The key-lock gate minimizes snagging on belay loops and slings. The slightly curved spine maximizes the gate opening and makes it easy to clip to just about anything at the anchor. This is one of the largest pear-shaped carabiners on the market, making it easier to handle with gloves.
This carabiner is on the heavy and bulky side. You don't want to carry a bunch of these around on your harness. It is not ideal as a multi-pitch climbing carabiner because its big size means it swings around a bit on the side of your harness. Also, it has an asymmetrical pear shape so it doesn't keep the rope in the middle of the biner when belaying in auto-block mode off the anchor. This is not a big deal, but biners like the Petzl Attache or Metolius Element are definitely better for multi-pitch climbing.
This is a great belay and rappel biner or all-around locker. It comes with two gate designs: screw-lock and twist-lock. The screw-lock gate works well for an anchor or backup carabiner while the twist-lock gate is faster for belay and rappel use.
The screw-lock version was the best deal in carabiners for $11 from Black Diamond. The twist-lock version is almost double the price at $19 and not the best deal unless you really love having the quick action of a twist-lock biner.
The Black Diamond Rocklock also available in a Twistlock and Screwgate
Black Diamond Vaporlock- the lighter weight version
— Chris McNamara and Chris Summit
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: June 3, 2014
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