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DMM Boa Review

   

Locking Carabiner

  • Currently 4.5/5
Overall avg rating 4.5 of 5 based on 4 reviews. Most recent review: April 16, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $15 - $16 | Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Smooth gate, holds lots of ropes, good gate clearance, light for its size
Cons:  Bulky and heavy.
Best Uses:  Great belay and rappel locking carabiner.
User Rating:     
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 (5.0 of 5) based on 3 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (3/3) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   DMM
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ April 9, 2010  
Overview
The DMM Boa is our favorite large locking carabiner. It is easy to handle, burly and holds a lot of ropes and slings. It is easy to clip to a harness and very strong. It's also a great all-around locker for winter due to its large size, which makes it easy to handle with gloves. It's not great for multi-pitch or mountaineering if weight is a factor smaller biners that may be a bit harder to handle with gloved hands may be better for a certain situation since they are lighter and less bulky. If you want a less bulky biner, try the Petzl Attache, Wild Country Synergy Lite or Mad Rock Ultra Tech HMS. The other comparable locking carabiners (as far as size and weight) are the Omega Pacific Jake, Black Diamond Rocklock and the Petzl William. If you are on a budget get the the Rocklock; it is half the price and scored great. Otherwise, if you are going to spent close to $20 for a locking biner, it's hard to beat the Boa.

View our complete Locking Carabiner Review to see how this product compared to others.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
The Quicklock gate is a great belay and rappel locking carabiner because it is so, well, quick. If you are taking it on and off a lot it is faster than a screw lock. This biner has lots of space for multiple knots or slings, making it great for belays. It scored well but not the best for how smoothly the rope pulled through it. We loved the keylock gate design that minimizes snagging. It has great gate clearance for easy clipping and works well with a munter hitch. It is an ideal locking biner for winter because it is one of the largest pear-shaped biners on the market. That makes it easier to handle with cold, gloved hands. The colors, I-beam construction and twist-lock gate make this one of the cooler locking carabiners. For its large size it is relatively light compared to other large lockers. Lastly, it just feels secure, which gives you extra peace of mind when stepping off an edge on an exposed rappel.

Dislikes
The only dislike with this locking carabiner is how heavy and bulky it is. If you have a couple of these clipped on the side of your harness, you notice it. It is not ideal for multi-pitch climbing or for using as a biner you want in every anchor.

Best Application
This is a great belay device locking carabiner or all-around locker. We found it was one of the easier ones to operate with gloves, which makes it ideal for winter use. For belaying we liked the twist-lock gate version the best. The screw-lock gate is also effective, but we feel it is better suited for an anchor or backup biner.

Value
This is one of the more expensive locking carabiners, especially with the Keylock (aka twist-lock) gate. That said, if you buy it as your main belay carabiner and you use it a ton, it's a good value because of its burlyness and durability.

Chris McNamara and Chris Summit

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: April 16, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (5.0)

100% of 3 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
4 Total Ratings
5 star: 75%  (3)
4 star: 25%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 3 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Apr 16, 2014 - 02:50pm
r0x0rwolfo · Climber · Manchester
I think the '1' mark for 'compactness lightweight' is unduly harsh, although I do understand that this figure is basically just a counter balance to 'how many ropes fit'.

It fits 3 chunky clove hitches fine, and that's why it scores top on the how many ropes fit. But any carabiner would have to be less compact to do this. So it basically evens out at a 5.5 between the two categories. However, if you needed 3 clove hitches, even the tiny Grivel plume would weigh in a more, as you would need three of them. 3x37g = 111g vs 83g. It's kind of giving a number 6 cam that weighs something stupid like 50 grams an average of 5.5 because whilst it's amazing light for what it does it takes up room on the rack! That's the problem with lack of context. The best thing about this carabiner is that you only need to carry one.

Also, I think all the weights of the carabiners should be of the same screwgate version unless one is not available. Comparing the weight of the twist lock carabiner to weight of the screwgate versions of other carabiners is unfair.

For example: the SG Boa carabiner weighs 83 grams. By using the weight of the twistlock (86 grams), it appears the same weight as the the BD rocklock SG. If these circumstances were reversed, the rocklock would weigh 89 and the Boa 83.

I conclusion it deserves a 5 for being lighter than the rocklock and weight to size ratio taking it up to the number 2 spot ;).

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Aug 16, 2010 - 12:20am
Brokedownclimber · Climber · Douglas, WY
Although this 'biner is bulky and a locker, I usually carry one with me on all climbs in case I need to build a large and complex anchor for emergencies or rescue. I'm never without one, and love the precision fit-and-finish of the DMM products.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Aug 1, 2010 - 02:23am
k-man · Climber · SCruz
I've been using the Boa for many years now, with the green quick-lock gate. Some folks think it's hard to unlock with one hand, but I've never had a problem--once you figure out the push-turn action, it's pretty easy to do with one hand. I've always loved the finish on DMM biners, ultra nice.

I should note that I pass the biner through my tie-in points when belaying (harness and leg loops), and put small side with the belay device. So I like the huge pear shape biner, it allows for movement through the harness.

One thing, I don't use this monster with a Gri-Gri, I use the Attache for that, they make a great pair (and I use the doughnut with the Gri-Gri).

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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DMM Boa 2009
Credit: dmmclimbing.com
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