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Mad Rock Ultra Tech HMS Review

   

Locking Carabiner

  • Currently 4.5/5
Overall avg rating 4.5 of 5 based on 6 reviews. Most recent review: September 5, 2013
Street Price:   Varies from $7 - $10 | Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Great value, smooth gate design, light for its size.
Cons:  Slightly asymetrical design makes it not as ideal for belaying a second.
Best Uses:  A belay carabiner for sport climbing, gym climbing, and all around climbing use.
User Rating:     
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 (5.0 of 5) based on 5 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (3/3) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Mad Rock
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ May 12, 2010  
Overview
The Mad Rock Ultra Tech HMS Screw Gate (aka Madlock HMS Carabiner) is specifically designed to be used with a belay device like the Mad Rock Mad Lock. It can also be used as a multi-function (anchor or back up) carabiner. It has the no snag key-lock design and sturdy, easy-to-handle, forged I-beam construction. This is a great biner for the money. It is the second highest scoring $10 carabiner after the Black Diamond RockLock. It is very similar to the Wild Country Synergy Light in size, weight and design. The Wild Country has a tad smoother rope pull but the Mad Rock gate was a little quicker to close and $1 less expensive. It scored just behind the Petzl Attache, which was smoother for belaying a second and had the added red safety strip. But at $3 less, the Mad Rock is a much better value. Another close contender was the Metolius Element, which was the same price, smoother for belaying the second but less versatile. The Mad Rock has slightly better gate clearance than Petzl Attache and Metolius Element. This is basically a good belay device carabiner for sport climbing or top roping indoors or outdoors. It is a good all-around, multi-use locker that scored very well for its price.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
The gate is very smooth and we found it easy to use with one hand. Due to the I-beam construction, it is easy to grip and feels secure in your hand. The medium size gives a feeling of added security for sport belaying. It is light for its size and lighter than competitors such as the Petzl Attache and Metolius Element. It also has slightly better gate clearance than the Attache and Element.

Dislikes
When weighted, the carabiner does not line up symmetrically like the Petzl Attache. This means that if you belay off the anchor in auto-block mode the rope goes to one side and is not perfectly aligned in the middle. This is not a big deal, but it would be nice if the shape were more symmetrical. Another dislike is that it is not easy to find. You can order it online directly from Mad Rock but most online retailers do not carry it.

Value
This is a great value. Carabiners of this size, weight and quality are rare for $10. Only the Metolius Element and Black Diamond Rocklock are challengers to its price, considering how functional it is. If you opt for the auto-lock gate this becomes an exceptional deal most other auto-lock carabiners cost $16-20.

Best Application
This is a good belay device carabiner for sport climbing or top roping indoors or outdoors.

Chris McNamara and Chris Summit

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: September 5, 2013
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 5 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Aug 16, 2010 - 08:50pm
 
Roxy · Climber · CA Central Coast
WikiPedia says: "To climbers, this knot is also known as HMS, the abbreviation for the German term Halbmastwurfsicherung, meaning 'half clove hitch belay'." So I'd imagine that in consumer-speak an 'HMS carabiner' means 'belay biner'.
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   Sep 5, 2013 - 06:11am
RawkJawk · Climber · Germany for now
This is an amazing "little" guy. I like it better than other comparable biner's because one handed operation is a breeze and that it has a "big mouth" despite its relatively small size. Its big in the ways it needs to be, and small and light at the same time. It has become the permanent fixture on the end of my PAS bc of these features. NTM it is dang sexy to look at :)

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Oct 10, 2011 - 01:17pm
Matt Leonard · Climber · San Francisco, CA
Actually one of the most used carabiners on my rack (along with the other MadRock ultralight smaller oval-ish locker)

It's super light, and it's cheap - which are the obvious selling points. Works well for master points (most of what I use it for), well enough as a belay carabiner (though, the I-beam and smaller shape doesn't make it ideal), and a nice lightweight utility to have on your harness.

It's big enough of 90% of the master points I build - while it won't hold huge strands of 11 mil rope , it will take a typical 7mil cordellette no problem, and certainly take a bunch of strands of dyneema or webbing.

I've got about 10 of the smaller MadRocks for smaller interconnect points (within anchor setups, TR top points, and general purpose), about 6 of these for master points and other rigging, then 2 bigger HMS style Black Diamonds as primary belay. Super light all around.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jul 9, 2011 - 02:11am
WML · Climber · Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Cheap, light, and multiple uses. No complaints here. Easy action on the locking action (hehe, I said easy action)

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Aug 16, 2010 - 08:28pm
 
Mighty Hiker · Climber · Vancouver, B.C.
What does the "HMS" stand for?
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Mad Rock Ultra-Tech HMS
Credit: madrockclimbing.com
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CampSaver $7.46  -  25% off!
Amazon $9.95
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