Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: Varies from $8 - $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.
Manufacturer: Mad Rock
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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