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First Look Review

Mad Rock UltraLight Straight Gate Review

Mad Rock Ultra-Light Straight
Price:   $6 List | $5.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Great value, easy to handle, light
Cons:  Gate hang up
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Mad Rock

Our Verdict

The Mad Rock Ultra-Light Straight is the best deal for a lightweight carabiner we found. Its hard to find any cheaper carabiner, let alone a really light one. Its forged I-beam construction makes it pretty easy to hold and overall it was a solid but not exceptional performer.

For the low price of $6 this is one of the least expensive, lightest and strongest small to medium sized carabiners on the market. It is very similar to the Wild Country Astro except it is just a gram heavier (30g vs 29g for the Astro). However, it is $2 cheaper than the Astro and $2-3 cheaper than the other top biners in its category: Black Diamond Oz Carabiner. Overall, unless you want the absolute lightest carabiners (which are also tiny) like the Metolius FS Mini or CAMP Nano 22 Carabiner, it's hard to go wrong with loading up on Mad Rock Ultra-Light. It's the best wiregate carabiner for the money.

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




RELATED REVIEW: The Quest for the Best Carabiner Review

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Chris McNamara
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Sunday
April 18, 2010

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This carabiner performed well in most tests. The rope ran fairly smooth through it for the smoothness test. It is just big enough to clip 3 figure eights and still open the gate. It's a nice size: not too small - not too big. This makes it more easily usable with gloves unlike really small carabiners like the Metolius FS Mini. The spine design makes it easy to grip. As with all carabiners with the wire-gate design the gate is less likely to get frozen shut on alpine routes.

Dislikes


There were no major dislikes with this carabiner. As for minor ones: as with almost all with the wire-gate design, the notch gets caught up on the bolt hanger when cleaning steep routes. Also, the spine not as easy to grip as Wild Country Astro (not a really big deal). Unfortunately, this carabiner is a little hard to find: not a ton of retailers carry it.

Best Application


This is an all around really good carabiner. We would use it on our trad rack as well as a quick draw carabiner. This straight biner is best paired on a quickdraw with the Mad Rock UltraLight Bent Gate

Value


This is the best value in a lightweight wiregate carabiner. Actually, it is one of the best values for any carabiner.

Other Versions


Mad Rock Ultralight Bent Gate - Bent Gate Version
Chris McNamara and Chris Summit

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: November 25, 2011
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (3.8)

60% of 5 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
5 Total Ratings
5 star: 40%  (2)
4 star: 40%  (2)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 20%  (1)
Sort 6 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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Nov 25, 2011 - 11:04am
 
Rankin · Climber · Greensboro, North Carolina
I like the size and weight but I still removed them from my rack. The wire gate is too light-duty and comes unclipped very easily. I lost a cam and a camera (2 different occasions) because of this problem. The aggressive shape, combined with the light wire makes it that a bit of upward push on a piece of gear clipped to your harness, like in a flare, can easily open the gate. This can be diminished by clipping them with the gates to the outside, but you can't control how your partner uses them. I also found that the light gates will sometimes stick open, which requires extra fiddling to close. Not the same quality control or design as carabiners from BD, Petzl or CAMP. For the same money, or even a little less, you can get a neutrino, which is smaller and weighs a little more, but is a much more solid unit.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Aug 17, 2011 - 01:17am
Nate Ricklin · Climber · San Diego
Okay they're not that bad, I mean hey it's a working carabiner, but they're easily the crappiest wiregates you can buy.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jul 9, 2011 - 10:42am
rurprider · Climber · Mt. Rubidoux
The Mad Rock Ultra-Light carabiners are great carabiners. They're very light and easy to handle, hovever they're not very durable, as the wire gate gets treaked and won't close/hangs in the open position. We're had to retire several from our set of draws, more than any other carabiner we own. Great value and fun to use while they last.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jul 9, 2011 - 03:33am
WML · Climber · Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Why pay more?

The BD equivalent of these is something like 3 or 4 more dollars and not much of a difference. When I was first putting my rack together a few years ago I got a deal on these and the Mammut equivalent and am very pleased with my choice years later.

Do it.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Aug 16, 2010 - 11:46am
 
tenesmus · Climber · slc
When these first came out I bought a bunch and have been relatively pleased. The only beef I have is that they tend to flip upside down on your rack so when I go to clip I almost always have to flip them right side up. (if that makes any sense) But you gotta love the value of these things.
I like their key-lock biners a lot more fwiw.
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   Aug 5, 2010 - 01:59am
Moof · Climber · Orygun
Pretty spot on review, light, good size, and cheap. Great all around biner for lightening your aid rack.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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