Hands-on Gear Review

Black Diamond HotWire Review

Black Diamond Hotwire Carabiner
Price:  $8 List | $5.73 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Durable, easy to hold
Cons:  Heavier than most other biners
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer Weight:  37g
Gate Closed:  25Kn
Sideways:  7Kn
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond

Our Verdict

The Black Diamond Hotwire was the first carabiners we know of made with the revolutionary "wiregate" design. At first, they scared people. Today wiregate biners are among the most popular because they are light, strong, and reduce gate shutter (the effect of the gate partially opening during a fall). While this carabiner once was the only one, there are now many to choose from. Still this remains a solid product at a good price, and Black Diamond only made it better when the company shaved of 20 percent of its weight with hot-forging technology. The Wild Country Astro earned similar scores to this product across the board.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Chris McNamara

Last Updated:
Monday
December 5, 2016

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Hands-On Review


Likes


The Black Diamond Hotwire scored well in most categories. It scores above average for ease of clipping. It held three figure-eight knots very well (it's roomy). As with all biners with the wire-gate design the gate is less likely to get frozen shut on alpine routes and the slightly hooded nose helps protect gate from getting inadvertently rubbed/pushed opened.

Black Diamond Hotwire Carabiner
Black Diamond Hotwire Carabiner

Dislikes


The notch easily catches the bolt hanger when cleaning steep routes or racking nuts. This is a common issue with unprotected wiregate carabiners. If you want a wiregate that snags less frequently consider the Wild Country Helium Carabiner or Black Diamond Oz Carabiner.

Best Application


This is an all-around carabiner light enough for trad or even big wall climbing but just the right medium size to be easily to clipped on a sport route or with a gloved hand on an alpine route.

Black Diamond Hotwire Carabiner
Black Diamond Hotwire Carabiner

Value


The Black Diamond Hotwire is toward the good end of value. Not one of the cheapest biners but not the most expensive either. Because it is so popular, you might find it on sale in our Price Finder.

Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: December 5, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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  • 5
 (5.0)

100% of 2 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 67%  (2)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 33%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Climber

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   Oct 12, 2015 - 07:46am
KGB · Climber · Washington State

This is a great carabiner!

The size is perfect, and fits the hand well, eliminating any issue of fumbling with the rope and carabiner when you're trying to clip in at a desperate moment.

If you're on a big wall and will be spending the next few days hauling your gear, you might want to save a few ounces and get something lighter… That said, lighter carabiners are not going to increase your skill level much, if at all. You won't suddenly jump from a 5.10 climber to a 5.12 climber because you lost a few ounces of weight with lighter carabiners.

Simple, and shaped to fit your hand.

Gold star and easy to use in my opinion.



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

Climber

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   Sep 2, 2010 - 07:02pm
ps · Climber

I love this biner!

First off: BD actually makes these in the US still, and this is a plus in my book. Not all BD biners are made in the US (ie, livewire is made in tiawan, couple others are made in china), but the new, forged Hotwire is! Yay for american manufacturing!

Second: I've never been a fan of the size of the neutrino or other micro biners, but I have been a fan of how light they are. The new hotwire is great though; it's the weight of the neutrino (37g) but still maintains the full size of a standard biner. Super easy to clip and not get your finger stuck in the gate, unlike the Neutrino or the Oz. This is probably one of the best weight-to-size biners on the market for ice/alpine use with gloves on.

If you want a biner that is super easy to clip and is light weight yet full sized, this is your biner!



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


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