Black Diamond Neutrino Review
Cons: Heavier and smaller than most other light carabiners
Manufacturer: Black Diamond
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Black Diamond Neutrino is a wiregate carabiner that weighs 36 grams. It is similar in size and shape to the Black Diamond Oz, and each has a 22mm gate opening. However, the Neutrino weighs 36 grams and the Oz only 28 grams.
Ease of Clipping & Unclipping
The Neutrino is slightly smaller than a "full-sized" carabiner, and unless you've used this size carabiner a lot, it takes a little getting used to when clipping. The tension on the wiregate is also a little on the stiff side, particularly when compared to something that is a little softer like the Camp Photon Wire. When it comes to unclipping, there is an exposed notch in the nose to catch the wiregate, and that can snag on your slings or other gear. While it wasn't as noticeable when only used for racking cams, we preferred the Oz or the Petzl Ange L with their hooded notches for most other applications.
Ease of Handling
The Neutrino is a step down in size from the classic "full-size" carabiner, and if you're only used to larger ones, there is a slight learning curve to feel comfortable with it. After a while though, it feels fine in hand, and it's certainly more usable than the tiny Metolius FS Mini II and even the Camp Nano 22.
How Many Ropes Fit
This carabiner can fit two figure eights on a bight, but it's a struggle to get the third one in there. It does take a clove hitch well and is fine for use with trad anchor building.
Rope Pull Smoothness
The pull on this carabiner fell similar to other models of its size, like the Oz and the Trango Phase. The angle on the basket is almost less severe than on some other carabiners, which lets twin ropes run more smoothly through it. Also, the other end of the carabiner (where your cam sling or runner will sit) is also wider than most other models, no doubt to better accept the wider slings found on the Black Diamond Camalots.
A lot of other carabiners have gone on a diet over recent years and shed some weight, but the Neutrino is still clocking in at 36 grams. To put it into perspective, if you have a double set of cams and some alpine draws and use 30 Neutrinos to put it all together, your rack will be close to a pound heavier than if you use the lightweight Camp Nano 22 instead. While a few grams or ounces here or there might not seem like much, in this case, it does add up to a lot! While some might want a beefier carabiner for aid climbing and not care about an extra pound here or there, in most instances it's hard not to advocate for going as light as possible.
If you're still using heavy ovals on your aid rack (around 60 grams each or so), then switching to the Black Diamond Neutrino will seem like a revelation. For a lightweight free rack though, they are now on the "heavy" side when compared to so many other lightweight options out there.
The Neutrino retails for $7 apiece or $40 for a six-color rack pack. That makes it $3 less per carabiner than the Oz, which does add up when purchasing a dozen or so. If you're more concerned with the price, then these (or the Camp Nano, also $7 each) are a good option. Otherwise, if weight and usability are your main criteria, we prefer the Oz.
We still like some things about the Black Diamond Neutrino, particularly the way the geometry of the carabiner fits so nicely with the original Camalots. However, this model is starting to feel like a heavy dinosaur when compared to some lighter options out there. While it's still a good choice for an aid rack where you want something sturdy that can withstand a lot of use, it's not our first choice for our free climbing rack.
— Cam McKenzie Ring