Hands-on Gear Review

CAMP Nano 22 Carabiner Review

CAMP Nano 22
Price:  $7 List | $6.95 at REI
Pros:  Ultra-light
Cons:  Very small, Hard to handle
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer Weight:  23g
Gate Closed:  20Kn
Sideways:  7Kn
Manufacturer:   CAMP

Our Verdict

The first time you lay eyes on the CAMP Nano 22, you might think it's a nut-tool only carabiner. But don't let the small size deceive you! It is indeed full-strength and one of the lightest biners available on the market today. It's half the weight of the CAMP Orbit or Petzl Djinn Straight Gate, and you can shave pounds off your rack by switching to these carabiners. The main downside to the CAMP Nano 22 is that it's significantly smaller than a full-size model, and our testers found them difficult to handle, with or without gloves on. If ultra-light is your main goal then this product is the best choice, but you want a little more usability in your lightweight gear then our Top Pick Black Diamond Oz Carabiner or Editors' Choice Wild Country Helium Carabiner offer better all-around performance.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Cam McKenzie Ring

Last Updated:
Sunday
June 14, 2015

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Hands-On Review


The Nano 22 was given its name for weighing 22 grams. It's a cold-forged, wiregate carabiner.

Performance Comparison



When you're climbing with a full rack of gear  every ounce counts against you. The Nano 23 is one of the lightest carabiners on the market and will shave pounds off your rack.
When you're climbing with a full rack of gear, every ounce counts against you. The Nano 23 is one of the lightest carabiners on the market and will shave pounds off your rack.

Ease of Unclipping


This product didn't score very highly in ease of unclipping. The exposed notch in the nose can snag on your gear or rope; additionally, it is so small that our testers found it difficult to maneuver and unclip.

It's easy to confuse this model for a keychain carabiner  but it is full-strength and ready to climb on. The small size makes it difficult to clip and unclip it though.
It's easy to confuse this model for a keychain carabiner, but it is full-strength and ready to climb on. The small size makes it difficult to clip and unclip it though.

Ease of Clipping


This is another area in which this model scored poorly. Our testers found that the small size of the carabiner and gate made it difficult to clip, particularly at the end of a long climb when your hands are fatigued.

Even our testers will small hands found the Nano 23 more difficult to clip and unclip than a full-sized carabiner.
Even our testers will small hands found the Nano 23 more difficult to clip and unclip than a full-sized carabiner.

Ease of Handling


Our testers found this piece of gear difficult to handle normally, and almost impossible to use with gloves on. Part of these assessments are subjective, and it's hard to say whether it was a challenge to use because most people normally climb with full-sized carabiners and are used to the way they work and feel, or if it's because these really are just too small to work with easily. Our main testers use the Black Diamond Neutrino as a racking biner, which is only slightly bigger than the CAMP Nano 22, and so they are used to the smaller size. But even they found that the small difference in size between the two seemed to make a big difference in usability.

If you have very small hands, don't use gloves when climbing (as for mountaineering or big wall climbing), or you're climbing long moderate routes and unlikely to be making desperate clips, then the weight savings you'll get from the Nano 22 might outweigh (haha) the handling issue. Otherwise, for a few extra grams you can get the Black Diamond Oz or CAMP Photon Wire Straight Gate, and have a more user-friendly experience.

The Nano 23 (left) compared to CAMP's Photon Wire carabiner. The Photon is much easier to handle than the Nano 23  and only weighs 6 grams more (29 vs 23 grams). With the Nano 23 you trade usability for maximum weight savings.
The Nano 23 (left) compared to CAMP's Photon Wire carabiner. The Photon is much easier to handle than the Nano 23, and only weighs 6 grams more (29 vs 23 grams). With the Nano 23 you trade usability for maximum weight savings.

One issue we noticed with this product is that there is a sharp edge on the head of the wiregate. (A wiregate is a single loop of wire bent around to form the gate. It has two insertion points into the body of the carabiner, and at the ends of the wire the metal is flattened out to make a round head that stops the wire from pulling out.) Both of the Nano 22s that we tested had a noticeably sharp edge on this round wirehead. It's possible that your slings could get snagged on it and frayed, so just be careful using this carabiner on an alpine draw. The CAMP Photon Wire has a similar design but the end of the wire on those carabiners is not sharp.

How Many Ropes Fit



Some metrics are more objective than others. Here  this carabiner clearly fails the three-rope test. It is not a good choice for using at an anchor.
Some metrics are more objective than others. Here, this carabiner clearly fails the three-rope test. It is not a good choice for using at an anchor.

This product didn't fare so well in this category either. The small basket and 21 mm gate opening did not pass our three-rope test. When three loops of 10 mm rope were clipped into this carabiner, you could no longer open the gate. So even if you switch to racking on the Nanos, you'll still want to have some full-sized ones to use at a belay, like the CAMP Photon Wire or Wild Country Helium.

Even though it's small  this biner easily held twin 7.8 mm ropes.
Even though it's small, this biner easily held twin 7.8 mm ropes.

We should also note that this product works fine with twin 7.8 ropes.

Rope Pull Smoothness


The narrow rope bearing surface on this model meant that it did not have as smooth a pull as the Petzl Djinn or Wild Country Helium. This will result in more wear on your rope, particularly when taking repeated falls or yarding yourself back up. However, that is more of a sport climbing technique, and you most likely would not be using these biners to clip bolts.

Portability


Without a doubt, the Nano 22 earned the highest marks in this metric. At 22 grams, it's the lightest carabiner we tested and one of the lightest ones available. The Metolius FS Mini is 1 gram heavier, but even smaller, if that's possible. When climbing with a double rack, you'll likely have at least 20 biners with you for your gear, and another 20 racked on slings or quickdraws. So compared to a beefier model, the Nano 22 saves you up to two pounds! That's no joking matter. If you want to have the lightest rack possible, then this is the carabiner to do it with.

Here's where you want to use the Nano 23. When climbing multi-pitch routes with long approaches  shaving ounces off your rack will increase your chances of success.
Here's where you want to use the Nano 23. When climbing multi-pitch routes with long approaches, shaving ounces off your rack will increase your chances of success.

Best Applications


This product seems to have been designed with the sole purpose of lightening your load. You wouldn't want to use it for sport climbing, or even on hard-for-you trad routes where you might be making some desperate clips. And if you climb ice or big walls with gloves on, this product is almost unworkable. But if you are heading into the alpine or on long multi-pitch routes and want the lightest rack possible, these are the biners to buy. CAMP sells them in eight different colors, so you can rack them with the corresponding colored camming device, and they would be a good choice to use on shoulder length slings, as you would barely notice them banging against your side.

This product comes in 8 different colors so you can color code them to your camming devices.
This product comes in 8 different colors so you can color code them to your camming devices.

Value


This product is reasonably priced, and you'll save a few dollars by purchasing the 6-color rack pack.

Conclusion


The CAMP Nano 22 is one of the lightest full-strength carabiners on the market. CAMP likens using lightweight gear to giving your rack an enema. We could take that analogy one step further, and say that while it might lighten you up, you probably won't enjoy the process. Our testers found it hard to clip and unclip, and you wouldn't want to use these with gloves on or at an anchor. All that being said, if you are looking for the lightest possible climbing rack (and aren't into fee-soloing), then the Nano 22 really is your best option.
Cam McKenzie Ring

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Most recent review: June 14, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (2.0)

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

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   Jul 21, 2014 - 12:42pm
Rankin · Climber · Greensboro, North Carolina
I have a bunch of these and I use them for racking cams as well as on slings. I don't find them very difficult to handle or clip, but I've gotten accustomed to them. My one complaint, and it's a big one, is the quality control on the gate action. On a substantial number of mine the gate is so stiff that it only opens about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way open. This can make extending slings or unclipping anything a pain. My more recently purchased ones have been better. It appears CAMP was having some QC issues with their wire gate biners a few years ago, and hopefully it is being addressed.

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


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