Hands-on Gear Review

CAMP Orbit Review

By: Cam McKenzie Ring ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 14, 2014
Price:  $8 List  |  $7.55 at Amazon - 5% Off
Pros:  Keylock design eliminates snags
Cons:  Heavy, a little small
Manufacturer:   CAMP
64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 16
  • Ease of unclipping - 15% 8
  • Ease of clipping - 20% 7
  • Ease of handling - 15% 7
  • How many ropes fit - 15% 7
  • Rope pull smoothness - 15% 7
  • Portability - 20% 3
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Our Verdict

The CAMP Orbit bent gate carabiner is best suited for the rope end of a quickdraw. The keylock design is great for cleaning steep sport routes, as there is no notch to snag on your rope. This product clips and unclips easily, but our testers preferred the clipping and feel of the Petzl Spirit Straight Gate. The CAMP Orbit is one of the heavier carabiners that we tested, and you would be better off with the CAMP Photon Wire Straight Gate or Wild Country Helium Carabiner for your trad rack.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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The CAMP Orbit is a cold forged solid gate carabiner. It weighs 45 grams (1.6 ounces) and has a 24 mm gate opening.

Performance Comparison



Cam McKenzie Ring on a steep Red Rocks climb. The CAMP Orbit is a good choice for steep sport routes thanks to its keylock design.
Cam McKenzie Ring on a steep Red Rocks climb. The CAMP Orbit is a good choice for steep sport routes thanks to its keylock design.

Ease of Unclipping


This model has a keylock gate, meaning that the solid gate has a cutout notch that the nose of the carabiner fits in. This is great for cleaning steep sport routes, as the rope won't get snagged on the nose when unclipping. It's also nice to have keylock biners for the bolt ends of quickdraws, so that they don't snag on the bolt. When it comes to your trad rack, keylock carabiners are nice for racking your nuts on, so that the nose doesn't snag on the wires. The CAMP Orbit is a little small for that purpose though - a better choice for racking nuts would be the Petzl Djinn Straight Gate.

The keylock design keeps your Orbit from snagging on the rope when cleaning steep sport route.
The keylock design keeps your Orbit from snagging on the rope when cleaning steep sport route.

Ease of Clipping


The bent gate on this product clips reasonably well, though the gate action seems a little creakier than the Petzl Spirit.

The bent gate makes clipping that much easier.
The bent gate makes clipping that much easier.

Ease of Handling


Our testers found the full size Orbit relatively easy to handle, though not quite as easy as the CAMP Photon Wire or Wild Country Helium.

How Many Ropes Fit



Our testers were still able to open the gate on the Orbit with three loops of 10 mm rope in there.
Our testers were still able to open the gate on the Orbit with three loops of 10 mm rope in there.

We were still able to open the gate on this biner when there were three figure eight loops of 10 mm rope placed in it, though it was getting a little crowded in there. The gate opening is 25 mm wide, but the interior space of the Orbit is not as large as the Petzl Djinn or CAMP Photon Wire. This carabiner did easily accommodate our twin 7.8 mm ropes.

Tracy Martin clips her 7.8 mm twin ropes into the Orbit. This carabiner is big enough to handle multiple lines.
Tracy Martin clips her 7.8 mm twin ropes into the Orbit. This carabiner is big enough to handle multiple lines.

Rope Pull Smoothness


The rope bearing surface on this biner is not as wide as some of the other sport-specific carabiners we tested. While the rope still pulled relatively smoothly, this is something to consider if you regularly take big falls. A narrow load-bearing surface area takes a greater toll on a rope over time.

Portability


At 45 grams  this biner is a little heavy to use on your trad rack.
At 45 grams, this biner is a little heavy to use on your trad rack.

CAMP touts the Orbit as the "World's lightest keylock carabiner!" Maybe they haven't seen the new spec sheets from Petzl, because at 39 grams the Spirits are most definitely lighter than the 45 gram Orbits. The new Petzl Djinns weigh 45 grams, and Black Diamond also makes a 45 gram keylock biner called the Nitron (not reviewed here.) One of the lightest keylock carabiners on the market is the 38 gram Mad Rock Super Tech Keylock (not reviewed here) and DMM makes a 45 gram Alpha Clip and a 43 gram Shadow carabiner (neither reviewed here.) Looks like a 45 gram keylock model is not only not the lightest, but also nothing to shout about.

Best Applications


This product is best suited for sport climbing, and the bent gate version of this biner should be placed on the rope end of a quickdraw.

The Orbit Bent gate is best suited for the rope end of a quickdraw.
The Orbit Bent gate is best suited for the rope end of a quickdraw.

Value


This model is two dollars cheaper a unit than the Petzl Spirit, and a dollar less than the Petzl Djinn. So if you are looking for to save a few dollars go with the Orbits, or take a look at the similarly priced Black Diamond Positron, which scored a little higher in our ratings.

Conclusion


There is nothing wrong with the CAMP Orbit carabiner, but nothing great about it either. It performed well in all our tests and categories, but at the end of the day, it just fell a little flat. With all of the exciting biner innovations out there, even from CAMP's other products like the Photon Wire, it feels like the Orbit's design is phoned in a little.

Cam McKenzie Ring

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Most recent review: June 14, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
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