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Metolius FS Mini II Review

A lightweight carabiner that is best used for accessories unless you have very small hands.
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Price:  $6 List | $4.46 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, won't take up much room on your harness
Cons:  Tricky to handle, hard to clip multiple knots into, extra friction when rope pases through
Manufacturer:   Metolius Climbing
By Cam McKenzie Ring ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 29, 2018
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47
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 10
  • Ease of clipping - 20% 3
  • Rope pull smoothness - 15% 4
  • Ease of unclipping - 15% 3
  • Ease of handling - 15% 3
  • How many ropes fit - 15% 4
  • Portability - 20% 10

The Skinny

Is it a toy? Is it a gas station carabiner? Nope! The Metolius FS Mini II is a full strength carabiner in a teeny tiny package. It weighs less than an ounce and won't take up much room on your rack, but that's about the extent of its positive attributes. The small size is hard to handle, no matter your hand size, and the smallest-in-review gate opening doesn't leave much room for multiple ropes. It is a good choice if you are looking for a few accessory carabiners and want everything on your rack to be full-strength, but even then it won't hold your shoes or gloves as easily as a larger carabiner. If you're looking for something ultra-light for racking cams, consider the CAMP Nano 22, which is even lighter than the Mini II but slightly larger and easier to handle.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Metolius FS Mini II weighs 25 grams (that's slightly less than one ounce), and truly fits in the palm of your hand! It has a 17.5 mm gate opening, which is the smallest in our test group. It comes in eight different colors and a six-color rack pack.

Performance Comparison


It's easy to mistake the Mini (right) with keychain carabiner  but it is full-strength and ready for climbing  unlike the red one on the left.
It's easy to mistake the Mini (right) with keychain carabiner, but it is full-strength and ready for climbing, unlike the red one on the left.

Ease of Clipping & Unclipping


The Mini II is really small, and if you're not used to using something of this size, it can be a little challenging to clip it, particularly in crux-y situations. Even once we used it extensively, it wasn't as easy to clip as a larger carabiner. When it comes to unclipping, the small size and small gate opening (17.5 mm) also make it challenging to operate.

Ease of Handling


In case you weren't paying attention, this carabiner is small! It received the lowest score in this review for ease of handling. Even our female testers with smaller hands found this carabiner to be on the small side. We used it to carry our gloves and shoes on long routes and were concerned we'd drop the whole lot at the belay! The small size makes it even harder to use with gloves on, so big wall and ice climbers should look to something larger like the Camp Photon Wire.

Which carabiner would you rather use with gloves on? The Mini II (left) is hard to operate even bare handed  while the Camp Photon Wire (right) is large enough to handle comfortably even when ice or big wall climbing.
Which carabiner would you rather use with gloves on? The Mini II (left) is hard to operate even bare handed, while the Camp Photon Wire (right) is large enough to handle comfortably even when ice or big wall climbing.

How Many Ropes Fit


We could squeeze a clove hitch of 9.1mm rope in the Mini II, but when trying to stack figure 8s on a bight, it was hard to get two in there let alone three.

The Mini could take a clove hitch of our 9mm rope  but not much else.
The Mini could take a clove hitch of our 9mm rope, but not much else.

Rope Pull Smoothness


The rope bearing surface on this carabiner is fairly narrow, and you can feel the difference when pulling a rope through it when compared to something wider, like the Wild Country Helium.

This carabiner is really thin  and even a 9mm rope didn't feel that smooth when pulling through it.
This carabiner is really thin, and even a 9mm rope didn't feel that smooth when pulling through it.

Portability


There's no question that this carabiner is light (25 grams per), however you sacrifice a lot of usability for the weight savings. The Black Diamond Oz weighs 28 grams, and is much more functional. To put it in perspective, if you had 18 Oz carabiners they'd weigh about the same as 20 Minis, so the difference is negligible.

Best Applications


We're not going to run out and replace our entire rack with the FS Mini II, but, it's is an option for holding our gloves or other accessories on a long route.

We did find the Mini useful for a few things  like holding our shoes at the belay or other accessories on the climb.
We did find the Mini useful for a few things, like holding our shoes at the belay or other accessories on the climb.

Value


The Mini II retails for $6 or $35 for a six-pack in various colors. For the same price, you can purchase the Mad Rock Ultra Light Wire Carabiner, which is more functional.

Conclusion


If you're looking to save on weight and bulk, then the Metolius FS Mini II could be the carabiner you are looking for. It's not ideal for those with larger hands or when wearing gloves though, and the small size is hard to get used to. Considering that there are other options that are much larger for about the same (or even less) weight, we don't think this makes a good racking carabiner but it does have other useful applications like holding your extras on a long route.


Cam McKenzie Ring