Unlike some other climbing manufacturers, Petzl keeps their carabiner line fairly slim. There's the Spirit and the Djinn, both with bar gates, and then the Ange, which is their only wiregate model. The Ange is available in L and S, with the L being a full-size (and heavier) options and the S a smaller (and lighter) choice. We chose to test the L in our review group, and while we like some things about it, including the keylock design, it wasn't our favorite trad-focused carabiner. It's on the heavy side, is only available in two colors (making it less suitable for racking cams), and the single wiregate wasn't as nice to clip. It works ok as part of their Finesse quickdraw system or on a shoulder length sling, but overall we preferred our Editors' Choice winner, the Wild Country Helium.
Petzl Ange L Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Keylock wiregate has no notch, easy to handle, large rope-bearing surface
Cons: Heavy, expensive, single "wiregate" takes some getting used to
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Ease of Clipping and Unclipping
If you've never used the Ange L before it might take a little getting used to when it comes time to clip it. The length of the gate that you push the rope against (2.5 mm approximately) is about .5 mm shorter than most other carabiners, and a full mm shorter than the CAMP Photon Wire. This might not seem like much, but it does require you to be more precise, and it makes clipping two ropes at once a bit of a challenge. When it comes to unclipping though, the keylock nose is nice and snag-free. This is an excellent option for your slings or nuts as a result.
Ease of Handling
The Ange L is a hair smaller than full-size, but similar in size to Petzl's Spirit carabiner, which won our Editors' Choice in our quickdraw review. So, if you are used to the size of the Spirit, the Ange won't feel much different. They are large enough to still operate with gloves on, and there is a hole in the other end of the keylock notch to push out any snow or muck that gets in the gate.
How Many Ropes Fit
With two loops of ropes in we could open the gate all of the way, but once the third one got in there it impeded the opening a little. While the actual length of the gate is small, the gate clearance is still on the larger side (26 mm).
Rope Pull Smoothness
The Ange has a wider rope-bearing surface than most of the other carabiners in this review, and it earned top marks for this category. (Note, we don't have the exact measurements from each manufacturer to compare, so this was based on a visual comparison and also how a rope felt when running over each one.) This is an important thing to consider for ease of top roping, and also will result in a longer lasting carabiner and rope.
This was one of the heaviest carabiners in our test group — only the Black Diamond Neutrino was heavier (36 grams). The S version of this carabiner is slightly lighter (28 grams), but also smaller. If you are trying to lighten up your rack, consider the Black Diamond Oz (28 grams) or the CAMP Nano 22 (22 grams).
We mostly see the Petzl Ange L as part of the Finesse Quickdraw system and not usually used as a free or racking carabiner, but it is a good choice for alpine draws or for racking your nuts. We wouldn't recommend this for racking your camming devices since it only comes in two colors.
The Ange L retails for $13, which is on the expensive side. It's certainly a well-made and "beefier" carabiner and should last a long time; however, you can save a lot of money by going with our Best Buy winner, the Mad Rock Ultra Light Wire ($6).
There's no mistaking the look of the Petzl Ange L, and it has a similar feel to the Petzl Spirit carabiners, which we love. However, the things we love about the Spirits don't translate as well to the traditional climbing world. The limited color choices don't work well for racking, and the small gate makes clipping a little awkward. They are still a great carabiner, but probably best used as a quickdraw or on your slings.
— Cam McKenzie Ring