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Petzl Spirit Bent Gate Review

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Price:  $12 List | $11.95 at REI
Pros:  One of the best biners to clip and unclip, durable.
Cons:  Expensive, not the lightest carabiner.
Manufacturer:   Petzl
By Chris McNamara and Chris Summit  ⋅  Apr 10, 2010
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Our Verdict

The Petzl Spirit is maybe the oldest and most popular sport climbing in the world. More than a decade ago, Petzl's innovative keylock design of the gate was the first to eliminate the problem of the notch getting snagged on the bolt hanger when cleaning a steep sport route. At the time it was revolutionary. Today there are many keylock carabiners out there but the Spirit remains one of the best.

The look and feel of these biners along with small details like the tiny grooves for your fingers to get a grip on when opening the gate all combine to make this one of the best biners in the world. Only the Wild Country Helium Carabiner scored higher in our test and that was just because we liked the size and lightweight of it. But if you are not obsessed on ultralight biners, then this is hard to beat. If you are looking for the best value in keylock carabiners, we would get the Black Diamond Positron./

Our Analysis


This one of the most satisfying carabiners to clip. Part of this is due to the unique thumb grooves on the gate make which make it easier to open when reaching far for a bolt or piece of pro. Also, the spring is just the right tension: not too soft and not to hard. The gate gives just the right amount of resistance and snaps back responsively. And, of course, the keylock design keeps it from getting caught on the bolt hanger when cleaning steep routes (no notch to get caught as with almost all wiregate biners). The rope ran very smoothly through the Spirit(4-way tie for first). It also holds a number of knots well. In our figure eight holding test it took three figure eights and still had room for the gate to open. The gate is very durable and rarely gets sticky. Lastly, it is just one of the most time-tested biners around. The Petzl Spirit has proven effective on some of the hardest climbs in the world by some of the hardest climbers.


Other than being expensive, this biner is heavier than the similar biners with a wire-gate design)

Best Application

All around really good carabiner that excels at sport climbing. If you are buying this for a quickdraw, get the Petzl Spirit Express which comes with one straight gate Spirit, one bent gate Spirit, and a wide sling to join the two biners.


This is one of the more expensive carabiners out there… but it last's forever. Most carabiners have gates that eventually start to stick and not work properly after thousands of climbs. The Spirit, on the other hand, just keeps going and going. So the long term value from this carabiner is excellent.

Other Version

Petzl Spirit Straight Gate

Chris McNamara and Chris Summit