First Look Review

Black Diamond VaporLock Review

Black Diamond VaporLock Screwgate
Price:  $15 List | $11.21 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Light, great for belaying and rappeling
Cons:  Not ideal for belaying off anchor
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Black Diamond


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Locking Carabiners

Our Analysis

Review by:
Chris McNamara

Last Updated:
Saturday
September 18, 2010

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The Black Diamond Vaporlock is an awesome locking carabiner for belaying and rappelling. It is light, provides good friction, and has a keylock gate. It is ideal for belaying and rappelling where you want a little extra friction. The flip side is that this is not the best biner for belaying off the anchor. It is one of the lightest "full function" locking carabiners out there. It's main competition is the Petzl Attache which is just about the same weight (just a few grams more). In general, we like the Attache 3D more because you can belay off the anchor more easily with devices like the Petzl Reverso 4, it is better for use with pulleys like the Petzl Mini Traxion, we like the gate more, and we just like the feel of it more because it has an I-Beam construction. That said, the VaporLock is $5 less expensive, adds more friction when belaying and lowering, and is also one of our favorite carabiners.

Overall, this is more or less tied with the Petzl Attache 3D as the lightest full-function locking carabiner. If you just want a good value for a locking carabiner, we would go with the Black Diamond Rocklock. If you want the lightest locking carabiner, we would get the Wild Country Neon. But if you are looking for a really light, full function carabiner, that is moderately priced, this is hard to beat.
Chris McNamara

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Most recent review: January 25, 2011
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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 (4.5)

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

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   Jan 25, 2011 - 05:39pm
sberna · Climber · Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I have a few VaporLocks already in my rack and I will complement them soon with some Attaches 3D and DMM Phantoms (which will replace some older/heavier biners). It is and feels very light. I like the extra friction in many situations.

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

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   Sep 2, 2010 - 03:12pm
ps · Climber
I like this biner for clipping into anchors.

However, for belaying I find it not very smooth due to the stamped out edge that gives it the 3D look. The rope doesn't run smoothly on this biner.

I also use a munter hitch (half-clove hitch) off of the anchors when bringing up a second, and this biner does NOT feed rope well at all in this configuration.

ps- This is one of a few biners that is made by BD in their USA facility still. Make sure you check the tags in the store to know for sure.

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


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