Edelrid HMS Bulletproof Triple FG Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Triple-action auto-locking gate, stainless steel insert increases durability, internal spring bar prevents cross-loading or rotation.
Cons: Heavy, expensive, hard to unlock with one hand.
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Our Analysis and Test Results
While any HMS/pear-shaped locker will work perfectly fine for belaying, six of the locking carabiners tested in this review are designed specifically for that purpose, and include features designed to increase performance while belaying. The Edelrid HMS Bulletproof is our favorite for belaying with an ATC-style device, or rappelling. Its unique features contribute to the overall value of the 'biner. With the exception of weight, which probably can't be helped when stainless steel is included, there is nothing we don't love about this locker.
Overall utility is an assessment of both how well a locker does at its intended purpose, as well as how versatile it is. After our in-the-field testing, we felt that the Edelrid HMS is one of the best choices for this metric. It's designed for belaying and thrives for this purpose. In particular, the internal spring bar is a great help preventing the 'biner from sliding around to a different orientation where it could potentially get cross-loaded, and is far quicker and easier to implement than the plastic keeper bar on the DMM Belay Master 2.
However, it's also quite versatile. The steel insert makes it an ideal choice for high-friction uses such as rappelling and as a top-rope anchor, and it lacks anything extra sticking off that might catch in slings or clothing. Admittedly, the weight diminishes our desire to take it on long climbs, but it is more versatile than most compact lightweight offset-D lockers, and can be used just fine in cold or snowy conditions.
Ease of Unlocking and Locking
This locker is the only one we tested that requires triple-action to unlock and open the gate, and so perhaps it is not surprising that we found it to be the single most difficult one to unlock. In order to unlock it you first push the sliding locker bar upwards, toward the nose. Then twist 90 degrees, and open the gate. Sliding the bar upward is the real tricky part, and is nearly impossible to do with one hand, requiring one to use either two hands, or to pin the top of the locker against the rock or some other surface to push against. This extra step added a significant amount of difficulty over the double-action twist-locking biners we tested.
On the other hand, locking this carabiner could not be easier! You don't have to do anything, as it automatically locks itself the moment its spring-loaded gate slams shut.
Compactness and Weight
When operating under the premise that lighter and smaller is better, the HMS Bulletproof Triple is not going to win any awards. At 87g, it is one of the heaviest in our review and also has a fairly large profile.
Considering the added weight that necessarily comes with including stainless steel, which weighs far more than the aluminum that most lockers are exclusively made with, it's sort of impressive that it doesn't weigh more. I-beam shaped aluminum fills out the rest of the design, helping to keep it respectable.
If you are one of those climbers who simply can't help but obsessively check or wonder whether your locking carabiners are still locked, then perhaps this is the locker for you. When assessing for gate security, no other locker is even close.
The gate of this locker is locked, all of the time, no matter what, as long as it is closed. This can actually be a bit annoying when trying to quickly remove it from a gear loop on your harness, because you must unlock it first. Compared to double-action auto-lockers, it's even harder to unlock, and stands virtually no chance of ever coming open on its own.
This is one large locker, and thankfully also comes with 2.4cm of gate clearance, ranking it up there with the best. While not the most critical of features, a lot of gate clearance simply means that it's easier to open and close the gate when there are multiple ropes or a hitch filling the basket.
This is one pricey locker, the second most expensive one that we tested. Considering the steel insert, you are probably more likely to lose this locker before you retire it because it has worn out. For this reason, it presents good value in our opinion, although budget-conscious climbers can surely find something more affordable that will work just fine.
The Edelrid HMS Bulletproof Triple FG has many unique features not found on other lockers we tested, or many other lockers at all, and which add value. It is our Top Pick for Durability, and will likely last longer than any other locker that you can buy, a worthy reason for purchase. It is designed primarily for belaying, and that is the best use of this unique product. For the security conscious, or those who simply don't want an aluminum locker that will wear out in the desert fast, it also presents a great value.
— Andy Wellman