The Metolius Element is an affordable, medium-sized locking carabiner that excels at trad climbing belaying. There is a lot of competition among pear-shaped carabiners. While the Element didn't score at the top, it performed solidly and is tied for least expensive with the Mad Rock Ultra Tech HMS. It also stood out as one of the most compact pear-shaped carabiners, which is both a pro and a con. It did not hold as much stuff but also was low profile when clipped to the side of the harness. The Mad Rock is lighter and scored higher but the Metolius is better for belaying off the anchor in auto block mode with a device like the Petzl Reverso 4. The Petzl Attache also scored higher than the Element but the Attache is more expensive and heavier. For its size, weight and performance when belaying a second, the Element is a solid locking carabiner. View our complete Best Locking Carabiner Review to see how this stacked up against others.
Metolius Element Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Good value, keylock gate, compact, smooth when used in auto-block mode.
Cons: Gate takes many spins, small gate clearance.
Our Analysis and Test Results
The is one of the most compact pear-shaped carabiners available. When clipped to the side of the harness, it flops around less than the competitors. While in general, we didn't like the fact that the gate takes so many twists to close, some climbers may appreciate this as meaning the gate is less likely to open inadvertently. It has a big and smooth diameter size, which means the rope runs smoothly over it, especially in auto-block mode when belaying the second on a multi-pitch climb.
The gate stood out as taking a ton of turns to open and close. If you are using this as a belay biner in a climbing gym, that can be a little annoying. The gate is also not as easy to finger as say the bigger gate on the Petzl Attache. While we like the compact size in some respects, it also means that this carabiner holds fewer slings and knots and overall is a little less versatile than most of its competitors that were a little larger.
This is ideal as a belay carabiner for multi-pitch climbs. For its price and weight, it would also be a good locking carabiner to load up for other applications. However, if money is tight and weight is a concern, the best locking carabiner to load up on is the Black Diamond Quicksilver Screwgate.
This is tied for the best price in the pear-shaped belay belay carabiner category. It's a great deal. You also get this biner for a good price when you buy it with the Metolius Personal Anchor System.
— Chris McNamara