Hands-on Gear Review

Petzl OK Review

Updated Petzl OK
By: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief  ⋅  Jul 20, 2010
Price:  $14 List  |  $13.95 at REI
Pros:  Great for pulleys, keylock doesn't get snagged.
Cons:  Expensive, narrow gate opening.
Manufacturer:   Petzl
  • compactness lightweight - 15% 5
  • ease of unlocking and locking - 20% 8
  • gate hang up - 10% 8
  • how many ropes fit - 15% 8
  • rope pull smoothness - 15% 9
  • gate clearance - 15% 7
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Our Verdict

The Petzl OK oval locking carabiner was designed specifically to be used with pulleys, but it is also a very good all purpose carabiner for anchor setups. Because of the oval shape, when using a pulley it ensures that the force on the pulley lines up correctly with the anchor point. This is great if you are using a Petzl Mini Traxion to self belay or using just about any pulley to haul stuff. At $16 it's not cheap. You can get a lot of carabiners that perform almost as well with a pulley for half the price. Even a carabiner like the Petzl Attache or Metolius Element will work well in most situations where you would use the OK but cost 20-40 percent less and are more versatile. That said, if you are using a pulley a lot, this is a good biner to go with.

New Version Update - October 2016
Petzl updated the OK since we last tested it.

Our Analysis and Test Results


The Updated OK vs. The Older Version

The updated Petzl OK, below at left, replaces the version of the OK we reviewed, at right. It's set to hit the market in Winter 2016/2017, according to the manufacturer, and the older OK is being phased out. The new version will be available in screw-lock (70 g), triact-lock (75 g), and ball-lock locking options (75 g). The grip on the moving part of the screw-gate now has grooves, aimed to increase the friction to make screwing the gate shut easier. The new model features an H-shaped frame, which is a design direction most Petzl locking carabiners are moving toward. Its closed gate strength increased to 25 kN, and its sideways strength dropped down to 8 kN.

Updated Petzl OK
Petzl OK Locker

Hands-On Review


This carabiner is great to use with a pulley. It makes sure the force always lines up straight down and keeps the pulley from shifting from side to side. In our tests we also found the rope runs very smoothly through it. The OK would make a great top rope anchor carabiner whether used by itself or doubled up. We love that the carabiner comes with a key-lock design. Because of its symmetrical shape, you never have to worry about the carabiner flipping around to the unwanted end when belaying. It is available with manual locking system (screw-lock) or auto-locking system (twist-lock).


This carabiner has poor gate clearance, which means it can be hard to get multiple knots in when used at an anchor. It is great as a towrope anchor for a single strand of rope but not ideal at belay if you want to clip multiple knots and slings to it. When rappelling the oval shape squeezes the ropes together, which adds more friction. While sometimes a good thing, in general it's better that the ropes are not squeezed together and have more space.

Best application

This is ideal for use with pulleys and a toprope anchor.


This is one of the more expensive carabiners, especially for its size and lack of versatility.

Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: August 19, 2010
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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Average Customer Rating:  
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100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 50%  (1)
3 star: 50%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)

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   Aug 19, 2010 - 01:33pm
OlympicMtnBoy · Climber · Seattle

I actually have to say that I really like these biners for a couple of specific purposes. They are pricey, but have much better than average gate action and screwgate mechanism and no biner shift so I use them on my adjustable daisies for aid. They are great for clipping into all sorts of funky gear, don't shift, and the keylock makes unclipping from awkward moves easier since the gate doesn't snag tie off loops and such. I also like to be able to lock the biner when it's going to get loaded wierd in some corner and I never have trouble unlocking these unlike some other cheaper biners which get suck if you lock them while partially weighted.

I have never really noticed the narrower than average gate opening mentioned on other reviews, but I guess it's there.

I also really like the non-locking version, Owall, for racking my nuts. The oval shape makes it easy to get out what I need and the keylock ensures no snags on the wire but won't unclip accidentally like a wiregate biner.

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


Aug 15, 2010 - 11:26am
Mighty Hiker · Climber · Vancouver, B.C.

A title for a gear review like "Petzl OK" seems a bit odd. Or maybe it's just the product name, a bit of modesty amongst all the hype.

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