We tested these carabiners on single and multi-pitch traditional routes in Red Rock Canyon, NV, and they came on a road trip Independence Pass, Colorado. We received input from six different testers with over 100 years of climbing experience between them, male and female, large and small hands. We took them on routes ranging from 5.5 to 5.12. The easy routes let us pay close attention to the details, and the difficult ones let us know how they worked in strenuous situations. After our "work" was done, we did a few extra tests and then rated them on the following criteria.
Ease of Unclipping
This metric was mostly evaluated while climbing. We noted if the carabiner snagged on us while unclipping, how easy it was to take the rope out when seconding a route, and if the gate opening or geometry affected this in any way. Those with the largest gate opening were often the easiest to unclip, as were those that didn't have an exposed notch.
Ease of Clipping
While clipping these carabiners on different routes, we considered whether the gate tension was too soft or too tight and if we ever blew a clip or had a hard time getting the rope in.
Ease of Handling
Like the previous metrics, we mostly considered this one while actually climbing, and took note how well these models felt in hand. Our testers have a variety of hand sizes, so we got feedback from a variety of sources. It's one thing for a guy with XL size hands to say a carabiner feels small, but when a woman with medium size hands concurs, we know it's on the small side!
How Many Ropes Fit
We did a few different tests for this category. Our three-rope test involved three figure eights on a bight of 9.8 mm rope. We wanted to see how many we could get in there and still open the gate fully. Some passed, many didn't. We also tried each one with a clove hitch of 9mm, as well as looked at how twin ropes ran through each.
Rope Pull Smoothness
We attached five-pound weights to the end of a rope and pulled it through each carabiner to see if we could feel a difference in rope pull smoothness (we could). A combination of wider rope-bearing surface and rounder profile helped carabiners score better in this category.
We compared the weight of each model along with its width. Those that were lighter naturally socred higher, but a narrower width also allows you to carry more of them on your harness at once, which we appreciate.