Black Diamond OvalWire carabiner

Ovalwire_1Ah, behold the humble oval carabiner. But what is this? A gate of wire? Yes indeedy, and this is the ticket for alpine use. Wire gates don’t stick like normal gates in icy conditions. Manufacturers tout other advantages such as more working room, enhanced strength under certain conditions and lighter weight.

Here’s the thing: this ‘biner is not a true oval but rather a mild D configuration to shift the load onto the stronger spine part. Also the cross-section is a T, not round or ovoid. All this is fine except that there are a few specialized applications where you need the load-centering ability of a true oval as well as a round cross-section, for example for use with an ultralight pulley.

But for racking gear, etc. it’s light, economical and Denali Approved. If you have the money and are a gram-nazi take a look at the OvalWire’s more expensive cousin the Neutrino. Rack up a dozen of these and you’ll save a quarter-pound over the OvalWire, at the cost of another $24.

$5.95 at REI


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