Looking back in our personal gear history, our first memory of being fascinated by a shiny object, that eventually led to a lifetime of gear acquisition and abject poverty, was a humble carabiner. They are still in our minds the ultimate image of the climbing life.
In some ways biners have come a long way, from round-bodied steel ovals and Ds back in the day to sub-one-ounce hot-forged anodized aluminum beauties with wiregates, magnetic keylocks and exotic nose designs. But biners are still biners, oval-ish with a gate, locking and non locking as you prefer.
Rock-N-Rescue makes all sorts of biners, and their latest locker is the Raider Ultra-Violet, a sexy purple-pink oval that is even available with custom text engraved on the spine. That's right, you can order a five-pack with "Dirtbag climber" on it and give them to your friends!
Beyond the custom engraving, the Raider Ultra-Violet is a nice little locker, targeted at people who use biners like this to work at heights for a living. The colors are for more than just looks, allowing you to easily spot the biners on the side of a cliff or tree, or in your tangled mess of a rack. The symmetrical I-beam oval is plenty strong at 24/8/7kN (major axis, minor axis, gate open), and it weighs in at under 3oz, pretty good for a beefy locker. The gate opening is a spacious 0.83", and the keylock nose ensures snag-free clipping and unclipping.
The locking mechanism itself is in three stages: slide the spring-loaded locking sleeve away from the hinge, rotate the sleeve 90 degrees, and push the gate open. With a little practice it's an easy one-handed operation. The sleeve is knurled for ease of manipulation, and the beefy size of it makes it doable with gloves on, another plus for the working men and women who will be looking at this. For a combination of working practicality and high-vis good looks, the RNR Raider Ultra-Violet is a winner.