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Rock Exotica Pirate Locking Carabiner Review



Ever notice that when you belay or rappel that your locking carabiner inevitably flips sideways and for a brief instant the rope runs across the locked gate? Ever wonder what would happen if at that instant the carabiner were suddenly loaded, hard?

I’ll tell you what happens: Ping! “Yaaaaaa!” Splat.

Carabiners, even locking ones, only hold around 7 kN when the gate is loaded outward because the locking mechanism isn’t structural; it merely keeps the gate from opening. Not so with the Pirate. Thanks to the machining wizadry of Rock Thompson, the Pirate’s screw-gate locking sleeve actually reinforces the gate, giving it an outward (minor axis) strength of a whopping 11 kN—nearly 900 pounds more than your average locker.

I like that piece of mind. I also like the Pirate’s hefty size. It’s a full 4.25 inches long and the gate swings open with nearly two inches of clearance. If you like a full-bodied locker, one that can accommodate a lot of rope, let a Muenter Hitch pivot freely or just be easy to operate with your big fat fingers, this is your biner. Another nice touch: The carabiner’s nose sports a notchless, keylock design with a sweet taper that snakes easily through tight slings and cluster frigs.

* 26 kN gate closed; 7 kN open gate; 11 kN minor axis.
* 3 ounces
* Screwgate with keylock nose

* Big and beefy

 Recommended for: Anytime you need a locking carabiner that is as unbreakable as they come.

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