Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Gear Guy

How to Properly Orient a Carabiner Gate

Gear Guy discusses the safety aspects of clipping a carabiner to align the gate away from the direction of climbing.

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All-Access
Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • A $500 value with 25+ benefits including:
  • Access to all member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Rock and Ice, Climbing, Outside, Backpacker, Trail Runner and more
  • Annual subscription to Climbing magazine.
  • Annual gear guides for climbing, camping, skiing, cycling, and more
  • Gaia GPS Premium with hundreds of maps and global trail recommendations, a $39.99 value
  • Outside Learn, our new online education hub loaded with more than 2,000 videos across 450 lessons including 6 Weeks to Stronger Fingers and Strength Training for Injury Prevention
  • Premium access to Outside TV and 1,000+ hours of exclusive shows
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Does it matter which way the gates face on my quickdraws?

Although we’re not talking the Kama Sutra, with its 64 variations on the theme (not counting addendums such as the Art of Scratching and Biting), position is important. Properly orienting your quickdraw carabiners is as fundamental as knotting the end of your rap rope. Failure to do so is a common rookie blunder that can result in side effects ranging from incontinence to death. Always orient the bottom carabiner so the gate faces away from your anticipated direction of travel. Doing so will prevent the rope from tracking across the carabiner gate and unclipping itself, and is critical for bent-gate biners, which are more apt to come unclipped than straight-gate biners. The orientation of the top carabiner isn’t as important, but to be safe I rig my draws so both carabiners face the same direction.