Metolius Gatekeeper | $17.95 | metolius.com ★★★★
Cross-loading your belay biner while giving someone a catch is like driving without a seatbelt. Usually, everything turns out fine. But if something does go wrong, serious injury can be the consequence. So why take the risk?
The Metolius Gatekeeper carabiner eliminates the danger of crossloading and will forever end the uneasy feeling that you get when you glance down to see a cross-loaded biner bearing the weight of your climbing partner.
The Gatekeeper is a screw-gate locking carabiner that sports a small wire-gate that guards the basket of the carabiner. Once the biner is tugged through your belay loop, the loop becomes trapped like a banana in a monkey’s fist—your belay loop is captured in the basket of the carabiner with no chance of wandering into a cross-loaded position.
Metolius also took another step to enforce a correct belay orientation with the Gatekeeper by widening the spine of the biner. This thick section of the metal holds a Petzl GriGri right at the front of the biner, eliminating any sliding action.
The fact that the biner’s preventative cross-loading “keeper” is a metal wire gate works well for two important reasons. First, a metal wire-gate beats the pants off a piece of plastic due to its durability. Any carabiner, whether it’s a dedicated belay biner or not, is going to get thrown around, dropped and piled under heaps of other gear. Second, wire-gates are light. At 70 grams, the Gatekeeper is in the featherweight category for belay/rappel-specific biners, weighing less than all competitors except Omega Pacific’s Tephra Trapwire Screw Lok.
Downsides? Clipping the Gatekeeper with a GriGri to a gear loop is problematic, and requires a bit of fiddling. I usually just toss the Gatekeeper in my pack between belays.
About the Rating: I gave the Metolius Gatekeeper four stars, because in its class, this belay specific biner has little competition. At 70 grams, it weighs less than most, including the popular Black Diamond Gridlock Screwgate. At $17.95, the Gatekeeper is priced below most belay biners.
* Locking screw-gate carabiner with belay specific, wire-gate anti-crossloading keeper
* Widened spine to prevent the migration of auto-locking belay devices
* 70 grams
* Individually proof tested and rated to 22kN