The Palm Side swing HMS Karabiner looks like a fairly conventional karabiner that has had some weight shaved off and a trick anodised colour applied. I thought exactly this when it landed here at Unsponsored HQ.
I didn’t even look at the name, as it was obscured by the paperwork, before removing the karabiner from its display card and checking out the gate action.
When you pick up a karabiner it is compulsory to test out the gate action. That is the point that I realised the Palm side swing karabiner was a little bit different.
Walk into any climbing shop and you’ll be presented with a wide array of carabiners, loads of sizes, loads of shapes, loads of colours and a range of prices.
What ever carabiner you choose to buy please make sure that it is a type that is rated for climbing/caving and that it is suitable for job you will be asking it to do. A carabiner suitable for climbing will have its strength rating forged, stamped or etched on it. It should also conform to the relevant PPE standard (EN 12275, the standard for mountaineering connectors), this again should be present on the carabiner.
There are some really super light carabiners available out there that are great for climbing but could be too easily damaged/compromised whilst on the river. In instances where hauling, belaying or security are required locking carabiners are best. I carry four locking carabiners as part of my kit, but also have a couple of non-locking carabiners in my boat for clipping gear into that can be called into service if required.
First and foremost there is an appropriate time to tow and not to tow. If it can be avoided it is best to do so. However YOU may choose to use a tow system to move a boat across a piece of still water. As with all things of this type it is down to the paddlers own assessment on the day and therefore at the paddlers own risk. Choosing the right kind of towing option for the right conditions is critical.
The Petzl Vertigo has been primarily designed for ease of clipping in with the added bonus of having a locking key gate. This makes it ideal for Via Ferrata and kayaking applications where you need the safety of a locked gate yet want to open and secure it quickly.
There are a number of different sizes and shapes of locking karabiners available. I have settled on a few of the Wild Country ION screw gates. They are both light and strong.
Hyperlight, Keylock nose, I Beam back, Hot forged, High gate open strength, High strength thimble. 3 Sigma Rated, UIAA, CE EN 12275, 7075 Alloy. All Wild Country screwgate thimbles are made from high strength 7075 alloy which resists internal pressure to prevent accidental gate opening. All Wild Country screwgate karabiners are ‘proof loaded’ to 10kN and 100% inspected by hand.
Weight (g): 50g
Major Axis Strength (kN): 24
Minor Axis Strength (kN): 7
Open Gate Strength (kN): 9
Gate Opening (mm): 19
Locking Mechanism: Keylock