Rock Climbing Clamps

Do you want to know what the greatest rock climbing clamps are? Over the last decade, we’ve evaluated over 50 different rock climbing clamps, and this update contains the best and most popular options on the market today. Rock climbing clamps are available in several sizes and with a variety of locking methods, including screw gates, double action, and triple action twist locking gates.

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The Camp USA Photon Lock

The Camp USA Photon Lock has been around for a while. But it has recently been improved. This rock climbing clamp features an offset-D form that makes it perfect for anchor construction on multi-pitch climbs or utilizing at the end of a personal anchor system, and it is also adaptable enough to be used for belaying.

Its hot-forged, I-beam structure aids in weight reduction, and this is one of the lightest lockers available, without compromising space in the process. It also includes a screw gate that opens and closes quickly and simply with only a few revolutions, and it also has a visual indication icon written on the gate bar so you can see if the gate is fully closed or not.

There are just a few drawbacks to this low-cost locker. But the most significant is inherent in the offset-D design – it’s simply not as adaptable for rappelling as an HMS/pear-shaped locker. It also has less gate clearance than bigger lockers, but we had no trouble adding clove hitches or clipping them into anchor points as necessary.

Finally, while opening and shutting the gate, the gate spring squeaks somewhat, although this is more of an inconvenience than a safety or quality issue. Everyone who has used this locker has remarked on how light it is for a full-sized locker; there is no need to sacrifice size or adaptability to save weight on the harness. This is its primary benefit, but another is its meager price, making it the first locker we recommend purchasing if you are on a limited budget and don’t want to make many concessions.

The Petzl Attache

The Petzl Attache has long been a popular rock climbing clamp, offering practically unparalleled adaptability for all sorts of climbing. Its pear form means it has a wide basket that allows you to clip multiple ropes or other ‘biners to it at once without overlapping or pinching, and its extremely large gate clearance makes it easy to get these objects on and off. This rock climbing clamp is surprisingly light and sturdy, thanks to its hot-forged I-beam design.

The Attache can do it all, from belaying and rappelling to serving as a master point or the termination of a daisy chain, and it’s light and inexpensive. It’s one of the most adaptable lockers we’ve ever utilized. Also, if you want to spend time on big walls, these locking carabiners will give you the space you need at the anchors without making you feel heavy.

The Attache has just a few drawbacks, one of which is that it’s possible to overtighten the screw locking mechanism, making it difficult to undo. This may be prevented by understanding that when you screw a locker shut, you are only preventing the gate from opening and not attaching the gate to the nose. Therefore, it does not need to be incredibly tight.

The Attache isn’t auto-locking, so it’s not foolproof, but a red visual warning lets you know if the gate isn’t locked. Screw gates also offer additional advantages, such as simplicity of usage while wearing gloves and low cost. Overall, we can’t live without the Petzl Attache locker and recommend that every multi-pitch climber have two or three of them when they leave the ground — but it’s simple to find other applications if you have a few more.

The Petzl Sm’D Twist-Lock

A lightweight, full-sized offset-D with the extra security and ease of use of a twist-locking gate, is the finest one we’ve tried. The majority of the rock climbing clamps we use on multi-pitch routes are offset-D-shaped lockers, whether full-sized or tiny. Pear-shaped lockers are generally seen to be more adaptable for belaying and rappeling.

The Sm’D features a basket that is broader and flatter than most of the others we examined, allowing for two ropes to rest nicely side by side when rappeling. It’s also perfect for use with a belay device, anchor construction, and at the end of a personal anchor system.

The DMM Phantom Screwgate

The locker is easy to use and is the lightest climbing-rated locker we’ve ever tested. Stand at the foot of any multi-pitch climb, clip the rack into your harness, and consider how much extra weight, not to mention clutter, you’ll have to carry up the route with you. If your planned ascent is close to or at your maximum, losing weight is critical. The weight of the rack might potentially influence whether you send or whip.

Because of their modest size, don’t expect to clip several ‘biners to them or rely on them to hold many ropes or knots. They can, however, do everything else that a locker can do while weighing less and taking up significantly less harness area than a traditional locker. If you like multi-pitch climbing and won’t settle for anything but the best, you might want to buy three or four DMM Phantom Screwgates.

The Edelrid HMS Bulletproof Triple FG

Incorporates a stainless steel insert covering the basket of the carabiner where the rope generally runs to resist the consequences of premature wear and the requirement for early retirement. This feature is worthy of our recommendation for longevity; utilize it for any high-wear circumstances, such as ATC belaying, rappelling, or setting up top-rope anchors.

It also features a wire-gate keeper in the crotch, which guarantees that it is always orientated correctly and does not get cross-loaded. Add in the triple-action auto-locking gate mechanism, and you’ve got yourself one secure locking carabiner.


Rhino for its wonderful simplicity and low cost. It also has double-action or triple-action auto-locking gates. The disadvantage is that it does not prevent carabiner rotation when used in conjunction with tube-style belay gear, whose keeper loop is large enough to glide over the horn. We also note that, while being a simple HMS/pear-shaped locker with a little horn added on.

It is a bit heavier than the Petzl Attache, which is roughly the same design. However, the Rhino is just as adaptable as the Attache, with the added benefit of keeping rope-catching devices properly orientated. This is the locker we’ll have on our belay loop if we’re using a brake-assisted device or top-rope soloing.


Rock Climbing Clamps, sometimes known as “lockers” for short, are carabiners designed for climbing or rigging. There are now innumerable variations to select from, each with a specific function and highlighting particular characteristics, whether it’s for belaying, rappelling, securing the rope to a fixed piece or bolt, or a variety of other circumstances. It is up to you to decide where, when, and what type of locker to use in any given situation.

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