Field Tested: Black Diamond Gridlock

Utterly simple in its design, foolproof in operation and flawlessly effective, Black Diamond’s Gridlock belay carabiner is one of those things that makes you wonder why it had taken so long for someone to come up with it. Introduced to the market about a year ago, the Gridlock has become a staple on my harness, and the one ‘biner I use with every belay device I own.**


The Gridlock in its element, nestled amidst a mess of ropes during a cold, blustery hanging belay.

The genius of the Gridlock comes from the extended gate’s bottom bend that effectively ‘catches’ the belay loop and prevents the carabiner from ever flipping around and getting disoriented. A wide rope surface, straightforward screwlock and a respectable weight of 76 grams round out the main features. There really isn’t much more I’m looking for in a belay ‘biner. Highly recommended.

Pros: generous rope surface, design prevents crossloading, easy to use, light

Cons: the design invariably reduces usable internal space

Overall: Awesome. The only belay biner I use anymore. Buy one now.

**The exception being the Mammut Smart Alpine due to it’s requirement of a carabiner with large inner volume to allow for proper release and operation:


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