Non-locking carabiners have a sprung swinging gate that accepts a rope, webbing sling, or other hardware. Rock climbers frequently connect two non-locking carabiners with a short length of nylon web to create a quickdraw.
Three gate types are common:
- Straight gate: The most utilitarian, and hence most popular.
- Bent gate: Curved gates allow for easier clipping in and out in special situations, such as connecting a rope to a quickdraw. Gate strength remains on a par with straight-gate carabiners.
- Wire gate: The lightest type, with a strength roughly equal to the others, allowing more to be carried for a given weight. Wire gates are less prone to icing up than solid gates, an advantage in Alpine mountaineering and ice climbing. The reduced gate mass makes their wire bales less prone to ‘gate flutter,’ a dangerous condition created by irregular impact forces generated by the climbing rope or contact with hard surfaces in a fall which momentarily opens the gate (and both lowers the breaking strength of the carabiner when open and potentially allows the rope to escape).
Other than for quickdraws, non-locking carbiners may also be used for:
- Trad gear such as cams,stoppers or pitons
- Anchors that have more than 2 legs or anchors that are manned while in use
- Storage/Attachment for anything (shoes, backpack, extra gear, water bottle,…)