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Gear Review: Black Diamond HoodWire Carbiner

Gear Review: Black Diamond HoodWire Carbiner

Gear Review: Black Diamond HoodWire Carbiner

Value Rating: 8
Durability Rating: 8
Overall Rating: 5
Location of Test: Everywhere I've climbed in the last year and a half - too many places to count.
Duration of Test: 1.5 years
Product Name: HoodWire Carbiner
Product Brand: Black Diamond
Best Use: Alpine draws

HoodWire Carbiner

The Full Review:
I bought a bunch of the HoodWires when I wanted a biner with a nose that wouldn’t snag and didn’t want to spend a whole lot. At its core, this a carabiner where you really get what you pay for.

The theory behind the “hood” on the nose of the biner, from which it draws its name, is that the cage around the nose prevents the notch from snagging on the rope or bolts when unclipping. And by that standard, the biner certainly does its job. The Hoodwire is certainly neck to neck with the Wild Country Helium and the CAMP Dyon when it comes to ease of unclipping.

However, I feel that the Helium and Dyon have some significant advantages over the HoodWire.

For starters, the HoodWire has a very stiff gate action with a rather uncomfortable shape of the wire. The Helium has a much more natural feeling gate action that I much prefer. The Dyon has a wonderful gate opening, beats the HoodWire in weight by 4 grams while being larger, and has a nose that’s somewhere on the order of half the width of the HoodWire.

However, for a snagless biner, the HoodWire is a great value, coming in at $8.95 each, while the Helium comes in at $13.95 and the Dyon at $14.95.

My biggest beef with the HoodWire is the gate width—on crowded belays when the bolts are jam-packed, I can always slip my Dyon in there. My HoodWires rarely fit.

For what they are, the HoodWire Carabiner is a great product at an unbeatable price. If you’re particular about your gates or care about nose width (this is mostly applicable when multipitching), I might recommend looking at the CAMP Dyon or the Wild Country HoodWire

HoodWire Carbiner
The noses of the HoodWire and the Dyon side by side

The Good
Affordable snag-free nosed carabiner

The Bad: 
Weird gate action, wide nose, small

The Bottom Line: 
Look into the HoodWire if you need a key-lock carabiner and aren't looking to break the bank

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