Black Diamond is developing carabiners that use magnetic power to lock themselves as opposed to the traditional twistlocks and screwlocks. As I'm a stay indoors kind of guy who never goes climbing, I think I just found my next keychain.

For people who do use carabiners for carabiner purposes though, the Magnetron carabiner is supposed to be easier to unlock than traditional systems but still provide the same safety. Here's how it works:

• Magnetic attraction to a steel insert in the carabiner nose keeps two independent arms securely locked
• Locking arms must be individually depressed before the gate can be opened
• Once open, opposing magnetic fields repel the arms to ensure smooth and reliable gate operation

Ideally, it'll be a lot easier to use than the old method and can let people focus on scaling a cliff rather than screwing and unscrewing a carabiner. Sadly, the Magnetron carabiner won't be released until 2012. Guess my keys will have to wait. [Magnetron Carabiner via The GearCaster]


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