Austrialpin launched a new Autolock carabiner a few weeks ago: the HMS Rondo. Austrialpin sent us the new models and asked us to take a close look at the carabiner and form an honest opinion. Said and done.
In the brochure that Austrialpin enclosed with the HMS carabiners it is written: "The fastest autolock carabiner in the world." That's quite an announcement. So we quickly grabbed the black model and wanted to hang it in the test device in the editorial office. However, the carabiner did not open as quickly as hoped - at least not at the beginning.
Practice creates masters
The initial difficulties in opening it quickly disappeared. Apparently, we pressed the gate too hard when opening it, thereby inadvertently activating a safety function of the HMS-Rondo: The lock actually blocks when the gate is pressed. Just a few attempts later, we “rehearsed” the movement and were able to quickly take the Rondo off the gear loop of the climbing harness and hang it in the bolt. A tedious screwing down was of course no longer necessary, that's exactly the highlight of an autolock carabiner.
The HMS Rondo in our gear test
First use in the climbing garden
After a first small test in the office, we drove off and did a first test on the rock. We used the carabiner as part of our Rope Solo campaign to attach the rope clips to the harness.
The HMS Rondo made a very good trap. Quickly opened and automatically closed, the rope clamps were quickly attached. The big worry of having a lock open did not exist that day.
The next time the Rondo accompanied us while filming and taking photos on a multi-pitch route. That day we used the Rondo in combination with a tape sling for self-securing at the booth.
Here, too: when you arrive at the stand, the self-belay is attached super quickly - and the carabiner is guaranteed to be closed. At the end of the day we then used the HMS-Rondo to abseil. On the one hand to attach the descender and also for the Prusik, which we attach as a backup when abseiling.
Areas of application of the HMS-Rondo
- Back up in the climbing garden
- Self-securing with a tape sling
- Attachment of the descender
- Attachment of an ascender or a Prusik
The advantages of the HMS-Rondo
- Quick and easy opening - closes reliably
- One handed operation
- Suitable for both right and left handers
- Blocks when pressure is applied to the gate
In our opinion, the HMS Rondo makes less sense here
We were less convinced by the Rondo Autolock carabiner when it comes to self-belaying by means of a mast throw when climbing multi-pitch climbing. You can only do that with two hands. However, if you are used to it - or if you are forced to attach a mast throw in the central carabiner with one hand due to the suboptimal climbing position, you will fail with the HMS-Rondo.
If you want to vary the length of your self-belaying at the stand and still do not want to forego the advantages of the Rondo, we recommend an adjustable stand sling, as offered by various mountain sports outfitters.
Since adjustable standing slings are becoming more common, this disadvantage is of course less significant.
Conclusion on the HMS-Rondo Autolock carabiner
Shortly after unpacking, we were skeptical because it didn't open as quickly as it was written in the advertising brochure. But the initial skepticism has evaporated and the HMS-Rondo has absolutely convinced us in the field. In the future, we will use the HMS-Rondo in combination with our belay device for sport climbing and for self-belaying in multi-pitch routes.
These models of the Rondo carabiner are available
Austrialpin produced the Rondo in two different versions. One model is a pure autolock carabiner, the second model and an autolock carabiner with an additional bracket, which ensures that the carabiner remains in the correct position on the belt.
Material: anodised aluminum
Weight: 84g (88g with bracket)
Breaking load in the longitudinal direction: 23 kN
Breaking load in transverse direction: 10 kN
Breaking load with open gate: 7 kN
Standards: EN 12275: 2013 (H), EN 362: 2009 (B), UIAA 121