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 The Photon Wire Straight 2016 is technically retired but it's still sold online.The Photon Wire Straight 2016 is no longer produced by CAMP. We're showing it as "available" on WeighMyRack because you can still find it at trustworthy online retailers.

CAMP Photon Wire Straight Gate Blue
  • CAMP Photon Wire Straight Gate Blue
  • CAMP Photon Wire Straight Gate Yellow
  • CAMP Photon Wire Straight Gate Black
  • CAMP Photon Wire Straight Gate Silver
  • CAMP Photon Wire Straight Gate Purple
  • CAMP Photon Wire Straight Gate Green
  • CAMP Photon Wire Straight Gate Red
  • CAMP Photon Wire Straight Gate Orange
  • CAMP Photon Wire Gate Carabiner 8 Pack

Photon Wire Straight 2016

CAMP

Rating

My vote: None ( 5.5 avg )

Description

The new Photon Wire is one of the lightest carabiners in the world (1.022 oz) and is significantly larger than other carabiners in its class. The contoured wire gate offers exceptional clipping action and the massive gate opening makes it great for use on the gear or rope end; on rock or ice; racking gear or building anchors. For the ultimate all-arounder, look no further.

Retail price

US$ 7.95

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Weight (g)

Weight (g)

In grams, the weight, as stated by the manufacturer/brand.

29 g
Shape

Shape

Rule of thumb

Almost every carabiner you use will be non-locking offset D’s, with the exception of a Pear/HMS locker as your belay ‘biner.

Offset D (aka Modified D)

60% of the market

A modification of the standard D shape, the top of an offset D is much wider, allowing for a larger (and superior) gate opening. When loaded, most of the weight is transferred to the spine of the carabiner making them stronger than most other shapes. Used for top and bottom quickdraws, as racking carabiners, and lightweight lockers.

Pear / HMS

22% of the market

The Pear/HMS carabiner is used primarily for belaying and/or setting a powerpoint in an anchor. The wide top means they can hold a lot of gear. They are almost always locking and are generally heavier (than D/offset D's) because they need more material to gain back strength lost due to their shape.

Oval

8% of the market

The first carabiner shape to be mass produced. When loaded, the pressure is shared equally on both sides of the ‘biner. Since the weaker gate shares the load with the spine, oval biners aren’t as strong as shapes that direct the load to the spine. The bonus is, your gear rests squarely in the middle, so it's great for holding nuts, pulleys, and prusiks.

D (aka symmetric D)

7% of the market

D’s have a symmetrical shape that sets the rope closer to the spine, putting the load on the spine (versus sharing the load with the weaker gate side, like the oval). Since the strongest part of the carabiner carries the weight, D’s are the strongest shape. Downside: Smaller gate openings than the offset D.

Quicklink (aka Oval link, Mallon)

1% of the market

Although most climbers wouldn’t refer to this shape as a “carabiner” they are certified by the same EN standard as all the other carabiners. These semi-permanent links ensure the gate will not accidentally open. They're used when setting up a semi-permanent rappel station (not used while climbing up).

Semi-Circle / 3D

less than 1% of the market

Semi-circle: Mostly used by Search and Rescue as this is a great way to secure a chest harness.
3-D: Designed to increase the gate opening and to reduce the chance that the rock will rub your rope and/or the locking gate open. Buy if you’re the curious type; they’re not cheap, and there’s not many in the US.

Learn More

Pros and cons of each shape, graphs and more examples
Offset D
Locking

Locking

main non-locking carabiners uses:

  • quickdraws
  • to rack (hold) your gear on your harness
  • part of an anchor setup

main locking carabiners uses:

  • belay carabiner
  • main anchor powerpoint
  • when you need the gate to stay shut

screw gate vs auto-locking gate

Screw gates are generally lighter and cheaper.

Auto-locking gates are usually considered safer as they automatically snap shut, not counting on one's memory to close and are harder to accidentally unlock. The debate comes on opening speed as some are much faster while others can be a struggle.

Learn More

See the newest auto-locking gate technologies
No
Straight or Bent

Straight or Bent

It's easier to see the difference between straight and bent gates on solid gate carabiners:

Straight Gate

The standard. Always used as the bolt-end of the quickdraw, and still sometimes used on the rope-side too. Also used for racking gear such as cam and nuts.

Bent Gate

Created to make it easier to put the rope into a quickdraw with their larger gate opening. Primarily used on the rope-end (bottom) of quickdraws.

Extra Notes

  • Choosing a bent or straight gate does not significantly change the weight, strength, or price of the carabiner.
  • All locking carabiners have straight gates.
  • Today, many wiregates have a hybrid almost-straight-but-kinda-bent gate and are offered in this version only (not as a classic a bent or straight option). We have classified these as bent gates since they're not totally straight.

Important Note

Many manufacturers are now making the bolt-end carabiner come standard in silver (to match the bolt color), and are coloring the rope-end with other anodizations.

Do not mix (interchange) bolt-end carabiners and rope-end carabiners. This can be very dangerous as small abrasions made by the bolt can easily wear your rope. DMM put out a great video/write-up on this issue.

Straight
Full Size

Full Size

Full size carabiners are easier to hold but generally they're also heavier.

This is a totally debatable field as there is no official size, weight, or gate opening necessary to be full size. There are no certifications and this isn't a standard the manufacturer's normally describe specifically.

We did our best to compare (descriptions, in-person use, etc), as a way to help give more information about this carabiner. Like always, if you see something that seems totally off, send us a note.

Yes
Keylock

Keylock

A keylock nose means the nose is smooth. Keylock carabiners are also known as: snag-free, notch-less, and hook-less.

Keylock Benefit

The lack of a hooked nose makes for less snagging on gear and bolts – a dramatic improvement.

Keylock Drawback

Given that they’re more complicated to manufacture, keylock designs often come at a higher price, especially in wiregates.

Worth Considering

There are more design features necessary to guarantee a snag-free experience, like the curvature of the nose. Some keylock carabiners will still catch on the nose because of the lack of a smooth nose arc (smoother the arc, smoother the clip).

Learn More

Check out our blogpost that goes over carabiner nose design to get all the details
No
Solid or Wire

Solid or Wire

Solid Gates

Generally on beefier carabiners, so they're usually heavier and more durable. They can also feel more substantial in your hands while clipping. Often favored by sport climbers.

Wire Gates

Featured on the lightest carabiners, so they're favored by trad and alpine climbers.

Some considerations

If you want keylock nose carabiners, then solid gates will be much cheaper compared to wire gates.

When wiregates first came out they were not trusted (too new, looked too simple). Now, it's proven that wiregates have less gate flutter and gate shutter than solid gates.

Learn More

Compare gate flutter and gate shutter
Wire
Gate Opening

Gate Opening (mm)

Gate opening refers to the distance between a carabiner’s nose and the fully open gate.

General Guidelines

top of your quickdraw: 17 mm – 22 mm
bottom of your quickdraw: 23 mm – 26 mm
as an anchor holding webbing/gear: 19 mm+

Adding bias towards a larger gate opening is a great option once you’ve narrowed your choice to a few similar carabiners and need help determining which one is the best.

Learn More

Gate opening comparisons, examples, averages, shape, sizes, graphs, and explanations
28 mm
Number of Colors

Number of Colors

The number of different colors that you can find this carabiner in. This color-coding practice was started with just 2 colors, usually silver (that goes on the bolt side of a quickdraw) and another color for the rope side. Now, carabiners come in 5+ colors sets known as "rack packs" so your carabiners can match your cams.

Climbers can also match their carabiner color to their harness or other gear just for fun.

Learn More

Carabiner Rack Packs Explained
8
Visual Warning

Visual Warning

A visual warning is only seen on locking carabiners. It adds another tell to show if the carabiner is locked or not. If the carabiner is not locked, you'll see a warning such as the color red, a danger sign, or an unlocked image.

Only a small list of manufacturers add this safety feature, although you can easily add one yourself with a permanent marker.

No
Strengths (kN)

Strengths (kN)

In kilonewtons, the strength, as stated by the manufacturer/brand.

Major Axis Closed Gate Strength

This is the strongest orientation and the way carabiners are designed to be loaded.

Major Axis Open Gate Strength

This strength is measured because while climbing, carabiners lying against the rock can be opened slightly as they move across an uneven surface. A carabiner can also open slightly during a fall as the ‘biner starts to vibrate, dispersing the energy (also called "gate flutter"). A weak gate closure (due to a poor/failing spring or an over-stressed wire) could also leave the gate ajar.

Minor Axis Gate Strength

Carabiners are not intended to be loaded along the minor axis (cross-loaded), but it is possible for a carabiner to unintentionally rotate during use, especially while belaying. Of all accidental misuses of a carabiner, cross-loading is the most frequent suspect, which is why there is a rating for it.

Generally wire gates are stronger than solid gates in the minor axis. During the test, the wire gate bends, absorbing some of the force, as compared to a less pliable solid gate.

Learn More

How carabiners are rated, recommendations and strengths.
  21 kN   9 kN    7 kN
AAI Review of CAMP's Photon Carabiner

The Photon carabiner is an American Alpine Institute Guides Choice Award Winner. Watch the video to see why.

Photon Wire
CAMP Photon Carabiner Overview

In addition to learning a bit about the Photon you get to see a bit of the Italian facilities.

Photon Wire Review by Outdoor Gear Lab
Photon Wire Review by SMG
CAMP Nano 23 Review

No reviews yet.

Outdoor Gear Lab Gear Review rating 2/5

The bottom line is that, based on our testing experience, if a friend asked us what to buy, we would not recommend they purchase of the CAMP Photon Wire at this time. We'd suggest spending a bit more and looking at the Wild Country Helium Carabiner instead.

The Alpine Start Gear Review no rating given just a review

Turns out the Photon is a full-size, full-strength ‘biner that weighs a scant 29 grams. So while I’m not saving any more weight, I have finally found a carabiner that is easy to use with gloves and still weighs around 60 grams for a draw duo: just add in your favourite sling or dogbone for an easy-to-handle, light, setup.

Blister Gear Review no rating given just a review

The CAMP Photon is a fantastic choice for use in both trad climbing and ice/alpine climbing. Its size and design make it a versatile carabiner for everything from alpine draws to building anchors, with a low weight to keep you moving fast and light.

Obsessive gram-counters can find lighter carabiners, and sport crushers can find burlier ones. But for all-around use in the mountains, the Photon is hard to beat. It provides lightweight performance and full-size versatility at a very reasonable price tag.

Climbing Gear Review

This was the largest clipper reviewed (the smallest-in-review Metolius FS Mini nearly fits inside), and thus, not surprisingly, proved very versatile. It might be the easiest of all to maneuver while wearing gloves, and it also was the easiest to slap rope into, with the review’s biggest-measured gate opening. One Achilles heel of certain larger wiregates is a tendency toward “limp” gate resistance—this makes it harder to stabilize the biner while clipping the rope into it, or to push the biner open against, say, a hanger. But the Photon Wire had keen, pronounced “snap-back,” and testers unanimously loved its gate action. The Photon’s generous size also makes it a great “shiny metal handhold.” If you don’t need to ration room in your pack, this is a winning carabiner that’s built to last and fluent in all scenarios.

The UIAA equipment standard provides a baseline for equipment performance in a test lab under controlled conditions on new equipment. Although these test conditions are relevant to the conditions encountered climbing, conditions encountered at the crags and the condition of the equipment are equally important. This recommendation from the UIAA member federation The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) provides vital equipment information that is NOT explicitly addressed in the standard, particularly failure modes of the equipment and recommendations for the use, inspection, maintenance, and retirement of equipment.