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 The FS Mini is technically retired but it's still sold online.The FS Mini is no longer produced by Metolius. We're showing it as "available" on WeighMyRack because you can still find it at trustworthy online retailers.

Metolius FS Mini Carabiner Full View
  • Metolius FS Mini Carabiner Full View
  • Metolius FS Mini Carabiner Full View
  • Metolius FS Mini Carabiner Full View
  • Metolius FS Mini Carabiner Full View
  • Metolius FS Mini Carabiner Full View
  • Metolius FS Mini Carabiner Full View
  • Metolius FS Mini Carabiner Full View
  • Metolius FS Mini Carabiner Full View
  • Metolius FS Mini Carabiner Rack Pack

FS Mini

Metolius

Rating

My vote: None ( 3.4 avg )

Description

-Lightweight, full-strength mini carabiner
-Hot forged
-Individually proof tested

Retail price

US$ 7.50

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Weight (g)

Weight (g)

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

23 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.

No
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
17 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.
  22 kN   8 kN    7 kN
FS Mini Review

FS Mini review by Outdoor Gear Lab.

Metolius FS Mini Review
Metolius FS Mini

Elaina of Water Stone Outdoors talks about FS Mini.

AVG RATING
4.32
( 4.3 avg )
Rating
3.48
( 3.5 avg )

too tiny for normal hands

Pros
Lightweight
Cons
too small

I bought 2 of these mini biners to try as a summer/rock alpine draw. First off, "mini" is no exaggeration!! If you've ever used the Camp Nano 23 and thought it was too small, then don't even consider this biner: its even smaller!


The Metolius Mini biners are priced to be good value compared to the similar Camp Nano. The Mini has a moderately stiff gate and very small gate opening. (Note: for reference, I wear a men's size large glove/mitt and with a bare hand could not fit an index finger in the gate opening - this makes clipping difficult. Alternatively, pinch-clipping is equally difficult because the biner is so small that there is little to hold.) Hence, these biners are too small for alpine draws, but work well for my alpine umbilicals where they won't get in the way or flip around like the Nano's.
Overall, the biners are good value in the "ultralight" category, but if you want "everyday lightweight" alpine draws then I'd recommend the Nano's or a larger lightweight biner. For example, a personal favourite (and highly recommended) in the "light full-size biner" category is the DMM Shield notchless biners (35g) or Wild Country Helium (33g).

Rating
5.16
( 5.2 avg )

Little bitty lovin'

Pros
Lightweight
Great Action
Cons
Rotating color selection

I got a set of these to rack my trad gear and have not been disappointed with their performance. They are the one of the lightest wiregate carabiners so I get to keep my rack weight down while looking slick. I can easily fit 3 smaller cams or 2 larger cams on each biner to save rack space.

My only complaint is that Metolius rotates the colors they have in production, so at any given time yellow, purple and brown (possibly others) are impossible to find--which only matters for color coding your rack. Otherwise, spot on Metolius!

Outdoor Gear Lab Gear Review rating 3/5

This is ideal for climbers who want to save weight and bulk. It is ideal for alpine rock climbs, but we also enjoyed using them on Yosemite trad climbs and big walls. It is not an ideal sport climbing biner because it is so small and tricky to handle. That said, we like the Metolius FS Mini Quickdraw for alpine rock climbs or anytime you want to save on weight and bulk.

Blake Herrington Climbing and Writing Gear Review no rating given just a review

The FS Mini works well as an accessory carabiner to hold my chalkbag or approach shoes, but not as a knot-bearing workhorse. I'd recommend larger models like DMM's Phantom or C.A.M.P.'s Nano 23 that have similar (or lighter) weights while maintaining their functionality in a wider range of situation.
There is definitely such a thing as "too mini" when it comes to carabiners. So does size matter? Yes.

Splitter Choss Gear Review no rating given just a review

The folks at Metolius are a crafty bunch. It seems like they are always searching for the next best thing, or how to make existing products that much better. The Master Cams were huge, and then of course we got Offset Master Cams, which fill a small but important niche on any trad rack. Now come two more additions we like: the Long Draw and FS Mini Carabiners.

Climbing Gear Review

I have Jimmy Dean fingers, so I’m an outlier in terms of hand and digit size. (Laptop keyboards confound me.) That said, I had little trouble clipping rope into the FS Mini, which ties for the second-lightest biner reviewed—and is certainly the smallest. Because of its keychain-biner size, the FS Mini will have detractors: It’s a tough sell for gloved alpine climbing and for hangdogging, when you sometimes grab biners to clip the rope. (I couldn’t open the gate with even one finger inside.) But for me, the space savings offset these issues: These biners won’t eat up pack room, which likewise makes them attractive for racking cams and wires, or for extendo-sling trad draws. The FS Mini also slips into the funky, homemade bolt hangers found on some American rock. With spry, springy gate action—quite notable for its stature—it will excel on multi-pitch trad where lightness is a must. The welcome Jet Set ($43.50) has six biners color-coded to match six Metolius cam, nut, and hex sizes, from blue (No. 1) up through green (No. 6).

Climbing Gear Review

After a few trips to the drawing board, the METOLIUS FS MINI is finally coming to market. This little bugger weighs only 23 grams and, as you can see, is about half the size of a standard biner. The “FS” in the name stands for “Full Strength,” as this keychain-biner sized dynamo is rated to 22kN. For the fat fingered (me), the gate was clippable, but obviously not capacious — this guys are probably best for those who really need to watch their weight, of for people with very heavy sets of keys.

Alpinist Gear Review rating 2/5

Does size matter? This question, historically the domain of trashy women's magazines, is now relevant to the ever-evolving climbing gear industry—in particular, rapidly shrinking carabiners. The Metolius FS Mini wiregate now stands as the smallest full-strength carabiner on the market. It looks and feels like the imitation 'biners my non-climber friends use as key chains, but with a strength rating of 22 kN.
Pros: small size saves room in pack; lightweight (but not the lightest).
Cons: limited gate opening doesn't work for cloves hitches, wide runners, or desperate clips.

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.