One of the best things about everyday carry, especially now when there are so many options for gear available, is that you can customize not just what you carry but also how you carry it. This gives folks the ability to cater their daily loadout to a wide variety of needs, desires, styles, etc. And, so long as inventors keep inventing, those options just keep expanding. If you want proof of just how wide and deep this concept goes, just take a look at all the different ways we’ve figured out how to carry our keys.
One of our favorite categories in that realm is the keychain carabiner. Developed from the mountain climbing devices of the same name — which were, themselves, based on rifle clips used by armed soldiers — these simple clips are a handy means of organizing your keys while keeping them out of your pockets (where they can bunch up into unsightly, jingling clumps). Having evolved quite a bit over time, there are now numerous offerings that are impressive in their design, capabilities, construction, materials, etc. And we’ve rounded up the most outstanding of them on the following list of the 12 best carabiners for everyday carry.
Nite Ize S-Biner
Proof positive that you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg (or even a fingertip) to get your hands on an excellent everyday carry carabiner keychain, we have the Nite Ize S-Biner. Built from stainless steel, this clip has a handy and secure locking dual-compartment design — meaning you can clip it onto and off of your belt loop or pack without worrying about losing your keys and keychain accessories in the process. Best of all, it comes in ten different colors and three different sizes, so you can customize it as you see fit.
Outdoor Element Firebiner
If you’ve got a penchant for survivalism, you might find yourself drawn to the Outdoor Element Firebiner, as it comes with its own built-in fire starter and safety blade (perfect for cutting lengths of paracord). Of course, with its stainless steel construction, spring-loaded gate, and hang slots (to which a standard key ring can attach), it’s also just an all-around handy keychain carabiner. And for those that like options, it comes in six different colorways.
Kershaw Jens Titanium Carabiner
When Kershaw and Jens Anso team up, it’s something to get excited about. That goes for the aptly named Kershaw Jens Titanium Carabiner, as well. As you can probably guess, it’s built from sturdy and lightweight titanium — but that’s just one of the things that makes it impressive. It also features an integrated bottle opener, cord cutter, and a trio of hex wrenches (complete with jumping for better grip). If you can jive with its angularity, this is a super solid EDC carabiner.
If there is elegance in simplicity and straightforwardness, then the precision CNC-milled Trayvax Carabiner is as elegant as they come. This USA-made carabiner features a simple two-piece construction marked by a solid brass or titanium body mated to a spring-loaded gate for security. It also has a key-capturing slot to ensure that, once you attach your keys, they stay firmly attached — whether you’re constantly opening the gate or not.
Nomad Lightning Carabiner
For many everyday carry enthusiasts, the ideal situation is packing as much versatility into your loadout as possible. And in an ever tech-focused world, that gives the Nomad Carabiner a major leg up. Not only does this function like a traditional keychain carabiner with its familiar shape and spring-loaded gate, but it also has a hidden superpower: a hidden, integrated USB-to-Lightning cable ideal for keeping your Apple gear — be that your iPhone, AirPods, or whatever else — charged up on-the-go.
CRKT Compano Carabiner Knife
If you like the idea of increased versatility as seen in the Nomad offering above but your tastes are a bit… sharper, you might be drawn to the CRKT Compano. Built from sturdy stainless steel and with a solid, spring-loaded gate, this is an excellent EDC carabiner. It also has a tiny, hidden, folding blade made from high carbon steel that’s perfect for performing cutting tasks in a pinch. Whether you just want an emergency backup blade or you can’t reasonably make room for a full-sized knife in your loadout, this keychain alternative will serve you beautifully.
The James Brand Holcombe Carabiner
For anyone that dabbles in ultra-minimalism, there probably isn’t a better keychain carabiner around than The James Brand’s Holcombe you see here. Crafted from your choice of black-finished stainless steel or titanium, this device was made with simplicity in mind — yet it still benefits from a key-capturing dual-compartment spring-loaded gate, meaning you can still depend on it to be secure in use. TJB took so much care with this, in fact, that the width was made specifically to be exactly one beltloop wide. If that doesn’t tell you just how much work they put into perfecting this design, nothing will.
Handgrey Bauhaus C50 Titanium Carabiner
The concept of Bauhaus, especially in regards to design, is all about ultra-minimalism and letting the function of a device dictate its form. And, when it comes to carabiners, nobody has managed to pursue that endeavor quite like Handgrey. Just take a look at the C50 carabiner you see here with its single-piece design (complete with an integrated spring-loaded gate), solid titanium construction, and stone tumbled finish. Lovers of good design will undoubtedly fall in love with this EDC carabiner.
Orbitkey Maglock Key Clip
Leave it to a pioneering brand like Orbitkey to take the classic keychain carabiner and turn it into a modern powerhouse of convenience, as they have in their Maglock Key Clip you see here. Altogether, this functions much like you might expect: with a keyring for your keys, tools, and accessories and a simple (albeit elegant) zinc alloy carabiner clip to attach to your belt loop or pack. However, a closer inspection reveals that the keyring separates from the clip via a sturdy and secure Fidlock magnetic quick-release for added convenience.
The James Brand Mehlville Carabiner
We can’t sing The James Brand’s praises enough; from their heritage-turned-modern knife designs to their more esoteric EDC gear, they’ve done a spectacular job across the board. Take, for instance, the Mehlville carabiner you see here. The design is simple, to be sure, but well-considered with its minimalist design, stainless steel construction, and integrated bottle opener. It’s not overbuilt nor it is too pared down. To paraphrase the words of Goldilocks, this keychain carabiner is juuust right.
Handgrey HG Titanium Carabiner
While Handgrey’s previous entry was all about utter minimalism, the HG Titanium Carabiner you see here is a bit more industrial and functional. Yes, it’s still quite simple with a solid titanium body and a spring-loaded gate. But it also has some seemingly hidden features, like an integrated key-capturing loop and a bottle opener. Better still, despite its thoroughly angular and rugged appearance and overall toughness, it still weighs less than an ounce.
MecArmy FL10 Titanium Carabiner
For most folks, a carabiner is simply a means of carrying one’s keys. For MecArmy, there was so much more potential — which they imbued into their FL10 carabiner you see here. Yes, it’s a solid titanium carabiner that will do an excellent job of housing your keys and keychain accessories. But it also has a bevy of integrated tools that include a box cutter, bottle opener, pry bar, flathead driver, and — most impressively — a USB-rechargeable 360-lumen flashlight. For those who believe that every piece of their EDC gear should be as useful as possible, there might not be a better carabiner out there.
The 25 Best EDC Keychains & Keyrings
If you are looking for a bit more variety or perhaps just something that’s a bit more traditional, you’ll find what you’re looking for here on our guide to the best EDC keychains and keyrings.
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