Our editors carefully select every product we recommend. We may earn a commission from these links. Learn more

The Best EDC Carabiners for Your Keys

The Best EDC Carabiner for Keys 0 Hero
Photo: Dango Carabiner & Shackle

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 best carabiners for everyday carry.

The Best EDC Carabiners for Keys

Everyday Carry-Biners

What Exactly Is A Keychain Carabiner?

As the monicker suggests, an everyday carry carabiner is a type of carabiner that’s specifically designed to be carried on a daily basis. Unlike carabiners for climbing — which often feature strength ratings measured in Kilonewtons — EDC keychain carabiners aren’t engineered to support massive amounts of weight, and are instead made to simply carry a keyring and maybe a flashlight or keychain or two. With that said, some of the stronger keychain carabiners on the market can also be used to attach other pieces of gear to bags or racks — though we don’t recommend using EDC carabiners for this. 

Keys & Carabiners

How To Use An EDC Carabiner With Keys

There’s a bit of a misnomer going on here that can make EDC carabiners for keys a bit confusing at first. Everyday carry carabiners do hold one’s keys, however, said keys are all mated to a keychain or keyring which is actually held by the carabiner — and then suspended from your belt loop, bag, etc. Using these items is as easy as slipping a loaded keyring into the gate of a carabiner, attaching it to a connection point, and you’re good to go. 

Ultra-Secure Key Carrying

Why Carry An EDC Carabiner?

In theory, one could simply keep their keys and keyring in their pant pocket, though there are several factors that make EDC carabiners an objectively superior option. Hanging a carabiner from a belt loop is markedly more comfortable than having a set of keys poking your leg through your pocket, plus keychain carabiners are markedly easier to deploy, as they’re right there on your hip and don’t require you to dig through your pockets. It’s also substantially faster to add an extra key or keyring onto a carabiner than it is to mate a new keyring onto another keyring — as these can just be slipped into the gate of a carabiner. Most importantly, using an EDC carabiner is a markedly safer and more secure way of carrying your keys that massively mitigates the chances of losing your keys or keyring.  

Carabiner Qualities

What Factors Make For A Good Everyday Carry Carabiner?

Now that you know what an everyday carry carabiner is, why they’re useful, and how to they’re used, let’s dive into some of the most pivotal factors that should be considered when shopping for one. 

Materials: With the vast majority of EDC gear, the materials used to craft an item play an enormous role in determining its overall quality and performance, and everyday carry carabiners are far from an exception in this regard. Like climbing carabiners, EDC-specific carabiners are pretty much exclusively made from a variety of alloys, however, while most climbing items are made from steel, EDC carabiners are machined from everything from brass to copper to stainless steel to aluminum to top-shelf titanium. The type of metal used will also play a major role in a carabiner’s weight and strength. It’s also worth noting that quite a few of our favorite keychain carabiners are offered in multiple color or finish options. 

Designs & Gates: Traditional carabiners almost always sport a oval shape with an opening gate on one side. And while these items could in theory be used to carry a keyring on one’s belt, carabiners designed specifically for everyday carry are a far superior option, largely due to their unique designs — and often more premium constructions. EDC carabiners come in a wide variety of different shapes and sizes, many of which feature ultra-secure designs that feature more than one gate, allowing for an extra degree of security. Dual-gated carabiners also make it nearly impossible to lose your keys, as the keyring would have to somehow find its way past several gates in order to slip off of the carabiner — again, a situation that’s all but impossible. 

Integrated Features: In addition to their ability to securely carry your keys and keyring, some keychain carabiners also boast supplementary features that have been integrated into their design. This includes everything from deployable boxcutter-style utility blades to built-in bottle openers to integrated charging cables to even integrated flashlights and flint-striking wheels. 

Strength: Unlike carabiners made specifically for climbing, most EDC carabiners don’t advertise or cite their respective weight ratings, as these items aren’t meant to support the weight of a human, however, they can still differ pretty considerably in this arena. The larger, stronger, and more robust everyday carry carabiners aren’t just more rugged and long-lasting, but they also afford a bit of extra versatility as they can also be used for mounting or attaching small bags or pieces of gear. 

Nite Ize S-Biner

  • S-shaped double-gate design
  • Has unique locking system
  • Super affordable
  • Doesn’t have built-in bottle opener tab
  • Cheap materials & build quality

Best Affordable Carabiner: 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.

Construction: Stainless Steel
Number Of Gates: 2
Built-In Features: None

Outdoor Element Firebiner

  • Features integrated suite of tools
  • Sold in 6 different colors & patterns
  • Equipped with lighter-style flint striker wheel
  • More useful for camping & outdoors than for EDC

Best Outdoor Carabiner: 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.

Construction: Stainless Steel
Number Of Gates: 1
Built-In Features: Flint Wheel, Screwdriver, Bottle Opener, Utility Blade

Trayvax Carabiner

  • Made in America from premium materials
  • Stellar craftsmanship & fit & finish
  • Attachment hole can house paracords or keyrings
  • Sports beautiful visible machining lines
  • Great value considering quality & materials
  • Would benefit from more robust gate

Best USA-Made 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.

Construction: Brass Or Titanium
Number Of Gates: 1
Built-In Features: Attachment Hole

Nomad Carbon Carabiner

  • Has carbon fiber body w reinforced steel frame
  • Is Apple MFi-certified
  • Fast-charging compatible
  • Allows you to always have an iPhone charger on hand
  • Carabiner gate design appears to be a bit of an afterthought

Best Tech 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.

Construction: Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Steel
Number Of Gates: 1
Built-In Features: USB-A to Lightning Charge Cable

CRKT Compano Carabiner

  • Carabiner features integrated thumb-hole-opening mini sheepsfoot blade
  • Offered w/ 5Cr15MoV or 8Cr13MoV blade steel
  • Color-anodized collar & gate
  • Produced in two color combo options
  • Short 1.42” blade length limits utility

Best 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.

Construction: Stainless Steel
Number Of Gates: 1
Built-In Features: High-Carbon Steel Blade

Handgrey Bauhaus C50 Titanium Carabiner

  • Beautiful minimalist, Bauhaus-inspired design
  • Boasts full TI6A-4V grade 5 titanium unibody construction
  • Built to last a lifetime
  • Great value considering materials & craftsmanship
  • Can sometimes be difficult to find in stock

Best Minimalist 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.

Construction: Titanium
Number Of Gates: 1
Built-In Features: None

Dango Carabiner & Shackle

Dango Carabiner and Shackle
  • Directly holds keys & doesn’t require keyring(s)
  • Unique dual-gated, dual-chamber design w/ removable key shackle
  • Weighs only 2oz
  • Made in America
  • Main carabiner machined from aerospace-grade aluminum
  • Would benefit from more robust gate constructions

Best No-Keyring Carabiner: Made in America, the Dango Carabiner & Shackle is an ultra-secure and ultra-unique means of carrying your keys. Rather than accommodating a keyring, the Carabiner & Shackle consists of a carabiner that’s mated to a removable stainless steel shackle that the keys are mounted directly onto. Precision machined from aerospace-grade 6061 aluminum, the main carabiner also features a supplementary second gate and all stainless steel bolts and hardware. 

Construction: Aluminum & Stainless Steel
Number Of Gates: 2
Built-In Features: Removable Key Shackle

The James Brand Mehlville Carabiner

  • Super clever dual-gated, dual-chamber design
  • Single-piece dual-gate item is spring-loaded
  • Top-notch fit & finish
  • Boasts an integrated stainless steel bottle opener
  • Offered in copper, brass, or stainless steel constructions
  • Expensive price

Best Overall 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.

Construction: Copper, Brass, Or Stainless Steel
Number Of Gates: 2
Built-In Features: Bottle Opener

MecArmy FL10 Titanium Carabiner

  • Ultra-rugged full TC4 titanium construction
  • Has built-in 360-lumen 5-mode LED flashlight
  • Offers enormous amount of utility
  • Loaded w/ flathead driver, boxcutter, pry bar, & Paracord attachment
  • Suite of onboard tools results in bulkier form

Best Multi-Function 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.

Construction: Titanium & Stainless Steel
Number Of Gates: 1
Built-In Features: Flashlight, Flathead Driver, Boxcutter, Pry Bar, & Paracord Attachment

The Best Keychains & Keyrings for Everyday Carry

Photo: Orbitkey Clip V2

Everyday carry carabiners are a fantastic addition to any EDC loadout, however, in order to actually accommodate your keys, the vast majority of them require an additional keyring or keychain — the latest and greatest of which we’ve highlighted in our guide to the best keychains and keyrings for everyday carry.