By: randosteve|Posted on: August 8, 2011|Posted in: Gear, Gear Reviews | 8 comments

You’d have too live on the moon if you missed the big news about the Black Diamond Magnetron carabiner on the interwebs about a month ago. It’s due to be released next spring and being hyped as revolutionary as far as design and function go. There weren’t any samples to play with at my BD line-showing in Jackson about a week before OR (I’ve heard there are currently only 10 samples in the country right now), so it was cool to finally be able touch them in SLC.

Black Diamond Magnetron technology will be offered in two styles for 2012,
the Rocklock and Gridlock, with multiple color options in each.
Look for the design to be expanded into other carabiners in the future.

First off, it’s cool to see companies think outside the box¬Ě. Too often we get accustomed to doing a certain task or using things a certain way, that we don’t even realize that it can be improved on. The symmetrical layout of the locking mechanism on the Magnatron carabiners make it extremely easy to open, and the moving arms associated with the magnets provide a positive feel when they lock in place upon closing. The new Magnetron carabiners might seem hokey to some, but I think once you think the advantages through and see for yourself, you will see the benefits in its design and function. They won’t be available until July 2012, so be patient.

The other thing that has caught my eye from BD for Spring 2012, is the new Vector helmet, which will replace the Tracer. I tend to use climbing helmets rather than ski helmets when I need some head protection, mostly because of their light weight, but also because of the venting and airflow characteristics that seem to be ignored, or not made a priority, by ski helmet manufacturers. Yeah, it's a bummer that it's harder to use goggles with most climbing helmets, but I seem to be able to get by with just wearing sunglasses most if the time anyway.

Available in two sizes and four colors for men and two for women, the Vector is sure
to be popular for those that like lightweight and good venting in their head protection.

I like the new Vector mainly because it is lighter than its predecessor, the Tracer, but there are also some other upgrades as well, like the redesign of the suspension system that is lower profile, lighter, ha less moving parts and tucks inside the helmet itself to allow for storage in or on your backpack. I have a smallish, egg-shaped head and good fitting helmets are hard to find, so it is really nice when they are offered in different sizes and the Vector will be offered in two, as well as some women's specific colors and the most popular selling helmet color to date and a color you rarely see in climbing helmet black!