The concept of everyday carry hinges on a few factors: usefulness, versatility and expedience. But the latter factor can actually impact your loadout's value, as the speediness with which you can access your tools can deeply impact their value. A smart EDC enthusiast knows that you can't (and shouldn't) ever compromise security in the name of quickness. However, with a carabiner keychain, you can have your proverbial cake and eat it too.
If you're looking for a way to make accessing your keys, keychain tools, and other accessories a good deal more convenient while still keeping them all safe and secure, swapping out your old keychain for a rock climbing-inspired carabiner could be in your best interests. But not any run-of-the-mill option will do, which is why we've wrangled together a roundup of well-designed, high-quality carabiner keychains that are actually worth your hard-earned cash.
Not only is the price of the Nite Ize S-Biner incredibly affordable, but you actually get two carabiners per purchase. This makes the value proposition even greater. Combine that with a dual-gate, key-capturing design and a relatively sturdy stainless steel construction and you get the perfect starter keychain carabiner for EDC. Of course, you can also upgrade to one of four other larger options if you so desire.
- Key-capturing design
- Not super robust
- Quite small
Leatherman is the king of multi-tools, so it should come as no surprise that the brand's take on an EDC keychain carabiner comes with some integrated multi-functionality in the form of a hex driver and bottle opener. It's also crafted from sturdy stainless steel, so it can handle whatever daily wear and tear you might throw at it (and then some).
- Integrated tools
- Gate prone to wearing down
- Bottle opener can snag on clothing
Versatility and discretion are the name of the game when it comes to the CRKT Compano. Equal parts keychain carabiner and everyday carry folding knife, the integrated 5Cr15MoV steel slipjoint blade is a handy addition for daily cutting tasks and hides away nicely. However, since the blade doesn't "lock" in the closed position, we'd suggest caution when choosing to add this to your EDC.
- Integrated slipjoint folding knife
- Sturdy construction
- Not Travel-Friendly
- Not For Beginners
Nobody wants to carry around an unwieldy charging cable, but the ubiquitousness of technology sometimes necessitates it. Well, you can split the difference with the Nomad Carabiner, which has a hideaway cable — USB-A to Lightning — built into it. Sadly, only Apple users with Lightning devices can use this particular EDC wonder.
- Integrated Lightning cable
- Non-abrasive exterior
Bypassing perhaps the most frustrating part of most EDC keychain carabiners, the OrbitKey Maglock Key Clip has a handy magnetic quick-release that allows you to separate its clip from its keyring. It's also beautiful with its minimalist design and duo of colorway options, making for a great design-forward addition to any loadout.
- Magnetic quick-release
- Secure in transit
- Hangs low off belt loops
- Magnet attracts most metals
The most minimal two-compartment design of any TJB carabiner, the Holcombe is perfect for ounce-counters and/or those that are limited on space. Despite its pared-down design and format, it's still remarkably strong and reliable thanks to titanium construction.
- Titanium construction
- Key-capturing minimalist design
- Minimal gate opening
- Slight play in gate
One way to ensure a piece of gear requires no maintenance is to eliminate anything that might break (say, moving parts). Or at least that seems to be the philosophy behind WESN's ultra-minimalist, single-piece CB. Although pared-down, this keychain carabiner is still made from super-durable, lightweight titanium.
- One-piece design
- Titanium construction
- Could be more secure
- Allows keys to bounce around
As far as carabiners go, The Mehlville magnificently exemplifies all the things that The James Brand does right. It's gorgeous, convenient, secure and even has some multi-functionality in the form of an integrated bottle opener. And while it's a tad pricey, you'll see those returns for years to come.
- Beautiful and elegant
- Secure key-capturing design
- Quite large
There's certainly something to be said for packing as many functions as possible into a single tool — namely that it makes for simple fixes on the go. And if you're a fan of DIY work, you'll likely be drawn to CIVIVI's titanium Polymorph with its retractable utility blade, hex wrench, multi-driver, etc. It more than makes up for its bulk (and price) with its array of integrated functions.
- Numerous integrated tools
- Rock-solid construction
- Not travel friendly
If you can look past its relatively exorbitant price, Handgrey's HG carabiner has one of the best designs of any keychain carabiner on the market by pulling from the realms of both Bauhaus and brutalism. Beyond that, it also boasts a rock-solid and lightweight titanium construction alongside an integrated bottle opener.
- Integrated bottle opener
- Harsh edges