— Brinestorm

ITW GrimLoc Accessory Carabiner

I categorize carabiners in two über buckets: rescue carabiners you need to trust lives with, and accessory carabiners that simply help small items stay put. ITW, a military equipment manufacturer, has created possibly the most perfect accessory ‘biner for sea kayaking: The GrimLoc. Swords to paddleshares, I say!

In a world where sea spray, salt, and sand could spell death to normal ‘biners, these things are ingenious, invaluable, small, light, and oh-so-convenient. What makes them so cool…and unique?

First, they have a self-purging design, owing to a plunger atop a spring that clears debris out of small side vents. Second, they are made of high-impact polymer resin: They don’t heat up in the sun, they don’t rust, are extremely light, and they’re next to impossible to break. The locking/release mechanism is a top-down plunger (great when used with gloves!), rather than the dreaded wire gate or complex locking gate seen on most ‘biners. They will also release when too much pressure is applied. While this might seem like a bad thing, it’s to prevent getting snagged on something and not injuring the wearer, and I’ve never had one inadvertently come loose, even getting barreled in intense surf.

The core design idea behind the GrimLoc, however, was to integrate with modular webbing used on military equipment. There is a slot on which to slide and affix the GrimLoc to 1″ webbing, typically a mil-spec standard called MOLLE webbing. This means that GrimLocs can be hung from is also the same 1″ webbing that’s used on many PFDs. You don’t need to attach a GrimLoc to webbing to have it be useful, as shown in the photo below, but it sure makes ’em handy and incredibly secure when used in that way.

I’ve been using these things for years to keep map cases on my deck, to keep the ends of lanyards attached to my cockpit, and to hold various bits and bobs on my PFD so I don’t lose them or forget them. Not a single one has suffered a failure of any kind, nor have any of them it opened prematurely…and I’ve never had one refuse to open when needed. I probably own at least a dozen of them, and they’re all of consistent quality.

These little guys are available in packs of four all over the place online, not the least of which is Amazon.

  1. chris ketner says: December 9, 20129:15 pm

    I pushed the Amazon button-I bought some cuz I wanna be like Nathan!

    • nathan says: December 10, 20128:08 am

      Bwahaha! Chris, if you wanted to be like me, I’d seriously question your judgement. Or at least how much you’re drinking. 🙂

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