When you think about securely locking gear, it’s unlikely that a carabiner is anywhere on your list. We just discovered the Matador BetaLock locking carabiner and got a couple to see if they can change that assumption.
How the Matador BetaLock Locking Carabiner Works
If you’re familiar with carabiners for climbing, the term “locking carabiner” likely sparks thoughts of the classic twist lock that prevents opening when you’re hooked up under load. Matador’s BetaLock rethinks the concept by building in a keyed lock. Once the carabiner’s spring closes it, twisting the key above the nose pushes the deadbolt style lock into the gate to prevent it from opening.
One thing to note is that Matador did not build these for climbing loads. Instead of working with your fall protection, these are designed specifically for securing gear.
Using the Matador BetaLock Locking Carabiner
The reason this design is so appealing is that the spring-loaded gate on a carabiner makes securing gear much easier and faster than a traditional padlock or combination lock. Simply hold the gate open, loop the frame in and let go. Use the key to slide home the deadbolt, and you’re good to go.
There are limitations to consider, though. One is the diameter of the gate. At 1/2 an inch, it’s a bit too large to secure toolboxes, such as Milwaukee’s Packout, Flex’s Stack Pack, and Ryobi’s Link modular toolbox systems.
Another is that the frame and gate are aluminum. While this makes for a lightweight solution, it’s not super-difficult to cut. Of course, no lock is completely foolproof for a determined thief, but aluminum is easier to get through than hardened steel.
The last thing is that the key is the same for each carabiner, so one key unlock all BetaLocks. That’s convenient when you’re running several. However, it’s something to keep in mind if other people you’re around also discover how easy and convenient these are to use and decide to get their own.
With that in mind, we came up with some ways that we prefer the BetaLock over other lock options. Keep in mind, you can use it with or without locking, so it’s helpful even when you don’t need the security of a lock.
- Securing loop ends on cable
- Locking job boxes and other large tool chests/tool boxes with > 1/2-inch diameter lock access
- Securing your hard hat to your tool bag
- Securing lock bars on compatible tool boxes
- Connecting your tool tether to your belt
- Clipping smaller tool bags to the loops on your tool backpack
There are also plenty of recreational opportunities:
- Securing your bike or e-bike to a bike stand
- Connecting gear to the loops on your backpack
- Tethering critical gear to your kayak
- Securing your keys to a belt loop
- Locking backpack zipper loops together
Something else worth noting is that Matador has seven color options for the BetaLock, so you can also use those colors to help differentiate between similar bags, boxes, or gear.
Matador BetaLock Locking Carabiner Price
Each carabiner runs $30 and comes with two keys. There are a handful of online retailers you can get them from, but we recommend ordering them straight from Matador since we weren’t able to find any real discounts over the retail price.
The Bottom Line
The more we look around, the more ways we find to use a Matador BetaLock locking carabiner instead of traditional locks. Its lighter weight and spring-loaded gate make them far more convenient, plus you have the dual versatility benefits of a carabiner and a lock. It’s not a perfect replacement in every scenario, so be sure to consider the size and application. But when it’s the right fit for the job, it’s much easier to grab a BetaLock than anything else.