PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Oz carabiner
Innovation is what drives everything here at Black Diamond. If we're not making gear better, stronger, lighter, faster, more durable and easier to use, then we're not doing our job. In this ongoing series of monthly posts, we'll be giving you an inside look at some of our most innovative products through one-on-one interviews with our team of industry-leading product designers and category directors.
This month we talked with Climbing Hardgoods Category Director Bill Belcourt about the completely redesigned Oz carabiner, which now features our innovative HoodWire Technology and is available as a single carabiner, quickdraw, and color-coded Rackpack. Available this September.
What was the goal in redesigning the Oz Carabiner?
The main goal was to add our proven HoodWire Technology to the Oz, while maintaining the same size and 1-ounce weight of the original version.
What are the main benefits of HoodWire Technology in regards to the Oz?
The benefits are a snag-free nose on a true wiregate carabiner without creating a pocket in the carabiner body that trap debris. It combines the benefits of a wiregate and a keylock biner.
How did the design team go about reshaping the body to keep the Oz at 1 ounce?
We ran a lot of FEA (Finite Element Analysis) simulations and made a lot of prototypes bodies in order to get every gram of material in the right place. Even with the addition of HoodWire Technology, it's still the lightest carabiner in our line, and I honestly think it is the best carabiner we have ever made.
If the body uses less material than the previous version, how does the Oz maintain the same strength and functionality?
The simple answer is through efficient use of material in design and a sophisticated manufacturing process. Since the first Oz, we continued to improve not only our design skills but our manufacturing know-how. The first Oz body was hot forged out-of-house as we lacked the ability to hot forge a carabiner here at BD. But in the last 5 years we have not only purchased a hot forging center for our Salt Lake City manufacturing facility, we became very adept at pushing the boundaries of what could be formed.
What application is the Oz best suited for?
The Oz is not a "toy" or micro carabiner. It is a full-size, fumble-free carabiner for efficient climbing with cold and tired hands or gloves. It is best for trad climbing and alpine routes where going light is essential for success. We make them in lightweight quickdraw sets, color-coded Rackpacks for pairing with Camalots, and sell them as individuals as well.