MARWA Carabiners

  • MARWA carabiners
    The thicker version on the left can be compared with the thinner early version on the right. The later carabiners were rated at 10088 lbs. breaking strength while the early version had no rating stamped on it. 1964 equipment catalogs listed them as "un-rated".
  • MARWA carabiner
    Gate detail
  • MARWA carabiner
    Later style MARWA locking carabiner. The carabiner body on the gate side was much thicker on later carabiners
  • MARWA carabiners
    MARWA kidney shaped carabiners
  • MARWA carabiner
  • MARWA carabiners
    MARWA kidney shaped carabiners
  • MARWA carabiner
    Early thin MARWA non locking carabiner. The gate has a "spade" or "arrow" closure design.
  • MARWA carabiner
    Early style locking MARWA carabiner. Notice the gate has no notch or pin
  • MARWA carabiner
  • MARWA carabiner
    Later version locking carabiner
  • MARWA carabiner
    Early style locking version
  • MARWA carabiner
    Early style with thin gate side.
  • MARWA carabiner
  • MARWA carabiner

These beautiful carabiners were produced in the 1950s through to the late1960s. They were strong and well made with several design features ahead of their time. The graceful arched spine set them apart from other carabiners and the wide flared baskets gave them a triangular cross section which increased their strength. Later carabiner designs would refine the triangle, ovoid, or I-beam cross section concept to greater effect with improved technology. (MSR I-beam carabiner, Petzl carabiners, DMM carabiners)

Sebastian Mariner (1909-1989) designed these carabiners along with several other climbing tools and rescue techniques. He had a keen eye for innovation and the ability to take a climbers needs and turn that into functional equipment. More information on his life can be found here.

The design evolved slightly from the initial models to the final production version:

The stock used to construct the gate grew thicker.
A thicker gate increased closed gate strength and durability. The dovetail gate nose could be thickened and improved allowing the gate side of the carabiner to handle any load transmitted to it without deformation or outright failure.

The sharp angles on the spine were modified into a smoother S-curve.
Either it was recognized that sharp angles were a liability and a potential weak area or changing construction methods precipitated the change.

The wide flare on the baskets decreased slightly.
Climbing equipment was changing. Better ropes and protection were available and a smaller radius could be used on the basket of the carabiner without damaging the equipment. This, in turn, allowed the carabiners to fit through, and hang straight in, smaller eyes then becoming common on pitons. (Period soft iron hand forged pitons usually had rings or large diameter eyes.

See: Sporthause Schuster, Fritsch & co, and others

Also see: Mountain Project

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