This, for $89.00...
or this for $13.95. And the Petzel biner is anodized too. Additionally, Whicard missed the UIAA safety memo advising that auto-lock biners not be used in dusty sea coast areas. Must have been busy raising the price.
West Marine must get some really stupid--pardon me, non-climbers and folks with way too much money--customers, at least from time to time. These are nearly identical in design, meet the same same specifications, and use the same materials of construction. In actuality, the Whichard biner ($89.00) is just a common climbing biner with a silly price.
No, I didn't buy it. I have a life-time supply of biners. I was looking for something else (shackle) which they didn't stock. They only stock the very high-end shackles; you have to special order the more reasonably priced ones....
I am so glad a nice hardware store with an emphasis on marine stuff opened in Deale. They don't have everything, but their fastener selection is fantastic, far better than WM. I got out for less than $5.00 (2 small plastic cleats for a lazy-jack modification), which I always feel good about. The hardware store had the rest.
I've got an article on climbing gear for sailing coming out at some point. Marine prices forced the issue:
- 1" climbing webbing. $0.30/ft vs $2.47/ft.
- Climbing harnesses, relabeled, both by Petzel. $87.00 vs $245.00.
- Slings. $7 vs $35, both Spectra.