We’re talking about ‘The Gatekeeper’ and is it over designed a work of art or just a good Carabiner? It seems to be a bit of all three to me!
Carabiners are very clever and very useful bits of gear which can withstand huge forces. These can and do save lives, especially in the case of a rock climbing mishap, or they can be used to just hook your keys onto your belt.
I’ve used them a few times for towing cars and smaller ones for pitching tarps and parachutes when camping. It’s sad to say that even though the Gatekeeper looks tough, it’s not built to handle the stresses of climbing, so this is a ‘clip things onto your pack’ bit of gear, not a ‘stake your life on it’ piece of gear.
Simple carabiners can be bought for as little as $10. If you want to go a little upmarket then it’s worth looking at the Gatekeeper which costs between $114 and $335. This is designed for the express purpose of holding your kit and it seems to be an overachiever when measured against most of the competition.
If you wanted a gift for an outdoor enthusiast then this would probably be gratefully accepted, heck, I really wouldn’t mind if someone bought one for me!
At its core the gatekeeper is a work of art more than an essential and must-have piece of gear for your kit collection, there are other carabiners that will do the job, but is that the point of this?
It was designed by a New York artist and art teacher by the name of Gamble Staempfli. His work consists of sculpture, prop building, molds and model making. As a technical exercise, Staempfli has branched out into industrial design and specifically creative gear design. He says “My design is unconventional, but the Gatekeeper functions exactly as a carabiner should. Simply attach your gear, clip it to your belt-loop or bag and you’re good to go. I engineered the Gatekeeper from scratch to be strong and dependable, but my greatest preoccupation has been with the aesthetics of structure.”
The Gatekeeper is not the most practical item within this genre, but it is quite a work of art. It is constructed from 45 individual pieces, with a core of aluminum or titanium and an outer casing of titanium or bronze making it a robust product.
The basic assembly has 19 parts accurately machined and fixed with 26 stainless steel screws. It is made in the United States and sold in the United States by Gamblemade. The company guarantees and services the product.
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