Black Diamond Ice Clipper

Ever since I started snowboarding, I’ve run a carabiner on my belt or pack waist strap for clipping my gloves to when I take them off, so I don’t lose track of them. Aluminum carabiners are reasonably light, but I moved over to the even lighter plastic Fastex Tactical Link when those were introduced. What most carabiners have an issue with though, is a tendency to lie flat along the belt, so one-handed use when clipping gloves to them becomes a bit more challenging. This is particularly noticeable with carabiners with any kind of curve along the spine (back, non-gate side). Enter the Black Diamond Ice Clipper. Like other plastic accessory clip carabiners, this product is non-load-bearing, but unlike a standard carabiner, the spine is flattened sideways, so the tension of the belt or webbing over it holds the gate-side out at a right angle. It will still roll flat if you push it firmly, so you can stow it when it is not in use.

Unlike the Fastex Tactical Link that has a snag-less key lock gate, the Ice Clipper has a wire gate with the requisite notched nose. This could cause a little issue with snagging on the hook if you’re removing thin items, but for webbing or cord bigger than 550 cord, it should be of little concern. It also helps that the Ice Clipper stays relatively still in use, so you can open the gate with your thumb and maneuver whatever it is you have inside out without engaging the nose. The Ice Clipper is molded in a medium grey with a bright stainless-steel wire gate. This is the only color it is currently available. The color blends reasonably well with UCP or Foliage Green, but stands out against tans or MultiCam. There is a small semicircular raised tab on the top of the inside surface meant to prevent the body from sliding down past that point. It is not particularly aggressive, so when used on anything other than the product-specific tunnels on Black Diamond harnesses, the tab does little to control the vertical location of the carabiner. Petzl makes a product similar to the Ice Clipper that has a long, aggressively toothed hook where the Ice Clipper has the small tab. I thought the hook would cause more limitations in use than the faint tab would solve problems, so I went with the Black Diamond product.

The build quality is reasonably good, but there are pronounced mold marks, especially around the opening of the gate, but this is nothing a minute or two with a pocketknife or needle file won’t fix. I would have rather seen the factory labor used to clean up the molding flash rather than paint in the relief Black Diamond logo black. My Black Diamond Couloir harness has webbing slots specifically designed for Ice Clippers, but they will work equally well behind a normal rigger’s belt or through two vertical channels on a MOLLE belt. For use on regular flat webbing belts, a perforated rubber strip is provided to retain the Ice Clipper when the belt is removed to prevent loss, not unlike the rubber figure eight provided with diving snorkels. Since the rubber strip has 4 holes placed at 1” intervals, one could conceivably weave it into the MOLLE grid and make the Ice Clipper more permanent.


Three-and-a-half out of four gear retaining monkeys

Made in the Philippines (not the PRC!)

About $8 USD

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