Thursday, June 30, 2011

The S-biner

I love shopping at Major Surplus and Survival.  You can browse their inventory online but I love pouring over their catalogue which comes out a couple times per year.  I've purchased my sleeping bags from them and lots of wool blankets too.  About once a year I stop by on one of my treks through Southern California.  They are easy to find if you are in that area but it's not in a place I'd want to be after dark. 

One of my favorite items that I've bought from them is an S-biner.  Sort of like two carabiners hooked together, it’s like a carabiner only shaped like an S with a pin on both sides.  The only place I’ve seen them is at Major Surplus and Survival.  They go for $11.95 for 6.  The ones I use are called their #4 size and are about 3 ½ inches long.  They are a lightweight metal.  They also sell one called a #10 which is about 10 inches long and made of plastic.  I’ve never used those.  They can be viewed and purchased at 

The #4 is advertised as something you can use to hold your keys.  You attach one end to your belt loop and the other end holds the keys.  They also have a style with a little lip that will open your bottle caps.  I've never used them to hold keys or open bottles.  I love using these as clips to hold fence panels together in places where I want to be able to quickly open up the panels.  It’s much more convenient than using a regular carabiner to pin two panels together.  With this S-biner you open one side or another and the clip stays attached to the other piece.  You don’t lose clips.

In the front pasture I have hog panels surrounding my fruit trees.  I cut the 16 foot panels in half and have five 8 foot panels surrounding each tree to keep the sheep from eating the leaves and branches.  There are t-posts in each corner and the panels are wired to the t-posts.  This is really inconvenient when it’s time to go in to pick fruit.  I don’t want to unwire one of the corners.  I tried using hay bale strings to tie the panels together in the corners.  That works but if it knots then you have to cut the string in order to open the panel and pick your fruit. 

Then I discovered the S-biner.  At one corner I wire one of the panels to the t-post.  The other panel has an S-biner hooked to the top and another S-biner near the bottom.  The other side of the S-biners is hooked to the panel that’s wired to the post.  It takes about two seconds to unlatch the hook to get into the fruit trees.   


  1. I have a #4 and a #3. I use the #4 currently for my main key ring. I bought the #3 and used it first then tried the bigger #4 and haven't changed back.

    I first saw them in Georgia while visiting a son graduating from Infantry school and bought the #3. After jump school we were in Sports Chalet near here and he was looking for some and we split a package of the #4's. I like the #4 for keys as it allows the keys to fit deeper in my pocket.

    I hadn't thought of a fence latch, but they would work great. In looking at the Major Surplus site I was reminded of the Figure 9 and Figure 9 carabiner. I wanted to get a few of these to use for tie downs.

  2. Harbor Freight also carries some nice s-biners.