- Buyer's Guide
Bond-Vox HALO Carabiner Review :: Drive By
The Bond-Vox HALO carabiner stems from a collaboration between Mike Bond from Ti2 Design and Jesper Voxnaes from VoxKnives. Putting prototypes of this multifunctional tool to the test is guest contributor and outdoorsman Piotr Ma.
Who It Suits
Any gear junkie like me. Or anyone looking for a hard use carabiner tool of extremely good quality and materials. I spotted the prototypes in Jesper Voxnaes’ hands at Blade Show 2016. Well, I checked my $upplies and a minute later I walked away with a thinner wallet in one pocket and three prototypes in the other one – titanium, bronze and acid washed copper. So if you’re like me, you’ll love the HALO carabiner.
Who It Doesn’t
People obsessed with lightweight gear, and extreme minimalists looking for uber-simple one-purpose-only keychain carabiners. Also the price at $69 might not be easily justified for everyone.
Now, after a couple of months of hard use (including vacations on a sailing yacht) I think it’s time to share my thoughts. First of all it’s such a cool-looking design! It’s a bold and rather substantial piece of gear (for a carabiner). And the materials: bronze is nice, distressed copper would surely be Mad Max’s gear of choice, and Titanium is just tough and lightweight. There is a considerable difference in weight between Ti and other versions – one is great as an EDC, but the heavier two could have serious advantages if used as impact tools.
“It’s a bold and rather substantial piece of gear…”
The HALO carabiner is a keyring of course…and actually you can use both the front slot and hex hole as key attachment points. After a couple of days of carry I clearly preferred the latter configuration. First of all when I snap it on my belt loop it is in a more secure position. It also gives me better access to the ‘multipurpose blade’. The blade is not sharpened of course, but it works great as a box opener, tape cutter, pry bar, scraper, flat screwdriver (rather big screws, but still), or Phillips screwdriver (when canted). Cutting through packing tape with your real keys is a big no-no, so the box opener functionality is really welcome. Glue residue on actual keys (from packing tape) attracts dirt and sand, which can destroy a precision lock in your car or home doors. Scraper and big screwdriver functionality is self-explanatory.
“The blade is not sharpened of course, but it works great as a box opener, tape cutter, pry bar, scraper, flat screwdriver (rather big screws, but still), or Phillips screwdriver (when canted).”
Now the pry bar… that is awesome! Just ask yourself how many times did you try to pry something with your key or knife? I’ve seen a lot of snapped points of fine folders on various knife forums – believe me, a tool like the HALO carabiner is a much better mini pry bar. And with a length of nearly 9cm (3.5″) it’s not so small either. I was even able to pry off an old board with it.
“…you can use both the front slot and hex hole as key attachment points.”
A shackle key is another big thing for me. I’m a certified open sea sailor and I went sailing with my family last July. So a shackle key which I can snap-attach to my sailing shorts is awesome. All the materials are quite resistant to sea water but I took the bronze one with me on a yacht recently to get some nice patina, which now looks quite stunning if you ask me!
“…a shackle key which I can snap-attach to my sailing shorts is awesome.”
The hex driver is obvious. What I like about it is the fit – hex tools sit there firmly enough so that they won’t fall out of the socket. I can’t tell for sure but I think the hole profile is just very slightly conical, so you can even apply some pressure on the screw when using the carabiner as a lever. And at 3.5″ it gives quite some torque compared to a standard screwdriver with bits.
“…hex tools sit there firmly enough so that they won’t fall out of the socket.”
The bottle opener is obvious. Sure, most of us can open a beer with virtually anything, even a sheet of paper (yes, google it) but HALO is just a joy to use and always handy. And last but not least, it can be used to hang stuff on it – it’s a carabiner, after all. It fits the MOLLE on my backpack, which is good news if you’d like to attach something like a Helle Utvaer knife, paracord, outdoor gloves, a metal cup or wooden kuksa, hat, sandals – you name it.
The Not So Good
Quality and innovation usually comes at a certain price and in this case it’s starting at $69, which can be perceived as a bit restrictive for a carabiner. But if you consider premium materials like Titanium and the cost of CNC manufacturing (made in the USA), design, prototypes, and of course superb functionality, I’d say the HALO carabiner is fully worth the price.
“Quality and innovation usually comes at a certain price and in this case it’s starting at $69, which can be perceived as a bit restrictive for a carabiner.”
Yes, it’s a good design. I’m really glad I grabbed them during Blade Show recently, just in time for the summer. The manufacturing quality is great, Mike Bond of Ti2 Design really knows his job. And the Scandinavian sense of design from Jesper is both innovative and utilitarian. And what’s really great, you can order them directly at Ti2Design.com for immediate delivery. A carabiner is one of the ‘good to have around’ gadgets and if it can serve more than one purpose it’s even better. HALO is good stuff!