What it is
The ORCA is a unique autolock sleeve/gate that can be set in the unlocked position. When you open the gate it is just like opening a non-locker, but the act of opening the gate “triggers” it and when the gate closes it will autolock just like a regular autolocking carabiner.
Why it’s good
The ORCA can be unlocked on your rack for easy access without any of the gymnastics involved in opening a conventional autolock in tight situations. Then when you clip it in something it will lock. Or, if you put it in a bolt hanger, tripod head, etc., and hold the sleeve when closing it will remain unlocked. Then you can turn the biner over and install a rope, pulley, etc., just like it was a non-locker, but when the gate snaps shut it will be locked. When climbing something sketchy, do you ever want to use a locker for your first placement? Use it for the bottom biner in a quickdraw and you can simply put the rope in and it will lock when it closes.
How it’s manufactured
The ORCA was designed in SolidWorks (3D modeling software). It is manufactured here in Utah on our 7 axis CNC turning centers. These state-of-the-art machines have two tool turrets and are actually like two machines in one. There is a separate program written for each turret. You just have to be careful you don’t violate that law of physics that says two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Or it can be very expensive.
Who can use it?
The ORCA is very versatile but it is not like any other carabiner and you must understand how it works. It is for experienced, advanced users. Of course, the truth is that everyone working or playing at height must totally understand their equipment and techniques or it would be best to find a more sedate activity.