Orbitkey Clip Mini Review
The Orbitkey Clip Mini works well if you’re looking for an aesthetically-pleasing carabiner and keyring combination, although thick keys may not fit.
- Easy way to hook keys anywhere
- Quick to add and remove keys
- Satisfying to lock into place
- Coating chipping after two weeks
- Most thick keys don’t fit
- Adds bulk to keyring
0.95 oz (26.9 g)
3.79 in x 1.35 in x 0.29 in (9.6 x 3.4 x 0.7 cm)
Zinc Alloy, Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), Stainless Steel
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How long do you take to load keys onto a new key ring? If it’s longer than it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop, we get it: the struggle is real. However, the folks at Orbitkey have put their design skills to work to try and fix that problem with aesthetically pleasing key organizers and clips that make it easier to move keys from one place to another and keep them where you need them.
This is the third Orbitkey Clip we’ve gotten to test. How does it compare, and does it solve a problem you might not have known you had? Let’s find out.
The Orbitkey Clip Mini is a combination carabiner and keychain that lets you easily add and remove keys yet keeps them locked in place. The carabiner is a zinc alloy coated in either black or silver, depending on whether you’ve chosen the Black or Silver colorway. After just a couple weeks of testing, we have noticed the coating beginning to chip, and since it’s primarily just hanging off a daypack and belt loop, we’re concerned with how the clip will look with extended use.
We haven’t had any issues with the actual functionality of the carabiner itself. The oval opens on one side so you can clip it to whatever you want, whether a belt loop on your pants, a D-ring on your sling or pack, or a hook on the wall. It’s easy to open, closes on its own, and stays shut, although it doesn’t lock.
At the bottom is a piece of TPU that hangs onto the stainless steel key ring. It’s Orbitkey’s Quick-Snap Lock System that locks the ring in place. The ring has a small opening that attaches to a piece of metal underneath the TPU to keep it from rotating and your keys from falling off. To open it, flip the TPU up into the carabiner and then pull the ring in the opposite direction. You’ll feel a small click and then be able to rotate the ring to expose the opening.
That lets you slide keys on much easier than prying open a jump ring. To lock it back into place, simply shift the TPU below the carabiner and pull the ring in the same direction; it clicks back into place to secure your keys. It works well for standard house keys and any other thin key or ring. However, if your car key has the fob attached, it may be too thick to slide onto the Orbitkey Clip Mini, and you might have to put it on a jump ring first before sliding it on. Your mileage may vary as to how you feel about that; some Pack Hacker testers don’t mind doing so for the aesthetics of using the Orbitkey, while the added step annoys others.
If you’re traveling, it could be easier to slide the keys to a locker, your Airbnb, or your rental car onto the Clip Mini than to the keychain you bought on a class trip to Washington, D.C. The included carabiner will also allow you to attach it to your travel backpack, even if it doesn’t have a key leash and clip, so you can find them easily throughout your trip.
We have no issues with the Quick-Snap Lock System, either. Unlike earlier iterations of the Orbitkey Clip, this one still works quite well and doesn’t let your keys fall off the ring until you mean them to.
While Orbitkey says you can “bid bulkiness and traditional carabiners goodbye,” with the slim profile of the Clip Mini, it doesn’t seem to save any space compared with a traditional keyring and carabiner. Indeed, when you use a key fob on a jump ring with the Clip Mini, it adds bulk when hanging down from your car’s ignition. It’s also bulkier to toss in your pocket, although if you’re using the Clip Mini, you’re probably planning to hook your keys somewhere, not pack them in a pocket. You never know when you’ll wear pants without belt loops, though, so we feel it’s worth mentioning.
At about an ounce, it’s a comparable weight to other keychains that include either a carabiner or a fun charm, so it’s not going to throw the weight of your backpack over the airline limit or weigh you down as you explore Rome. And with the ability to hook it to any attachment point, you may find it more useful than the Lego Minifigure dangling from your old keychain.
So you may still be left wondering if the Orbitkey Clip Mini is worth getting compared to other key clips. To help you decide, we’ve pulled out a few similar options.
The most similar is the Orbitkey Clip v2. It includes the same carabiner as the Clip Mini, but instead of the Quick-Snap Lock System, your keys slide onto a D-ring that attaches to the carabiner with a FIDLOCK. This allows you to secure the carabiner to the shoulder strap of your backpack, for example, and then use the Hypalon-like pull tab to pull off the key ring when you need to unlock your door.
The D-ring is harder to dislodge from the Clip v2 than the ring from the Clip Mini, but the opening is wider to accommodate thicker keys. Plus, the magnetic fastener is fun to play with.
However, they’re both improvements over the original Orbitkey Clip, which relied on a plastic hinge to lock into place. Ours broke after a month of use, so we think the v2 or Clip Mini are both better options if you like the Orbitkey aesthetics.
If you prefer function over form, however, you could simply pair a traditional carabiner with a jump ring to do the same thing. We’ve taken things a step further and slid a Nite Ize S-Biner SlideLock onto a keyring to add a locking mechanism to the carabiner. Then you don’t have to worry about accidentally losing your keys if the carabiner gets pressed open as your bag lays against a chair leg or the side of a bin. And with the minimal cost of the S-Biner, you could have nearly a dozen of these for the price of the Orbitkey Clip Mini.
You would lose the fun Quick-Snap Lock System and have to pry a jump ring apart to slide on your keys, but if you don’t add and remove keys regularly, that may not be a problem. And we won’t deny that the Clip Mini definitely looks nicer than our jerry-rigged dupe. So if you’re looking to streamline your everyday carry and plan to wear it front and center on a belt loop or laptop bag in more professional situations, the Orbitkey Clip Mini might be for you.
- Interesting lock design
- Like the smooth feel of the carabiner
- Excited to see how secure this carabiner is
- Coating seems to chip whenever you open the key ring
- Useful for carrying access fobs
- Easy to open carabiner