Orbitkey Clip (V2) Review
The Orbitkey Clip V2 goes a step further than most carabiners with its convenient quick-release Fidlock. But just how much of an impact can a magnet have?
- Significant improvements over the Clip V1
- Superb build quality
- A convenient way to hold and access your keys
- Re-attaching the Fidlock strap may take some time to get the hang of
- Magnets aren’t really the first thing that comes to mind when securing keys in place
- Pricey for the use case
Fidlock Hardware, Zinc Alloy
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If you’re the type that has filled their tight-fitting pants’ pocket full of loose change and keys, then you’re probably no stranger to the unpleasant feeling of being poked by your own house key. Fortunately, Orbitkey has an alternative for the key-encumbered among us. The result is the Clip V2, but is it enough to convince you to evict those keys out of your pockets and onto your belt loops?
With its handy Fidlock quick release system, you’ll avoid snagging your favorite pants’ belt loops, unlock doors 0.001% faster, and get the satisfying tactility of a magnet. Interested yet? If so, let’s dive right in and check this thing out.
Design and Features
The Clip V2 carabiner has an all-Zinc alloy construction, and the pull tab on the Fidlock magnet has a Hypalon-feeling texture. At the time of writing, two colors are available: silver and “all black,” which is, well, black. Regardless of the two, though, you get a matte finish resistant to scuffs and scratches. After a month of testing, we can verify that it’s still looking pretty clean.
As the “V2” designation suggests, this isn’t Orbitkey’s first attempt at a carabiner. We’ve previously looked at the original version of Orbitkey’s Clip, which featured a plastic “hinge.” We didn’t love the design choice that relied on the plastic’s tensile strength to lock itself in place. We found this solution to be too brittle, and ours broke after one month of use.
For their second attempt, Orbitkey has teamed up with the folks over at Carryology. The result is that Orbitkey has omitted the quirky plastic hinge of the Clip V1 and instead opting to go with a standard—and what we think is a more reliable—metal hinge. It requires a fair amount of force to open, so Orbitkey recommends detaching the clip mechanism first, which we find makes it a bit easier. In all, we like that it’s not so easily undone that you have to worry about it opening once your keys are on.
One small detail worth noting is that the hinge is partly shrouded by how it’s molded, giving it some shelter from the elements. These are all quite drastic changes from the Clip V1, ones we’re delighted to see.
At this point, you might be thinking, “A magnet? That’s a good way to lose your keys.” Fortunately, since this is a Fidlock quick release system, it’s held up remarkably well during our testing. Fidlock, as some of the astute among you may recognize, is a company that specializes in magnetic fasteners. From bicycle helmets to shoes, they have pretty much applied magnetic fasteners to all apparel and gear imaginable. So don’t think Orbitkey just slapped a cheap magnet on the Clip V2 and called it a day, because they certainly haven’t.
We’re pleased with how well the Clip V2 has performed during our prolonged use. With the more robust metal construction, we haven’t had the same durability issue we encountered with the Clip V1. We’ll credit this to both the plastic hinge replacement from the V1 and the implementation of the Fidlock quick release system.
Attaching keys is relatively simple. You simply have to unhook the D-ring from the strap and hook in your keys and accessories. We found that unhooking the D-ring requires a bit of force, and you may have trouble undoing it at first. Thankfully, you’re not going to be doing this often unless you’re part of the 0.1% adding new house and car keys to your collection every day. As a bonus, this D-ring is thinner than the included keyring of the Clip V1, allowing you to put on almost any key.
So what’s it like during daily use? The Fidlock quick release system does just what it says—it quickly releases your keys. It’s relatively easy to unhook as well as requiring minimal fuss when you’re in a hurry. However, putting it back will take some time to get used to. It’s easy enough to put back if you have the clip in your field of vision. But if you like placing your carabiners on blind spots such as your backpack or your rear belt loop, it may take a try or two to re-attach your keys successfully. The magnet’s tactile feedback helps train muscle memory, and a quick tug helps keep your peace of mind.
As for staying attached, the Fidlock strap does a commendable job here as well. Even a vigorous jiggle of the entire clip with a full set of keys did not undo the magnet in our testing. Quite surprising considering that there are multiple points of failure for the Clip V2, including the strap, the D-ring, and the carabiner itself.
One thing to look out for is that if you’re already using Orbitkey’s Key Organiser, you have to make sure that the Key Organiser’s hinge is tightened to prevent your keys from protruding by accident. This is more to do with the Key Organiser’s hinge coming loose than the Clip V2 itself, but it’s still worth pointing out if you’re using them in tandem. Otherwise, using the Clip V2 combined with the Key Organiser is an excellent way to keep things organized, albeit slightly overkill.
Overall, the Clip V2 has made carrying keys around a lot more convenient and less painful for us, but it comes with a high price tag for the use case. It’s a significant improvement over the Clip V1 in terms of durability and function and an excellent comeback for Orbitkey in our books. While it may not drastically save you time fiddling with your keys when you need them, it at least makes the whole ordeal less of a hassle. It goes to show that if you’re unsure how to improve something, add magnets.
- A much sturdier version of the Orbitkey Clip with a new metal clip
- Magnetic attachment makes it easy to take your keys off without taking off the clip
- Detachable open D-ring lets you easily add keys to your set-up
- The V2 carabiner is a significant improvement on the V1 Clip, which broke after a month of use for us
- At first, we were wary of losing our keys by magnet failure, or the piece between the carabiner and Fidlock breaking, or the carabiner slipping off where we were attaching it—still, overall, the attachment has been rock solid so far
- The Fidlock holds firm, and we like the Hypalon-like material for a comfortable grip
- The D-ring takes a harsh tug to pull off but is ultimately strong & durable
- Still experiencing a rock-solid attachment when using this.
- Overall, we’re finding it faster to clip and unclip the carabiner to a back belt loop versus using the Fidlock magnet. When we’re able to look at the Fidlock device on a front belt loop or front of a backpack strap, it’s much easier to snap it on quickly. Maybe we’re slow at building muscle memory—YMMV.