Your climbing rope is your lifeline. With the help of your belayer, you rely 100% on your rope to keep you safe and off the ground. When you have the best climbing rope to suit your needs, it puts your mind at ease so you focus on what’s important: your climbing for the day.

Our goal here at the Adventure Junkies is to help you understand the important features of dynamic climbing ropes.

A climbing rope’s ability to perform depends on how appropriate it is for your use. We’ll provide an overview of the best single ropes of the year, breaking down ideal choices for casual cragging days, hangdogging your project, featherweight sending, top-roping, or climbing in the gym.

 

THE BEST CLIMBING ROPE – QUICK ANSWER

  1. Mammut Infinity
  2. Beal Tiger Unicore
  3. BlueWater Lightning Pro
  4. Edelrid Eagle Light
  5. Sterling Marathon Pro
  6. Petzl Volta
  7. Sterling Fusion Ion R
  8. Mammut Eternity
  9. Sterling Evolution Velocity
  10. BlueWater Pulse
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CLICK HERE to Download our FREE Quick Starter Guide to Climbing.

 

 

THE BEST CLIMBING ROPE – A COMPARISON

PICTURE
ROPE
DIAMETER
WEIGHT
PRICE
RATING
PICTURE
ROPE
DIAMETER
WEIGHT
PRICE
RATING
Mammut Infinity
9.5 mm
59 g/m
$$$
4.8
Beal Tiger Unicore
10.0 mm
61 g/m
$$
5.0
BlueWater Lightning Pro
9.7 mm
61 g/m
$
5.0
Edelrid Eagle Light
9.5 mm
62 g/m
$$
4.6
Sterling Marathon Pro
10.1 mm
63 g/m
$$
5.0
Petzl Volta
9.2 mm
55 g/m
$$
5.0
Sterling Fusion Ion R
9.4 mm
57 g/m
$$
4.5
mammut
Mammut Eternity
9.8 mm
61 g/m
$$$
4.5
Sterling Evolution Velocity
9.8 mm
62 g/m
$$
5.0
BlueWater Pulse
9.9 mm
62 g/m
$
4.3

* Price compares 70m, dry-treated models

 

 

CLIMBING ROPES 101

 

7 THINGS TO CONSIDER TO FIND THE BEST CLIMBING ROPE

 

1. WHY DYNAMIC?

You may have heard of both dynamic and static ropes. Climbers use dynamic ropes because they stretch and elongate to absorb the impact of a fall. Static ropes are useful for hauling gear on big walls, but not for actual climbing.

 

2. DIAMETER

Diameter is a great way to begin to isolate the best climbing rope to meet your needs. Single climbing ropes can generally be sorted into three size classes.

 

THICK ROPES (9.9MM AND UP)

Thick are durable and great for beginners or climbers who prefer to top-rope. They are also great as “workhorse” ropes for projecting, which often involves extensive hang-dogging and repeated falling.

 

MEDIUM ROPES (9.5 – 9.8MM)

Medium ropes are durable enough to handle projecting but light and supple enough for comfortably sending sport and trad routes.

 

THIN ROPES (9.4MM AND DOWN)

Thin ropes will wear faster but are ideal for redpointing or lightweight, fast alpine sends.

 

3. WEIGHT

Weight is arguably more important than the diameter and should be considered alongside it.

The linear weight of a climbing rope is measured in grams per meter. Imagine leading a 20 meter (~65 feet) pitch – the rope weight that you’re hauling adds up fast. Climbers who are looking to send hard routes often seek the lightest weight rope they can get away with. For top-ropers and gym climbers, weight is not an issue.

 

4. LENGTH

Most ropes come in many different lengths. A 60 meter rope is often the standard for a single rope, but benefits come with choosing something longer.

A longer rope enables you to climb further in a single push. Length thus increases the number of routes available to you. The ends of a longer rope can also be cut more times before it becomes too short to climb on, thus potentially adding to its lifespan.

Two trade-offs to longer ropes are cost and weight. They are much more expensive and you’ll notice the extra weight on your approach to and from the crag.

 

5. DRY-TREATMENT

The ropes we’ve compared in this review are dry-treated. Dry-treatment protects ropes from water absorption, makes them more abrasion-resistant, and can increase their durability and lifespan.

Each company has a different standard for how they treat their ropes. Certain companies, like Mammut and Sterling, allow you to choose whether your rope is dry-treated. Some of the ropes we’ve covered are only offered with a dry-treatment. Although beneficial, dry-treatments increase the cost of a rope significantly.

If you are using your rope in a gym or in fair weather conditions, a dry-treated rope is an unnecessary expense.

 

6. BICOLOR

Bicolor is a convenience factor, and one that comes with a price tag. It’s perfectly fine to climb with a single color rope as long as you are safe and meticulous: know the length of your rope and always tie knots in the end while rappelling. Many ropes come with a middle marker, but in the end there is no substitute for good rope management.

 

7. ROPE CARE

Just like your climbing harness, there is no back-up to your climbing rope. It is absolutely critical to check your rope for wear and care for it appropriately. Rope companies advertise the expected lifespan of the ropes they manufacture. When your rope reaches the end of its life, retire it. The alternative is not worth the risk. Besides, think of all the fun crafts you can take on with your old rope bits.

 

best climbing rope

Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/GavinYoung

 

 

BEST CLIMBING ROPE REVIEWS

TOP 10 BEST CLIMBING ROPES

 

1. BEST OVERALL CLIMBING ROPES

MAMMUT INFINITY

 

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST USE: All-arounder

DIAMETER: 9.5mm

WEIGHT: 59g/m

LENGTHS: 40, 60 or 70-meter

TREATMENT: Classic, Protect, Dry

BICOLOR AVAILABLE: Yes (for Dry-treatment only)

PROS: Easy handling, durable, gives good catches, lap coiled for reduced kinks

CONS: Some users reported wear in the sheath that exceeded expectations

 

 

BEAL TIGER UNICORE

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST USE: All-arounder, top-roping and projecting

DIAMETER: 10mm

WEIGHT: 61g/m

LENGTHS: 50, 60 or 70-meter

TREATMENT: Dry Cover, Golden Dry

BICOLOR AVAILABLE: No

PROS: Exceptionally light for diameter, supple handling, Unicore technology binds core and sheath

CONS: None that we could find

 

 

BLUEWATER LIGHTNING PRO

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST USE: All-arounder

DIAMETER: 9.7mm

WEIGHT: 61g/m

LENGTHS: 60 or 70-meter

TREATMENT: Standard, Double Dry

BICOLOR AVAILABLE: Yes

PROS: Great durability, supple handling

CONS: None that we could find

 

 

EDELRID EAGLE LIGHT

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST USE: All-arounder

DIAMETER: 9.5mm

WEIGHT: 62g/m

LENGTHS: 60 or 70-meter

TREATMENT: Nondry, Pro Dry

BICOLOR AVAILABLE: No

PROS: Smooth and supple handling

CONS: Slightly less durable and heavy for its size

 

 

 

2. BEST WORKHORSE CLIMBING ROPE

STERLING MARATHON PRO

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | REI

BEST USE: Gym climbing, top-roping and projecting

DIAMETER: 10.1mm

WEIGHT: 63g/m

LENGTHS: 50, 60, 70 or 80-meter

TREATMENT: Dry-Core, Dry

BICOLOR AVAILABLE: Yes

PROS: Superior durability, very light for diameter, great “workhorse” rope

CONS: Less supple handling than thinner ropes

 

 

 

3. BEST THIN CLIMBING ROPES

PETZL VOLTA

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST USE: Lightweight sending and alpine

DIAMETER: 9.2mm

WEIGHT: 55g/m

LENGTHS: 50, 60, 70, 80 or 100-meter

TREATMENT: Duratec Dry treatment

BICOLOR AVAILABLE: No

PROS: Qualifies as standard single, half, and twin rope, UltraSonic Finish binds core and sheath

CONS: Some users report a slight slippery feel

 

 

STERLING FUSION ION R

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST USE: Lightweight sending and alpine

DIAMETER: 9.4mm

WEIGHT: 57g/m

LENGTHS: 40, 50, 60 or 70-meter

TREATMENT: Dry-Core, Dry

BICOLOR AVAILABLE: Yes

PROS: Lightweight with supple handling, tightly woven sheath

CONS: Less durable

 

 


4. BEST GYM CLIMBING ROPE

MAMMUT ETERNITY

mammut

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST USE: All-arounder, top-roping and gym climbing

DIAMETER: 9.8mm

WEIGHT: 61g/m

LENGTHS: 60 or 70-meter

TREATMENT: Classic, Protect, Dry

BICOLOR AVAILABLE: Yes (for Dry-treatment only)

PROS: Durable with smooth, supple handling, lap coiled for reduced kinks

CONS: Dry-treatment is expensive

 

 

 

5. BEST VALUE CLIMBING ROPES

STERLING EVOLUTION VELOCITY

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST USE: All-arounder

DIAMETER: 9.8mm

WEIGHT: 62g/m

LENGTHS: 50, 60, 70 or 80-meter

TREATMENT: Dry-Core, Dry

BICOLOR AVAILABLE: Yes

PROS: Light, smooth handling, great durability and lifespan

CONS: Factory coiled, so kinks are likely when the rope is new

 

 

BLUEWATER PULSE

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST USE: Top-roping and projecting

DIAMETER: 9.9mm

WEIGHT: 62g/m

LENGTHS: 60 or 70-meter

TREATMENT: Standard, Double Dry

BICOLOR AVAILABLE: Yes

PROS: Light for its diameter, extra durable sheath

CONS: Stiff, not very supple

 

The Best Climbing Ropes of 2017 – Best Rock Climbing Gear Articles – Climbing Products For Men and Women – Climbing Equipment Lists Posts

About The Author

Climbing Junkie

Kim is an all-around climbing addict. She’s been pulling down on rock and plastic for 12 years and has travelled all around North America to climb. Her favourite disciplines are sport climbing and bouldering, but you may find her plugging gear as well. When not away on climbing roadies with her husband, she is based just outside the granite wonderland of Squamish in British Columbia, Canada.

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