Best Climbing Rope in 2017 – Check Our Top 10 Picks!

When it comes to climbing, one of the most important pieces of equipment that you can have is a rope. No matter if you’re scaling an indoor rock wall or taking on a mountainous peak, having a climbing rope means that you can be safe and protected while going up or down.

If you’re new to this sport, you may think that a climbing rope is a relatively simple product, meaning that most of them are same. However, as you will see in this article, there are plenty of difference in design and style, meaning that you have to get the best one for your next adventure.

We’ll be going over some of the best climbing ropes you can find, as well as show you what to look for so that you can be sure that you’re making the right choice in your final decision.

10 Best Climbing Rope Comparisons

10 Best Climbing Rope in 2017 - Reviews

1. The550CordShop Grade A Manila Climbing Rope

The550CordShop Grade A Manila Climbing Rope

If you want something for a treehouse or to practice your climbing skills, this is a fantastic option for you.

What we like about this rope is that the construction of the splicing is amazing, giving this rope a tensile strength of five thousand pounds. We also like that the ends have vinyl coverings to prevent fraying and that the top is looped already.

As with all Manila Climbing Ropes, however, you do have to watch out for your hands, as the material is rough and can cause splinters or cuts over time.

Pros

  • High-quality manila climbing rope
  • Hand spliced materials
  • 1.5-inch diameter
  • Looped on the end for your convenience
  • Heat shrink vinyl tips to prevent fraying
  • Can hold up to 5000 pounds
  • Ideal for indoor or outdoor climbing
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Smooth sheath to prevent splinters

Cons

  • Can be uncomfortable for some users
  • Over time, this rope will shed fibers
  • In rare cases, it may arrive with a strong odor

2. USA MADE Gym Climbing Rope White

USA MADE Gym Climbing Rope White

For those who want a high-quality climbing rope for the gym (or a treehouse), this model from USA MADE is one of the best we’ve seen. The durability and comfort of this model are second to none, meaning that you don’t have to worry about fraying or splinters.

What we like about this rope is that the exterior is treated to be as soft and smooth as possible.

Even with that treatment, however, climbing this rope has never been easier. Also, the ends have thick rubber tips to prevent fraying, and the top has a rubber loop so that you can hang it almost anywhere. Best of all, this rope is designed for indoor and outdoor use.

Pros

  • High-quality climbing rope
  • Ideal for gym workouts
  • Rubber capped ends to prevent fraying
  • 1.5-inch diameter
  • Rubber loop on end for easy hanging
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Perfect for indoor and outdoor use
  • Smooth sheath is more comfortable
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Might be too uncomfortable for some users
  • Can be hard to hold onto at times

3. 12-Strand Arborist Climbing Rope

12-Strand Arborist Climbing Rope

As the name suggests, this rope is designed for climbing trees. It comes with a twelve-strand polyester interior and a thick plastic covering to make it as strong as possible. In fact, this rope has a tensile strength rating of eight thousand pounds.

The other thing that we like about this rope is the thickness, which is big enough to make it more robust, but not so thick that it’s hard to tie or create knots.

This rope only comes in one size, however, so if you need something smaller you might have to look elsewhere. This model is 150 feet long.

Pros

  • High-quality tree climbing rope
  • 0.5-inch diameter
  • 8000 pounds of tensile strength
  • Coating prevents fraying and twisting
  • Ideal for all environments
  • Twelve-strand polyester material
  • Highly flexible, with good knot retention
  • Low stretch capability

Cons

  • If kinked significantly, strength of rope diminishes drastically
  • Only one size available

4. Rope Fit - Manila Climbing Rope

Rope Fit - Manila Climbing Rope

If you’re looking for a rope that you can use for a treehouse or to climb into the rafters, then you need a thick, durable manila climbing rope. Unlike the other models we’ve seen, this rope from Rope Fit is built to be as thick and robust as possible.

As far as benefits go, the splicing of this rope is second to none, and it comes with shrink wrapped tips to avoid fraying.

Also, one end is looped already for your convenience. The only significant downside to this rope is that it is rough on your hands, so watch out for splinters and cuts.

Pros

  • Extra thick and durable rope
  • 1.5-inch diameter
  • Designed for outdoor climbing
  • Ideal for anyone looking to add rope to a treehouse or similar project
  • Ends are looped already for convenience
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Hand spliced rope
  • Heat shrink end caps to prevent fraying
  • Designed by certified riggers
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • In rare cases, the rope may start to fray quickly
  • Not ideal for rock climbing
  • Can be uncomfortable for some users
  • Will shed over time

5. EDELRID - Boa Sport 9.8mm Dynamic 

EDELRID - Boa Sport 9.8mm Dynamic

Next, we have another high-quality rope from EDELRID. This is another brand that is synonymous with top-notch outdoor gear, and because these products are made in Germany, you know that they are built to be as tough and reliable as possible.

This rope is a bit thicker than the other EDELRID model we’ve seen, but that means that it’s more durable and has a better fall impact rating.

Also, this rope does not have a high elongation percentage, which means that it is highly efficient. Best of all, it comes with Thermo Shield Treatment to improve the handling and grip.

Pros

  • Thermo Shield treatment for better handling
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Single rope for all kinds of climbing
  • Ideal for indoor and outdoor use
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Thicker 9.8 millimeter diameter
  • Made in Germany
  • Universal rope for all climbers
  • Meets all environmental and safety standards

Cons

  • Might wear down sooner than other models

6. Petzl Volta 9.2 mm Dry Dynamic Single Rope

Petzl Volta 9.2 mm Dry Dynamic Single Rope

So far, we’ve seen single ropes that are built for basic climbing excursions. However, if you are a more talented climber and want something that can be used in any environment, then we highly recommend this Dry Dynamic Rope from Petzl Volta.

First of all, this model comes with a variety of treatments, meaning that it won’t absorb water, it will provide better handling, and it has a much better grip than other models.

The other thing we like about this rope is that it can be used as a half or twin model, making it much more versatile than the competition. Finally, it comes with a middle mark to help you with rappelling.

Pros

  • Ultra-light and compact rope
  • 9.2-millimeter design
  • Duratec Dry treatment for all environments
  • Ideal for elite climbers
  • Works as a single, half, or twin rope
  • Perfect for rock, ice, and snow
  • UltraSonic Finish for added durability
  • Middle mark included for optimal performance
  • EverFlex Treatment for better grip
  • Multiple sizes available

Cons

  • Rope might be too thin for some users
  • Not ideal for beginners

7. Sterling Rope Evolution Velocity Climbing Rope

Sterling Rope Evolution Velocity Climbing Rope

As we mentioned, Sterling Rope is one of the more popular outdoor gear brands, and this Evolution Velocity model is one of the best that the company offers. If you want high-performance design and strong, durable materials, this is the one for you.

What we like about this rope is that it comes with a dry treated core to help withstand the elements, making it much more versatile than the other Sterling Ropes we’ve seen.

We also appreciate the thicker diameter to keep it stronger and reduce the elongation rating, meaning that this rope is more efficient as well. Overall, this is a high-quality rope that will work under almost any conditions.

Pros

  • Single dynamic rope
  • High-performance design
  • Ideal for all environments and terrain
  • Perfect for novice and experienced climbers
  • Smooth sheath withstands abrasion
  • Multiple sizes available
  • 9.8-millimeter design
  • Middle marker for optimal performance
  • Dry treated core to withstand the elements

Cons

  • Might be too thick for some users

8. EDELRID Eagle Light Pro 9.5mm Dynamic Rope

EDELRID Eagle Light Pro 9.5mm Dynamic Rope

For those who want to climb in a variety of environments, this Eagle Light Rope is a perfect addition to your climbing gear.

As a single rope, it is made for indoor and outdoor use, and because it has Thermo Shield Treatment on it, it can handle almost any weather with ease. What we like about this rope is that it is lightweight, durable, and doesn’t have too much static or dynamic elongation.

Also, the fact that this rope is certified by all environmental and safety regulations is a bonus as it makes us more confident in its ability to keep us in one piece while we climb.

Pros

  • Thermo Shield treatment for better handling
  • 9.5-millimeter diameter
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Ideal for indoor and outdoor climbing
  • Meets all environmental and safety regulations
  • Made in Germany
  • Single rope design
  • Multiple sizes available
  • State of the art yarns
  • Excellent shape retention

Cons

  • Might be too thin for some users
  • Can be a bit stretchy at times

9. Sterling Rope Fusion Ion R 9.4mm Rope

Sterling Rope Fusion Ion R 9.4mm Rope

As far as outdoor gear brands are concerned, Sterling Rope is one of the best and makes some of the best climbing ropes you can find. This Fusion Ion model is built for high-performance scaling and works both indoors and out.

The best thing about this particular rope is that it’s constructed with intermediate climbers in mind, meaning that it’s easier to use and won’t crack under pressure.

Overall, this is a fantastic single rope that can be utilized at the gym or on the mountain, and the multiple designs and colors offered means that you can find one that matches your personality easily.

Pros

  • High-performance model
  • Single rope design
  • 9.4-millimeter diameter
  • Ideal for intermediate climbers
  • Perfect for indoor or outdoor climbing
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Braided sheath creates a speckled design

Cons

  • Pricier than other models
  • Braiding can be uncomfortable for some users

10. Sterling Rope Marathon Pro Climbing Rope

Sterling Rope Marathon Pro Climbing Rope

If you want a single rope that is thicker and more robust, then the Marathon Pro Climbing Rope is an excellent option. With 10.1 millimeters of diameter, it’s perfect for indoor climbing, whether you’re practicing on the rock wall or doing a sport climb.

What we like about this model is that it is tougher and can handle more abuse, meaning that it is perfect for anyone who likes to go hard and wants to make sure that they are as safe as possible.

Also, it comes in a variety of colors and patterns, which means that you can pick a design that suits your sense of style. In fact, this is Sterling Rope’s most popular model.

Pros

  • Durable and professional rope design
  • Heavy-duty performance
  • 10.1 millimeter design
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Various pattern options

Cons

  • Might be too thick for some users

How to Choose a Climbing Rope

Diameter and Length

As you’ve seen, these different ropes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with each one designed for a particular purpose. If you’re climbing with a harness, then you need something that is thin and lightweight to help you get the most out of your climb.

However, if you are looking for a rope that can help you climb trees or work out, then you will need something thicker and more durable.

9.4 Millimeter or Less

Ropes of this thickness are designed to be as lightweight as possible when doing multi-pitch climbs. While they can be durable and hold your weight, they are not as strong and won’t hold up as much in falls (we’ll go over that later). Also, having a thinner rope means that it can be more uncomfortable to hold as you climb up or down.

9.5-9.9 Millimeter

These ropes are built for a wide variety of purposes, from traditional climbing to sports climbing. They are still quite lightweight for extended trips, but they are more durable than smaller ropes, meaning that they are a little safer and more resilient.

10 Millimeter and Above

If you get something that is a bit thicker, then that means that it’s built for indoor use mostly, like the gym or big wall climbing. Because these ropes are more durable, they are excellent for carrying more weight and will be safer overall, even if they are a bit bulky.

Rope Type

Another important aspect of climbing ropes is the style and design of them. As we’ve seen, some models are built for specific purposes, meaning that you want to get one that fits your needs exactly. There are five main types of rope, as listed below.

Single

For the most part, climbers use single ropes more than anything else. This design is made to be used by itself, rather than paired with another rope for extra stability. Single ropes are ideal for all sorts of climbing, whether you’re in the gym or out on the mountain.

Also, some single ropes are rated as half or twin, meaning that you can use them for a wider variety of settings and environments. However, be sure that you’re getting a multi-purpose rope if you need it, not because it has extra features.

Half

Technically speaking, these ropes are designed to be tied together and used in tandem for multi-pitch climbs. The idea is that it will reduce rope drag, as well as give you a backup in case one of them gets damaged.

Half ropes are also beneficial because they give you more length overall. The only downside to using these is that it takes some time to master the process, meaning that they’re not ideal for beginners.

Also, these ropes are designed to work with particular sizes and dimensions, so don’t mix and match as that could result in problems, as well as make the whole thing less safe.

Twin

In this case, twin ropes are almost identical to half ropes, with the major difference being that they are always clipped together, meaning that you get more drag as you go. As a result, these models are ideal for ice climbing or non-wandering routes.

The benefits are the same as half ropes, but these are usually thinner, meaning that they are more lightweight. As a result, you get a backup rope in case something goes wrong, and you can double your length instantly.

Static

With other ropes, you get some give and take while climbing, meaning that the material has some elasticity. Static ropes, on the other hand, are made with the idea that they won’t stretch or bend. These models are ideal for rescue work, caving, and other situations where you don’t want the rope to stretch.

Extra Features

When picking out a rope for yourself, you will want to pay attention to any added features that come with it so that you can get more out of your purchase. Here are the most common bonuses that you can find with climbing ropes.

Middle Mark

When rappelling, it’s imperative that you know how long your rope is, which is why many of them come with a mark in the center to let you know that you’ve hit the halfway point. If you don’t have this indicator, then you could continue down the rope and run out of space without even realizing it.

Dual Color Design

These ropes are made to have two colors that are separated in the middle. The reason for this is to create a much more resilient middle mark that won’t rub off over time.

End Mark

Just like having an indicator in the center is essential while rappelling, it’s also nice to have a marking near the end so that you can plan accordingly. Not all ropes have this, but if it does, then it could be a valuable bonus feature.

Dry Treatment

If you’re climbing in wet weather, then water can make your rope much heavier and harder to use. Also, if you like to do ice climbing, then it can freeze, meaning that you can’t really use the rope at all. To combat these problems, some ropes comes with dry treatments as a way to keep it from absorbing too much water getting stiff.

When deciding on whether you need dry treatment, you have to ask yourself if you will be climbing in cold and wet weather. If not, then you probably don’t need to pay extra for this feature.

Safety Ratings

Finally, each climbing rope is tested for safety and performance, which is important to ensure that it won’t break or give out while you climb. Four different ratings come with each rope, so pay attention to each of them when making your purchase.

Fall Rating

While you never want it to happen to you, sometimes accidents happen and you lose your grip. If that occurs, then you want to make sure that the rope won’t snap, which is where the fall rating comes into play. An international organization called the UIAA tests all ropes to see how many drops they can take before giving out.

To get a certification, a rope has to be able to withstand at least five falls. The tests in the lab are usually more rigorous than in real life, so you shouldn’t have to worry about the rope snapping before its time. That being said, be sure to check your line if you do fall to see if there is any fraying or breakage that could make it dangerous.

Static Elongation

This test is to determine how much the rope stretches with a weight hanging from it. The term static means that the weight is not moving, and the higher the percentage, the less efficient the rope is overall.

According to the UIAA, single ropes should not exceed ten percent of the total length, and half ropes should not exceed twelve percent. Try to get a model with a lower static rating, though, as it will enable you to work more efficiently as you climb.

Dynamic Elongation

During the fall tests, each rope is measured to see how much it elongated during the test. In this case, the higher the percentage, the more dangerous the rope could be as it will bring you closer to the ground.

If you want to get one that is safer, we recommend buying a rope with a small dynamic percentage, just to be safe. The UIAA states that ropes cannot stretch more than forty percent in this case.

Impact Force

While having a higher dynamic elongation percentage can be a bad thing, it can also reduce the impact force rating. This test is to see how much force was applied to the weight as it fell. If the rope stretches more, then it makes the impact much softer overall, and vice versa.

Final Verdict

When looking through these ropes, it’s hard to pick out ones that stand out among the rest because some of them have different purposes. Nonetheless, if you want a great all-around rope, then we suggest getting the Sterling Rope Evolution Velocity or the Petzl Volta. If you aren’t planning on going outdoors, then the EDELRID Boa Lightweight model is great for indoor activity.

If, however, you’re looking for a thick climbing rope, then the USA MADE Gym Climbing Rope is the best, as it is the most comfortable and the most versatile.

David Valle
 

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!

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