The best climbing rope
Whether you are an avid climber or new to the rock-climbing scene, this popular activity necessitates some pretty important equipment purchases. From climbing walls in city gyms to the challenge of a cliff under open skies, the rope you use plays a critical role in your success and safety.
So, learning some of the ins and outs of what makes a quality climbing rope is a great place to start. A top choice is the Singing Rock Static Rope — with its robust and durable construction, it's easy to manipulate, no matter the situation.
What to know before you buy a climbing rope
The pitch of your climb should determine the length of rope you choose. The longer the pitch, the greater in length your rope must be. If you're tackling some shorter climbs with 30- and 40-foot cliffs, a shorter, less-expensive rope will do. Full-on mountaineering and advanced ascents require much longer, durable ropes.
Static rope is a type of rope that offers no give or stretch when placed under load. You can expect that these ropes are at their max length from the get-go and will provide no additional stretch when in use. Static ropes are most commonly used for climbing activities such as caving, rappelling, load hauling and top roping.
If you’re looking for a climbing rope with some stretch, then a dynamic rope is an optimal choice. Dynamic rope is constructed in a way that stretches when put under load. If you have a misstep while rock climbing, a dynamic rope will stretch to slow your fall and absorb a bit of the energy, lessening the impact of a sudden stop. This style of rope is best for rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering.
Climbing rope features
Material and thickness
Climbing ropes are usually made from either nylon or polyester. The rope's weave will determine the amount of stretch to expect. As for thickness, a standard climbing rope ranges in thickness from eight millimeters to 12 millimeters. The thinner the rope, the easier it will be to tie knots into it.
Weight is impacted by the length of climbing rope you choose and the material used in the rope's construction. You'll also want to consider the rope's thickness as another determining factor in the rope's final weight.
You'll find some climbing ropes that feature built-in eyelets. These are placed at the ends of the rope and are sometimes referred to as buttons or hooks. These high-strength plastic or steel loops are sewn into the rope and provide a place to attach your carabiners (also called a D-ring).
Climbing rope cost
The cost of your climbing rope depends on the type of rope you choose. Factors such as the material, the length, and the diameter, along with any additional features like steel eyelets, can play a part in the final price. Costs range from $20 for a basic style rope and climb as high as $500 for a top-of-the-line thick, flexible and lengthy climbing rope.
Climbing rope FAQ
Why should climbing ropes be cut on the ends?
A. The end of the rope is where stress most commonly occurs, resulting in high wear and tear. Removing a few feet off each end of the rope can extend its life.
What does a “fall rating” mean?
A. The fall rating is a standardized test where they attach a heavyweight to a predetermined length of rope and allow the rope to fall a set distance. The number of times the rope survives the test before breaking is the fall rating.
Which climbing rope should you get?
Best of the best climbing rope
Singing Rock Static Rope: available at Amazon
Our take: This strong, durable static climbing rope is versatile to use and has a unique woven construction.
What we like: Thanks to the innovative design, the Singing Rock static climbing rope offers impressive durability and strength while maintaining a smaller cord diameter than most. This climbing rope is built to last and comes in a variety of colors and lengths.
What we dislike: The ropes may lack the proper labeling for certification.
Best bang for your buck climbing rope
GM Climbing Cord Rope: available at Amazon
Our take: This budget-friendly option is for those that seek a quality climbing rope that withstands repeated use and is moisture resistant.
What we like: The outer skin of the GM Climbing Cord Rope is rugged and durable and features greater abrasion resistance. It is lightweight, compact and features low stretch with high strength capacity.
What we dislike: The rope's weight can be heavier than most and is prone to fraying.
Honorable mention climbing rope
X XBEN Outdoor Climbing Rope: available at Amazon
Our take: Made from 13 whole-core ropes, the X XBEN is a versatile option for those seeking a safe and flexible climbing rope that is cost-efficient.
What we like: This multipurpose static rope comes in a variety of lengths and colors. It is lightweight but strong, and the moderate size is easy to control and to carry. Each end of the rope is sewn with two hooks.
What we dislike: The rope is known to bind and twist near the D rings due to the tight weave.
Honorable mention climbing rope
Black Diamond Climbing Rope: available at Amazon
Our take: Utilizing a two-by-two weave construction, this rope's sheath is built to withstand everyday use and is an ideal choice for beginners and indoor climbers.
What we like: Black Diamond offers an overall good quality rope at a great price and provides a healthy balance of durability and easy handling. Not too stiff or soft, this climbing rope knots easily.
What we dislike: The rope is not dry-treated, which reduces its all-weather performance.
Honorable mention climbing rope
Ginee Static Climbing Rope: available at Amazon
Our take: Ideal for rappelling, this super-strong static rope is lightweight and made from a multi-core polyester structure.
What we like: Highly durable, this versatile rope is excellent, not only for rappelling but for emergency and engineering use. The plastic protection rings ensure that the climbing rope will not unravel on the ends.
What we dislike: The quality of the included carabiners is disappointing and requires replacement.
Rachel Pintarelli is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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