Best Climbing Ropes Reviews 2018

With your life on the line in dangerous places, you want the best climbing rope before you hit the rock wall, ice cliff, or slopes. We’ll help you select the right rope and recommend a few of the best climbing rope brands on the market. We have given a quick rundown on our favorite picks from leaders in the climbing industry whose ropes pass vigorous safety tests. There is also a detailed article for each featured rope that gives all the important stats you need to make your decision.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Best Uses
Material
Size
UIAA Rating
Style
Our Top Choice
Petzl Volta 9.2 mm Dynamic Single Rope
Taking their business from caving to climbing, Petzl knows what is required in harsh terrain and unexpected circumstances. They design gear to keep you prepared for anything.
Designed to be extra light and thin. UltraSonic Finish bonds the core and sheath at ends to avoid fraying and extend rope life. Available in 30M-100M.
Thin and elastic, designed for superb climbers and mountaineers. Not for beginners.
Mountaineering, elite climbing
Duratec Dry treatment
9.2mm -70M -55 g/m + others
6 Fall Rating Single
Middle Mark
Best Value
Edelweiss Curve Arc 9.8mm Unicore Rope
Edelweiss has strict safety standards and an outstanding design and technical development team who engineer reliable ropes for climbers and mountaineers.
A fluid and light rope that holds up well to tough falls. No bunching due to separation of the sheath and core, thanks to Unicore Technology. Comes with rope bag and tarp.
Bi-color pattern could be of a higher contrast.
Sport, crags, alpine, multi-pitch
Polyamide
9.8 mm- 60M- 64 g/m
8 Fall Rating
Bi-Pattern
Sterling Rope Marathon Pro Dry Climbing Rope
Sterling offers a wide variety of ropes that you can rely on, so you can take it to the next level in your climbing game. They also have plenty of hardware, slings, and webbing.
Designed with a thicker sheath for durability, this rope is a workhorse. Extra dry with a low impact force that makes it safe to use and long lasting for rock and ice climbing.
Not the lightest rope on the market.
Trad, gym, toprope, solo
Dry Core
10.1 mm- 70M- 63 g/m
6 Fall Rating
Bi-Pattern
Edelrid Swift Pro Dry 8.9mm
Edelrid designed the first kernmantle rope, and has been in business for over a century with innovations in climbing equipment and rope weaving.
Skinny to the max. Triple-threat rope that is certified as either a single, half, or twin rope. Handles well with triple-layer protection against the elements.
Not designed for toproping or working routes.
Mountaineering, alpine
Pro, Thermo, Dry Shield
8.9mm- 70M -52 g/m
5 Fall Rating
Middle Mark
BlueWater 9.7mm Dynamic Single Rope
BlueWater Ropes is an American-owned, family-run business who specializes in manufacturing reliable climbing ropes with a range of choices.
Soft falls. A smooth payout. Easy handling. Lots of color and pattern options. Substantial diameter, yet not too heavy. 60M, 70M, or 80M.
A little pricey, but worth the investment.
Rock climbing
Double Dry Coating
9.7 mm - 60M- 61 g/m
8 Fall Rating
Bi-Pattern

(Updated )

How Do I Choose the Best Climbing Ropes?

Of course, not all climbing ropes are alike. You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need. And what you need when you’re half a mile up on a 5.10 route is a very reliable climbing rope that is made just right for your climbing style and environment.

Some ropes have loads of “give,” while others are sturdy static ropes for those “stay-still” moments. Stick around for our low-down on price, design, and performance to help you pick the right rope. We’ve got the nitty gritty on what constitutes the best climbing ropes, along with buying guides for your climbing shoes and harness too, and even some groovy little chalk bags to get that sticky grip you’ve been looking for.
Price
A cheap climbing rope is never a good idea, since it’s your lifeline in harrowing places. Always go with a reputable brand that has a good UIAA rating. On the low end, you can get a decent climbing rope for around $120-$150. Some of the top-of-the-line climbing ropes will cost you up to $250, depending on the length, manufacturer, and extra attention to detail like extreme weather proofing.
Features
There is a lot of design technology that goes into every climbing rope, and certain safety features are important to look out for. Of course, where you climb and your climbing style will come into play.

Here are some of the most important factors to consider before purchasing a climbing rope:
  • Length
  • Diameter
  • Weight per Meter
  • Number of Factor 1 Falls
  • Static Elongation
  • Dynamic Elongation
  • UIAA Certification
  • Single, Twin, or Double
  • Sheath slippage
  • Impact Force
  • Warranty
Also keep an eye out for the color and bi-pattern options, as well as weather-proofing. Now we’ll get into these factors in greater detail…
Construction and Design
Are you looking to add some curve to your swerve with a smooth payout and a high factor 1 fall rating in your new climbing rope? Then let’s get into a little more detail about what all these bullet points mean, including the UIAA rating system.

Factor 1 Fall Rating

In order to receive a UIAA certification, a climbing rope must be able to withstand five or more successive falls without breaking. The UIAA test drops a heavy payload of 176 pounds about 7.5 feet above an anchor system repeatedly until the rope breaks. If say, the rope breaks on the seventh fall, it will receive a UIAA Factor 1 fall rating of 6. So you want a higher fall rating on your climbing rope, right? Not so fast…

If you buy a rope with a higher fall rating, this usually requires a thicker core, which means a thinner sheath around it to ensure it still has a smooth payout through your belay device, and that it isn’t too heavy to carry.

The sheath is the outer shell, and it’s what protects your rope from abrasions. Any climber worth their salt knows there are lots of sharp edges vying for your rope’s attention. So, do you go for a thicker core, or a thicker sheath? I mean, you have to pick one, or else the rope is too fat and heavy to handle. If you know you are likely to fall a lot, choose a rope with a higher fall rating. If you rarely fall (or at least that’s the plan), then pay more attention to enhancements to the sheath, which will probably keep the integrity of your rope going for the long haul.

Single, Double or Twin Ropes

You can keep it simple with a single climbing rope, and this is definitely the way to go if you are buying your first lifeline. As you progress and take the lead, you may want to double-up on your protection; this is where double and twin ropes come in.

The advantage of using a double or twin rope is having a back-up rope if one of your ropes fails. Another advantage of double or twin ropes is a longer belay line for steep, multi-pitch climbs. Double ropes are dual ropes that are generally a little thicker than twin ropes. Generally, each double rope is alternately clipped through your pro as you climb, while the skinnier twin ropes are both threaded through every piece of pro. Double and twin ropes take more skill and expertise to manage, so practice working with them before you make this investment.

Other Important Considerations

A crucial factor when choosing a climbing rope is elasticity. This can be measured by the static and dynamic elongation percentage. The higher the dynamic elongation, the more stretch your rope will have.

If the sheath is not securely meshed to the core of your rope, you will experience bunching in your rope, sort of like a falling sock. Most manufacturers will rate this bunching under the term sheath slippage; look for a low sheath slippage.

Ropes come in a variety of lengths, generally anywhere from 30 meters to 100 meters, with the norm falling in the 60-80 meter range. If you buy a long rope, you should keep your eye out for a bi-pattern. With a bi-pattern, the color and pattern of the rope changes at the mid-way point, so you can find the middle of your rope easily.

Another important factor is the weight of the rope, as climbing ropes are quite heavy and must be carried long distances. Since ropes vary in length, the weight is calculated as weight per meter in grams; this gives a fair baseline comparison regardless of the length of the rope.
Performance and Ease of Use
Handling a climbing rope can be incredibly challenging, so one factor you may want to keep an eye out for is a pre-trained coil. A climbing rope with a pre-trained coil means it stacks neatly for traveling right off the bat. Not every manufacturer offers this, but it’s a nice little bonus.

You should definitely look for a good protective shield on the sheath; this will keep water and dirt from damaging your rope and weighing it down. When it comes to bounce or “give,” if you want a firm static line, then choose a rope with a low threshold of static elongation. For a springy line, choose a rope with a high dynamic elongation percentage.

Now that we’ve covered all the important factors, let’s go shopping…

We’ve checked out customer satisfaction, performance, and reliability with lots of dry protected lightweight ropes in the mix, in order to recommend a few of our faves. Whether you want a reliable static line, or twin dynamic climbing ropes, you are going to find something you love to accompany you on your next big adventure.

What is the Best Climbing Ropes?

Selecting from the wide variety of climbing ropes on the market today can be daunting. With options ranging in diameter from ultra-skinny to thick, and in elasticity from static to highly dynamic, and types that include single, twin, and double, it’s hard to choose the right one. That’s why we’ve created a buying guide—to help you select the correct rope for your next big climb.

Factors such as low-impact force, elongation, sheath slippage, and handling are all covered in our buying guide. Plus, we have a few cherry-picked climbing ropes for your perusal. Each rope we have recommended meets strict testing criteria from the UIAA for safety and durability.
Our Top Choice
If you love the Petzl brand, but want a slightly thicker diameter that also comes with the Duratec Dry Treatment and UltraSonic Finish, you may want to check out the Petzl Arial 9.5 mm Dynamic Single Rope with the EverFlex treatment that stabilizes the core.
Petzl Volta 9.2 mm Dry Dynamic Single Rope - Available in 2 Colors & 6 Lengths

Petzl Climbing Rope Volta - Gray - 50M


Features
Founded in 1975 by cave explorer Fernand Petzl, the company has grown to provide gear for extreme sports addicts in many arenas. Petzl provides top notch gear like ropes and harnesses for rock climbers and mountaineers, with many choices available, depending on your lifestyle and preferences.

One of the features that make this 9.2 mm diameter Petzl Volta Dynamic rope our top pick is the Duratec Dry treatment. This treatment will keep your rope light and free of dirt in changing weather conditions, and improve its longevity. Another enhancement to the life of this rope is the UltraSonic Finish, a process that bonds the core and sheath at the ends to avoid fraying.

A Climb Ready coil means your Petzl Volta rope is trained into its coil position, alleviating a stiff, hard to train coil. A Middle Mark can make a big difference when gauging distances with a long rope, so it is a welcome design feature in the Volta. This is a great rope for mountaineers due to its ultra-light weight, and will work well for excellent climbers who work in rock, ice, snow, and mixed conditions.

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what this rope can do, and important stats:
  • CE EN 892, UIAA
  • Single rope
  • Weight per meter 55g
  • Sheath percentage 42%
  • Factor 1 falls: 6
  • Static elongation: 7.5%
  • Dynamic elongation: 33%
  • Impact force: 8.6 kN single
  • 3 year guarantee
Available in orange or gray, with length options of 30M, 50M, 60M, 70M, 80M, or 100M.
Best Value
Enjoy the safety design and benefits of Edelweiss technology in your climbing rope. If you are looking for a slightly thicker diameter than our featured rope by this brand, check out the Edelweiss Flashlight II 10mm Rope in fire orange that comes in 50M, 60M, or 70M.
Edelweiss Curve Arc 9.8mm Unicore Rope - Available in 4 Colors & 4 Lengths

Edelweiss Climbing Rope - Green - 60M


Features
Edelweiss is a standout among climbing rope manufacturers. They take their technology seriously, with innovations like the Unicore sheath and core bonding, and have many options available for those who just can’t get enough fun on the rock face.

A single rope for traditional and sport climbers, this Edelweiss Curve Arc 9.8mm rope is light and can withstand a beating, making it a universal favorite. You will reap the benefits of the well-bonded sheath and core delivered by Unicore technology that maintains the bondage even after a sheath tear. You won’t have to worry about snagging and “the sock effect” with the ideal sheath slippage of 0%.

This rope is surprisingly light, keeping you agile and saving strength for your moves rather than hauling a heavy rope. The bi-pattern is a vibrant green and orange hue that makes it a standout in the crowd. This rope is a high-performance and safe choice for those who love climbing and are looking for excellent quality and reliable gear.

Here are the features of this rope in greater detail:
  • CE EN 892, UIAA
  • Single rope
  • Weight per meter 64g
  • Sheath slippage 0%
  • Factor 1 falls: 8
  • Static elongation: 9.4%
  • Dynamic elongation: 37%
  • Impact force: 8 kN
  • 1 year guarantee
Color options available for this single rope are Grey, Red, and Bi-pattern.
If you’re looking for a workhorse that won’t show wear and tear, select the Marathon Pro by Sterling. On the other hand, if you want a 9mm rope that can qualify as a twin or half rope, check out the Sterling Rope Fusion Nano IX Dry Climbing Rope.
Sterling Rope Marathon Pro Dry Climbing Rope — Available in 4 Colors & 2 Lengths

Sterling Rope Climbing Rope MP8A1060 - Fire - 60M


Features
Sterling offers plenty of hardware, webbing and slings, and a huge range of climbing ropes to choose from. You can hit the scenery with confidence, and enjoy the excitement of your next outdoor adventure with this rope by Sterling that is built to last.

Dry Treatment on the core and coat protects the Marathon Pro against the elements. This rope handles a great amount of weight considering its diameter. The extra thick sheath keeps it in better shape in rough conditions, and is particularly useful for anyone who does a lot of climbing and works out around razor-sharp edges. Even though it’s thick, you can easily use it with a GriGri.

Your lifeline in extreme conditions, you will be glad you picked a tough rope like the Sterling Marathon Pro. Pete Whittaker gave it a thumbs up after using it for a couple of weeks in the UK on off-width climbs with jagged rocks, attesting to the minimal wear and tear on it, despite taking plenty of abuse.

Here are the finer details of what this rope has to offer:
  • CE EN 892, UIAA
  • Single rope
  • Weight per meter 63g
  • Sheath percentage %
  • Factor 1 falls: 6
  • Static elongation: 8.4%
  • Dynamic elongation: 35.3%
  • Impact force: 8.6 kN
  • Made in the USA
  • 1 year guarantee
Color options are Blue, Orange, Fire, and Green in 60M or 70M.
Invest in superior quality with Edelrid’s super skinny 8.9mm rope, or if you are looking for something more substantial that will do well for all sorts of climbs and still handles well with a jump in diameter, check out the Edelrid Python 10mm Dynamic Climbing rope in Carrot/Icemint.
Edelrid Swift Pro Dry Dynamic Climbing Rope — Available in 2 Colors & 3 Lengths

Edelrid Climbing Rope ER71197.060 - Oasis - 60m


Features
Founded by Julius Edelmann and Carl Ridder, Edelrid opened its doors to business all the way back in 1863. They used their unique mountaineering and braid weaving experience to design the first kernmantle rope, and since then have continued to push the edge in climbing rope technology.

This 8.9mm Swift Pro Dry rope is extra skinny, and can operate either as a single rope, a half, or a twin. Great handling and won’t weigh you down by any means, this rope is built to withstand dirt and water with several protective shields. A Pro shield protects the core and deters grime build-up, a Dry shield keeps water out, and a Thermo shield keeps the handling and mobility on point. Just keep in mind that this rope is not designed for working routes, nor is it designed for toproping.

Here are more details about this rope, including performance data:
  • Blue Sign Certified
  • Single, twin, our half rope in one
  • Weight per meter 52g
  • Sheath percentage 34%
  • Factor 1 falls: 5
  • Static elongation: 9%
  • Dynamic elongation: 33%
  • Impact force: 8 kN
  • 1 year guarantee
Select from Ice mint or Oasis color scheme, and choose from 60M, 70M, or 80M.
BlueWater Ropes come in many varieties and sizes to choose from. If you are looking for a rope with a substantial diameter, low static elongation, and low impact force, the BlueWater 10.2mm Eliminator Double Dry Dynamic Single Rope delivers on these key features.
BlueWater Ropes 9.7mm Lightning Pro Double Dry Dynamic Single Rope - Available in 6 Colors & 2 Lengths

BlueWater Ropes Climbing Rope - Pink/Green - 60m


Features
BlueWater Ropes is a family-owned American company that began in the early 1900s as a textile company in Georgia. Since then they have spread their wings into an extensive line of climbing ropes, thanks to their love for adventure sports and rock climbing. Their ropes are used by some of the top professionals in the industry, such as Conrad Anker, Kai Lightner, and Beth Rodden.

This 9.7mm Lightning Pro Double Dry Dynamic Rope holds up to the rain and extreme weather conditions. Soft falls, a smooth payout, and easy handling make this one a keeper. Comes in many colors, including an easy to read Bi-pattern. Solid diameter to give you confidence when taking risks, yet light enough to take on your journeys into the wilderness.

Let’s get into the details of performance:
  • CE EN 892, UIAA
  • Single rope
  • Weight per meter 61g
  • Sheath percentage 36%
  • Sheath slippage 1mm
  • Factor 1 falls: 8
  • Static elongation: 8.9%
  • Dynamic elongation: 32%
  • Impact force: 7.8 kN
  • 1 year guarantee
Lots of options are available for this rope including Flavine/Sprout, Bi-pattern, Blue/Red, Flavine/Orange, Fluor/Orange, Neon Pink, Pink/Green, and 60M, 70M, or 80M.

Get the Best Climbing Ropes of 2018!

Nothing is more satisfying than a high-performance rope that meets your expectations. Let our favorite brands from top manufacturers in the industry take care of your safety. Whether you are on the sharp end of the rope on a regular basis, or just a casual weekend warrior, there is no substitute for high-quality equipment that meets rigorous safety standard tests like these featured climbing ropes.

Our Top Choice
Petzl Volta 9.2 mm Dynamic Single Rope
Best Value
Edelweiss Curve Arc 9.8mm Unicore Rope
Sterling Rope Marathon Pro Dry Climbing Rope
Edelrid Swift Pro Dry 8.9mm
BlueWater 9.7mm Dynamic Single Rope