People have used climbing ropes for hundreds of years, both out of necessity and in the spirit of adventure. Today, the best climbing ropes have a simple but elegant construction: a core of several tightly-braided synthetic fibers inside a woven sheath. Often the sheath is made of nylon or polyester. These climbing ropes are designed for durability and tensile strength. They come in many different lengths and diameters.
Choosing a climbing rope can be a delicate business. A buyer must weigh his/her needs in order to optimize safety and comfort when climbing. A dynamic rope stretches to absorb shock in the event of a fall. A static rope stretches very little, but is better for rappelling, rescuing, or pulling up heavy loads. Longer ropes (around 70m) are standard for outdoor rock climbing, while shorter (30-40m) ropes suit gym climbers. Thin ropes are lighter but less resilient; thick ropes are a good choice for beginners, especially top-ropers. Whatever your specifications, here are the 10 best ropes available:
10. EDELRID Boa 9.8mm Climbing Rope
This rope carries a strong pedigree. Edelrid, the brainchild of a mountaineer and a braiding machine technician, has been in the mountain climbing business for 150 years. The narrow, lightweight Boa rope is optimized for easy handling. It bears the bluesign® stamp of sustainable textile production. Thermo Shield treatment ensures that the Boa will stay supple for its entire lifetime. It comes in a bold Oasis/Flame colorway.
- Made in Germany
- Has a good middle mark
9. MUMAI Outdoor Mountain Climbing Rope with Rock Hooks
With its noticeable blaze orange color, this rope performs well in fire emergencies and outdoor survival situations as well as rocky adventures and gutter-cleaning chores. Within the reinforced polyester rope are 13 rope cores, each made of three strands. There are metal firmness hooks at both ends of the rope. The sleek claw rings are easy to handle; they have no uncomfortable edges or corners.
- Tightly woven
- Comes in 10m, 20m, 30m, and 50m lengths
- Comes with a portable bag
8. Sterling Rope 9mm SafetyPro Climbing Rope
The SafetyPro rope lives up to its name. Adventurers rappelling down canyons can depend on it. Rescue professionals can use it to heave light rescue loads via the parallel plaquette system. With a figure eight knot, this rope has a minimum breaking strength (MBS) of more than 12 kilonewtons (or 2,697 pounds-force). The Sterling SafetyPro can be as short as 50m or as long as 200m.
- Available in red, blue, black and white
- Comes on an efficient spool
7. Trango Gym Cut 9.9mm Dynamic Climbing Rope
This gym-friendly rope was designed for indoor climbing, but it is also CE and UIAA certified. It comes in 30m and 40m lengths. Gym climbers will appreciate this tailored shortness, which eliminates the hassle of lugging a long, heavy rope around. The Trango rope has a smooth, supple feel ideal for endurance training. It comes in splashy blue or fuchsia.
- Doesn’t tangle easily
- Eye-catching colors
- Gym appropriate
6. Ingenuity Outdoor Climbing Rope
The close-knit braid of this rope ensures safety for spelunkers, engineers, hammock hangers, climbers, and everyone else. It features two sturdy, screw-locking carabiners, one at either end. These attach to the climbing rope with powerful buckles. The striped orange rope offers high abrasion resistance. Buyers can purchase a 10m, 20m, or 30m rope based on their needs. Besides the Ingenuity rope and two hooks, they will receive a convenient rope bag.
- Easy to clean
- Low cost
- Minimal possibility for burns
5. GM CLIMBING 8mm Accessory Cord Rope
A double-braided core gives this rope extra strength, while a braided cover gives it firmness and longevity. Its low stretch and resistance to moisture make it one of the best climbing ropes available. Super-tough polyester prepares the rope for all kinds of outdoor environments. Powerful fibers resist abrasion, bearing friction from natural surfaces. This GM Climbing rope comes in fluorescent orange as well as black with a bright blue pattern.
- Easy to tie knots
- CE/UIAA certified
- Suitable for Prusik loops
4. Singing Rock R44 NFPA Static Rope
Singing Rock patented ROUTE 44 technology, a unique method of blending different rope properties to produce a stronger, softer climbing rope with a more stable diameter. This is among the strongest polyamide static ropes on the market. Its ultra-dense sheath is abrasion resistant, perfect for rappelling and rescue operations as well as police and military work.
- Comes in black, white, olive, red and orange
3. Rope Fit Manila Climbing Rope
Climbers who have had enough of thin poly-blends can wrap their hands around thick manila Rope Fit rope. Instead of flimsy metal clasps, it features a hand-spliced, knotted loop crafted by a certified rigger in the USA. Biodegradable, non-toxic cordage oil preserves the natural manila fibers of this rope. It’s a great climbing rope on which to develop basic climbing strength and dexterity.
- Very durable
- Can be used to practice for the Spartan Race
- Easy to grip
2. SGT KNOTS Utility Rope
From “Woodland Camo” to “Stars and Stripes,” buyers can choose from 20 vibrant color options available for this multi-purpose rope. SGT Knots ropes are made in the USA, and they have practically endless uses. This one is a nylon utility rope with a polyester sheath prepared to weather outdoor conditions. It’s a must-have for any tool kit or car trunk.
- 1/4″, 3/8″, and 5/8″ widths available
1. FMS Natural Twisted Cotton Rope
Got animals? This triple-twisted cotton rope is made without dyes or chemicals that would harm reckless nibblers. Its wide selection of colors comes with the assurance that UV rays won’t fade their brilliance. The cotton is soft and comfortable, but tough enough to withstand the elements. This rope comes in 10ft, 25ft, 50ft, and 100ft lengths, as well as full spools. It is cut true to diameter: 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch, 5/8 inch, 3/4 inch or 1 inch wide.
- Made in the USA