The 5 Best Climbing Ropes | Test 2022 – Single Ropes


Best Climbing Ropes

What makes a good rope?
What do terms like impact force, sheath percentage, and dynamic elongation mean?
Today you will find out.

We’ll begin with an overview of the 5 best climbing ropes.
Further down below, the ropes are described in detail and evaluated according to our 6 test criteria.


The Best Climbing Ropes


Climbing Rope Test – The 5 Winners


Best All-Round Climbing Rope 

Black Diamond 9.4 Dry

Best Climbing rope allround
  • The Black Diamond 9.4 is the ideal all-around climbing rope due to its diameter and low weight.
  • The additional dry treatment makes it not only dirt and water repellent but also more resistant to abrasion.
  • The rope also beat the competition in terms of price-performance ratio.
  • Lightweight, durable, flexible. 

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Amazon

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Best Sport Climbing Rope

Edelrid Boa

edelrid-boa climbing rope test
  • The Edelrid Boa came out on top in all categories as the most balanced climbing rope.
  • The rope has a diameter of 9.8 mm (ideal for sport climbing) and a relatively high sheath percentage of 40% (durable and long-lasting).
  • The special thermal treatment makes the rope soft and supple.
  • The rope runs smoothly and is easy to clip.  

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Best Price-Performance Ratio

Edelrid Python 10 mm

edelrid-python-single rope climbing
  • The Python is both our test winner in the price-performance ratio category and our recommendation for beginners.
  • The diameter of 10 mm is slightly wider than most other ropes, thus providing more friction and support when belaying.
  • It has a fall rating of 8 and is one of the more durable ropes – a real workhorse.
  • We didn’t find a better-performing rope for this price.  

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Best Lightweight Climbing Rope

Petzl Volta 9.2

petzl-volta-best climbing rope
  • Supple rope with excellent handling
  • Lightweight
  • The dry treatment protects against moisture and dirt.
  • Certified as single, half, or twin rope – very versatile.
  • The Volta has a 40 % sheath-to-core ratio, which makes it a lightweight yet durable rope.  

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Best Climbing Rope for the Gym

Beal Wall Master

Climbing rope indoor
  • A real workhorse for the gym. Anyone who already owns a rope for climbing on the rock or climbs exclusively in the gym and is looking for an extremely durable rope can stop reading and go with the Beal Wall Master.
  • The rope is a little on the heavy side (71 g/m) but is extremely durable and will last a long time.
  • The impact force is quite low and the dynamic elongation relatively high – the perfect rope for some extra fall training.   

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6 Climbing Rope Test Criteria

We tested and evaluated the ropes according to the following criteria:

1. Handling
Different ropes range from stiff and rigid to soft and supple. How does the rope handle when belaying (operating a belay device)?
What is the rope’s handling like when climbing (clipping, friction)?
Does the rope tend to tangle?

rock climbing outdoor clipping the rope
Feels and tastes great

What’s the rope’s impact force? Basically, the lower the better – more on this further down below.


2. Longevity
Some ropes are designed for longevity, others for performance – we checked: 

  • What material was used? 
  • What’s the fall rating of the rope?
  • What’s the sheath percentage (the higher, the more durable)?
  • Does the rope have any additional dry treatment?
Best climbing rope test
Avoid sharp edges

Our tests clearly indicated that dry treated ropes not only offer better protection against water, but are also more durable in general.

A test carried out by Mammut had impressive results: dry-treated ropes survived their abrasion test for up to 50% longer than untreated ropes.


3. Catch
How soft is the catch in the event of a fall?

The ratio of impact force to elongation plays a decisive role here. We filtered out and evaluated the ropes with the best ratio.

climbing falling practice lead
Hopefully a soft catch

A soft catch with a fairly short elongation is ideal.


4. Versatility (for all-around ropes only)
The perfect rope doesn’t exist – every rope has its strengths and weaknesses. However, you can use well-balanced ropes in various ways, so we awarded points for this. 


5. Price-performance ratio
Good ropes at a fair price were awarded points. Overpriced ropes without matching performance lost points. 


6. Additional features
A middle mark is necessary. 
Bicolour: Each half of the rope has a different design. 

mammut climbing rope
Mammut Bicolour Rope

Ready Coil: Rope can be unpacked and used straight away. Ropes without Ready Coil must be properly uncoiled before you can use them.

For example: Edelrid ropes no longer require uncoiling:

Best rock climbing rope
Pull..
Best rock climbing rope uncoil
…the rope…
Best rock climbing rope uncoil
…and go climbing.

Climbing Rope Test Winners in Detail


Best All-Around Climbing Rope

Black Diamond 9.4 Dry

Best Climbing rope allround
Handling
91%
Durability
86%
Weight
93%
Catch
90%

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  • Good handling
  • Very versatile
  • Durable
  • Soft catch
  • Dry treatment is somewhat expensive

Diameter: 9.5 mm
Weight per meter: 58 g/m – example 70 m rope: 4060 g
Impact force: 8 kN
Dynamic elongation: 34 %
Static elongation: 8,4 %
Number of falls: 7
Dry treatment: Yes
Middle mark: Yes 
Ready to climb: Yes, no uncoiling necessary!
Application: All-round 

Allrond-black-diamond climbing rope
BD 9.4 – Close up

As you’d expect from a true all-rounder, this rope is well-balanced in all areas.

The Black Diamond 9.4 Dry is a true all-around climbing rope and can be used pretty much anywhere. Whether sport, multi-pitch, alpine, or ice climbing.

Climbing rope test
BD 9.4 Climbing Rope Test
  • The comparatively low weight makes it also interesting for alpine ventures.
  • A diameter of 9.4 mm is ideal for smooth handling.
  • Durable and long-lasting, even after multiple falls while sport climbing. 
  • Low impact force (8 kn) is an advantage for any application. 
  • The dry treatment makes the rope resistant to dirt, moisture, and abrasion. 
Rock Climbing Rope best
BD 9.4 – Good Handling

For all those who can do without the dry treatment, the rope also comes in an untreated version, which is about 40 dollars cheaper.

But the additional investment in the dry-treated is definitely worth it—ropes with extra treatment last longer.

Climbing rope Test
BD 9.4 Climbing Rope Test

Second place in this category went to the Mammut 9.5 Crag Dry. The Crag Dry only narrowly lost due to slight disadvantages in terms of price and handling.


What Makes a Good All-Round Rope?

1. Not too heavy
All-round ropes can be used for almost anything, while overly heavy ropes with large diameters are out of the question.

2. Medium diameter (around 9.5 mm)
The rope should not be too thin. Otherwise, the rope’s life expectancy will be too short – but it should definitely not be 11 mm thick either, or the handling will be a pain. 

3. Handling
Look for the middle ground between smooth handling and durability. 

4. Dry treatment
Dry treatment is always advantageous and increases the life expectancy by up to 50% in abrasion tests. Additional protection is a must for a perfect all-round climbing rope. 

5. Length
Longer routes are becoming more and more common, so this one is obvious – 70 m.

One rope for any discipline – it’s possible.
A true all-round climbing rope can be used for anything. If you’re active in lots of different climbing disciplines, but only want to buy one rope, then an all-rounder is the right choice. 

If you primarily do sport climbing, the following rope is the right one for you:


Best Sport Climbing Rope

Edelrid Boa

edelrid-boa climbing rope test
Handling
90%
Durability
93%
Weight
88%
Catch
93%

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  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Lightweight
  • Good handling
  • A bit stiff at first

Overview:
Diameter: 9.8 mm
Weight per meter: 62 g/m – example 70 m rope: 4340 g
Impact force: 8.8 kN
Dynamic elongation: 32 %
Static elongation: 9,3 %
Number of falls: 7
Sheath-to-core ratio: 40 %
Treatment: Thermo Shield
Dry treatment: No
Middle mark: Yes
Ready to climb? Yes, no uncoiling necessary!
Application: Sport climbing, indoor climbing

Best climbing rope edelrid boa
Edelrid ropes are “Checked By Hand”

Edelrid ropes are among the best ropes in the world. Period. 

The Boa’s construction makes it an ideal rope for sport climbing. The relatively high sheath percentage and thermal treatment provide extra durability.

The diameter of 9.8 mm is the sweet spot for modern sport climbing, and you can thus use the rope with pretty much any belay device out there.

Edelrid rock climbing rope
Edelrid Boa – Climbing Rope Test

The impact force of less than 9 kN and a dynamic elongation of 32 % ensure a soft catch.

All Edelrid climbing ropes are ready for immediate use (with no tangling) thanks to 3D lap coiling that eliminates cumbersome uncoiling.  

Climbing rope Review
Edelrid Boa – Climbing Rope Test

The Black Diamond 9.9 came in second place. As the second-best rope, it’s definitely also a great recommendation. However, in contrast to the Boa, it’s somewhat heavier and has a lower fall rating (6) but has minimal advantages in terms of impact force. Moreover, the Boa received a better score for handling due to the special thermal treatment. 


What Makes a Good Sport Climbing Rope? 

1. Durability
In sport climbing, falls are commonplace. You want a rope that can withstand lots of falls without having a negative impact on performance. 

2. Abrasion resistance
Especially when lowering your climbing partner, your rope often runs over sharp rock structures or sharp edges – abrasion resistance and a higher sheath percentage are an advantage. 

3. Handling and diameter (9.5 -10 mm).
Climbing ropes for sport climbing can be somewhat thicker, but the increased thickness should not impact the rope’s handling. Ropes with a diameter of just under 10 mm gave us the best results.

4. Length
The longest routes are often the most beautiful – so definitely go for 70 m or better 80 m. Depending on the climbing area, 80 m can also be useful, but 70 m will suffice for most routes. 

5. Weight
Especially our test winners strike a great balance between durability and low weight – perfect for sport climbing. Ultralight ropes should only be considered if:
a.) your approaches are very long
b.) you’re an absolute climbing nut and want to reduce weight for your hardcore projects. 

Keep in mind that a lower weight always comes at the expense of durability. In the sport climbing rope test, we focused on durability and good handling.


Best Price-Performance Ratio – Climbing Rope for Beginners

Edelrid Python 10 mm

edelrid-python-single rope climbing
Handling
86%
Durability
90%
Weight
86%
Catch
90%

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  • Relatively durable
  • Soft catches
  • Good handling
  • Good price
  • A little heavy

Overview:
Diameter: 10 mm
Weight per meter: 64g/m – example 60 m rope: 4480 g
Impact force: 8,9 Kn
Dynamic elongation: 32 %
Static elongation: 10 %
Number of falls: 8
Sheath-to-core ratio: 38 %
Treatment: Thermo Shield
Dry treatment: No
Middle mark: Yes
Ready to climb? Yes, no uncoiling necessary!
Application: Sport climbing, indoor climbing

Climbing rope test
Good Handling

Edelrid has designed a rope that is capable of way more than its low price tag suggests.

Edelrid Rock Climbing Rope
Affordable climbing rope

At 10 mm, the Python is on the thick side of things – which has 2 advantages for beginners: 

a.) It’s durable and insensitive.
b.) It’s not too smooth – in this case, the higher rope friction is a good thing since it gives beginners some extra support when belaying.

Edelrid Rock Climbing Rope
Edelrid Python – Climbing Rope Test

This climbing rope is the best choice for anyone who pays special attention to quality and price.

Second place went to the Tendon Smart Lite. It faired worse in all categories but is about 20 dollars cheaper than the Python. Nevertheless, the Tendon meets all safety standards and is a good option for anyone on a tight budget.


Best Lightweight Climbing Rope

Petzl Volta 9.2

petzl-volta-best climbing rope
Handling
95%
Durability
83%
Weight
93%
Catch
90%

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  • Versatile
  • Lightweight
  • Very supple and soft
  • Good dry treatment
  • Not super long-lasting
  • Lightweight has its price. 

Overview:
Diameter: 9.2 mm
Weight per meter: 55 g/m – example 60 m rope: 3850 g
Impact force: 8,6 kN
Dynamic elongation: 33 %
Static elongation: 7,5 %
Number of falls: 6
Sheath-to-core ratio: 42 %
Treatment: EverFlex
Dry treatment: Yes
Middle mark: Yes
Ready to climb? No, uncoiling is necessary. 
Application: Alpine, multi-pitch, ice and mixed climbing

petzl-volta single rope climbing
Petzl Volta 9.2

The rope feels great and is soft and supple – the perfect rope for a tough red point.

The Petzl Volta 9.2 got top marks in the category “handling”. The rope is very lightweight, and the dry treatment keeps the rope dry reliably.

The high sheath percentage makes it relatively durable while still being quite lightweight at just 5.5 g/m.

Climbing rope petzl volta
Petzl Volta – Close Up

The impact force of 8.6 Kn is surprisingly low.
All aspects of the rope were clearly designed for performance: it’s lightweight, has great handling, and runs smoothly. However, compared to other ropes, lightweight ropes are somewhat more susceptible to abrasion and wear. 

Second place – the Beal Joker 9.1 GoldenDry. The race for 1st place was particularly close in this category since the Joker got comparable test scores and isn’t inferior to the test winner by any means. The Joker is minimally thinner (9.1 mm) and slightly lighter (52 g/m), so both ropes are highly recommended.


What Makes a Good Rope for Alpine Ventures?

1. It should be lighter than the average climbing rope.
Long approaches, long climbing days – weight counts here. Ideally in the range of around 55 g/m.

2. Diameter (about 9 mm)
Sure, ropes could be even thinner than that, but ultra-thin ropes are usually not advantageous for most people. Especially since the lifespan decreases with each mm and the weight savings are negligible. 

3. Handling
These ropes should run smoothly and be relatively soft and supple. Rigid ropes have clear disadvantages in multi-pitch climbing. Especially if the rope doesn’t run straight (which is almost always the case), the friction would be unpleasantly high. 

4. Durability
If you hit the sweet spot between light and soft yet durable, you’ve found the perfect climbing rope for alpine pursuits. 


Best Gym Climbing Rope

Beal Wall Master

Climbing rope indoor
Handling
85%
Durability
95%
Weight
80%
Catch
91%

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  • Extremely durable and long-lasting
  • Soft catch
  • No middle mark

Overview:
Diameter: 10.5 mm
Weight per meter: 71 g/m – example 50 m rope: 3350g
Impact force: 8,4 kN
Dynamic elongation: 36 %
Static elongation: 8,5 %
Number of falls: 8
Sheath-to-core ratio: 42 %
Dry treatment: No
Middle mark: No
Ready to climb? Yes, no uncoiling necessary!
Application: Indoor climbing

Best Climbing rope gym
Beal Wall Master

The Wall Master is better suited for indoor endeavors than any other rope. 

  • The rope is heavier at 71 g/m (which should be fairly unimportant for short approaches and relatively short and straight routes).
  • It has a very high sheath-to-core ratio, making it extremely durable (especially for top-roping) and long-lasting. 
  • It has a low impact force (8.4 kN) and a relatively high dynamic elongation (36 %), making for pleasantly smooth belaying.
  • The special manufacturing method (One Core) makes the rope a little heavier but virtually eliminates the sheath shifts.
  • No tangling

Climbing ropes are worked especially hard in the gym. Anyone who climbs in the gym frequently will love this rope for its long life expectancy and for the fact that it remains supple even in tricky situations. 

Climbing rope gym
Different colour options

Second place
If you’re looking for a slightly lighter rope, I recommend our second place in the gym climbing rope test. The Edelrid Tower light costs about 15 dollars more but is 0.5 mm thinner (10 mm) and 5 g/m lighter (66 g/m).
– The Tower Lite isn’t as durable but has better handling. If you’re looking for performance, then I recommend the Tower Light – if durability is more important to you, then the Beal Wall Master is the better choice.


Which Climbing Rope Is Right For You?

This question is not a particularly easy one – for many, it will be a sport climbing rope, others will want to go with an all-rounder. For all those who like a few different climbing disciplines, owning several ropes may well make sense.

So before buying a climbing rope, you should try answering the following questions. 

Question 1: What Do You Want to Use the Climbing Rope For? 

Do you mainly go sport climbing?
Then buy a durable rope with a diameter between 9.5 – 10.5 mm. 

Are you looking for a lightweight rope for alpine tours – that you can also use for sport climbing?
Then take a look at the winners of the all-round category.

Do you only climb in the gym?
Definitely go for a climbing rope that was made specifically for the gym. 

You’re a beginner, usually, go sport climbing and don’t really know?
Take a closer look at our test winner in the price-performance ratio category – or get the winner of the sport climbing category.

Climbing rope review

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Question 2: How Long Should the Climbing Rope Be?

This question isn’t easy to answer since it depends on what you want to use the rope for. 

When is a shorter rope enough?
If you always climb in the same gym and your gym’s height doesn’t exceed 15 m, then a 30 m gym rope is sufficient. The same applies to crags that don’t exceed 30 m – then a 60 m rope is perfectly fine. 

When to use a longer rope?
But if you often explore new climbing areas or are planning a climbing trip, it makes sense to invest in a 70 m rope. Likewise, there are gyms with climbing routes that are more than 20 meters long (overhang) and require a 50-meter rope.

My recommendation for Indoor climbing: at least 40 m – preferably 50 m

Most climbing gyms are at most 15 – 20 m high, so surely a 40 m rope would be enough? That’s not necessarily true – but why?

  1. The trend is clearly going towards higher climbing gyms.
  2. If you climb in overhangs, the route length may well increase from 18 meters to 22 meters. So it’s better to make sure you give yourself a little extra room to maneuver. 
  3. The ends of any climbing rope are by far the parts that suffer the most.
    So after a while,
    your climbing rope may still be in good shape overall, but the rope ends need to be cut off. That’s not a problem if you have a 60 m rope – you can cut off the ends of the rope (2 x 5 m) and still have 50 m of rope left, which could almost double the life expectancy of your rope. 

But:
If you climb exclusively in your” gym, and this gym definitely isn’t any higher than 15 m, then a 30 or 40 m rope would also be sufficient for you. 

My Recommendation for Outdoor Sport Climbing: 70 – 80 m

Sure, for some climbing areas, a 60 m rope is perfectly sufficient. And if you climb exclusively on climbing walls that are at most 30 m high, then you’re on the safe side.

However, the trend here is also going towards longer routes; in many larger climbing areas, 35 m routes are no longer uncommon. 40 m routes are (still) an exception, however. 

Again, if you have an 80 m rope, you can shorten both ends of the rope one or more times and extend the lifespan of your rope. 

All-round: 70 m
If you only want to buy one rope, then I’d again recommend getting 70 m. If you have a little money left to spare, it makes sense to invest in separate special and more durable indoor rope in addition to a sport climbing rope. 

My recommendation for half ropes: 60 m
Of course, half ropes are also available in 50 m and 70 m versions, but 60 m is the sweet spot for most routes. Since they’re not quite as heavy as 70 m, they offer more leeway and a greater safety margin than 50 m ropes (especially when rappelling).


A good climbing harness is:

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Durable

We tested 14 climbing harnesses – take a look at the 6 Best Climbing Harnesses.

Best Rock Climbing Harness
Climbing Harness – Top 6

Question 3: How Thick Should the Climbing Rope Be?

Which rope diameter is right for me? 

Advantages of thin climbing ropes:
The thinner the climbing rope, the lighter and more supple it is. This provides clear advantages for long approaches or difficult climbs (less friction), where every gram counts. 

The disadvantages:
The lifespan of thin ropes is generally shorter. Thin ropes cannot compete with durable and thicker ropes in terms of abrasion resistance and fall rating. 

For beginners, I’d recommend slightly thicker ropes (10 mm). It depends a little on which belay device you use, but basically, thicker ropes are a bit stiffer, which gives you a little “safety buffer”, which is especially pleasant in the beginning.

If the rope is skinny, it can be “too smooth” when using certain belay devices, giving you the feeling that the rope has too little friction and slips through the belay device, especially when rappelling. 

When buying a rope and a belay device, pay attention to the instruction manual. Every belay device comes with exact specifications for which rope diameter is safe to be used. 

My belay device recommendation: Petzl GriGri

Weight example for a 70 m single rope:

Diameter 9.2 mm (Petzl Volta): 3850 g 
Diameter 10 mm (Edelrid Python): 4480 g

The difference is 630 g, and any difference of more than half a kilo is clearly noticeable.


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Question 4: Sheath Percentage? 

If you top rope or climb in the gym a lot, you should pay attention to the sheath percentage. It should be at least 36 % for the gym.

Higher sheath percentage

Advantages: better abrasion resistance and durability
Disadvantages: stiffer, more friction, higher weight

The rope you use for tough redpoint climbs should have a lower sheath percentage. This rope for special occasions is designed for performance: it’s light, supple, and causes as little friction and resistance as possible. 


Question 5: What About Dry Treatment?

There are 3 levels of treatments of climbing ropes. 

No treatment
Ideal for the gym since neither dirt nor sharp edges need to be considered. 

Dry-treated sheath
If the rope runs over sharp edges frequently, the lifespan of the rope is reduced considerably. A dry-treated sheath not only protects against dirt and moisture but also provides many times greater abrasion resistance. Ideal for outdoor climbing.

Dry-treated sheath and core.
Ideal for alpine terrain – and a must for ice climbing. The rope stays dry and does not freeze as quickly, even in extreme conditions. 

What Is Dry Treatment For? 

Advantage: It provides protection against water and dirt, making it more durable. 

Better abrasion resistance: islower on dry-treated climbing ropes, which makes them much more durable. 

Disadvantage: Price

Rope abrasion test Youtube:


Question 7: Dynamic or Static Climbing Rope?

When climbing, always use a dynamic climbing rope!

Exception:
Ropes for rappelling or setting up a route (workhorses).


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What Types of Climbing Ropes Are There?

There are 3 types of climbing ropes. The most commonly used type of rope are single ropes. 

Single rope:
Diameter: about 8.8 – 11 mm

Single ropes are the most common type of rope and the type used for sport climbing and indoor climbing, so basically any discipline where the rope runs quite straight and routes are about 30 – 40 m long. These are durable, long-lasting, and comparatively heavy ropes. 


Half rope:
Diameter: 7.5 – 8.8 mm

Half ropes are thinner than single ropes, but it’s always necessary to use two half ropes. They are used for multi-pitch routes and alpine climbing. However, they are also used for glacier and technical mountaineering tours and trad climbing. 


Twin rope:
Diameter: 6.9 mm or more

For experts and extreme tours. Twin ropes are even thinner and lighter than half ropes and can only be used as a unit. They are used for extreme rock, mixed, or ice climbing. 

What makes a good climbing rope and what creates the price differences?

The range of materials that are suitable for climbing ropes is quite limited. To be more precise, rope manufacturers use the same raw materials, namely the 5 poly… (polyethylene, polyamide, polyester, polyamide, polypropylene). 

The secret lies in the processing. 
The differences lie in the manufacturing process of the ropes and the processing and composition of the materials. In addition, some climbing ropes are dry-treated or undergo a special thermal treatment. These ropes are often more durable or more supple.

Climbing ropes differ in plenty of aspects:

  • Handling
  • Impact force
  • Elongation (static and dynamic)
  • Fall rating
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Sheath percentage
  • Longevity 
  • Dry treatment etc.

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What Does the Fall Rating Mean?

Each climbing rope must hold a certain number of falls. This safety standard is defined by the UIAA (International Union of Alpine Clubs) – it ensures that all climbing ropes are reliable and safe. Single ropes must withstand at least 5 falls. 

These falls are carried out in independent labs and place an enormous force on the climbing rope. Standard falls cannot be compared with a “normal” fall in the climbing gym; the forces acting on the rope are many times greater (80 kg fall weight, fall factor of 1.77, slowed down statically on an edge with a radius of 5 mm).

The fall rating is an indicator of how durable the rope’s construction is. The higher the number, the more durable and long-lasting (and usually thicker) the rope.

However, the number of standard falls has nothing to do with how many falls the rope can actually hold in practice before it’s no longer considered safe – this means that you don’t have to replace your rope after only 5 falls but can fall way more often. 

How many falls can a climbing rope take?
Unfortunately, this is impossible to answer because it hugely depends on the severity of the fall. It also depends on your body weight and the height of the fall, but the most important factor is the contact area with the rock.

If the rope runs on sharp rock structures or sharp edges during the fall, this shortens the rope’s lifespan. 

Regularly inspecting your climbing rope for damage to the sheath etc. is absolutely necessary. 


What Does Impact Force Mean?

The impact force is measured in kN (kilo Newton) – the higher the impact force, the more abruptly you will be slowed down by the climbing rope if you fall. 

The impact force has to adhere to a separate safety standard. In the case of single ropes the force must not exceed 12 kN. 

This is the true genius of climbing ropes.
The goal of rope manufacturers is to keep the impact force as low as possible. One task of climbing ropes is to absorb part of the fall’s impact – both the force acting on the climber and the material (bolts, belay point, belay chain, etc.).  

Elongation is good, but…
The impact is largely absorbed by elongation. This is great, but if the rope stretches too much, you risk hitting the ground. To prevent this, another safety standard regulates the elongation of climbing ropes (more on this in the next point).

The goal is to design a climbing rope with as little impact force as possible without stretching too much.


What Exactly Is Elongation?

The elongation specifies how many percentage points the rope stretches. The higher the number, the more the rope stretches in the event of a fall or when “sitting” in the rope. A high elongation ensures soft falls. 

Elongation standard specifications (single ropes)
Static elongation – maximum 10 %
Dynamic elongation – maximum 39 %

A high dynamic elongation reduces the impact force but also increases the risk of hitting the ground. Good climbing ropes are designed to absorb impact effectively without excessive elongation.


Climbing Ropes – Middle Mark

The center of the rope should definitely be marked – luckily this is now standard on almost all modern ropes. 

  1. The middle mark gives the belayer an indication of when the climber has climbed beyond the rope’s length. If this is the case, the rope will not be long enough to rappel all the way to the ground – which is important to know to ensure you can react appropriately. 
  2. Furthermore, the middle mark facilitates rappelling by making it easy to rappel from the middle of the rope. 
  3. The marker can also be a useful guide when picking up the rope. 

Top 4 Indoor Climbing Ropes

For the Gym Climbing Rope Review, we tested the most popular indoor climbing ropes. Take a look at the 4 best ropes. 

Best gym climbing rope
Top 4 Gym Ropes

The Difference Between Single Ropes and Half Ropes

Half ropes have clear advantages in alpine terrain, while single ropes dominate in climbing gyms and crags.

In contrast to single ropes, half ropes necessitate using 2 ropes. You can use them either in the double-strand or in the half rope technique. This offers several advantages in alpine terrain.

Advantages of half ropes

1. Safety margin
Ropes can be damaged by falling rocks or sharp edges, so using half ropes will provide additional safety since you’ll have two separate ropes.

2. Reduced rope friction
The half rope technique significantly reduces rope friction. Here, the right and the left rope are each hooked into intermediate belays on their respective side.

3. Rappelling
If you’re using two 60 m half ropes, you can tie the ropes together and rappel the entire 60 m, whereas a 60 m single rope only allows you to rappel a maximum of 30 m. Thus, half ropes save a huge amount of time when rappelling, which is a terrific advantage, especially in an emergency. 

4. Climbing in a team of three
1 lead climber can belay 2 followers, either staggered or simultaneously. 

5. Weight savings on technical mountaineering or glacier tours
1 half rope is sufficient for belaying in this case. 

For those of you who only do sport climbing or simple multi-pitch climbing (without rappelling), getting a single rope is definitely the better choice. If you frequently find yourself in alpine terrain or on demanding multi-pitch climbs, you’ll be better off with a half rope. 

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