Best Gym Climbing Ropes | Top 4 in 2023 | INDOOR Climbing.

Best gym climbing rope

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

Obviously, you can use ” normal” climbing ropes just as well for indoor climbing – BUT gym climbing ropes are designed to meet the specific requirements of gyms –they’re not only cheaper but also more durable.  

Indoor Climbing Ropes – Overview

  • For indoor climbing, 40 – 50 m long ropes are ideal.   
  • Weight doesn’t matter as much in the gym – above all; the rope needs to be durable. 
  • The sheath percentage is higher than on “normal” climbing ropes (about 40%), resulting in better durability.
  • A diameter between 9.5 and 10.5 mm is perfect for the gym.
  • Additional dry treatments aren’t necessary for the gym.
  • Gym climbing ropes are usually heavier, sturdier, shorter, and cheaper than outdoor climbing ropes.  

The 4 BEST Gym Climbing Ropes

Edelrid Bao Gym 9.8
Petzl Mambo Wall 10.1
Mammut Gym Classic 9.5
Beal Wall Master 10.5

Best Overall

Edelrid – Boa Gym

Climbing rope Gym Edelrid
  • The innovative polyester sheath provides extreme abrasion resistance. 
  • A high sheath percentage (41%) gives it extra durability.
  • Special thermal treatment for smooth and comfortable handling
  • Ready to climb – no uncoiling required.
  • Ideal for lead climbing or top roping in the climbing gym. 

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Best Price

Petzl – Mambo Wall

Best Climbing rope Gym Petzl
  • Best gym climbing rope in this price range
  • Slight compromises in terms of longevity.
  • Soft rope with excellent handling.
  • The diameter of 10.1 mm and the grippy surface makes it ideal for beginners.  

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Best Performance & Weight

Mammut – Gym Classic 9.5

Climbing rope Gym Mammut
  • By far the lightest gym climbing rope. 
  • Ideal for performance-oriented climbers. 
  • Lightweight and packable –an advantage for those without a car (cyclists, walkers).
  • Excellent handling. 

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Best Durability

Beal – Wall Master
(Top Roping)

Best Climbing rope Gym Beal
  • Heavy and extremely abrasion-resistant gym climbing rope.
  • Perfect for extensive top-roping
  • Highest sheath percentage (47 %).
  • The diameter of 10.5 mm makes it the thickest rope in our test.

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Our 5 Test Criteria

Is the rope stiff and rigid or soft and supple? 
How does it feel while belaying and operating a belay device?
What does climbing with the rope feel like (Clipping, rope friction)?
Does the rope tend to tangle?

best Climbing Rope gym

2. Durability
Some ropes are designed for longevity, others for performance – we took into account:
– Fall rating
– Sheath percentage (the higher, the more durable)
– Dry treatment

best Climbing Rope gym1

3. Catch
Whether the catch is soft or hard depends less on the rope and more on the skills of your belay partner. An assessment of a rope’s catch is therefore very subjective – nevertheless, in the course of our extensive fall training, we fell several times. We were able to determine the differences between the ropes.

Additionally, there are some fixed variables that we reviewed (dynamic and static rope elongation, impact force)

4. Price-performance ratio
A good climbing rope sold at a fair price – we awarded extra points for that.

Cheap ropes where, for example, the sheath frays quickly and the lifespan is questionable, lost some points. And so did overpriced ropes without a matching performance.

best Climbing Rope gym2
Testing- Mammut climibing ropes

5. Additional features:
The rope’s score was also favorably influenced by the following extras:
Ready to climb: Ropes that don’t need to be uncoiled.
A clear middle mark or bicolor (different design for the two halves of the rope).
Sustainable production (e.g. Bluesign)

best Climbing Rope gym boa edelrid
Edelrid ropes

Gym Climbing Rope – Full Reviews

Best Overall Gym Climbing Rope

Edelrid – Boa Gym

Climbing rope Gym Edelrid

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  • Very durable
  • Pleasant & smooth handling
  • Extremely abrasion-resistant thanks to the polyester sheath
  • Weight

Diameter: 9.8 mm
Weight per meter: 68 g/m – example 40 m rope: 2720 g
Sheath percentage: 41 %
Impact force: 8.8 kN
Dynamic elongation: 32 %
Static elongation: 5.5 %
Standard falls: 7
Dry treatment: No
Middle mark: Yes 
Ready to climb: YES!

Climbing rope Gym Edelrid

First climbing rope with an extremely abrasion-resistant polyester sheath – ideal for the gym. 

With the Boa Gym, Edelrid once again proved that they’re one of the most innovative rope manufacturers around. The high sheath percentage of the rope (41 %) makes the rope a little heavier, but it is extremely durable and abrasion-resistant. 

Best Climbing rope Indoor edelrid
The “Gym-version” is more durable

Polyester also has a much higher resistance to chemicals (e.g. detergents for holds).

The dual-surface sheath design provides a noticeably more compact and smoother sheath structure. The surface of the rope thus generates less friction and runs smoothly.

Climbing rope Gym Edelrid1

Thanks to the special thermal treatment (Thermo Shield), the rope remains supple and pleasant to handle over time. 

Due to the polyester sheath, the static elongation is only 5.5 %, which is below the average of 7.3 %.

This is an advantage for top-roping because the rope doesn’t stretch so much. So if you ever “sit” in the rope, you can continue climbing from the same place and won’t have to start over two meters lower. 

Climbing rope gym edelrid
Boa Gym climbing rope

Best Price

Petzl – Mambo Wall 

Best Climbing rope Gym Petzl

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  • Price
  • Low Impact Force
  • Good Handling
  • Relatively low sheath percentage (37 %)

Diameter: 10.1 mm
Weight per meter: 65 g/m – example 40 m rope: 2600 g
Sheath percentage: 37 %
Impact force: 8,5 kN
Dynamic elongation: 34 %
Static elongation: 8,5 %
Standard falls: 7
Dry treatment: No
Middle mark: Yes 
Ready to climb: YES!

Best Climbing rope Gym Petzl

Solid gym climbing rope – with an excellent price-performance ratio.

Anyone who wants to go easy on their main climbing rope or look for a cheap rope for indoor climbing will love the Mambo Wall and its great price-performance ratio.

Climbing rope Petzl indoor
Petzl Mambo

The rope doesn’t run quite as smoothly as, for example, The Mammut Gym, but the slightly thicker diameter (10.1 mm) and the grippy surface are advantageous, especially for beginners.

Best Climbing rope Petzl indoor
Petzl Mambo

With a sheath percentage of 37 %, the rope is slightly below the indoor climbing rope average (approx. 40 %) and is therefore not as durable as the Boa Gym. However, the Mambo Wall is noticeably softer and very pleasant to handle.

Climbing rope Petzl indoor
Good Handling – Petzl Mambo

If you are looking for an inexpensive, good rope and you can live with a few compromises, the Mambo Wall is certainly a good choice. We think it’s the best rope in this price range. 

Best Performance & Weight 

Mammut – Gym Classic 9.5

Climbing rope Gym Mammut

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  • Lightweight
  • Great Handling
  • Price
  • Proper uncoiling necessary

Diameter: 9.5 mm
Weight per meter: 59 g/m – example 40 m rope: 2360 g
Sheath percentage: 40 %
Impact force: 8,8 kN
Dynamic elongation: 33 %
Static elongation: 8 %
Standard falls: 7
Dry treatment: No
Middle mark: Yes 
Ready to climb: Must be properly uncoiled.

best gym climbing rope mammut
Mammut Gym Climbing Rope

The lightest gym climbing rope – ideal for performance climbers. 

The best climbing rope for difficult climbs in the gym. Also great for minimalists who don’t like to carry around unnecessary weight. 

Due to the weight and diameter, the rope scored exceptionally well in the handling category.

best gym climbing rope mammut
Mammut Gym 9.5

Certainly not the best choice for beginners, but ambitious climbers will love this rope.

Best Durability (Top Rope)

Beal – Wall Master

Best Climbing rope Gym Beal

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  • Extremely durable and long-lasting
  • Ideal for top rope
  • No middle mark
  • Too thick for some belay devices (10.5 mm)

Diameter: 10.5 mm
Weight per meter: 71 g/m – example 40 m rope: 2840 g
Sheath percentage: 47 %
Impact force: 8,4 kN
Dynamic elongation: 34 %
Standard falls: 7
Dry treatment: No
Middle mark: No
Ready to climb: YES!

best climbing rope indoor beal
Beal Wall Master blue

For everyone who is mainly top roping – the Wall Master is perfect. 

The rope is noticeably heavier at 71 g/m (which should be relatively negligible for short approaches and relatively short and straight routes).

Best Climbing rope Gym Beal

It has a very high sheath percentage (47 %) which makes it extremely durable (especially for top roping) and durable. 

The low impact force (8.4 kN) and a relatively high dynamic rope elongation (36 %) make for a pleasantly soft catch.

The special manufacturing process (One Core) makes the rope significantly heavier, but damages to the rope (sheath slippage) are eliminated.

What Rope Length Should You Get for the Gym?

Climbing rope gym test
  • If you climb exclusively in gyms with a maximum climbing length of 16 m, then a 40 m rope is sufficient. 
  • If the gym is lower, even a 30 m rope will suffice.
  • In large climbing gyms, a total climbing length (overhang) of up to 25 m is achieved even on an 18 m high wall – which means that a 50 m rope is required.  

Attention: The wall height on overhangs doesn’t correspond to the rope length that is actually required. In an overhang, the effective climbing length is increased by several meters. Ask the staff in the respective gym how long your climbing rope needs to be. 

The default length for an indoor climbing rope: 40 m

Sufficient for most climbing gyms – nevertheless, you should pay attention to the maximum climbing length. At 40 meters, the rope is still light and manageable, and the price is reasonable.

Even if a 30 m rope would be sufficient in “your” climbing gym, it may still be better to invest in a 40 m rope.

Why? Because you can cut off the ends (the most stressed parts of the rope) by 5 m on each side. What remains is a 30 m rope – so you can save some money by extending the life of your indoor climbing rope.

For high gyms and long routes: 50 m 

50 m ropes can be necessary for some of the large climbing gyms and extremely long overhung routes.

Here, too, the climbing rope can be cut if necessary, thus extending the lifespan. 

30 m – usually too short

Short indoor climbing ropes only make sense if they’re suited for your specific gym, and low weight is critical (e.g. transport by bike). Otherwise, I would not recommend 30 m. 

Every additional meter makes the rope more expensive, but investing in a longer rope is almost always worth it – both in climbing gyms and outdoors. 

Recommended Length for Outdoor Climbing Ropes

Routes are getting longer, so in a lot of climbing areas, long climbing ropes are advantageous. My recommendation for rock climbers is to get at least 70 m – or preferably even 80 m.

Of course, 60 m can also be enough; again, it depends on where you will be climbing. If you travel a lot and want to climb in different areas, then I definitely recommend buying a longer climbing rope.  

The Top 5 Climbing Ropes

  • Super save and durable
  • Soft catch
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Best Climbing Ropes

What Diameter for Gym Climbing Ropes?

We are primarily looking for a durable and long-lasting climbing rope with good handling for climbing in the gym. The ideal gym climbing rope has a diameter between 9.5 and 10.5 mm.

Best Climbing rope Indoor Test
Climbing Rope Abrasion Test

Thinner ropes are lighter and have better handling – but a much shorter lifespan. They are better for performance-oriented climbers. 

✅ Handling, weight 
⛔️ Lifespan

Thicker ropes are much more durable and longer-lasting – but are heavier and not quite as smooth to handle. If you are looking for a durable workhorse for your training sessions, you should get a rope with a diameter of about 10 mm.

✅ Lifespan
⛔️ Weight, handling

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The Differences Between Outdoor and Indoor Climbing Ropes

1. Weight

Weight (usually) only plays a negligible role in indoor climbing ropes. On the one hand, because there is usually not a long approach, and on the other hand because the routes are often short and straight.

This means that the climber doesn’t have to pull up 40 m of climbing rope up the wall. Additionally, in the gym, routes are straight – so rope friction is virtually eliminated

When it comes to climbing ropes for outdoor use, however, saving weight makes perfect sense. 

2. Treatments

Dry treatments cost a lot of money and are unnecessary for pure indoor climbing ropes

Out on the rock, a rope with dry treatment or other additional treatment is always worth the money since your rope inevitably ends up in the dirt from time to time. Climbing ropes with an additional protective layer and special treatment are significantly less sensitive and last longer. 

3. Sheath percentage

The sheath percentage of indoor climbing ropes is about 5-10 % higher than that of “normal” climbing ropes. This makes the rope more durable but also heavier.

4. Length

Climbing ropes for the gym are 40 – 50 m long. Ropes for climbing outdoors are 60 – 80 m long. 

5. Price

Indoor climbing ropes are significantly cheaper than normal climbing ropes due to their shorter length and the lack of treatment. A persuasive argument for giving your expensive climbing rope a break during the indoor season and buying a special and cheaper gym climbing rope.

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Advantages of Gym Climbing Ropes

A climbing rope for indoor use is
a.) shorter and
b.) untreated.

Indoor climbing ropes are up to 3 times cheaper than longer dry-treated climbing ropes. 

The sheath percentage of indoor climbing ropes is 5-10 % higher than that of normal climbing ropes. This makes the ropes more durable. The higher weight and somewhat poorer handling that come with a higher sheath percentage do not make a big difference when climbing the short and straight routes in the climbing gym.

Short and practical
A shorter rope is just more practical. You won’t have to carry your 70 m rope from route to route, but only your handy 40 m rope. Pulling the rope through is faster, and the rope is also way more packable. 

Go easy on your expensive outdoor rope.
As already mentioned, a good climbing rope, especially if it has dry treatment, isn’t exactly cheap. With a cheap and dedicated gym climbing rope, you increase the lifespan of your other more expensive ropes and can save money in the long run

Climbing Rope – Impact Force

To put it simply: high impact force = hard catch.
Additionally, a greater force is acting on the falling person and the entire belay chain.

The impact force of a climbing rope is specified in kN (kilonewtons) and must not exceed 12 kN. Modern climbing ropes stretch in the event of a fall and thus reduce the impact force. 

A high-impact force must be avoided.

To enable a soft and safe catch, the elongation of the climbing rope is far from sufficient. It is essential that each belayer masters a dynamic belay and a soft catch. 

A good climbing harness is:

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Durable

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Climbing Ropes and Rope Elongation – Made Simple

Static Elongation

The static elongation indicates how much the rope stretches when a static weight is attached to it. This value actually only has any significance for climbers when top-roping or projecting routes – a high static elongation is of a slight disadvantage in that case. The rope stretches under load and thus shifts your starting point downward.

The static elongation must not exceed 10 % for single ropes. 

Dynamic Elongation 

This number indicates how much the rope stretches in case of a fall. The higher the percentage, the more the rope stretches. A higher dynamic rope elongation usually leads to a lower impact force and a softer catch. 

The dynamic rope elongation must not exceed 40 %. Why is that? If a rope were to stretch “too far”, the risk of hitting the ground in the event of a fall would increase. 

A high dynamic rope elongation reduces the impact force, but unfortunately, also the rope’s lifespan. Therefore, it’s important to weigh what is more important to you – lifespan or rope elongation. A good middle ground has proven to be the best. 

Rope Elongation and Durability of Climbing Ropes

The fibers of climbing ropes lose their elasticity over time, which results in a decreased rope elongation. The difference between a new and an old “burnt out” climbing rope is astonishing. So don’t forget to treat yourself to a new piece of equipment now and then.  

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What Does the UIAA Fall Rating Mean?

Each climbing rope must withhold a certain number of standard falls. This is a number that was determined by the UIAA and ensures that all climbing ropes serve their purpose. A single rope must withstand at least 5 standard falls.

The fall rating is an indicator of how durable the rope is. The higher the number, the more durable and long-lasting the rope – but usually also thicker. 

The number of standard falls doesn’t determine how often you can actually fall in practice before you have to replace the rope –so you don’t have to replace your rope after 5 falls, but you can actually fall much more often. 

The exact number of falls depends on how “big” the falls were and under which conditions. If you avoid sharp edges and other objective hazards – your rope may hold dozens if not hundreds of falls in its lifetime.

UIAA Water Repellency Test

How water-repellent is the climbing rope? If a rope has this seal, it absorbs up to 48 % LESS water than untreated ropes. This doesn’t really matter for indoor climbing ropes, but it’s interesting and good to know nevertheless.