A sling, also called a runner, is an item of climbing gear consisting of a sewn loop of webbing. You can wrap climbing slings around rock surfaces, tie them to other pieces of climbing equipment, or even tie them to a tensioned line using a Prusik knot. Slings can be used as anchors, to extend the anchors, so the rope drag is reduced, or to equalize anchors.
Choosing the best climbing slings for your next climbing endeavor might be harder than the climb itself, don't you think? Often, surfing through the tens of climbing sling products and filtering hundreds of reviews require more energy than reaching the peak of K2.
Luckily, we have gone through the entire process already. This article includes 5 of the best and most popular slings for climbing on the market. Regardless of how strong you are and how much you want to cry yourself up across the mountains, you're going to slip and slide from time to time.
Climbing slings are the equipment you will need to protect and prevent tragic injuries or even death. Generally, you want the best climbing sling to have certain features, like being flexible, reliable, easy to recognize, and durable. We've got you covered.
List of the 5 Best Climbing Slings
Climbing slings are part of the necessary equipment you need to carry if you are going for traditional rock climbing route, for example.
This is a list of the five best climbing slings, with the best reviews and highest ratings on Amazon. Some of the slings we have personally tried and used.
- Mammut Contact Sling
- Black Diamond Dynex Sewn Runners
- PETZL PUR'ANNEAU
- EDELRID Aramid Cord Sling
- Sterling Dyneema Sewn Runners
#1 Mammut Contact Dyneema Sling
Best Overall Climbing Dyneema Sling
Mammut Contact Dyneema Sling is incredibly lightweight, and you'll never actually notice the sling regardless of how weak you might be. There are many different lengths because you may want to take on bigger and bigger challenges as a climber.
You can use five colors to personalize the setup you have, including three blue, red, and yellow shades. Its breaking strength is at 22 kN, which is pretty strong for beginners who want to take on small challenges.
Mammut Contact Sling has excellent reviews from customers who have had success with the sling with their personal adventures.
One user on Amazon writes, "Freakishly thin but ideal for the usual sling use, but also for threading those tiny keyholes in rock."
#2 Black Diamond Dynex Sewn Runners
Best Bang for the Buck
This sling is an excellent option for those who are very new to climbing. It doesn't have a ton of details or features that confuse someone who has never climbed before. It gives them enough reliability to use it for their first couple of climbs while also being reliable.
The color is excellent for separating it from other kinds of slings you're going to use. There are four different sizes for the type of rock climbing experiences you want to have, at 30, 60, 120, and 240cm, respectively.
This Black Diamond Sewn Runners comes in a yellow, if you have any other climbers with you, try to use a method that will distinguish this sling from the others.
Many of the reviewers on Amazon praise the product for keeping them say and doing its core function.
One reviewer writes, "I have not fallen to my death. This works great."
#3 Petzl PUR'ANNEAU
Best Lightweight Sling
The Petzl sling is the one that comes in white and no other colors. The product comes in three different sizes at 60cm, a kids 120 and 180cm. Generally, most normal climbers don't have to worry about the size, but if you're someone who's a bit more experienced, this probably leaves you wanting more options.
Petzl Pur'Anneau sling is made out of strong polyethylene material and uses nylon stitching. The three weights of the sling come in at 18, 32, and 38 grams, respectively. The breaking strength is listed at 22 kN.
This product doesn't have the variety when it comes to length, but it will never tear apart on you as long as you don't push past the breaking strength. Petzl is a brand that's up and coming in the climbing community.
People who are new to climbing will be completely fine, but for people who have been climbing for a long time, they want more variety in terms of the different lengths.
EDELRID Aramid Cord Sling comes at a weight of 22 grams which is very light for just about any kind of climb that you want to go on.
The load capacity is listed at 22 kN, which is very standard. If you've been using that number for your time climbing, you shouldn't notice any differences in how you can push the sling to its limits.
One customer states, "I love these slings. I have the 30 cm and the 90 cm. Both of them are excellent."
Sterling Dyneema Sewn Runners sling is incredibly strong, however, there are no details of what it is made out of on the product page. They are lightweight and have resistance to other sharp surfaces that you may have to deal with.
The sizing that these slings come in is different from other kinds of slings. They come in 10 inch, 20, inch, 30 inch, and 48-inch sizes, respectively. Typically, the sling will start to lose strength at 22kN, but Sterling decided to raise that to 23 kN.
One user from Amazon really likes the performance of this product, "Used this for my last trip to Mexico as an anchor tie-in. Crazy strong, and super easy to work with/knot."
Best Climbing Slings Buyer's Advice and Climbing Slings FAQs
You work hard for your money, so it's important to keep several principles in mind before purchasing slings. The first and most important thing to think about is value, how good of an experience are we getting for the money we pay?
The handle is also really important since it's what's supporting you as you climb. Doing the alpine quickdraw test is a great way to test the length before you buy the product.
Weight is a big issue since the sling has certain limits, and you want it to be as light as possible. You also want to make sure it has the best bulk for whatever kind of climb you want to take on.
Related Article: Best Belay and Rappelling Carabiners
1) How are climbing slings measured?
Climbing slings are typically measured in centimeters, however, sometimes, the producer will number them in inches.
Related Article: Which are the Best Quickdraws for Climbing?
2) What are climbing slings used for?
Climbing slings are made to protect you and your gear as you go on climbing trips. Sometimes, they are also used to reduce friction in certain parts of where you are climbing.
3) How to use climbing slings?
Generally, when using climbing slings, you want to twist both ends and connect both ends to separate anchors. There are all sorts of different knots that you can use, but it's recommended to go with the simple ones. Climbers also like to wrap it around their torso, so it supports a majority of their weight.
4) How long do slings last?
There is no definitive answer to this question, but generally, you can expect one to last a few months. There are all kinds of factors such as weight, material, anchors, and weather that can impact this. The best slings can last for a few years before you need to replace them.
Final Thoughts on the Best Slings for Climbing
Slings and climbing, in general, aren't easy to get used to, but it takes time. With these five different slings, they were made for different kinds of climbers.
Some of them were made for climbers that are bigger than others, and some were made for climbers that have been climbing for many users. You have to explore and find out what you like.
If you're passionate about getting into climbing, try talking to others around you so that you have support if something goes wrong. For further reading, check our guide about how to choose climbing slings, cords, webbing.
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