The 10 Best Rappelling Ropes to Choose for Rappelling

The Best Rappelling Ropes

The best rappelling ropes are static ropes of 9 to 11mm in diameter, with a minimum of 8 mm. Use only rappelling ropes from trustworthy brands. One of the best companies that manufacture static ropes for rappelling is Sterling. Their best rappelling ropes are Sterling CanyonPrime, Sterling Ion R XEROS Dry, and Sterling Slim Gym.

Test and inspect every rappelling rope thoroughly for its durability before using them. Officially, a static rope should have a minimum width of 8mm (but preferrable 9mm). Rappel ropes that are less than 8mm in width are known as cords.

Never use rappelling cords to rappel because they are not used for rappelling. Usually, rappelling cords are prusik cords, used to create a prusik knot for rappelling.

The rappelling rope is an essential piece of equipment in climbing, where through the help of the best climbing harness and a belay device (ascenders or descenders), the climber rappels down a route in order to get familiar with it before ascending it.

The 10 Best Rappelling Ropes to Choose for Rappelling

These are rappelling ropes manufactured by the best outdoor brands for climbing and rappelling gear.

These are the best ropes for rappelling.

  1. Sterling Ropes for Rappelling
  2. Singing Rock R44 NFPA Static Rope
  3. BlueWater 11.4mm AssaultLine NFPA Static Rope
  4. SWAT Heavy Duty Tactical Rappel Rope by Rothco
  5. BSWL Escape Kevlar Safety Ropes
  6. MudFog UIAA-Certified 11mm Nylon Kernmantle Static Rope
  7. Aoleba Outdoor Rock Climbing Rope
  8. Sunzor Rock 10mm Climbing Rope
  9. Ginee Canyon 9mm Dry Rope UIAA or CE Certified
  10. X-Ben Outdoor Climbing Rope

What Company Makes the Best Ropes for Rappelling?

The company that manufactures the best rappelling rope is inarguably Sterling. Sterling offers 100 percent polyester static ropes and 100 percent Technora heat and scratch-resistant rope. Their ropes are manufactured in the United States by specialized company personnel.

This cutting-edge rope offers all you could expect. It is an ideal and flexible rappelling rope maker as they offer dry-treated ropes abrasion- resilience and low-stretching designs. Their best rappelling ropes are Sterling CanyonPrime, Sterling Ion R XEROS Dry, and Sterling Slim Gym.

1) Sterling Ropes for Rappelling

By manufacturing their ropes within the US, Sterling still adheres to the UIAA rules in making their ropes. Some of their best ropes for rappelling include the following three ropes for your safe rappel.

1.1) Sterling CanyonPrime Rope

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For the rappelling ropes, Sterling has the CanyonPrime It’s practically an excellent all-arounder. Not to mention, it’s what you need when you are on a tight budget. They work well in 90 % of the circumstances you’ll encounter.

Because they are water-resistant, they do not gain much weight when exposed to moisture and are a great option for water rappelling and canyoneering.

Generally, sterling ropes are passed through a superior production process that assures a solid grip, easy rappelling, or little rope twisting. Again, the company offers different lengths for their ropes, starting from 30 to 200 meters. 

1.2 Sterling Ion R XEROS Dry

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At 9.4 mm diameter, the Ion R is suited for most moderate athletes and flows softly through a GriGri while weighing you down fairly on long pitches, unlike larger ropes.

Again, it’s a high-quality all-arounder that can readily crossover across fields. Like most of Sterling’s products, Ion R is produced in both normal weaves tagged with a central marking and a bi-pattern climbing rope form.

Sterling’s environmentally friendly XEROS feature ensures that each yard of fiber is fully waterproof. The Ion R thus fulfills the UIAA dry treatment criteria while forgoing the use of dangerous chemicals.

1.3 Sterling Slim Gym 30m

Sterling has you hooked on their gym climbing rope even if you’re not a fan of the great outdoors. Sterling’s Slim Gym climbing rope is somewhat shorter. Since most gyms don’t have roofs higher than 15 meters, carrying a 60-meter rope inside is inappropriate and expensive.

But in this case, Sterling keeps its price low by being whatever you want for the interior setting. For instance, the ropes have no dry treatments, no emphasis on weight reductions, and are devoid of nicore tech.

2) Singing Rock R44 NFPA Static Rope

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In case you are searching for a static rappel rope, Singing Rock static rappel rope is an excellent product. It offers unmatched durability, wear resistance, and the least possible bounce.

You can get this static rappel rope in several sizes or colors. The cost of this static rappel rope can go up to several hundred dollars. It is based on the choice of size and color of these ropes. It has become quite famous for its high abrasion resistance. Whatever your choice, it will not disappoint you.

Such performance is made possible by its sheath, which is highly dense and durable. If you don’t misuse the rappel rope too much, it can be used for a series of rappel sessions. This static rappel rope is best-suited for rappelling, hauling, or similar activities. Still, it is not considered suitable for climbing or as a top rope.

Choose a rappel rope with a suitable width that is suitable for your rappelling requirements. You should also select the static rope dia according to your device type. Although a thicker rope is more durable, it also becomes heavy. All in all, the R44 NFPA static rappel rope is a sturdy choice. I highly suggest this product for both professionals and newbies.

3) BlueWater 11.4mm AssaultLine NFPA Static Rope

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Bluewater ropes have categorized these ropes as technical. The reason for such a classification is its low visibility. Low visibility is a stealth feature that is quite useful for police and military operations. However, the military’s stealth technique may not be a relevant feature for a standard recreational rappel procedure.

It is essential to understand here that these static ropes are very trustworthy. The quality offered by these ropes is the same as the famous BWII plus series. Besides, NFPA also features a polyester sheath and nylon core, which are both double-twist cabled. All that promises a tensile strength of 3 sigmas and a 7935 lbf strength rating.

These rappel ropes are perfect for rappelling and suffice as a lead rope for gym purposes. It should be noted before making the purchase decision that these ropes are comparatively bulkier and heavier. If you get better durability, it is a minimal price to pay by compromising a little extra weight.

4) SWAT Heavy Duty Tactical Rappel Rope by Rothco

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Let us say that you are on the lookout for a rappel rope with maximum strength and dependability. In that case, it becomes too costly. Some people may be looking to select a more affordable option. They may check out other products on the list. But remember that no other product can match SWAT heavy-duty ropes in terms of strength and durability.

In terms of appearance, this rappel rope comes in a stealth dark green color. It implies that It is not a high visibility rope by any standards. If you are looking for a rappel rope where visibility is crucial for you, you can go for bright and colorful options on the list.

If visibility or premium pricing is not the issue for you, this two hundred feel long rope from Rothco is the right choice. As of now, it is ranked as the most robust and most trustworthy rappel rope globally. Although the price may sound expensive, it is highly durable too. You will not be required to replace it for years together.

This heavy-duty rappel rope can handle tough use and highly stringent conditions. The product package weighs 13.1 pounds. Given a width of 9mm and a length of 200mm, the weight seems to be correct.

5) BSWL Escape Kevlar Safety Ropes

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I have shortlisted this specific rappel rope for climbing and rappelling procedures. It offers a unique but strong material composition. This rappel rope is almost non-destructible. It is manufactured using Kevlar material, which is amongst the world’s most rigid material compositions.

You might be thinking of several questions about this unique material. Is it advisable to use Kevlar rope for rappelling? Are these rope types worth their price? Can we use kevlar ropes safely? I have only one word for all your well-thought questions about Kevlar: YES. It can not get better than that. These Kevlar static ropes in 8mm or 10.5mm consist of high-temperature-resistant stuff.

This material type is perfect for rescue operations, climbing, recreational rappel procedures, and anything similar. The rappel rope’s internal core also consists of Kevlar material. It keeps the rope weight comparatively lower and provides a very high tensile strength at the same time. Don’t assume that these Kevlar ropes are designed only for rappelling.

In addition to rappelling, you can also use BSWL safety ropes for rescue missions, speed drop procedures, caving, engineering, expansion, and aerial applications. The rappel rope provides a sheer strength of 22 KN, equivalent to 2500 kilos of force. You also get two o-shaped steel lock systems and a storage bag with these rappel ropes, a welcome addition to the package.

6) MudFog UIAA-Certified 11mm Nylon Kernmantle Static Rope

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Mudfog Kernmantle rappel ropes are remarkable as they are UIAA-certified. You can get them in several thicknesses and length combinations. After thorough research, I have shortlisted the 11mm thick variant of Mudfog static ropes. 

These static ropes are highly reliable, in my opinion. However, you can select the optimum length according to your needs. You can choose from three available colors. The colors are namely red, black, and orange. Both red and orange colors appear similar to me, but that is not relevant to this discussion.

Let us talk about some crucial aspects of these rappel ropes. This product has been officially certified by the international climbing and mountaineering federation. According to its size, this rappel rope is comparatively lightweight. Moreover, it is perfect for waterfall rappelling because the product comes with excellent water absorption features.

These static rappel ropes can be used in abseiling, boating, caving, heavy hauling, and rescue operations. Finally, You can also consider adding these rappel ropes to your emergency rappel kit. It is not a bad idea, after all, as they are lightweight.

7) Aoleba Outdoor Rock Climbing Rope

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In the outdoor gear market, Aolebais a reputable brand. That is why I trust and suggest their products. I shortlisted this product because it provides the best combination of dia, portability, and trustworthiness. Aoleba outdoor rock is a static rope best-suited for rappelling, rescue missions, climbing, and parachuting.

It has a diameter of 10mm and consists of Polyester fibers, which are amongst the most durable materials suitable for outdoor gear. It is available in a lovely red color that provides excellent visibility. Here, it is assumed that you are not looking for a rope for stealth rappelling. You can quickly knot this rope as it is lightweight.

Also, you can carry it around easily because it folds up soon due to its lower weight. You can buy this rope in different sizes from 10mm to 20mm. However, it is among the more costly rappel ropes on the market.

8) Sunzor Rock 10mm Climbing Rope

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This rappel rope is certified and fulfills the International Mountaineering and Climbing Foundation’s (UIAA) stringent requirements. The tendon is amongst the most reliable rappel rope brands in the market. So far, I have introduced several excellent ropes. I must admit that all these ropes are quite expensive. From a safety point of view, I will never suggest buying a cheaper rappelling rope.

However, these Sunzor ropes provide excellent value for money. At a length of 164, they do not seem very expensive. If you go for shorter ones, they are a lot cheaper. Be rest assured of Sunzor quality. The company claims that it uses 20 whole core ropes for all its products.

This rappel rope consists of 100% premium polyester material. This material ensures a capacity to bear a 4,945 lbs load. It is categorized as a static rope and is suitable for rappelling. However, you can also use these ropes for other applications like a fire escape or tree swings.

9) Ginee Canyon 9mm Dry Rope UIAA or CE Certified

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Ginee canyon is a trustworthy and best quality polyamide rappelling rope. This rope is static rope and lightweight. It can be used in various types of applications, including climbing, caving, rappelling, and canyoneering. It is available in light orange and white color combination, which is highly visible. I usually give preference to ropes with higher visibility compared to subtle colors.

This rappel rope is certified and fulfills the International Mountaineering and Climbing Foundation’s (UIAA) stringent requirements. The tendon is amongst the most reliable rappel rope brands in the market.

Many efforts are put into designing these ropes so that they do not fail under demanding conditions. It is precisely the reason why this brand is ranked amongst the most trustworthy rope brands. The brand is ranked high with reputable names like Black Diamond and Petzl.

These ropes use a trademark nanotechnology process that adds small particles of Teflon eco. It is also known as a complete shield finish. When they apply Teflon eco particles to the rope sheath, it forms an almost impermeable layer. This coating ensures that lesser dirt particles get through the rope. It has a rope knot tenacity of a minimum of 18.4 kN or nearly 4136 pf.

10) X-Ben Outdoor Climbing Rope

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This rope is amongst the most versatile ropes apart from being affordable. It is an example of a typical versatile climbing rope with multiple applications. You may use it for climbing, hiking, camping, caving, fire escape, and, of course, rappelling.

This rope provides an excellent combination of strength and durability at a lower price. That is why it has got the status of bestseller climbing rope on Amazon. I have not tried this rope, but it has got many positive reviews.

If we consider the pricing with a tensile force of 3300 lbs, it can be recommended for rappelling. However, I would like to use this rope as a backup or for practice. It comes in three colors orange, black, and blue. This rope is available in different lengths, from 32 feet to 500 feet.

Types of Climbing Ropes and which Types are Best for Rappelling?

When it comes to climbing, there are 4 different types of ropes. However, each rope is suited to a specific type of climbing and rappelling, as will be discussed below. The four types of climbing ropes are listed below. 

  1. Static ropes
  2. Semi-static ropes
  3. Dynamic ropes
  4. Dry ropes

1. Static ropes 

Static ropes are built to have little or no flexibility. Consequently, they cannot withstand significant shocks. Static ropes are not utilized for safeguarding a climber from a fall. However, they are extremely sturdy and can resist a considerable weight when statically stressed. They are used in fixed ropes and ziplining, 

2. Semi-static ropes 

Semi-static ropes only got a limited amount of stretch. Following this, they can tolerate minor shocks and static loads. Further, semi-static ropes, unfortunately, should not be utilized to prevent falls. Rather they are utilized in caving and rescue/emergency rappelling.

3. Dynamic ropes 

Dynamic ropes are good for sports climbing. During a fall, there is high kinetic energy. Therefore, dynamic ropes help the human body handle a limited amount of force. Dynamic ropes stretch and capture some of the kinetic energy released.

The elasticity ensures the final capture of the rope doesn’t exceed 12KN as mandated by the CE standards. Again the stretchability, according to the UIAA, should not exceed 40 %. Dynamic ropes come in 3 varieties – single ropes, twin ropes, and half ropes. 

  • Single ropes are light and therefore applicable in multi-pitch routes, big wall climbing, and top-roping.
  • Twin ropes are double dynamic ropes where one ropes back up the other. They are used in ice climbing and trad climbing. 
  • Half ropes are ropes going through the belay device, thus creating friction to prevent falls. Therefore, they provide an unused rope for safety and are used in trad climbing and mountaineering. 

4. Dry ropes 

Dry ropes are used when rappelling happens near water, such as in cave rappelling, waterfall rappelling, or canyoning. As of the UIAA grade, they only absorb 5% water. The treatment is also dirt resistant. Nonetheless, it wears off the more it gets used. Besides being expensive, they are purported for cold weather or ice climbing. 

Best Rappelling Rope

Let’s Compare the Ropes Mentioned Above

Note that you have a hint on the variety of climbing ropes and which are suitable ropes when rappelling. It will be best to see how they differ from each other. That is why we are going to compare Dry vs. Non-Dry Ropes and Static vs. Semi-Static vs. Dynamic Ropes.

Dry vs. Non-Dry Ropes

The distinction between dry ropes vs. non-dry ropes is a layer on the dry-treated climbing rope that bars water from getting to its core. Moisture may destroy the rope’s core and make it hazardous to ascend or abseil.

Non-dry ropes, on the other hand, have no water-resistant covering, and their cores are subjected to water. However, due to the unique treatment, dry ropes are often pricier. Additionally, they are somewhat durable and reliable in all weathers. 

Static vs. Semi-Static vs. Dynamic Rope

The degree of elasticity or lengthening of the rope differs between static vs. dynamic ropes vs. semi-static ropes when rappelling. To begin with, static and semi-static ropes are often less costly. On the other hand, dynamic ropes are generally expensive.

The task will determine the sort of rope required. While on rappel, the ropes must stay taut so that the descent gets smooth and effortless as feasible for both the rappeler and the equipment.

Furthermore, lengthening the rope can raise the volume of scratching over rock surfaces. Thus, devouring the rope. Since static ropes are tight and allow no stretching, they are excellent for rappelling. Although the semi-static ropes have elasticity, they are still tough and tight.

Due to the obvious stretch, semi-static ropes are not suitable for rappel activities. Certain stretches albeit will alleviate the force of falling. As a result, semi-static ropes are perfect for top-roping. 

Because falls could involve a lot of slack rope and a lengthy fall, dynamic ropes are suitable for sport and traditional climbing. Further dynamic ropes will gently soften the fall. Because the dynamic rope extends much, it isn’t suitable for rappels as it allows some, making it difficult for the rappeler to manage long rappels.

Should I Use Static or Dynamic Rope for Rappelling and Why?

You have to use a static rope for rappelling. A dynamic rope, unlike static, is flexible, can stretch, and they have a give. Though this renders them perfect for ascending, it still renders them unsuitable for rappelling. The climber ought to have total control over the descent motion throughout a rappel. 

For instance, dynamic ropes absorb a fraction of the force of a full arrest in a fall, safeguarding the climber’s rope may stretch from 26 to 36 % if exposed to a great force, whereas bodyweight forces it to extend from 7 to 11 %.

This amount of stretch makes it uneasy to control the descent. Using them for rappelling may result in less resistance and, therefore, incapability to instantly arrest a falling. A rappelling rope has to be accurate and fast-acting. It will catch you when the worse has already happened if it allows stretching. 

Hence, dynamic ropes are more reliable, safer, and comfortable. However, they are not so for rappelling. The rappeller needs to have complete control over the process of descent. Hence static ropes are always preferred when rappelling.

Still, it is possible to rappel with dynamic ropes. It can only be recommended if the person concerned is skilled and can handle the bounce during a descent. Furthermore, bouncing may also cause extra wear on anchors.

The PETZL Contact 9.8mm

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If you have made up your mind to do rappelling with dynamic ropes, you need to use the dynamic rope type that is highly trustworthy. You can consider using an established climbing rope from Petzl in a 9.8mm diameter.

This rope is available in a bright turquoise color. The length is about 60 meters or 196 feet roughly. It is highly durable due to its ultrasonic finish. The product features a climb-ready coil, and the ultrasonic finish bonds the core and sheath at the rope ends.

There is a little more expert technology involved here. Everflex thermal treatment stabilizes the core. It also ensures increased grip for handling. You may feel that all these terms sound like a hardcore marketing campaign to influence gullible buyers.

However, you will find it quite challenging to find a rappeller or a climber who used a Black Diamond climbing rope and was not satisfied with its performance.

Tips on How to Choose a Rappelling Rope?

You should select your rappel rope with a lot of care and also maintain it well. It is crucial to do it because it is essential to provide you with safety during rappelling. You may choose a rope according to your pocket and skill level.

You can shortlist a premium one or select a value for money product that is affordable. But I believe that respected brands almost always don’t disappoint. Some reputed manufacturer brands are Petzl, Sterling, and Balck Diamond.

These rope brands are best for rope rappelling. In addition to the above information, it is also crucial to learn about these ropes’ timely disposal. Sometimes, even if you have not used a rappel rope for a long time, you should discard the old rope and buy a new one. For instance, you should change your rappel rope immediately if it came in contact with some chemical.

If the core part is exposed due to a damaged sheath, never use such a rappel rope. Similarly, if the sheath appears to be fraying or wearing out, replace the rappel rope immediately. Furthermore, if the rappel rope feels stiffer than usual, it has perhaps reached the end of life. Similarly, you can also replace a rappel rope if it goes through heavy loads.

If you plan to use a rope protector, you may check out the Petzl Protec. Rappel ropes face a lot of hardships during their lifetime. If you spend a handsome amount on premium ropes, you expect them to last longer. Still, it always pays to use a rope protector like Petzl Protec.

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You can get a flexible rope protection system for about $25 to avoid rope abrasion. With the help of Velcro closure and a clip, you can install this device almost instantly, and it will make your life peaceful. It appears to be a simple product, but it is quite useful. It is comparatively affordable too. This device works well and does not come in the way of rappelling.

How to Maintain Ropes for Rappelling?

Keep the rope raised so that dirt, oil, solvents, and other debris do not come into contact. This substance can harm the fibers and degrade the ropes.

While using a climbing rope outside, you should preferably place them over a tarp. If the rope is not used, it should be kept in direct sunlight and extreme heat regardless of the UV-resistant coating.

Again, it would be best if you do not store it in the attic. If your rope becomes soiled, clean the rope in lukewarm water with a little detergent and rinse it. Allow drying on a hanger. Don’t use heaters for drying, and they must be dry before storing. 

How Long is a Rappel Rope?

Ropes are normally 30 to 100 m in length. Doing a rappel on a double line or using a belayer at the foot of the climb requires the rope length to be twice the height of the rappel. Rappelling is done at different heights, but the standard is 30 m.

Thus standard rope suggestions are 30 or 60 m. However, other manufacturers make rappelling ropes of up to 200 meters. Also, if you will rappel on longer cliffs, you may use more than one rope. 

Can You Rappel with an 8mm Rope?

Climbers can successfully rappel on 8mm ropes, regardless of their weight, but they must adjust the friction caused appropriately. The 8mm ropes are also open to different rappelling maneuvers, which allow rappelers to tackle different obstacles along their path. 

How Much Does Rope Weigh?

Generally, rappelling ropes typically weigh around 55 to 65 grams per meter. Therefore, a 100-meter rope may weigh 5500 – 6500 grams or 12.12-14.33 pounds. Remember, you have to prioritize assessing the strength and weight of each meter of rope before purchasing it. Normally, longer ropes will have more weight, but they are crucial for lengthier rappels.

Final Thoughts on the Best Ropes for Rappelling

Buying the right rope for rappelling is not an easy task. However, you can select from a wide variety of rappelling ropes available out there. Ultimately, the ropes should be manufactured by trustworthy and reputable brands. I have made an effort to offer you the best rappelling rope products, and they come true on these two counts.

Please note that some of the suggested items may not be available in the market after some time. That is why I regularly update information in my articles to ensure that you get the best fresh products every time. Anyway, one last word that goes with ropes, learn how to coil any rope.