Top Ten Tips: Choosing Your Ropes

by | Feb 11, 2016 | Featured Slider, Features

Your choice of climbing rope is fundamental to keeping you safe. Take it seriously, says Milly Stone of Marlow Ropes.


  1. Always buy a rope designed for climbing from a reputable manufacturer. 
  1. What climbing are you going to be doing?
    Are you going to be double rope or SRT climbing? Many ropes can be used for both but generally the larger diameter ropes are better suited to DRT while the lighter ropes are ideal for SRT.
  1. What diameter do you need?
    Will you be hand gripping the rope or using an ascender?  The bigger ropes are heavier but are easier to grip.  A smaller rope is harder to grip but lighter!
  1. What hardware are you going to be using?
    Ensure the rope you are looking at will be compatible with the hardware that you have/ intend to buy.  I.e. If using a ZigZag a ropes diameter should be between 11.5mm and 13mm.
  1. What sort of terminations do you need?
    A spliced eye one end? A sewn eye, one end or both ends?Spliced eyes don’t have sudden diameter changes and so are unlikely to get snagged, sewn eyes are more easily inspected and can be put in both ends of a rope allowing it to be swapped end for end prolonging the life.  N.B. With both ends sewn you will not be able to get it through a cambium saver if you want to use one!
  1. How long does my rope need to be?
    How high are you intending to climb, make sure you consider this before buying your rope! Also worth noting is if using SRT where would you be anchoring it.  35m ropes are the most common but if you only have one rope then a 45m will allow access to the taller tree.Within the EU all climbing ropes should be CE approved and meet standards such as EN1891.  N.B. All reputable retailers will be selling approved ropes. Spliced and sewn ropes normally have serial numbers that link back to the manufacture’s traceability.  Be careful of spliced eyes, if these are done by anyone other than the manufacturer ensure they are still CE approved.  The easiest decision to make is, if it isn’t CE marked, DON’T BUY IT!
  1. Manufacturers warranty
    In the unlikely event that there is a problem with your purchased rope, you should always check before purchasing that the rope has a manufacturer’s warranty.  You want to know that you can contact someone and ensure that the issue is dealt with it quickly and efficiently.What colour rope/ pattern do you want!  Not only for aesthetic reasons but also always make sure that your rope will be visible in the tree!
  1. Used rope
    Always make sure you buy from a reputable dealer/retailer.NEVER buy a used rope! Don’t ever be tempted by a cheap 2nd hand rope you have no history on.  This is a life saving piece of equipment, how much is that worth to you?