If you plan to go climbing, then you should also get the best rappelling rope possible. Your safety depends on your equipment, and this includes the rope you use.
Rope makes it easier to climb sheer rock faces, but how do you know which one to choose? There isn’t a shortage of products online or at your local sporting goods store, and not all rappelling ropes are created equal.
To make it easier, we have reviewed the best products customizing our research to include the factors important to you to make it easier. We looked at price, value, construction, length, and width so that you can make the best choice.
Keep reading to learn more!
What Kind of Rope is Used for Rappelling?
You want a static rope for rappelling. Look for one measuring 9mm to 11mm in width. You also want the rope to be manufactured by a reputable company. The last thing you want is to discover your static rope is inferior when you’re rappelling down a cliff.
Some of the best static rappelling ropes measure 8.5mm wide. It has the strength to support most weights and is also comfortable to grasp.
Do not buy any rappelling ropes narrower than 8.5mm. These are considered cords and are not designed for rappelling.
Can You Rappel On a Dynamic Rope?
You can use a dynamic rope for rappel, and in some situations, it is a better option over static ones.
Dynamic ropes flex and stretch as needed, giving you more freedom of movement. If your climb involves many moving side-to-side to find a handgrip, consider switching to a dynamic rappelling rope.
What Are The Best Rope for rappelling?
- Most Durable Outdoor Rope: SWAT Heavy Duty Tactical Rappelling Rope
- Strongest Indoor Rope: Singing Rock R44 NFPA Static Rope
- Softest Outdoor Rope:X XBen Outdoor Climbing Rope
- Most Versatile Rope for Short Climbs: Aoneky 10mm Static Outdoor Rock Climbing Rope
- Highly Versatile Rope: Aoneky 10mm Static Outdoor Rock Climbing Rope
- Most Comfortable Rope: OXYVAN Rock Climbing Rope
- Best Climbing Rope for Dry Weather: Orgphys Rock Climbing Rope
- Best Beginner Rope: VOXLOVA Rock Climbing Rope
- Rock Climbing and Rappelling Combination Rope: Trsmima Outdoor Climbing Rope
- Great All-Purpose Climbing Rope: NTR Outdoor Climbing Rope
Rock Climbing and Rappelling Combination Rope
|Trsmima Outdoor Climbing Rope
Great All-Purpose Climbing Rope
|NTR Outdoor Climbing Rope
Most Durable Outdoor Rope
|SWAT Heavy Duty Tactical Rappelling Rope
Strongest Indoor Rope
|Singing Rock R44 NFPA Static Rope
Softest Outdoor Rope
|X XBen Outdoor Climbing Rope
Most Versatile Rope for Short Climbs
|Aoneky 10mm Static Outdoor Rock Climbing Rope
Highly Versatile Rope
|Gonex Static Climbing Rope
Most Comfortable Rope
|OXYVAN Rock Climbing Rope
Best Climbing Rope for Dry Weather
|Orgphys Rock Climbing Rope
Best Beginner Rope
|VOXLOVA Rock Climbing Rope
10 Best Rope for Rappelling
1. Most Durable Outdoor Rope: SWAT Heavy Duty Tactical Rappelling Rope
This tactical rappelling rope is GSA compliant, being constructed from high tensile nylon for strength with a braided poly sheath for plenty of resistance. It also exceeds ANSI, OSHA, and NFPA standards, ensuring your safety on climbs.
The rope is designed for military and civilian use. Manufactured in the United States, it is UV and water-resistant. It’s ideal for use in wet climbs, even in freezing conditions at higher elevations.
This static rope is durable – being made from polyester – and resistant to abrasions. It will last through your most challenging climbs without fraying. The rope is preshrunk, meaning that it can extend even further than most would expect. The rappelling rope stays the same length throughout its life.
With a tensile strength of up to 9,000lbs, you can easily lift and lower heavy loads. The diameter is a little narrower than recommended at 7/16in, so you may not want to use it in the gym or rough courses. It’s not designed to withstand the wear and tear some man-made climbing equipment may cause.
The SWAT rappelling rope is durable, and with 200ft you can easily scale higher rock walls. Its strength also makes the rope ideal for moving heavy loads up and down cliffs. Just watch out for its smaller diameter if you plan on using it for indoor rock climbing.
2. Strongest Indoor Rope: Singing Rock R44 NFPA Static Rope
The R44 rappelling rope comes in four colors. You are not stuck with a traditional black rope. Choose a red or white one, or even khaki. It’s a great option if you store your gear in a community locker.
It is designed with technical uses in mind. It is a static rope with low flexibility. Use it for rescues or when you need rope access in tight spaces. The rope meets and exceeds all industry safety standards and boasts the manufacturer’s patented rope-braiding technology. This rope won’t easily fray even on rough surfaces.
With a strength rating of 32kn, you can safely lower injured climbers, supplies, and other gear. Its 10.5mm diameter makes the rope great for indoor and outdoor climbs. It also has a low static elongation, around 3.5% for 300lbs. The fall is a little harder than with some other ropes, but you have the stability you need to raise and lower delicate gear carefully.
When you need a rappelling rope for indoor and course-style climbs, the R44 has the diameter you require. It is also a great option when you need to raise or lower people and gear from heights.
3. Softest Outdoor Rope: X XBen Outdoor Climbing Rope
The X XBen is a competitive climbing rope designed to reduce piling and improve braking. With this rope, you get a smoother climb or descent, thanks to the innovative outer skin. It has a sliding rate of less than 0.05%, ideal for rugged outdoor ascents.
Constructed from 13 whole core ropes, it is softer than other rappelling cords. Your hands will appreciate this on long climbs, even when you are wearing gloves. The rope is resistant to wear and tear, and the twisted outer skin allows for smooth braking.
Its professional design improves your safety and security, especially at greater heights. It is a static rope with low elasticity. It doesn’t easily stretch, even with movement helping you stay in place until you are ready to start climbing.
Measuring 8mm, the rope is too narrow for effective indoor use, but you won’t have any problems outside. It can safely support weight up to 300kg.
Outdoor climbers will find something to like about the X XBen climbing rope. It is durable, soft to hold, and comes with two attached hooks at the end. The rope is almost ready to go out of the bag.
4. Most Versatile Rope for Short Climbs: Aoneky 10mm Static Outdoor Rock Climbing Rope
The 10mm static rope is versatile, durable, and easy to use. It’s also a breeze to store, even if you are using one measuring 200ft. The rope is available in multiple lengths, ranging from 32ft up to 200ft. You can find the perfect length for any activity. The rappelling cord also supports up to 200lbs.
The manufacturer even mentions using a shorter rope as a leash for your pets. It is a convenient way to keep your furry companions close by your side.
It is resistant to fraying, tearing, and dry rot. Unlike some rappelling ropes, it won’t absorb water for easy climbing in wet weather. It also helps prolong the life of the rope.
Storing the rope is a breeze. It folds down to a compact size, and it is also too clean. Rinse the rope off with a hose or brush loose dirt off with a clean towel.
It is a versatile static rope you can use for steady climbs indoors, up utility poles, and some easy climbs outdoors. It does not come with a safety rating, meaning that you should be wary of using this rope for rougher climbs. It’s not designed for rappelling or carrying heavy loads.
5. Highly Versatile Rope: Gonex Static Climbing Rope
Safety is paramount during rappelling. Sometimes, your rope is the only thing preventing a dangerous fall. The Gonex Static Climbing Rope is designed with safety in mind. It is CE certified, and the durable outer skin has a slide rate of less than 0.05%. It is also anti-slip and resistant to tearing.
You get a lightweight rope with a maximum tensile force of 3,100lbs. It is designed to reduce your risks during climbing, and its 8mm diameter is ideal for multiple climbing applications. It is also designed for easy storage. Just roll the rope up after your climb.
It is designed for climbing, mountaineering, hiking steep trails, aerial work, and speed drops. One application this static rope cannot handle is rock climbing. You need the flexibility you get from a dynamic rappelling rope for this activity.
You get a versatile rappelling rope with the Gonex model. It meets safety standards and has the durability you need for different types of climbs. Unfortunately, it is not the right one if you are an avid rock climber.
6. Most Comfortable Rope: OXYVAN Rock Climbing Rope
Durability won’t be a problem with the OXYVAN rock climbing rope. Being constructed from a blend of high-quality polyester and polypropylene materials, it is durable and long-lasting. The rope is also resistant to tears, thanks to the braided outer sheath.
Measuring 10mm in diameter, you can safely use the rope for outdoor and indoor climbing. Man-made courses won’t shorten the rope’s lifespan; the precision knitting technology ensures its strength and durability. Three core ropes are knitted together to produce a rope that supports up to 660lbs. It is also water and wear-resistant.
As a static rope, it has low ductility and can reduce the likelihood of injury. It is lightweight for easy storage and a breeze to clean off after rappelling. With two plastic protection rings and metal carabiners included with your purchase, you’re ready to start climbing as soon as you open the package.
The OXYVAN rock climbing rope is durable, comfortable, and easy to use. It is also designed for use in multiple climbing applications and meets industry safety requirements.
7. Best Climbing Rope for Dry Weather: Orgphys Rock Climbing Rope
Sometimes you feel like you are sacrificing strength when you choose a lightweight rappelling rope that is also easy to clean. You get both with the Orgphys rock climbing rope.
Its polyester construction is resistant to wear and tear. It also makes the rope lightweight, easy to carry, and a breeze to clean. The rope’s inner core is made from high-strength polypropylene. For added strength, the rope is machined instead of hand-woven. You get a tighter braid for a longer-lasting rope.
The rope comes with a safety guarantee, and it meets all industry standards. The rope has a high weight capacity, which is increased to 5,620lbs for each attached stainless steel o-shaped hook. Whether you are rappelling, rock climbing, or lifting and lowering heavy gear, this static rope can easily handle it.
Available in multiple colors and lengths, it is worth looking at this 10mm rappelling rope.
You are limited to climbing in dry weather with the Orgphys rock climbing rope, but it is a great option when you aren’t climbing in the rain. It meets safety standards, is durable, and it is also easy to carry and clean.
8. Best Beginner Rope: VOXLOVA Rock Climbing Rope
Available in either 32ft or 65ft lengths, the 10mm climbing rope comes with everything you need to get started. Think of it as a rappelling kit. The package comes with two spring hooks, thimbles, and shrink tubes, along with the versatile rope. You also get a convenient carrying and storage bag.
Do not use the spring hooks for rock and ice climbing. You need to switch to steel for your safety. It also applies when you are using the rappelling rope for high-altitude climbs.
The static rope has a low elasticity improving your safety on climbs. It is constructed from reinforced polyester fibers with 15 thick whole core ropes for added strength and durability. With a maximum tensile of 3,330lbs, you have the protection you need at almost any height.
Like most rappelling ropes, it is designed for versatility. It is a work-and-play rope that can handle climbing, caving, magnet fishing, rescues, and equipment lifting and lowering.
The VOXLOVA rock climbing rope comes with everything beginners need to get started. Its versatility and strength also make it an excellent option for experienced climbers.
9. Rock Climbing and Rappelling Combination Rope: Trsmima Outdoor Climbing Rope
One of the first aspects you’ll notice is the construction. The outdoor climbing rope is constructed from nylon. For additional strength, the inner core is made of 20 whole core nylon fiber rope. The woven fibers are water-resistant, soft, and durable. The rope won’t easily fray with repeated use.
The 8mm rappelling rope comes with CE-certified alloy steel climbing carabiners. It easily locks securely in place, reducing your risk for injuries and falls. It is safe enough to use for extreme heights rappelling, as well as rock climbing activities held both inside and outside. With a tensile strength of up to 660lbs, the rope can easily support you and your gear.
Another advantage to the rope is its easy storage. You can fold the rope into a compact size, perfect for carrying on hikes or climbing trees when you need a rope to get back down.
The Trsmima Outdoor Climbing Rope is designed for rock climbing and rappelling. It’s not often you find a rope that can handle both activities. Its nylon construction ensures strength and durability.
10. Great All-Purpose Climbing Rope: NTR Outdoor Climbing Rope
Whether you are caving, rappelling, engineering, or need a rope to tie down a tent, the NTR Outdoor climbing rope has you covered.
The versatile rappelling rope is constructed from polyester and comes with a skin and nylon fiber woven core. You get a water-resistant rope that won’t pile and provides you with exceptionally smooth braking action. You won’t have to worry about too rapid or jerky descents.
Both ends of the 8mm rope come with attached steel carabiners and protection rings. It’s ready to go out of the packaging and meets industry safety standards. The 660lb weight limit is enough to support you and your gear. It also comes with a handy storage bag.
With low ductility, strong buckles, resistance to high temperatures, and heat-shrinking tubing, there’s very little you can safely do with this rappelling rope.
The NTR Outdoor Climbing Rope is versatile and comes with everything you need for rock climbing and rappelling. The only downside is the manufacturer does not list its safety rating.
Things To Consider Before Buying a Rope for Rappelling
You want to look at a few aspects when choosing a rappelling rope. The type of rope, its length and diameter, construction, and safety features.
An excellent tip to remember is that a rope that works well for your rappelling partner may not be the best choice for you.
Types of Rope
You can choose between static and dynamic ropes; each has its best uses. Static ropes are ideal for hauling loads up and down or for climbs that require little body movement.
Never use a static rope for lead or top-rope climbing. Instead, choose a dynamic rope. It has the flexibility you need for these climbs.
Diameter and Length
Slimmer ropes are lighter in weight, but you are also sacrificing strength. You want the rope to measure 8.5mm, but you can also find some with 10mm and wider.
Where you are climbing often determines the diameter you need.
Thicker rappelling ropes are ideal for gym climbing. Course climbing is hard on the rope fibers, and thicker ones last longer.
Thinner ropes are ideal for sport climbing, but you are losing some durability.
When it comes to the rope’s length, you want one measuring between 30m to 80m. The length you need depends on how high you are planning on climbing.
How the rope is constructed matters both for your safety and performance.
Ropes can normally absorb water, which will make them extremely heavy. Ropes that are dry treated repel moisture. It also helps prevent water from freezing to the rope at higher altitudes. When this happens, the rope becomes stiff and difficult to move.
It’s always helpful knowing where the middle is on the rope. Most manufacturers place a black mark in the middle. It’s a helpful feature to have when you are unsure of how much rope you have left for a climb.
Bicolor ropes come at a higher price, but it is easier to tell when you are at the rope’s middle. Each half of the rope is a different color. When the color changes, you are at the halfway point.
End Warning Marks
Right before you reach the end of your rope, you’ll notice another mark. Usually placed a few inches away from the end, it is convenient to have on long rappels or when lowering an injured climber.
The Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme (UIAA) is the international committee that sets the safety standards for rappelling ropes.
Ropes packaged without a seal from the UIAA have not been tested for safety or quality. Even if it is a cheap rappelling rope, it is still one you will want to avoid.
Single ropes must withstand at least 5 UIAA falls using 80kg weights. Twin ropes are tested 12 times.
Even though the ropes are tested for strength and durability, you still want to inspect your rope after every climb.
Static and Dynamic Elongation
Static or working elongation refers to how much the rope stretches, holding an 80kg weight. These ropes cannot stretch more than 12 percent if they are to meet UIAA safety requirements.
Dynamic ropes are designed to be more flexible than static ones. The UIAA allows dynamic ropes to stretch up to 40 percent.
Impact force refers to the amount of pressure placed on a rope during a fall. Higher static and dynamic elongations mean you need a lower impact force. You get a softer landing during a fall, but there is a tradeoff.
Ropes with a lower impact force also have more flexibility.
Frequently Asked Questions
Even with all of the information, you probably still have some questions. Here’s what other rappellers want to know.
How do I choose a rappelling rope?
Choosing a rappelling rope is confusing. You have plenty of options, but each one different. Look for a rope with a diameter of at least 7.7mm, but optimally you want one closer to 8.5mm. The thinner the rope, the greater the chances of it fraying and tearing.
A cheap rappel rope often comes with a smaller diameter, so you may choose to get a pricer one for safety reasons.
How thick should a climbing rope be?
The thickness of the rappelling rope often depends on your skill level. Experienced climbers want a thinner rope, between 8mm to 9mm. These ropes are lightweight and have less drag than thicker ones.
Beginners want to have some drag; it makes the rope easier to control. Look for rappelling ropes with a 9.5mm or 10mm diameter. The thicker size also makes these ropes ideal for use indoors.
How long should my first rappelling rope be?
The rope’s length determines where you can safely use it, so keep this in mind when planning where to climb. Most outdoor climbs need a rope between 60 to 70 meters in length. It should give you enough slack to reach the top or ground without running out of rope.
If you are ready to tackle crags, you want a longer rope around 80 meters. A rope of this length would give you enough length to reach the top even if some get hung up on a rocky overcrop.
How long does a rappelling rope last?
A few factors determine the lifespan of a rappelling rope, but even with manufacturer recommendations, you should still thoroughly inspect it after every climb.
The rope’s construction and how often you use it play a significant role in its duration.
If your rappelling rope is never used, it will last up to ten years in storage before starting to decay. If you only climb once or twice a year, you won’t have to buy another one for about seven years.
High-quality rappelling ropes will last up to five years with monthly climbs. If you are rappelling every weekend, you should replace the rope every three years.
How do I know if a rappelling rope is static or dynamic?
Dynamic ropes are more flexible than static ones, and this makes a difference in your climb. When the climb requires a lot of movement, go for a dynamic rope. It is easier to control and gives you the freedom you need to reach the next handhold. When it is a straight climb, a static rope may work best.
You can tell the difference between the two types by how much the rope stretches. Hang the rope up and give it a hard pull. If it stretches around 40% of its original length, it is a dynamic rappelling rope. Static ropes usually only stretch about 5%. It is a noticeable difference you can easily feel.
A rappelling rope is essential when you spend a lot of time climbing, whether for work or play. You’ll also quickly notice that there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” type of rappelling rope. You need different specifications for various applications.
Dynamic rappelling ropes are great when a lot of movement is required on the climb or descent. When it is a straight shot up or down, go with a static rope.
Don’t forget to check the rope’s construction and its safety rating. If you can’t find a safety rating, don’t use the rope on high-altitude climbs.
Using the best rappelling rope will make your climb easier and help keep you safe when you are off the ground.