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There are a lot of different kinds of ropes and cords used in climbing, and they don’t all do the same thing. The differences are crucial because some of these ropes are depended upon for safety, and some are used as supplemental or support ropes. The most important and expensive one is the dynamic rope.
The thing that sets a dynamic rope apart is that it stretches out. In the event of a fall, you don’t want a static rope that will stop abruptly once it reaches its length. Misuse of a static rope can lead to serious injury, which is why a dynamic rope is crucial for rock climbing. Since it’s required to be able to hold your weight in the event of a fall, you don’t want a dynamic rope that isn’t tested and certified. In short, don’t buy a cheap one. Look out for the UIAA certification, which is given by the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation.
Static ropes, which don’t have much give, are useful in many situations. They can be used for lowering gear, rappelling, or in rescue situations. Finally, there are things like accessory ropes, which can be used with guy-lines, to carry accessories, or to tie knots. There are a lot of applications for accessory ropes, as long as they’re not used as the rope that your entire body’s weight is dependent on. For dynamic ropes, it’s worth it to go straight to a trusted seller like REI. But there are a lot of affordable accessory cords on Amazon, and this list includes several light use cords for climbing, tree work, and general utility purposes.
1. GM CLIMBING For Accessory Cord Rope
This accessory cord can be used for making safety lines, and several reviewers recommended it for making Prusik knots (sliding loops with a variety of climbing applications). It’s flexible enough to tie a variety of knots.
Pros: UIAA certified, flexible for tying multiple kinds of knots.
Cons: Does not include loops or carabiners.
2. Paracord Planet550lb Type III Nylon Paracord
Nylon paracords are handy for tying prusik knots and attaching gear. 550lb paracords are not sturdy or stretchy enough to support body weight in the event of rappelling or for climbing, but they still have plenty of applications in climbing situations. This affordable paracord is backed by solid reviews and comes in a wide variety of colors.
Pros: Comes in lengths ranging from 10-100 feet, available in many colors.
Cons: Some found that the advertised length wasn’t always correct.
3. Fding 12mm Cord Safety Rope
This product is confusingly listed as a rock climbing rope; it’s a static rope and it isn’t certified for climbing. For light use, however, it can be handy for utility purposes or for support while climbing trees for pruning. Many reviewers were pleased with it for multiple purposes while noting that it isn’t designed to be a primary safety line.
Pros: Reviewers recommended it as a sturdy option for use in trees and as a general-purpose utility line.
Cons: Reviewers noted that the included carabiners are not especially sturdy.