For an arborist, finding the best rope for tree climbing is of paramount importance. It’s the one gear you can’t do without if you want to climb a tree.
Choosing a climbing rope might look pretty straightforward, but considering your life depends on it while you ascend or descend, you would realize you need to get yourself the best arborist rope for nailing down your safety.
Today, we will talk about 7 high-quality climbing ropes that you can contemplate buying and also shed light on a few aspects you should have a look at when you buy a tree climbing rope.
Top 7 Best Rope for Tree Climbing
- X XBEN Outdoor Climbing Rope
- Blue Ox Rope 12-Strand Arborist Climbing Rope, 1/2″ by 150′
- Giantex 3/7″ Durable Braid Polyester Rope
- Fding Rock Climbing Rope
- Blue Ox Polyester Arborist Climbing 1/2 inch
- Singing Rock R44 NFPA Static Rope
- Arbor- care Tree Climbing Rope
How to Choose a Climbing Rope for Arborists
The importance of rope shells gets often overlooked, but if you want a rope that can serve you for quite some time, you need to buy a rope that rocks a resilient coating. The shell insulates the rope from adverse factors like heat, friction, moisture and enhances its life span substantially.
Tensile strength determines the effectiveness of any climbing rope. The more tensile strength your rope boasts, the more capable it is to support you when you are going upwards or downwards. Assuming you pick a 100-150 feet rope, 6.5-8.5 pounds of tensile strength should be sufficient. If you manage to get more, that’s a welcome bonus.
High strand count makes the rope stronger and flexible at the same time. You want the rope to be strong enough to provide support, take the edge off of accidental slips, and allow you to tie climbing knots.
Non-Spliced vs. Spliced Lines
While using both spliced and non-spliced end ropes have their perks, the use of spliced lines is gaining prominence as a single rope climbing technique became mainstream in recent years. If you prefer single rope climbing as well, then you should go for non-spliced lines. They are more flexible, maintain the same diameter, and distribute the wear more evenly compared to their spliced counterparts.
However, a spliced line is an absolute necessity if you intend to try out the double rope technique. As the line will be cut off at the harness, a splice comes in handy to keep the harness region smooth.
Select a color that easily catches the eye. It’s possible to accidentally cut off a rope that blends with the surrounding colors and becomes barely visible while you are working on a tree. So, the best rope for tree work should come in a color that is bright and distinguishable.
Best Tree Climbing Rope-Reviews
1. X XBEN Outdoor Climbing Rope
The X XBEN Outdoor Climbing Rope gets our vote as the best climbing rope for beginners. With a skin sliding rate that lies below 0.05%, these ropes give you a firm grip and are quite easy to hang on to. The sheath incorporates an anti-pilling feature that imposes a breaking function.
The sturdy construction of the rope makes it utterly convenient for tree work, thanks to the combined might of 13 core lines. The twisted external surface accounts for a mushy texture as well as keeps the main rope safe from outside hazards.
The rope generates the right amount of elasticity that makes your climbing sessions comfortable. It will not over-expand to make things difficult for you, or be too stiff to make you hurt when it stops the fall. The eight-millimeter diameter, combined with four size variants, is perfect for undertaking a wide range of tasks other than tree climbing.
2. Blue Ox Rope Arborist Climbing Rope
Blue Ox is one of the best climbing rope brands out there, and they have garnered a place of trust in the arborist community with their top-notch offerings. Blue Ox Rope Arborist Climbing Rope is a rope that comes with design attributes aimed specifically towards tree climbing.
The 12-strand polyester construction with solid plastic coating makes it an ideal gear for any tree professional. The rope shell is thick and prevents the rope from twisting, but it’s not inflexible, so you won’t face any problems tying knots. The amazing 8 thousand pounds tensile strength is another highlight of the line.
The only downside we could think of is the lack of size of options. You can only purchase this rope at one size, so if you need a rope lengthier or shorter than 150 meters, you would have to look somewhere else. Other than that, you would find this rope holding up to the toughest treatment and proving to be a great value for your money.
3. Giantex Durable Braid Polyester Rope
Giantex Durable Braid Polyester Rope makes the perfect blend of endurance and stretchability. The polyester material makes the rope incredibly strong and facilitates adequate stretch to make the rope fit for various outside and indoor climbing pursuits. The soft, unwrinkled surface of the rope is a treat to touch.
The rope will not give in unless you ask it to carry more than 5953 pounds. The braided design is formed with loops twisted in countering positions. This gives the rope the ability to handle a mix of environmental conditions without compromising its performance. This trait makes Giantex Durable Braid Polyester Rope the best all-around climbing rope in our list.
This is a rope built for all seasons, but the emphasis on durability didn’t make this cord overwhelmingly heavy. It’s very lightweight and is as easy as ABC to carry around. You will also find this rope pretty useful in more everyday applications like bundling together a bunch of boxes or tying something else.
4. Fding Rock Climbing Rope
The Fding Rock Climbing Rope is another excellent entry in our best arborist climbing rope reviews list that comes with a complete package of rope and buckles. The buckle eliminates the hassle of creating knots and allows the climber to make full use of its effective length.
The rope is available in three different sizes, but none of them are as long as 100 feet. If you want to go atop a towering tree, this will not be the best rope for tree climbing. But for climbing shorter trees, you won’t have any complaints about the reinforced polyester cable.
This is a static rope, so it’s not the best in soaking up unexpected shocks. Nevertheless, it makes for a piece of great outdoor survival equipment with its fantastic load capacity that promises to withhold 33KN of tensile force. We also like the bounce it yields while climbing, which is ideal for tree professionals.
5. Blue Ox Rope Polyester Arborist Climbing
We have already talked about a Blue Ox Rope line in our article, and here’s one more of the ½ climbing ropes manufactured by the US company. The bi-color sheath of the rope accounts for high visibility, which is the key selling point of this item.
The blue-orange combo can be spotted in almost all weather conditions. This makes the rope appropriate for year-round use. The 12-strand polyester rope has a formidable holding capacity of 8 thousand pounds, which should be enough to meet the demand of any arborist.
The coreless design of the rope accommodates smooth wear distribution. It’s not susceptible to piling up or fraying. The stretch hits the sweet spot between safety and comfort. It’s low but not too low to hurt you as it stops you from falling. Overall, this is the forest climbing rope we’d recommend if you want to keep the expenses down.
6. Singing Rock R44 NFPA Static Rope
Coming with Singing Rock’s trademark Route-44 technology, Singing Rock R44 NFPA Static Rope is a rough and tough 11mm climbing rope. If stability and endurance are what you have been looking for in your tree climbing rope, this rope will not turn you down.
The Route 44 technology allows the rope to bend marvelously while keeping it fairly immune to abrasion. The rope shell is thick and comfortable to grip. The ruggedness of the rope makes it usable for more intense activities as well. We are talking rappelling, rescue missions, and a whole lot of other stuff.
While the rope is pretty heavy-duty, newcomers won’t find it much intimidating to use. It can be a robust climbing companion for professionals and beginners alike. Yes, the price indeed falls into the premium category of climbing ropes, but if you consider the performance and durability, it is a worthy investment to make.
7. Arbor-Care Arborist Tree Climbing Rope
Arbor-Care Arborist Tree Climbing Rope is a rope dedicated to tree work. You won’t get much versatility from this line, but for tree climbing and rigging, this can be an excellent choice. With the modest price tag, you can’t blame this item for not having multi-purpose utility.
What we like most about the rope is its 16-strand braided construction. It makes the rope quite strong and facilitates excellent knot retention. The nylon-made cord offers a sizeable load capacity of 6000 pounds. The rope takes on a static design to keep the bounce comfortably low.
Restricted to a single size is an obvious bummer, even though it’s pretty much the ideal size for working in the forest. The sheath is not the most resilient one out there, but it’s fine considering the price and holds up well for a not so short using period.
Types of Climbing Ropes
Primarily speaking, you can classify climbing ropes into two broad categories-static and dynamic ropes. The differences between these ropes mainly lie in their stretching capacity. Static ropes have low ductility while their dynamic counterparts stretch far beyond their original lengths.
Dynamic ropes also come in three different types-
- Single ropes: As the name suggests, single ropes are meant to be used as a standalone strand.
- Half ropes: These ropes are used together but clipped on their own to two different protections. These are usually 8 to 9mm thick.
- Twin ropes: Like half ropes, these ropes are used in a two-rope system as well. But, they are clipped together to single protection. These ropes could be thinner than half ropes.
Static vs. Dynamic Rope
Static ropes are known for their extreme durability. But, they are not a good choice for climbing because of their minimal stretch. Nowadays, most of the static ropes are made of nylon. They are designed to use with static loads, that’s why anchor accessory cords are made of static ropes.
Dynamic ropes are better choices for climbing as they are more elastic. These ropes stretch to a significant degree and neutralize the effects of a changing load. Doing so, these ropes minimize the risk of serious injuries in case of sudden falls.
That said, dynamic ropes aren’t the best choices for tree climbing. While they are the obvious go-to’s for activities like ice climbing and mountaineering, dynamic ropes create too much bounce for an arborist and make things difficult for them.
Therefore, pick a semi-static rope that has moderate stretchability for tree climbing purposes. Low elongation with sufficient energy absorption is the combination you would look for in the best rope for tree climbing.
Frequently Asked Questions
#How long do climbing ropes last?
Climbing ropes are quite durable. You can expect a good quality climbing rope to last as long as 10 years.
#What size rope should I use for climbing?
If you are planning on climbing a tree, there’s a simple rule of thumb. The length of your climbing rope should be double the length of the tree you want to climb on. That means if you want to climb a 75 feet tree, you would need a 150 feet rope. We’d say 150 feet is the standard size when it comes to tree climbing.
#How to tie tree climbing knots?
Here are some basic tree climbing knots for you to try-
Alpine Butterfly Loop: Create a loop with the rope around your hand, with two strands lying down. Take the loop with your other hand and wrap it around your first hand with the remaining two strands.
Farmer’s Loop: Move the end of the rope across your hand twice. Pull the strand in the middle towards your fingertips. Now push away the strand that currently lies in the middle. Pull the new central strand towards your finger and then push away the next central strand.
Figure 8 Follow Through Loop: Tie a figure 8 knot loosely and then run the tail around the tying point. Complete a figure 8 tie in reverse.
#How much weight can a climbing rope hold?
A climbing rope can support a maximum of 2400kg or 5291lbs on average.
#What to do with old climbing ropes?
You can recycle your old rope by returning it to your manufacturer. Many companies offer this fantastic opportunity to dispose of the ropes in an eco-friendly way.
Choosing the best rope for tree climbing is a matter of life and death for a tree professional. You would be putting your life on the line every time you go up a tree using a climbing rope. So, go through our tree climbing rope buying guide to make sure you get a reliable line that will keep you safe during your excursions.