Our latest Top Gear choice features the Edelrid Swift Protect Pro Dry rope. This innovative and technically advanced rope offers increasing cut resistance over a sharp edge and we reckon it is a great safety step forward. Please read on to find out more.
The climbing rope technology we enjoy nowadays is amazing. Ropes are thinner, lighter, more weather resistant and better handling than ever. This means there is also lots of choice. There are many quality manufacturer’s and it’s a busy marketplace. Is there anything different companies can bring to market? Yes!
The Edelrid Swift Protect Pro rope is truly innovative. Firstly, it is a light (53g/m) and thin (8.9mm) triple rated (single, half and twin) dry treated rope. It meets UIAA requirements for water repellency and is Bluesign certified. So far, this is similar to many other quality ropes. You need to look a bit closer to understand where the main differences lie.
In one very cool innovation, Edelrid have woven Aramid fibres into the sheath. Aramid is a very strong, tough, heat resistant and lightweight synthetic fibre from the Kevlar family. It is a great choice for ropes, except that Aramid doesn’t stretch. This makes it unsuitable for dynamic climbing ropes. Unless, like Edelrid, you develop a new processing method. The reason this is big news is because the Aramid fibres significantly improve cut resistance.
The idea is the high strength and cut resistant Aramid fibres will protect the rope against sharp edges. As climbing ropes get thinner this is potentially a major weakness with climbing rope designs. It is also a feature not currently tested under rope testing standards. So, alongside producing the rope technology, Edelrid also produced a machine to test the rope (please check out the video below).
All in all, the Edelrid Swift Protect Pro dry rope seems like a great step forward for rope design. But, how does it perform? When you first use it you are likely to think the rope is fairly stiff. However, it soon softens up and works well with any belay devices we have used it with. The tight weave also inspires confidence that it will be durable and wear resistant. The other thing to note is that the sheath is quite rough in the hand. This actually makes gripping the rope very easy. This is a great benefit when using the rope in an instructing capacity.
The upshot is that we have nothing bad to say about the Swift Protect and so much that we applaud Edelrid for. Having companies out there keen to drive the future of product design and who will invest in new technologies to keep us safe. We can’t ask for more really. You will pay more for a Swift Protect than a standard triple rated rope, but surely that investment is worth it? Full details on the Edelrid Swift Protect Pro dry rope are available on the Edelrid website here. The video below explains more about Edelrid’s rope testing.
We also included the superb Edelrid Pure Slider carabiner as one of our top gear choices here.