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BlueWater Lightning Pro Review

   

Climbing Ropes (Dynamic)

  • Currently 4.3/5
Overall avg rating 4.3 of 5 based on 4 reviews. Most recent review: June 4, 2013
Street Price:   Varies from $160 - $222 | Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, strong for its diameter, versatile, low impact force means soft catches
Cons:  No middle mark
Best Uses:  General climbing.
User Rating:     
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 (4.7 of 5) based on 3 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (3/3) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Bluewater Ropes
Review by: McKenzie Long ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ June 4, 2013  
Overview
As a 9.7mm climbing rope, the Lightning Pro only weighs 61 g/m, which is light and easy to handle. For a rope of this weight, it is still rated to hold 8 UIAA falls, which is one of the highest ratings for a rope under 10.2mm in this review. Overall this rope is light, strong, versatile, and handles well. If you want a rope that can do just about anything, this is an excellent option. For something thicker and stronger, check out the Maxim Glider. If you want something skinnier and even lighter for an all day adventure, look into the Mammut Revelation or the Mammut Infinity.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Performance Comparison
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Luke Lydiard climbs with the BlueWater Lightning Pro in Owens River Gorge, CA. This medium diameter rope is versatile enough to be great for all kinds of climbing, from sport cragging to multi-pitch.
Credit: Julien LeCorps

9.7 All-Around Rope

Weight
The Lightning Pro is lightweight at 61 g/m. For a thin, lightweight rope, it is noticeably strong, being rated to hold more UIAA falls than the thicker 9.9 mm BlueWater Pulse. This is an excellent all-around rope if you only own one rope.

Catch
We tested this rope while working on a trad project in Rock Creek, CA, and took whipper after whipper on it. Tied with the BlueWater Pulse for having the lowest impact force of 7.8 kN, this rope gave a soft and safe catch, and having a rope this strong provided even more confidence to go for it at the crux.

Handling
The Lightning Pro has smooth handling and is easy to feed through a Gri-Gri, Reverso, or an ATC.

Options and Other Versions
The Lightning Pro comes in 60 or 70 meter lengths, and comes with dry treatment or bi-pattern options. BlueWater does not put middle marks on their ropes, so if having a marked center is important to you, go with the bi-pattern option.

Best Application
As a medium diameter rope that is also lightweight, the Lightning Pro is versatile enough for just about any kind of climbing you would like to do. BlueWater classifies it as a rope for "Multi-pitch, redpoint, and onsight." Because of the low impact force, it is particularly great at projecting and taking falls, but it is skinny enough to not drag you down on the send.

Value
As a regular 60 meter, this rope is $214, which is a middle range price. It is less expensive than both Petzl ropes but costs more than the Beal Edlinger or the Maxim Equinox. To buy this rope as a 70-meter adds about $30, but is still an average, reasonable price, especially for such a strong rope. Overall, the medium diameter ropes can be used in the most situations, so you can get more bang for your buck when buying a versatile rope like this one.

McKenzie Long

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: June 4, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.7)

100% of 3 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
4 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (2)
4 star: 50%  (2)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 3 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Oct 3, 2012 - 03:47pm
Scant · Climber · Flagstaff
This rope is the sh#t. It's very supple but still runs through a grigri and ATC flawlessly. I've been using this rope for about a year and a half now (3-4 times a week) and it still looks great (especially after a wash). After owning a bi-pattern rope I will never get another style either. This rope has been great and I will definitely repurchase at some point.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Apr 5, 2012 - 03:20pm
jfailing · Climber · Lone Pine
I've been using this rope for about two and a half years now and I'm mostly pretty satisfied with it. For some reason, it was sold to me as a 70m, but ended up being almost 30 feet longer (is that 80m?). It started off as a bright and vibrant neon yellow that quickly turned into a dull yellowish green after just a few routes. It feels thinner than a 9.7, and isn't really that stiff at all. As far as weight goes, it's not super heavy, but its not super light - I never really notice at all when climbing.

My main issue with the rope is durability. It's been climbed on a good amount since I got it, and it's been wearing much faster than other ropes some friends bought around the same time I got mine. Particularly the Maxim Glider - a good friend of mine climbs more than I do, bought this rope at the same time I bought mine, and his is still in fantastic shape. There's still life left in mine, but I may end up replacing it halfway through this next season. Ropes wear with use (duh), I guess I expected it to weather a bit slower…

Overall, you should buy this rope if you want a relatively light, thin-ish feeling rope that gets the job done. If you're a dirtbag and climb very often, a more durable rope might suit you better.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 29, 2011 - 02:31am
Vegasclimber · Climber · Las Vegas, NV.
I've been using the Lightning Pro 60m for about 3 months now and so far I am very happy with it. The rope handles well, is light, and has a great fall rating for it's size.

I have the bi color version, and would recommend that. Any middle marker wears off in time, the bi color is very distinct and easy to see even in low light.

I will be buying another one of these in the future.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Credit: Bluewater Ropes
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