Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Surface Coating adds life and durability, lightweight, versatile, smooth handling
Best Uses: Multi-pitch and alpine climbs, sport climbing.
Your rope is your line to safety while perilously perched on the side of a rock face, so selecting the right one is no small decision. After reviewing a wide selection of climbing ropes on the market we settled on the one we would buy if we could only have one rope: the Mammut Infinity. This rope takes our Editor's Choice for a variety of reasons: its medium diameter makes it versatile enough for any type of climbing, Mammut's proprietary COATING finish gives it smooth glide, extra durability, and keeps it feeling new longer, and it remains light enough to not be cumbersome on the approach. If you plan to work some projects or jug up some big walls, you may be in the market for a burlier, thicker rope like the Sterling Marathon Pro or the Sterling Evolution Velocity. Alternatively, if you want the skinniest rope you can find so you can float some 13's, check out the airy Metolius Tendon.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
A medium diameter rope with an extra coating on the sheath, this versatile rope handles well and has a long life.
9.5 mm All-Around Rope
For a rope of this size, the Infinity is on the light side, weighing 58 g/m. The other 9.5 we evaluated was the Maxim Pinnacle, which weighs a hefty 61 g/m. By going a little thinner to a 9.4 like the Petzl Fuse you can get a similar rope at the same price that's a little lighter at 56 g/m, but we think the Infinity lasts longer.
We tested this rope on climbs that involved long approaches in the Tetons, the Winds, and the Sierra. It became our go-to rope for multi-pitch climbs that also involve a lot of hiking. The diameter of the rope gave us confidence that it would last, but the light weight allowed us to move fast in the mountains.
With a relatively low impact force of 8.7 kN, the Infinity offers a soft, safe catch. Some ropes like the BlueWater Pulse and the BlueWater Lightening Pro have a noticeably lower impact force of 7.8 kN, which gives a slightly softer catch when you take a big ride. However, the Infinity has a much lower impact force than the other 9.5 mm we tested, the Maxim Pinnacle, which measures in at 9.4 kN, a relatively high number.
The Infinity is treated with Mammut's proprietary COATINGfinish technology. This coating is made from Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), better known as Teflon. Essentially the same material that makes your pans non-stick also reduces friction and wear on this climbing rope, extending its life and durability. This allows for the rope to last far longer than other ropes such as the Beal Edlinger that have no surface treatments at all, though it is not as environmentally friendly in its manufacturing process. The only other rope with a similar coating is the 8.9mm Metolius Tendon, which uses an eco friendly Teflon coating to extend the life durability of the thin rope.
We found that after many pitches of scraping this rope over rough granite, that it was still in good shape. It never had any sheath slippage like the Maxim ropes we used, and proved itself a worthwhile piece of protection.
Sterling Fusion Nano, it handles well while coiling and packing. Because of this coating, it stays feeling newer for longer instead of stiffening and fattening right away.
Options and Other Versions
The Infinity Classic 60 or 70, retails for $150 for the 60 meter version and for $170 for the 70 meter version. The Infinity Classic claims to be a lightweight sport climbing rope.
The Infinity is also available in 70 and 80 meter versions:
Infinity 70, $259.
Infinity 80, $289.
The beauty of a mid-diameter rope Mammut Infinity is that is works well for just about anything. It is light enough to carry long distances or drag up an all-day multi-pitch climb, but it is thick enough to handle some projecting and long top-rope sessions when you bring your little brother out for his first day on the rock. This is a versatile, durable rope and will suit whatever type of climbing you may need it for.
The Infinity is not an inexpensive rope. For a standard 60 meter it costs $240, and goes up from there with different length options. However, because of the Teflon in the COATING finish, this rope has added life and durability. Also, because of its versatility you are getting a lot of rope for your money, making it a worthy investment. We think if you are only going to by one rope for the next year, it should be this one.
If you are only going to own one rope, this is the one to buy. It is a medium diameter rope so it can be used for the whole gamut of climbing scenarios: carried long distances into the backcountry or used for repeated top-roping or sport route projecting. It is light, durable, and handles well.
— McKenzie Long
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Most recent review: June 1, 2013
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