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Maxim Equinox Review

   

Climbing Ropes (Dynamic)

  • Currently 3.3/5
Overall avg rating 3.3 of 5 based on 4 reviews. Most recent review: August 6, 2013
Street Price:   $134 60m
Pros:  Inexpensive, dry coating extends life
Cons:  Ends wore out quickly, only comes in 60m, heavy
Best Uses:  All-around climbing
User Rating:     
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  • 5
 (3.7 of 5) based on 3 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (3/3) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   New England ropes, Maxim
Review by: McKenzie Long ⋅ Senior Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ June 4, 2013  
Overview
Even though the end of the rope wore out quickly, the overall performance of the Maxim Equinox was still excellent. For the price, the rope can't be beat. If you are on a budget, or are buying a rope for the first time, this is a great option for you. If you want to spend just a little more money on something that is more durable, check out the BlueWater Pulse. If you need a lighter rope for alpine climbs or hard sport sends, check out the Mammut Revelation or the Sterling Fusion Nano.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Performance Comparison
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Luke Lydiard climbs The Mexican Hat, UT, A0. The Equinox is a thick workhorse rope that works well for aiding.
Credit: Jeff Fox

10.2 Workhorse Rope

Weight
This rope is on the heavy side. Many other 10.2 mm ropes weigh the same as this one, 66 g/m, but there are a couple 10.2's that are lighter, such as the BlueWater Eliminator and the Beal Edlinger. On a multi-pitch climb the weight of this rope is noticeable.

Catch
This rope is rated to hold more UIAA falls than many other ropes of the same diameter. The Equinox holds up to 9, while other 10.2mm ropes such as the Bluewater Eliminator, tend to hold 8. Though you would retire a rope after one fall of that force, this spec shows that the Equinox is strong in comparison to other ropes. However, the impact force rating of 9.8 kN is quite high, meaning that the catch is not nearly as soft as on a low impact force rope, such as the BlueWater Lightning Pro.

Handling
At first, this rope has a smooth and slippery feel thanks to the dry coating, which also helps to keep the rope cleaner and newer longer. It feeds and locks well in all belay devices from Gri-Gris, to Reversos, to ATCs.

Durability
We had only tested this rope for a few days, a couple days sport cragging and a couple days on multi-pitch climbs, when we noticed that the core was sliding out of the sheath a little on one of the ends. This is a relatively common occurrence for ropes after a lot of use, and it can be fixed quickly with a hot knife trim, but this happened very quickly which was disappointing. This seems to be a common occurrence with Maxim ropes, since we noticed the same problem with the Maxim Pinnacle.

Options and Other Verisons
This rope only comes in a 60 m option, which is pretty limiting. On one hand, a thick rope like this would make a very heavy and cumbersome 70 meter, so it would be wiser to buy it in a 60 meter anyways. On the other hand, most modern crags now require a 70 meter or longer rope in order to get down, so owning only a 60 meter limits where you can climb.

Best Application
This rope is thicker, which makes it good for projecting, aiding, and top-roping. On longer routes or hard red-points where weight is a big concern, we suggest something lighter like the Petzl Fuse, Metolius Tendon, or Mammut Revelation.

Value
The Equinox is a strong, thick, multi-purpose rope that is good for any kind of climbing while being the least expensive rope in this review. Price can be a major limiting factor when buying a rope and you would be hard pressed to find another rope, especially a dry treated rope, at such a great price. At $134 for a 60 meter rope, the Equinox is a screaming deal. It narrowly misses winning our Best Buy Award because it did not prove to be as durable or long lasting as other inexpensive ropes, such as the Mammut Tusk. Maxim states that it keeps the cost of this rope down by using more white yarns in the construction. The lack of color reduces the cost of yarn dying, which provides you a great rope at a more than reasonable price.

McKenzie Long

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: August 6, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 4
  • 5
 (3.7)

100% of 3 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
4 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 50%  (2)
3 star: 50%  (2)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 3 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Aug 6, 2013 - 10:52am
climbphx · Climber · Cave Creek, AZ
This rope has been great for me for the price. I bought mine over three years ago when I was just getting back into climbing after a long hiatus. I used it on moderate granite trad routes single and multi pitch. Very little sport routes so only few leader falls. It was a little stiff but improved after a couple outings. The rope wore very evenly and after a year or so going out 3 or 4 times a month it got little thicker and fuzzy. Then I started using it for top rope including lowering over granite. It continued to fuzz, and is now a lot thicker but still handles well. Overall good quality. There may be a manufacturing problem on recent production runs with with core slipping on this rope as mentioned in review. A friend of mine used his rope one or two times and at the end of the rope the mantle slid over the core. He threw his away. His opinion on this rope would obviously be very low, mine overall was very positive. I'd consider buying another as a dedicated top rope as it is heavy but pretty durable.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jan 5, 2012 - 01:51am
Good rope for the price.
Having climbed on Mammut, Bluewater, Beal, Maxim, and Esprit (Oh, how I wish you still made dynamic ropes) this rope is standard. It is amazing that it is dry treated for this price, but I haven't tested the effectiveness of that in the year that I have been climbing on this. The rope has had moderate use and has worn pretty well in that year. My biggest issue the the hand- the feel of the rope is poor, it feels a little stiff and seems to hold twists and coils longer than my partners rope when we rap on each side by side after use for a day. Overall, a good enough rope, I get what I pay for.

If money is your primary concern, this is a great rope. Money is not my primary concern in ropes anymore, so I would personally get something different next time around.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Dec 15, 2010 - 11:07pm
WML · Climber · Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
What's not to like about this thing? Cheap, dry, and highly durable. I agree with most of the review, except I have used this thing for everything (and then some) as a workhorse rope for cragging and most of the trad/sport stuff I do. It has lasted two seasons and has only started to show wear now at the end of the second season. The weight is a pain, especially when your alpine rope is a 9.2…going back to leading on this thing you notice the weight, but if ya stay away from the butt floss this thing isn't too bad in terms of weight!

Great rope, I love this thing. Probably will end up buying another one of the same if I don't score the 70 I'm in a hunt for at the right price…

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