Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: $138 60m Dry
Pros: Inexpensive, dry coating extends life
Cons: Ends wore out quickly, only comes in 60m, heavy
Best Uses: All-around climbing
Manufacturer: New England ropes, Maxim
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 have an unlimited budget, try out the Maxim Glider for its smooth feed and handling. If you need a lighter rope for alpine climbs or hard sport sends, check out the Mammut Revelation.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
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.
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 probably retire a rope after one fall of that force, this spec shows that the Equinox is really strong in comparison to other ropes.
At first this rope had a smooth and slippery feel thanks to the dry coating, which also helped to keep the rope cleaner and newer longer. It feeds and locks well in all belay devices from gri-gris, to reversos, to atcs.
I had only used this rope for a few days, a couple days sport cragging and a couple days on multi-pitch climbs, and I 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. None of the other ropes in this review showed such obvious signs of wear so quickly.
This rope is also on the heavy side. Most other 10.2 mm ropes weigh the same as this one, 66 g/m. However there are a couple 10.2's that are lighter, such as the Bluewater Eliminator and the Beal Edlinger II. On a multi-pitch climb the weight of this rope is noticeable.
This rope is thicker, which makes it good for just about anything, from aiding to sport climbing. Except for longer routes or hard red-points where weight is a big concern, I would go for something lighter like the Petzl Fuse or Mammut Revelation.
This rope also 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. Now days people are buying longer and longer ropes, which are necessary at certain crags and areas, and this rope is not the one for those situations.
Maxim is a great company with a reliable warranty. A customer brought a rope back to the shop where I work with a complaint about his rope being wavy and lumpy (not a usual feature or a common occurrence in Maxim ropes.) We sent it back to them, they inspected it, and sure enough said the rope was not supposed to be that way, so they sent him a brand new rope. I find this to be confidence inspiring. They take pride in their product and they take care of their customers.
This is the least expensive rope in this review, which is pretty amazing considering this rope is also decent quality, which is why it is getting the Best Buy award. The Maxim Equinox is the best selling rope at REI, which goes to show that people like buying cheap whenever possible.
— McKenzie Long
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: January 4, 2012
Credit: New England Ropes
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