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Hands-on Gear Review
Cons: Ends wore out quickly, only comes in 60m, heavy
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 need a lighter rope for alpine climbs or hard sport sends, check out the Mammut Revelation or the Sterling Fusion Nano.
RELATED: Our complete review of climbing ropes (dynamic)
OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
10.2 Workhorse Rope
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: August 6, 2013
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