Hands-on Gear Review
Compare climbing ropes (dynamic) ratings side-by-side >
Street Price: $195 | Compare prices at 1 resellers
Pros: 1 over 1 TPT sheath design, feeds really well, stays new longer than most ropes
Cons: Sometimes sheath loosens at the end
Best Uses: All-around climbing, trad climbs, big walls
Manufacturer: Maxim, New England Ropes
The New England Ropes Maxim Glider is a really innovative and well made climbing rope. At 10.2mm, 66 g/m and a beefy strength of holding up to 9 UIAA falls, this rope could handle anything. The 9.9mm version is a bit lighter at 63g/m and holds up to 7 UIAA falls. Now that I have used it, I prefer this rope with the 1 over 1 sheath weave to a 2 over 2 because it makes the rope handle so well and last longer. The closest imitation of the way this rope handles is the Teflon coating on the Mammut Revelation and Mammut Infinity, which also prolongs the life of the ropes and makes them feed well. If you like the quality of the Glider, but it is too expensive for you, try out the Equinox, also made by Maxim.
How does this compare to other ropes? See The Best Climbing Rope Review
Compare top rated competitors side-by-side >
OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Glider is one of the only ropes out there with a 1 over 1 sheath weave pattern. (All others are 2 over 2.) This makes this rope feel smoother and as if it glides through your belay device. It also makes the cross section of the rope smaller, meaning the sheath takes up less space. At Maxim, they claim that this TPT (Twill Pattern Technology) helps to reduce rope drag and gives the rope increased abrasion resistance, and I think they are right. This rope is worth checking out just because of this unique technology and feel to it. It feeds and handles better than any other climbing rope, and stays newer longer.
I was climbing with a group and two different Gliders for a few weeks at Indian Creek last spring. After the first week and a half, one of the Gliders had the sheath stretch a little at the ends, leaving the tips loose and ragged, which made it hard to tie in. Since it was a brand new rope, my friend called Maxim to see what they had to say and the rep said “ Let me guess, you would lead up on one end, top-rope on the other, and then pull through chains and rappel.” My friend was surprised because that is exactly the program on just about every climb at the Creek, and this guy knew exactly what was happening to his rope. He told him sometimes that happens with a lot of rappelling through chains, and to just trim the ends. After the trim the rope has been fine, but it seemed as if that shouldn't have had to happen in the first place.
This rope comes in 4 different diameters (11, 10.5, 10.2, 9.9mm) and two different lengths (60 and 70m for each,) so you can select the thickness appropriate to your use.
Maxim is the climbing rope branch of New England Ropes, which is more well known for making ropes for sailing. In the grand scheme, New England ropes makes way more money on their sailing ropes and their climbing rope sales only make up a tiny fraction of their sales. A co-worker of mine said he asked a guy from NE Ropes why they even bothered making climbing ropes if they account for such a small part of their business, and the guy responded “Because we make better ropes than anyone else.” I think this says a lot about their company as a whole- they are much more dedicated to the quality of their product than making huge profits. In the day and age of giant corporations owning and down-grading everything, I find this refreshing.
Usually ropes fatten up after a lot of use, but this rope stays thin because of the sheath weave. A friend of mine who owned a Glider reported that after nine months of frequent use every week, other climbers would see his rope and say “Wow, nice new rope, huh?” You can get away with a thicker diameter rope for strength, but this one still feels skinny. Even though this rope is one of the most expensive in the review, it goes far for the money.
— McKenzie Long
Compare this product side-by-side to top competitors >
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: June 5, 2012
Credit: New England Ropes
Where's the Best Price?
*Help support OutdoorGearLab. If you click on one of the seller links and make a purchase, a portion of the sale helps support this site
Related Best-in-Class Review
Helpful Buying Tips
Get More OutdoorGearLab
Follow us on Twitter, be a fan on Facebook!
Related Gear Reviews
Recent Best-in-Class Reviews