Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Skinny, lightweight, smooth handling, soft catch, durable for a thin rope
Cons: Not a work rope, less versatile than all-around ropes
Best Uses: Hard sport sends, light and fast alpine climbing
When the moves get difficult and the clips get scary, you want the Sterling Fusion Nano tied to your harness. This lightweight red-pointer is the perfect rope for hard sends and light and fast alpine climbs. It wins our Top Pick Award for the best skinny sending rope, and in our opinion is the best lightweight rope for your quiver. Due to its thin diameter and light weight, it does not make a good rope for constant hang-dogging or a weekend of tough top-roping, and is best saved for when the weight savings count. If you want a workhorse, check out our favorite, the Sterling Marathon Pro or a reliable medium diameter like the Mammut Tusk.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
This lightweight, thin rope has very smooth handling and is ideal for sport climbers who want the easiest to clip rope.
9.2 mm Skinny Sending Rope
The Sterling Fusion Nano weighs in at a paltry 53 g/m. This is even less than the other 9.2 mm cord we tested, the Mammut Revelation, which weighs 55 g/m. The Fusion Nano is beat only by the even thinner 8.9 mm Metolius Tendon, which can be used as a single, half, or double rope and weighs 52 g/m. This low weight makes the Fusion Nano hardly noticeable during all the moments when a heavy ropes costs you: lugging along up the approach, stretching out over a mega-long sport pitch, dragging up to belay your second on a long multi-pitch route, and pulling up to clip while you are cruxing.
With a fairly low impact force of 8.5 kN, the Fusion Nano provides a soft, dynamic catch. It does not have as low of an impact force as the really cush [[Bluewater Pulse], but it still catches well. It protects the climber safely and inspires confidence, but is not cumbersome to use. It's rated by the UIAA to hold six 1.77 factor falls, which means . it will catch you when you fall. Repeatedly.
Though this skinny and light rope is best reserved for certain occasions, we tested this rope in many different climbing situations: from long granite multi-pitch climbs like the East Buttress of El Cap, to whipping on single pitch sandstone climbs in Indian Creek, and even on a single day ascent of Half Dome that involved a decent amount of jugging. The verdict: the Fusion Nano is durable and withstands quite a bit of abuse.
Options and Other Versions
The Fusion Nano comes in 50, 60, 70, and 80 meter lengths and is available in a bi-pattern weave. It always comes dry treated (without costing extra), which is a bonus if you ice climb or get caught in an unexpected rain storm.
With a fairly thin diameter, the Fusion Nano works best as a sending rope: use it for your redpoint or bring it with you on a long day alpine climbing, when a lightweight 60 meter is the ideal choice. This is the rope of choice when a long approach is in order, since it adds far less weight to your pack than a thicker rope. This is not the rope to top-rope on repeatedly or to jug extensively on. Keep it nice for the hard sends and use a medium diameter rope for everyday climbing.
Priced at $216 for a 60 meter, the Nano is an average priced rope. It is less expensive than our Editor's Choice winner, the Mammut Infinity, but does ring in more than other Sterling ropes like the Evolution Velocity or the Marathon Pro. Overall we find the price to quality ratio to be high. This is our favorite skinny, lightweight cord. Recommended!
We love the Sterling Fusion Nano. Its suppleness combined with its lightweight and thin diameter make it perfect for sport climbing or long alpine missions where weight matters, and makes it fun to use.
— McKenzie Long
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: June 25, 2013
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