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Edelrid Eagle Light Review

Edelrid Eagle Light  9.5 mm
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Price:  $270 List | $219.95 at Amazon
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Pros:  Supple handling
Cons:  Heavier than other ropes of the same diameter, high impact force rating
Manufacturer:   Edelrid
By McKenzie Long ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 9, 2015
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72
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Weight - 20% 6
  • Catch - 15% 7
  • Handling - 40% 8
  • Durability - 25% 7

The Skinny

The Edelrid Eagle Light gave our Editors' Choice winner, the Mammut Infinity, a run for its money. At the same diameter (9.5mm), just a few characteristics set these two high-performance ropes apart. The Infinity is just a touch lighter (58g/m vs. 62 g/m for the Edelrid) and with the abrasion resistant Teflon coating, it is also a bit more durable. However, the Eagle Light scores higher on handling. Feeling smoother and more supple, the Eagle Light is a pleasure to use. It feels soft and agile while tying in, clipping, and belaying. If you want an all-around rope, and the feel of it while climbing is the most important feature to you, go with the Edelrid Eagle Light. If you care more about lightweight and durability, then the Infinity still reigns king.


Our Analysis and Test Results

An all-around rope with excellent handling, the Edelrid Eagle Light is a close competitor to our Editors' Choice winner.

Performance Comparison


Adam Selby sending at the Secret Garden  Kalymnos  Greece while climbing on the super supple 9.2 mm Edelrid Eagle Light.
Adam Selby sending at the Secret Garden, Kalymnos, Greece while climbing on the super supple 9.2 mm Edelrid Eagle Light.

Weight


With a 9.5 mm diameter and 62 g/m weight, we consider the Eagle Light to be part of the all-around rope category. However, this is 4 g/m heavier than the Mammut Infinity wich has an identical diameter. That slight difference equates to nearly 10 ounces over the course of a 70 meter length. The Eagle Light weighs the same as the 9.8mm Sterling Evolution Velocity and only one gram per meter less than the much thicker Sterling Marathon Pro at 10.1mm, proving that for its size, it is not particularly lightweight.

The Mammut Infinity (blue and yellow) and the Edelrid Eagle Light (green and in the foreground). Both of these 9.5mm all-around ropes are excellent performers. The Mammut is a little lighter and more durable  while the Eagle Light is more svelte and supple.
The Mammut Infinity (blue and yellow) and the Edelrid Eagle Light (green and in the foreground). Both of these 9.5mm all-around ropes are excellent performers. The Mammut is a little lighter and more durable, while the Eagle Light is more svelte and supple.

Catch


At the conclusion of our review, we noticed that all of our award winners coincidentally have an impact force rating between 8.5 - 8.8kN. This leads us to believe that perhaps this range is where our testers find the perfect catch. The Eagle Light is quite far from this Goldilocks range at 9.3 kN, and is the second highest in our test, followed only by the super stiff New England Alex Honnold Signature Glider at 9.5 kN.

However, that being said, we had no qualms whatsoever with the catch of the Eagle Light. We bought it sport climbing in Kalymnos, Greece, and took many a whipper while tufa-wrangling, and never had any complaints about the catch of this rope. This is perhaps an illustration of the fact that catch is very difficult to objectively compare, especially since many factors, such as your belayer, play just as important of a role in providing a soft and comfortable catch.

Catching a fall on the Edelrid Eagle Light. The motion of the belayer and how much slack they had out prior to a fall affects the feel of the catch just as much as the rope itself.
Catching a fall on the Edelrid Eagle Light. The motion of the belayer and how much slack they had out prior to a fall affects the feel of the catch just as much as the rope itself.

Handling


Handling is the category where the Eagle Light champions. It is a smooth, supple, and flexible cord. All interactions with this rope are pleasant: tying in, clipping, even at a desperate crux, as well as belaying, pulling, and coiling. This is the category where it beats out the Mammut Infinity. While the Infinity has decent handling, and the smooth handling lasts for quite a while with the Dry version of that rope, the Eagle Light is noticeably svelte, enough so to earn a higher score. We attribute this, in part, to the slightly thinner proportion of sheath. Where the Infinity is made of 40% sheath, the Eagle Light is made with 36% sheath. The trade-off here is that the thicker sheath also tends to mean increased durability, so the Eagle Light has less sheath between the core and rough rock edges.

Pulling the Eagle Light at the conclusion of a climb. This soft  flexible rope feels great to the hand  whether performing your belay duties or clipping your way up an onsight.
Pulling the Eagle Light at the conclusion of a climb. This soft, flexible rope feels great to the hand, whether performing your belay duties or clipping your way up an onsight.

Durability


The Edelrid website claims there are three coatings applied to this rope that assist with durability and handling: Pro Shield finish for optimal performance, Dry Shield finish for outstanding dirt and water resistance, and Thermo Shield treatment for perfect handling. While we aren't sure exactly what goes into these proprietary coatings, we do find that the Eagle Light is decently water resistant for an acceptable amount of time, similar to other ropes with dry coatings, and it resists dirt and abrasion quite well when the rope is new. As we mentioned above, the sheath is thinner in proportion to the diameter of the rope than on the Infinity, which leads us to believe that it will not last quite as long.

Best Applications


This rope is of the do-anything diameter. It is just as at home at the sport crag as it is in the mountains. This is the ideal style and size of rope if you are only going to own just one.

Luke Lydiard lowering from a Grand Grotte climb in Kalymnos  Greece on the Edelrid Eagle Light. A strong  supple rope is just the thing for inspiring confidence on steep sport climbing routes.
Luke Lydiard lowering from a Grand Grotte climb in Kalymnos, Greece on the Edelrid Eagle Light. A strong, supple rope is just the thing for inspiring confidence on steep sport climbing routes.

Value


This rope leans towards the expensive end of the spectrum. It is not as wallet friendly as the Best Buy winning Sterling Evolution Velocity or as cheap as the New England Alex Honnold Glider. Instead it is more on par with the Petzl Volta in terms of price, yet it is still less expensive than the unique Mammut Sensor. Overall, it is about average in price for a high-performance rope, and since this is an all-around diameter, we think you will get an acceptable amount of use out of it before it needs to be retired.

Conclusion


Our overall impression is that we love this rope! It is graceful and smooth when handling and presents no obvious user frustrations. It is fairly light, of a versatile diameter, and extremely flexible. It was a close contender for our Editors' Choice award, but lost a couple of points to the Mammut Infinity, which manages to be lighter weight and more durable at the same diameter.

Other Versions and Accessories


This rope is sold in 50, 60, 70, and 80 meter increments. It is also sold as a set from Edelrid with a Mega Jul Belay Kit. It does not come in a bi-pattern option.


McKenzie Long