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Mammut Infinity Review

The top-performing do-everything rope that is also a crowd favorite
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $280 List | $259.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Skinny for its diameter, durable, great catch, smooth handling
Cons:  Slightly stiff, middle mark wears off quickly
Manufacturer:   Mammut
By Cam McKenzie Ring ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 19, 2019
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77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 16
  • Handling - 35% 7
  • Durability - 25% 9
  • Weight - 20% 6
  • Catch - 20% 9

Our Verdict

The Mammut Infinity Dry perfectly exemplifies all that we want and ask for out of a climbing rope, which is why we are happy to bestow upon it our Editors' Choice Award for the best rope. This 9.5mm thick cord is at once burly and suave, with a workhorse demeanor that can stand up to countless days at the sport crag working on those pesky cruxes. It's thinner and more tightly woven than your average 9.5mm line, making you feel like you aren't lugging around a behemoth, and has a slick dry finish that allows for easy handling. If we could only own one rope, this would be it, as it can handle any style of climbing from large mountains to multi-pitch rock adventures, and is the perfect everyday cragging rope for those who like something thinner than a fat 9.8. While it doesn't come cheap, it also isn't the most expensive rope you can buy, and as our top recommendation, presents great value.
Looking for a less expensive version of this rope?
The Mammut Infinity Classic ($150) is almost half the price of the Infinity in the bi-color pattern that we tested. It has the same great handling and catch but will have less resistance to sheath abrasion according to Mammut.


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Mammut Infinity
Awards Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $259.95 at Amazon$124.95 at Backcountry
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Pros Skinny for its diameter, durable, great catch, smooth handlingDurable, excellent feel and handle, soft catchesLight, durable, super soft and supple handleGreat handling, durableEco friendly, nice handle, super light, triple rated, uncoils perfectly from the bag
Cons Slightly stiff, middle mark wears off quicklyPriceyNot durable enough for heavy duty sport climbing, a lot of stretch when secondingHeavy for the diameter, high impact force ratingExpensive, dry coating wears off sheath quickly, a tad stiff
Bottom Line The top-performing do-everything rope that is also a crowd favoriteOne of the best ropes you can buy, striking a perfect balance between low weight and durability.The perfect light and skinny rope for climbing high above the groundA great rope for advanced sport climbing.The best choice among the skinny lines we have tested for an extended sport climbing trip.
Rating Categories Mammut Infinity Sterling Evolution Helix Petzl Volta Maxim Pinnacle Edelrid Swift Eco Dry
Handling (35%)
10
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7
10
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8
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8
10
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9
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7
Durability (25%)
10
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9
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8
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7
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6
Weight (20%)
10
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6
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6
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5
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10
Catch (20%)
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7
Specs Mammut Infinity Sterling Evolution... Petzl Volta Maxim Pinnacle Edelrid Swift Eco...
Diameter 9.5 mm 9.5 mm 9.2 mm 9.5 mm 8.9 mm
Weight (g/m) 59 g/m 59 g/m 55 g/m 61 g/m 52 g/m
Certified Use Single Single Single, Half and Twin Single Single, Half and Twin
UIAA Fall Rating 8-9 7 6 7 7 (single), 22 (half/twin)
Impact Force 8.4 kN 8.9 kN 8.6 kN 10.3 kN 8.8 (single), 6.7 (half), 10.4 kN (twin)
Static Elongation % (in use) 6.5 7.2 7.5 5 9 (single), 8.6 (half), 5.3 (twin)
Dynamic Elongation % (first fall) 30 31.9 33 26 31 (single), 28 (half), 26 (twin)
Sheath Proportion % 40 41 42 36 34
Dry Coating Option Mammut's Dry Treatment DryXP Duratec Dry Endura Dry 2x treatment Eco Dry
Middle Mark or Bi-Pattern Option Bi-Pattern or Middle Mark Middle Mark and Bi-Color Option Middle Mark Bi-pattern option Middle mark
Lengths Available 50m, 60m, 70m, 80m 40m, 50m, 60m, 70m, 80m. DryXP: 60m, 70m, 80m 50m, 60m, 70m, 80m 60m, 70m 60m, 70m, 80m

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Mammut Infinity Dry is a 9.5mm rope that feels a bit thinner than most other ropes of this diameter. Mammut ropes tend to all feel this way, in large part due to the very tightly woven sheath that seems to effectively compress the core into a tighter package than other brands of rope. This tightness is easily noticeable in the weave of the sheath, which contributes to its durability and lack of fraying over time, but also in the handle of the rope, which could also be described as tight. It comes with dual dry treatment inherent, meaning that both the sheath and the core are treated for an absorption rate of less than 1.5% according to UIAA tests. It is possible to buy this rope in "Protect" and "Classic" versions, without the dual dry treatment, for less money. We tested a single patterned weave, but duodess weaves are also available, and the lengths one can buy ranges from 60, 70, and 80m.

The reason this rope rules so much is its great versatility combined with durability. 9.5mm in diameter is the perfect middle ground between weight and longevity. In short, this rope will last you a long time, even when treating it to the most demanding of daily climbing tests — relentless projecting of sport routes. At the same time it functions great on multi-pitches or in the alpine, where its burly sheath is appreciated and it doesn't weigh too much. For a quiver of one, this rope is your ultimate choice.

Performance Comparison


The Mammut Infinity is a fantastic everyday workhorse rope  and great for beating on daily at the sport crag.
The Mammut Infinity is a fantastic everyday workhorse rope, and great for beating on daily at the sport crag.

Handling


While this rope handles nicely, we wouldn't call it its strongest suit, nor would we rank it up there with the best in this department. In general, we feel that Petzl and Sterling ropes tend to be the softest and most supple in our hands, attributes which are nice on the skin but also make tying knots and belaying as easy as possible. By comparison, the Infinity Dry is a bit stiffer and not quite as easy to make a sharp bend with. This comes into play when forcing the rope through a belay or rappel device, but is not such an issue that we would describe it as annoying or a detriment to performance.


When fresh out of the packaging the rope is very slick and smooth to the touch, which we really appreciate. This slickness can be attributed to the dry coating, which begins to wear off as you put the rope through the ringer outdoors. The slickness fades as the rope wears in, but the tight weave remains, giving this rope a pleasant handle.

This rope is a bit stiffer than the most supple in our tests. So stiff in fact that it can be made to stand on end! Just kidding  this photo was simply taken at a very bizarre moment while trying to stick clip the high first bolt on a sport climb.
This rope is a bit stiffer than the most supple in our tests. So stiff in fact that it can be made to stand on end! Just kidding, this photo was simply taken at a very bizarre moment while trying to stick clip the high first bolt on a sport climb.

Durability


The durability of this rope is truly impressive and is one of the things that sets it apart when considering a purchase. Normally we wouldn't expect such high durability out of a 9.5 mm rope, but the tightness of the 2x2 weave of the sheath really seems to do a great job at ensuring that it doesn't break down and fray nearly as quickly as other ropes. We would not hesitate to recommend this rope as a total workhorse, and indeed that's how we tested it, by taking it to the sport crag multiple times per week and falling, pulling up, and hanging on it over and over and over again.


The Infinity Dry features a sheath proportion of 40%, ranking it up there near the top. Since it isn't super thin, this percentage guarantees that there are a lot of fibers in that sheath. Indeed, in our testing, this rope fuzzes out less than any other rope we have used, but conversely is a bit more likely to end up glazing from repeatedly running over carabiners in the same spots, and sometimes becomes a bit stiffer over time. It's a good idea to let it rest or to swap ends after taking falls or hard dogging sessions.

After over 100 pitches of climbing  the Infinity is still in fantastic shape. On top is a section of the rope more toward the middle  while on the bottom is a piece near the end. There is a minimum of fuzzing taking place in the sheath  despite lots of abuse.
After over 100 pitches of climbing, the Infinity is still in fantastic shape. On top is a section of the rope more toward the middle, while on the bottom is a piece near the end. There is a minimum of fuzzing taking place in the sheath, despite lots of abuse.

The dry treatment certainly aids in the durability of the sheath itself but also doesn't seem to last as long as some other dry treatments. You will quickly wear the treatment off the sheath by cragging, and then can't expect it to stay totally dry in the mountains. If you are looking primarily for a mountain rope, consider buying something even thinner and dedicating it solely to that purpose, so the dry treatment is more effective. Unfortunately, we found that the middle marker of our non-duodess rope wore off pretty quickly, so keep marking it if you need to. On the other hand, the ends stay nicely bonded over time, without fraying.

These three ropes were purchased at the same time and used roughly the same amount  both at the crag and in the alpine. As you can see  the durability of the middle marker is seriously in question for two of the ropes  the Mammut Infinity (blue) and Revelation (orange)  while the middle marker remains nicely intact on the Petzl Volta (grey). This is a solid argument for why paying the extra money for a bi-patterned or duodess rope can be worth it  especially if you commonly alpine or multi-pitch climb and often need to rappel.
These three ropes were purchased at the same time and used roughly the same amount, both at the crag and in the alpine. As you can see, the durability of the middle marker is seriously in question for two of the ropes, the Mammut Infinity (blue) and Revelation (orange), while the middle marker remains nicely intact on the Petzl Volta (grey). This is a solid argument for why paying the extra money for a bi-patterned or duodess rope can be worth it, especially if you commonly alpine or multi-pitch climb and often need to rappel.

Weight


This rope weighs in at 59 g/m, which isn't bad compared to fatter 9.8 or thicker ropes, but is by no means as light as the 52 g/m cords that are 8.9 or 9mm thick.


This weight is roughly average when it comes to 9.5mm cords, so one shouldn't think they are getting the lightest cord in the world, nor the heaviest. According to our math, this would add up to be around 9.11 lbs for a 70m rope, which is a bit more than half a pound heavier than the Petzl Volta 9.2mm. You will likely not really notice this extra half a pound on your repeated walks to the sport crag, and the difference is also not so much if you want to climb a route with a long approach, but can't afford, or don't own, a lighter, thinner rope.

The Infinity weighs roughly average for a 9.5mm rope  which means that it isn't too heavy to consider carrying for nearly an hour uphill to reach a more obscure crag  like this one.
The Infinity weighs roughly average for a 9.5mm rope, which means that it isn't too heavy to consider carrying for nearly an hour uphill to reach a more obscure crag, like this one.

Catch


This rope affords perfectly comfortable falls, and is most certainly not a rubber band. We tested this rope extensively at Smith Rock, a climbing area where the distance between bolts is much further than the average sport climbing area, leading to some pretty massive whippers. On none of these shriek inducing plummets did the catch strike us as anything but perfectly comfortable, and the falls we caught while belaying likewise felt similarly normal.


The numbers would tend to back this up. With an 8.4kN fall force, and 30% dynamic elongation, there are no outliers, and nothing to suggest that this rope would behave any differently than one would expect. The 6.5% static elongation, on the other hand, is fairly low compared to the competition, and suggests that this rope would be a good choice for those who top-rope a lot, as you are not likely to sag as far from rope stretch when you hang as you would with some others. That said, this is only a percentage, and when we hung while top-roping, we still lost a few feet of hard won ground, as you always will.

Hiroki providing an attentive belay. The catches we experienced while testing the Infinity  which were many and some of which quite large  all felt as we would expect  with no noticeable hardness or heavy impacts.
Hiroki providing an attentive belay. The catches we experienced while testing the Infinity, which were many and some of which quite large, all felt as we would expect, with no noticeable hardness or heavy impacts.

Value


A 60m single weave version of this rope will retail for $259, with the price bumping up to $300 if you want a 70m. Add $50 to either price for a duodess weave, which can be nice for telling where the middle marker is, especially since the one on this rope wears off quickly. While it is by no means the most affordable rope you can buy, this price isn't bad considering the quality, and since we think it's the best rope in our review and worthy of an award, we think it is worth the money.

Alon checking out some of the new routes in the Marsupials at Smith Rock. We put countless pitches on our tester Infinity  including many days of sport climbing where everyone took whippers on it  and it still looks pretty much new. It provides excellent value for the money.
Alon checking out some of the new routes in the Marsupials at Smith Rock. We put countless pitches on our tester Infinity, including many days of sport climbing where everyone took whippers on it, and it still looks pretty much new. It provides excellent value for the money.

Conclusion


The Mammut Infinity Dry wins our Editors' Choice award as the best climbing rope because it combines the durability you would expect from a workhorse, but in a thinner, more easily handled package. This rope is versatile for any sort of climbing application, from multi-pitching to alpine climbing, but we love to use it as an everyday crag rope. For those who only use or own one rope at a time, a 9.5mm such as this one is the perfect choice, and while it isn't especially cheap, the great performance ensures that you will get good value for your purchase.

A favorite among testers  and climbing partners who used it  the Infinity is an ideal rope for those who want to get maximum mileage but also don't want to lug around a fat workhorse.
A favorite among testers, and climbing partners who used it, the Infinity is an ideal rope for those who want to get maximum mileage but also don't want to lug around a fat workhorse.


Cam McKenzie Ring