Hands-on Gear Review

Mammut Sensor Review

Mammut Sensor  10 mm
By: Jack Cramer ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 9, 2015
Price:  $320 List
Pros:  The first rope with touch sensible on the middle and ends to increase safety
Cons:  Heavy, expensive
Manufacturer:   Mammut
65
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Weight - 20% 4
  • Catch - 15% 7
  • Handling - 40% 6
  • Durability - 25% 9
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Our Verdict

The Mammut Sensor is No Longer Available as of September 2017
The Mammut Sensor is the first rope in the world with touch-sensitive markings on the middle and ends. This is designed to boost safety by physically reminding climbers, belayers, and rappellers when they're reaching the ends of the rope. Aside from this feature, it is a quality rope that is able to handle abuse. With a 10.0 mm diameter it is one of most durable ropes tested, and it continued to handle well over the course of its life. We were disappointed, however, by its high weight and price tag: 67 g/m and $320 for a 70 meter, dry, bi-pattern.

Our Analysis and Test Results

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Overall the Sensor performs like an average thick workhorse rope, if perhaps a little heavier and stiffer than the Top Pick in that category, the Sterling Marathon Pro. Mammut's BiCo Sense technology is what makes this rope unique and should be the primary reason for any potential purchase. This is essentially a thick fiber woven into the sheath at the middle and near the ends that makes both of these locations visually and tactilely sensible. We can confirm that this increases safety to a modest degree by reminding a belayer or rappeler with a subtle rumble when they are nearing the end of the rope. We are unsure, however, whether this safety feature justifies the increased price and reduced performance of this rope relative to others in its size class. Either way, we applaud Mammut for this innovation and hope to see it included on more ropes in the future.

Performance Comparison


If you don't mind the heavy weight the Mammut Sensor also works fine for multi-pitch climbing. The rumble strips marking the middle could even speed up the rappels a bit.
If you don't mind the heavy weight the Mammut Sensor also works fine for multi-pitch climbing. The rumble strips marking the middle could even speed up the rappels a bit.

Weight


This beefy 10.0 mm rope weighs in at 67 g/m, the heaviest of any rope in this review. In a 60 meter length, that equates to an extra eight and a half ounces as compared to the second heaviest, the Marathon Pro. This heft may not be problem for the close-to-home hard use that we think it is intended for.

Catch


So what do you get for that significant weight? Well, the Sensor was able to catch more UIAA test falls (ten) than any other rope reviewed. Unless you're insane and like to regularly take factor 2 whippers, this may not be definitively useful, but it does demonstrate Mammut's commitment to making strong ropes.

Exploring the elasticity of the Mammut Sensor. It withstood ten falls in the UIAA's drop test and placed in the middle of the pack for impact force and dynamic elongation.
Exploring the elasticity of the Mammut Sensor. It withstood ten falls in the UIAA's drop test and placed in the middle of the pack for impact force and dynamic elongation.

On a more applicable note, the impact force and static elongation of this rope placed in the middle of the field. It does not provide a particular hard or soft catch, which means that it should function well in a variety of uses.

Handling


Like many of the thicker ropes reviewed, this rope exhibited worse handling than the rest we tested. That is not to say that the handling is bad, simply that it was understandably stiffer than the skinnier options. We still found it fed adequately through a belay device for lead climbing or top roping. Along with all Mammut ropes, the Sensor is factory lap coiled, so you don't have to bother with kinks or untangling before the first time you use it.

Some ropes that initially handled well became stiff after heavy use. Here is a comparison between three diffrent workhorse ropes at the end of testing  from top to bottom: New England Alex Honnold Glider  Mammut Sensor  Sterling Marathon Pro. The Marathon Pro felt the nicest to handle when actually climbing.
Some ropes that initially handled well became stiff after heavy use. Here is a comparison between three diffrent workhorse ropes at the end of testing, from top to bottom: New England Alex Honnold Glider, Mammut Sensor, Sterling Marathon Pro. The Marathon Pro felt the nicest to handle when actually climbing.

Durability


The Sterling Marathon Pro and this rope were the only to receive nines in our durability rating—the highest score awarded in the category for this review. Apart from its significant weight that is partially responsible, the 38% sheath proportion is also above average. These characteristics, combined with a SuperDry coating to the core and sheath, result in a rope that held up to all the abuse our testers put it through.

Best Applications


The BiCo rumble strips near the ends increase safety the most in lowering or rappelling situations. We think this makes the most sense as a cragging rope at locations with long pitches. There is no substitute for vigilance, however, and even with these safety features it's still a good idea to tie knots in the ends of your rope for rappels or lowers of unknown distance.

When sport climbing the tactile markings help to prevent lowering accidents by reminding the belayer when they are nearing the end of the rope.
When sport climbing the tactile markings help to prevent lowering accidents by reminding the belayer when they are nearing the end of the rope.

Value


The $320 suggested retail price for this rope makes it the most expensive of any rope tested. A subtle red or yellow thread on either side of the middle makes it technically a bi-pattern, and helps explain the price. Depending on your risk tolerance or wallet size, the BiCo markings might also justify the elevated cost. Additionally, as of the time of this writing, the Sensor is on sale from many different sources at discounts that make it more of a bargain.

Conclusion


With the introduction of the visual and sensible markings on the Sensor, we have seen the first significant improvement in climbing rope safety in some time. In this initial offering there are still performance and price issues, but with time we expect Mammut to resolve them. Until this technology becomes available in more models, this rope is ideal for climbers shopping for a workhorse rope that are also interested in increasing their margin of safety.

Drew F. Smith scared!?!? We didn't think it was possible either. Here it's got nothing to do with the burly Mammut Sensor. Rather that look of desperation is caused by his finger jams beginning to slip while the author "belays" with two hands on his camera.
Drew F. Smith scared!?!? We didn't think it was possible either. Here it's got nothing to do with the burly Mammut Sensor. Rather that look of desperation is caused by his finger jams beginning to slip while the author "belays" with two hands on his camera.

Other Versions and Accessories


The Sensor is only available in a bi-pattern with a SuperDry treatment, but it does come in either 60 or 70-meter lengths.

Jack Cramer

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