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Maxim Glider Review

Maxim Glider
Credit: New England Ropes
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Price:  $287 List | Check Price at REI
Pros:  1 over 1 TPT sheath design, feeds really well, stays new longer than most ropes
Cons:  Sheath loosened at ends, heavy, high impact force
Manufacturer:   Maxim Ropes
By McKenzie Long ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 2, 2013
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  • Weight - 25% 5.0
  • Catch - 15% 6.0
  • Handling - 40% 8.0
  • Durability - 20% 7.0

Our Verdict

The New England Ropes Maxim Glider is an innovative and well made climbing rope. At 10.2mm, 66 g/m and with a beefy strength of holding up to 9 UIAA falls, this rope is made for work. The 9.9mm version is a bit lighter at 63g/m and holds up to 7 UIAA falls. This model incorporates a unique 1 over 1 sheath weave rather than the common 2 over 2, which makes the rope handle smoother and last longer. The closest imitation of the way this rope handles is the Teflon coating on the Mammut Infinity, which also prolongs the life of the rope and allows it to feed well. If you like the quality of the Glider, but it is too expensive for you, try out the Maxim Pinnacle which uses the same sheath weave technology.

How does this compare to other ropes? See The Best Climbing Rope Review

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison

Maxim Glider climbing rope - baron weller, brandon ransom and curtis smith contemplate routes at...
Baron Weller, Brandon Ransom and Curtis Smith contemplate routes at Optimator Wall, Indian Creek, UT with a Glider in the foreground. Since this rope has a 1 over 1 sheath weave, it stays newer longer, even in the dirty sand at the Creek.
Credit: McKenzie Long

9.9, 10.2, 10.5, 11mm Workhorse Rope


At 66 g/m for the 10.2, this is not a lightweight rope.


Maxim is the only company that makes ropes with a 1 over 1 sheath weave pattern, and the ropes that use this technology are the Glider and the Pinnacle. (All others use 2 over 2.) This weave gives the rope a smoother feel and allows it to effortlessly glide 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. In our tests, the sheath on this rope did last longer than others we evaluated. This rope is worth checking out just because of this unique technology. It feeds and handles better than any other climbing rope, and stays newer longer.

Usually, ropes fatten up after a lot of use, but this rope stays thin because of the sheath weave. One tester 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?" With this sheath, you can get away with a thicker diameter rope for strength but climb with a rope that feels skinny.

Personal Stories

I was climbing with a group and two different Gliders for a few weeks at Indian Creek one 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. Maxim ropes seem to have an issue with this happening, since it has happened with all 3 Maxim ropes that we tested even though we did not use them all in the exact same context.

Options and Other Versions

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. All of these diameters are fairly thick, making it an excellent work rope or big wall rope.

Best Application

This rope is great for jugging, working a project, or top-roping,


Even though this rope is one of the most expensive in the review, it goes far for the money. If you are looking for a smooth handling work rope, this is worth a try.

McKenzie Long
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