The Trango Lotus 9.9 mm is a solid "workhorse" rope. If you don't care about the lightest and thinnest models, or in fact prefer a "beefier" rope, this one will do the trick. It handles fairly well (though it did kink up on us a bit), is soft to fall on, and showed only moderate wear after 60 pitches. It did feel a little stretchy, so if you are looking for a line specifically for top-roping, check out the Black Diamond 9.9mm. But the Lotus is still a great line and only $189 with a dry treatment.
Trango Lotus Review
Cons: Kinked up a bit
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|Price||$189.00 at Amazon||$259.95 at Backcountry||$243.95 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Soft catches||Skinny for its diameter, durable, great catch, smooth handling||Durable, excellent feel and handle, soft catches||Light, durable, super soft and supple handle||Great handling, durable|
|Cons||Kinked up a bit||Slightly stiff, middle mark wears off quickly||Pricey||Not durable enough for heavy duty sport climbing, a lot of stretch when seconding||Heavy for the diameter, high impact force rating|
|Bottom Line||Good rope for lead climbing.||The top-performing do-everything rope that is also a crowd favorite||One 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 ground||A great rope for advanced sport climbing.|
|Rating Categories||Trango Lotus||Mammut Infinity||Sterling Evolution Helix||Petzl Volta||Maxim Pinnacle|
|Specs||Trango Lotus||Mammut Infinity||Sterling Evolution...||Petzl Volta||Maxim Pinnacle|
|Diameter||9.9 mm||9.5 mm||9.5 mm||9.2 mm||9.5 mm|
|Weight (g/m)||62.6 g/m||59 g/m||59 g/m||55 g/m||61 g/m|
|Certified Use||Single||Single||Single||Single, Half and Twin||Single|
|UIAA Fall Rating||7||8-9||7||6||7|
|Impact Force||7.9 kN||8.4 kN||8.9 kN||8.6 kN||10.3 kN|
|Static Elongation % (in use)||9.5||6.5||7.2||7.5||5|
|Dynamic Elongation % (first fall)||34||30||31.9||33||26|
|Sheath Proportion %||not available||40||41||42||36|
|Dry Coating Option||Sheath Dry||Mammut's Dry Treatment||DryXP||Duratec Dry||Endura Dry 2x treatment|
|Middle Mark or Bi-Pattern Option||Middle mark||Bi-Pattern or Middle Mark||Middle Mark and Bi-Color Option||Middle Mark||Bi-pattern option|
|Lengths Available||60m, 70m||50m, 60m, 70m, 80m||40m, 50m, 60m, 70m, 80m. DryXP: 60m, 70m, 80m||50m, 60m, 70m, 80m||60m, 70m|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Trango Lotus 9.9 mm weighs 62.6 g/m and comes with a dry treated sheath. It's available in 60 and 70-meter lengths, and only in this jazzy pink color.
While the rope took knots well and fed easily through our belay devices, it did kink up a lot. While all ropes can get kinky (largely from lowering off widely spaced anchors), this one kinked up on us every time we used it, regardless of anchor configuration. We tried rappelling with it through an ATC to try and "straighten" it out, but it still kinked back up on the next belay.
We did like taking falls on this rope and gave it high marks in this area. It has a maximum impact force of 7.9 kN and a 34% dynamic elongation, and whippers felt soft and bouncy. However, that bounciness comes at the expense of being spongy when top-roping with it. If you tend to top rope a lot or alternate between leading and top-roping, the seconder might not appreciate the extra stretch if they take a fall.
This rope weighs 62.6 g/m, which is lighter than some of the other 9.8 and 9.9 ropes in this review. The Edelweiss Curve Unicore Supereverdry weighs 64 g/m, but that adds up to only about a 3-ounce difference for a 60 m rope. If you're trying to cut some weight, try the Mammut Infinity or Petzl Arial, which both weigh 58 g/m.
We put similar wear on each rope, and some looked better than others by the end. This rope held up relatively well, though it did seem to attract dirt and we also almost completely lost the middle marker. There was some sheath fuzz as well, but the larger diameter might help it be more durable in the long run than a 9.5 mm rope. The Maxim Pinnacle, on the other hand, still looked virtually brand new after a similar amount of use.
This rope retails for $189, which is a good value for a dry covered rope. We did prefer the handling and durability of the Beal Booster III though, our Best Buy winner, which costs a little bit more than this one.
The Trango Lotus 9.9 mm wasn't any of our testers' favorite rope, but it got the job done and wasn't too expensive. If you're in the market for a dry rope but don't want to spend a fortune on it, the Lotus is a good choice.
— Cam McKenzie Ring