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
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Soft catches
Cons: Kinked up a bit
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|Price||$188.95 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Soft catches||Great balance of weight, handling, catch, and durability||Great handling, durable||Durable, excellent feel and handle, soft catches||Soft catches, low impact force rating, durable|
|Cons||Kinked up a bit||Expensive||Heavy for the diameter, high impact force rating||Pricey||A little too stretchy for top roping, stiff|
|Bottom Line||Good rope for lead climbing.||A great all-around rope that's not specialized to any one discipline.||A great rope for advanced sport climbing.||One of the best ropes you can buy, striking a perfect balance between low weight and durability.||Not the best handling but excellent overall performance.|
|Rating Categories||Trango Lotus||Mammut Infinity||Maxim Pinnacle||Sterling Evolution Helix||Beal Booster III|
|Specs||Trango Lotus||Mammut Infinity||Maxim Pinnacle||Sterling Evolution...||Beal Booster III|
|Diameter||9.9 mm||9.5 mm||9.5 mm||9.5 mm||9.7 mm|
|Weight (g/m)||62.6 g/m||58 g/m||61 g/m||59 g/m||61 g/m|
|UIAA Fall Rating||7||6-7||7||7||8|
|Impact Force||7.9 kN||8.6 kN||10.3 kN||8.9 kN||7.3 kN|
|Static Elongation % (in use)||9.5||6.8||5||7.2||9.7|
|Dynamic Elongation % (first fall)||34||30||26||31.9||38|
|Sheath Proportion %||not available||42||36||41||42|
|Dry Coating Option||Sheath Dry||Mammut's Dry Treatment||Endura Dry 2x treatment||DryXP||Dry Cover|
|Middle Mark or Bi-Pattern Option||Middle mark||Bi-Pattern or Middle Mark||Bi-pattern option||Middle Mark and Bi-Color Option||Middle mark|
|Lengths Available||60m, 70m||50m, 60m, 70m, 80m||60m, 70m||40m, 50m, 60m, 70m, 80m. DryXP: 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 really 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 really 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.
The Trango Lotus 9.9 mm is a good choice for a variety of climbing styles — it's truly an all-around rope, though it wasn't our favorite to top rope on due to the extra elongation. If you mostly lead climb and like to (or just do) take a lot of falls, this rope is a solid choice.
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 $20 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