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Black Diamond Dynex Runner Review

A fantastic lightweight flat sling that is also affordable
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Price:  $9 List | $6.95 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Light weight, low bulk, knots untie relatively easily, affordable
Cons:  Not as soft a handle as other top scorers
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
By Andy Wellman ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 11, 2019
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78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 12
  • Handle - 25% 7
  • Knot Test - 25% 7
  • Alpine Quickdraw Test - 20% 8
  • Weight - 15% 9
  • Bulk - 15% 9

Our Verdict

The Black Diamond Dynex Sewn Runner is one of the highest scoring, and most economical, slings in this comparative review. Dynex is a brand name for "high-molecular-weight polyethylene" fiber, which is essentially the same exact material that makes up Dyneema or any of the non-Nylon choices in this review. Like Dyneema, it is one of the strongest fibers on the planet, especially when considering strength to weight. At a narrow 10mm wide and weighing only 20g, it measures up very well against the top performing slings, and one could make the argument that it is even more versatile, as it is relatively easy to untie weighted knots compared to other top scorers such as the Mammut Contact Sling. If you are looking for a versatile, top-quality sling that won't cost more than any other, this is a highly recommended choice.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Light weight, low bulk, knots untie relatively easily, affordableLow weight, very thin, handles great, affordableVery light, low bulk, easy to manipulate, very small bar tackCovered sewn bar tack, thin and lightLow price, light weight despite width, small bar tack
Cons Not as soft a handle as other top scorersWeighted knots harder to untie than thicker slingsHigh price, harder than some to untie knotsExpensive, rubberized covering adds weight and feels weird sliding through handsAbrasive edges, wide for the weight
Bottom Line A fantastic lightweight flat sling that is also affordableThe best climbing sling due to its great handle and low weight and width.A top-notch sling at a top-shelf priceA great sling that costs more than it seems like it shouldA solid sling at a fantastic price
Rating Categories Black Diamond Dynex Runner Mammut Contact Dyneema Petzl Pur'Anneau Sling Sterling Dyneema Sling Trango Low Bulk 11mm Sling
Handle (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
Knot Test (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
7
Alpine Quickdraw Test (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Weight (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
9
Bulk (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
Specs Black Diamond... Mammut Contact... Petzl Pur'Anneau... Sterling Dyneema... Trango Low Bulk...
Type of Fiber Dynex Dyneema High-Modulus Polyethalene Dyneema Dyneema
Measured weight 20g 19g 19g 22g 20g
Width Tested 10mm 8mm 10mm 10mm 11mm
Length Tested 60cm 60cm 60cm 60cm 60cm
Strength 22Kn 22Kn 22Kn 22Kn 22Kn
Widths Available 10mm 8mm 10mm 10mm; 12mm 11mm
Lengths Available 30cm; 60cm; 120cm; 240cm 60cm; 120cm 60cm; 120cm; 180cm 10"; 24"; 30"; 48" 30cm; 60cm; 120cm

Our Analysis and Test Results

With a width of 10mm and weighing a mere 20g, this sling compares very favorably to the Petzl Pur'Anneau Sling. The main difference between the two is that this sling is not quite as flat and has rougher edges, making the handle not quite as nice but also contributing to higher performance when it comes to untying weighted knots easily. Despite having a slightly lower score, we would sooner recommend the Dynex Sewn Runner because it comes at a more reasonable cost, roughly $4 cheaper at retail prices than the Pur'Anneau Sling. This sling comes in four different lengths, and while we tested the double-length (60cm) version, which is ideal for use on lead to extend protection pieces, either the 120cm or 240cm versions would be solid choices for use in anchor building.

Performance Comparison


Zebra-Zion ascends four pitches of fantastic crack and face climbing in the sun at Smith Rock  and is probably the best multi-pitch route at the park. Kevin leaves the ground on a simul-climbing ascent in mid-winter.
Zebra-Zion ascends four pitches of fantastic crack and face climbing in the sun at Smith Rock, and is probably the best multi-pitch route at the park. Kevin leaves the ground on a simul-climbing ascent in mid-winter.

Handle


The BD Dynex Sewn Runner, like the other polyethylene slings in this review, is smooth and slippery to the touch. It is not totally flat, but bulges a bit in the middle so that it is slightly ovular in shape, although it is made of flat webbing that is not tubular. Like the Trango Low Bulk 11 Sling, and most of the others made of Dyneema, it has woven Nylon fibers around the edges, in this case dyed yellow. The edges feel slightly rough and more abrasive than the super smooth edges on the Pur'Anneau Sling, and while this wouldn't be reason enough for us to not recommend it, by any means, this roughness simply helps demarcate it for this metric. In short, it is smooth and supple, although a bit rougher on the edges than those with the best handle.

While this 10mm thick sling is smooth and supple in the hand  you can see that the bar tack is relatively large and has two tabs that stick up on either end that can become stuck when sliding over a biner. This sling is ovular in shape  thicker in the middle where the white Dyneema fibers are  and thinner on the edges where you see yellow nylon fibers.
While this 10mm thick sling is smooth and supple in the hand, you can see that the bar tack is relatively large and has two tabs that stick up on either end that can become stuck when sliding over a biner. This sling is ovular in shape, thicker in the middle where the white Dyneema fibers are, and thinner on the edges where you see yellow nylon fibers.

Knot Test


While it isn't the absolute easiest Dyneema sling to untie once a figure-eight knot has been weighted, an honor that goes to the Metolius Open Loop Sling, its slippery fibers are still far easier to untie weighted knots than either the super skinny Mammut Contact Sling, or the much fatter and higher friction Black Diamond Nylon Sewn Runner. Its ability to release knots relatively quickly and easily makes this sling quite versatile, especially when considering its use for equalizing multiple pieces at anchors.

As a thin and supple sling  this one is easy to tie knots in. This clove hitch is also very easy to untie once weighted  making it the preferred knot for tying with slings.
As a thin and supple sling, this one is easy to tie knots in. This clove hitch is also very easy to untie once weighted, making it the preferred knot for tying with slings.

As a 10mm wide sling  we found that figure-eight knots cinch down pretty tight once weighted  making them harder than 11mm wide slings to untie them.
As a 10mm wide sling, we found that figure-eight knots cinch down pretty tight once weighted, making them harder than 11mm wide slings to untie them.

Alpine Quickdraw Test


While it isn't by any means the longest or largest bar tack that we encountered in this review, the bar tack on this sling is about 25% longer than the similar Petzl Pur'Anneau Sling. This can occasionally come into play when tripling up a sling into an alpine quickdraw, as it means that the bar tack is more likely to end up resting over the edge of the carabiner, which leads to difficulty equalizing it into a short quickdraw. As such a low bulk and narrow sling, we found it very easy to pull to extension.

With a thin width  the separate strands of webbing don't tend to overlap much at all in the crotch of the carabiner  reducing friction and allowing the sling to be equalized easier once tripled up.
With a thin width, the separate strands of webbing don't tend to overlap much at all in the crotch of the carabiner, reducing friction and allowing the sling to be equalized easier once tripled up.

Weight


We tested the 60cm double-length version of this sling and weighed it at 20g, tied with the Trango Low Bulk 11 Sling as the second lightest of all that we have tested. It is only one gram heavier than the two lightest slings, the Mammut Contact Sling and the Petzl Pur'Anneau Sling. As one of the lightest slings available, this is a great choice for long multi-pitch routes and big approaches.

At a mere 20  this is easily one of the lightest slings you can buy  although it does weight 1g more than a couple others.
At a mere 20, this is easily one of the lightest slings you can buy, although it does weight 1g more than a couple others.

Bulk


At a mere 10mm wide, this is one of the lowest bulk slings you can buy. It is shaped like an oval, with the Dynex fibers in the middle feeling thicker and fatter than the Nylon fibers on the edges, which taper down. This taper allows it to be slightly lower profile than the similarly wide, but fatter Sterling Dyneema Sling.

The narrowest and least bulky slings  laid out for comparison. From the top: The 8mm Mammut Contact  10mm Petzl Pur'Anneau (white)  10mm Black Diamond Dynex (yellow)  10mm Sterling Dyneema (yellow)  and for comparison on the bottom  the 17mm Sterling Nylon.
The narrowest and least bulky slings, laid out for comparison. From the top: The 8mm Mammut Contact, 10mm Petzl Pur'Anneau (white), 10mm Black Diamond Dynex (yellow), 10mm Sterling Dyneema (yellow), and for comparison on the bottom, the 17mm Sterling Nylon.

Best Applications


Due to its low weight and low profile, this is one of the best choices as a double-length sling for use while leading. Because it is relatively easy to untie knots that have been weighted on this sling, it is also a good choice for use in building equalized anchors. It is truly one of the most versatile slings in this review.

Stefan flaking out the rope at the bottom of the Resolution Arete in Red Rocks  NV. Intending to simul-climb many of the 23 guidebook pitches of this climb  we carried an extra large selection of slings  some racked over the shoulder and some on the harness.
Stefan flaking out the rope at the bottom of the Resolution Arete in Red Rocks, NV. Intending to simul-climb many of the 23 guidebook pitches of this climb, we carried an extra large selection of slings, some racked over the shoulder and some on the harness.

Value


Retail price for this sling is around $9, roughly the exact same price as our Editors' Choice winning Mammut Contact Sling, and somewhere near the middle in the range of Dyneema fiber slings. Since it is one of the highest scorers and is very versatile, we think this is a fair price, and presents great value.

Linking the crux pitches 5 and 6 of Levitation 29  which had over 20 bolts  required a lot of long runners to keep from being stopped in our tracks by rope drag. Here Stefan seconds through the crux overhanging crack.
Linking the crux pitches 5 and 6 of Levitation 29, which had over 20 bolts, required a lot of long runners to keep from being stopped in our tracks by rope drag. Here Stefan seconds through the crux overhanging crack.

Conclusion


The Black Diamond Dynex Sewn Runner is an excellent sling that is versatile enough to be used for either anchor building or extending pieces on lead. With a reasonable price tag, we think it is a good value that should be a top choice for anyone looking to buy a new selection of slings.


Andy Wellman