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Edelrid Aramid Cord Sling Review

A versatile specialty piece that is worth having on the rack for use as protection
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $16 List | $15.95 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Stiffness allows for easier placement, high abrasion resistance, high heat resistance
Cons:  Slightly heavier and bulkier than Dyneema slings, stiffness makes it more difficult for alpine draws
Manufacturer:   Edelrid
By Andy Wellman ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 19, 2019
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 12
  • Handle - 25% 6
  • Knot Test - 25% 9
  • Alpine Quickdraw Test - 20% 6
  • Weight - 15% 3
  • Bulk - 15% 8

Our Verdict

While perhaps not as common as using a sling to extend a piece of protection such as a nut, bolt, or cam, it is not uncommon to use slings as protection by slinging them around horns, flakes, or through threads in the rock or ice. For this purpose, we like the Edelrid Aramid Cord Sling better than the others, making it worthy of our Top Pick for Using as Protection. This semi-stiff sling stays firm instead of drooping over, making it much easier to place with one hand, especially in reachy situations or above the head. It is made of aramid fibers, basically the same stuff as Kevlar, which has a very high abrasion and cut resistance, helping it maintain integrity when slinging sharp horns on limestone or granite. While we wouldn't buy a whole selection of these, we think there is no reason not to have a couple on the rack for the special circumstances where they work great.


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Pros Stiffness allows for easier placement, high abrasion resistance, high heat resistanceLow weight, very thin, handles great, affordableVery light, low bulk, easy to manipulate, very small bar tackLight weight, low bulk, knots untie relatively easily, affordableLow price, light weight despite width, small bar tack
Cons Slightly heavier and bulkier than Dyneema slings, stiffness makes it more difficult for alpine drawsWeighted knots harder to untie than thicker slingsHigh price, harder than some to untie knotsNot as soft a handle as other top scorersAbrasive edges, wide for the weight
Bottom Line A versatile specialty piece that is worth having on the rack for use as protectionThe best climbing sling due to its great handle and low weight and width.A top-notch sling at a top-shelf priceA fantastic lightweight flat sling that is also affordableA solid sling at a fantastic price
Rating Categories Edelrid Aramid Cord Sling Mammut Contact Dyneema Petzl Pur'Anneau Sling Black Diamond Dynex Runner Trango Low Bulk 11mm Sling
Handle (25%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
Knot Test (25%)
10
0
9
10
0
5
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
7
Alpine Quickdraw Test (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Weight (15%)
10
0
3
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
Bulk (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
Specs Edelrid Aramid... Mammut Contact... Petzl Pur'Anneau... Black Diamond... Trango Low Bulk...
Type of Fiber Aramid cord Dyneema High-Modulus Polyethalene Dynex Dyneema
Measured weight 43g 19g 19g 20g 20g
Width Tested 6mm 8mm 10mm 10mm 11mm
Length Tested 60cm 60cm 60cm 60cm 60cm
Strength 22kN 22Kn 22Kn 22Kn 22Kn
Widths Available 6mm 8mm 10mm 10mm 11mm
Lengths Available 30cm; 40cm; 60cm; 90cm; 120cm 60cm; 120cm 60cm; 120cm; 180cm 30cm; 60cm; 120cm; 240cm 30cm; 60cm; 120cm

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Edelrid Aramid Cord Sling is not made of flat or tubular webbing like most slings, but rather out of stiff 6mm diameter cord, sewn together at the ends (this part is covered by a thermo-molded black rubber casing). It comes in a wide variety of lengths, but we tested the 60cm length, which is a standard double-length sling, most commonly used for extending protection. The two qualities that make this sling unique compared to the others are its stiffness and durability. The stiffness allows one to reach over a foot further in order to wrap it around a horn, and also aids in pushing it through a thin thread, but also makes this sling a bit more awkward for tripling up into alpine draws than softer, more supple products.

The durability comes from being made out of aramid fibers, which are tightly woven in the sheath and core. These fibers do not have much if any stretch, but are very abrasion-resistant. Furthermore, the sheath protects the core, like in the design of a climbing rope, meaning the weight-bearing fibers are not exposed to the rock as they are on regular slings. Aramid is also highly heat resistant, making this a good choice for a prusik sling, or as a rappel backup.

Performance Comparison


The Edelrid Aramid Cord sling is very durable and abrasion resistant  making it the best choice for using as pro  such as slinging large flakes  like this one  for protection while on lead.
The Edelrid Aramid Cord sling is very durable and abrasion resistant, making it the best choice for using as pro, such as slinging large flakes, like this one, for protection while on lead.

Handle


Handle is a bit of a subjective matter, designed to describe how the product feels in the hand. There is no doubt that this cord sling feels stiff, which is one of its advantages. The sheath is very tightly woven, and at 6mm diameter, much thinner than an average climbing rope or even the Beal Dynamic Sling, which is also made with a sheath and core in a similar way. The fibers are not as soft to the touch, or as supple, as either the Dyneema or Nylon slings that we tested.


While there are some distinct advantages to having a sling made out of cord material, one of the obvious disadvantages is how the two ends of the cord are not flat, so don't layer on top of one another as nicely where they are sewn together. While this spot is covered by a black rubberized thermo-molded covering, it's very rigid, rather large, and doubles the thickness of the other parts of the sling. It feels like the design is as "best as one can expect", but is simply not as nice or as smooth to handle as regular sewn slings, which don't need this large covering.

You can see that the stiffness of this cord allows it to retain its shape  so you can reach above your head to sling horns as pro  like this one.
You can see that the stiffness of this cord allows it to retain its shape, so you can reach above your head to sling horns as pro, like this one.

Knot Test


In our knot tests, we tied this cord into clove hitches and figure-eights on a bight knots numerous times, bouncing on them with our full weight to tighten them up, and then seeing how easy they were to untie. In the case of the Aramid Cord Sling, we have to say that knots are easier to untie than any other sling that we tested. The smooth, thin, round cord stock seems to not mold or cinch nearly as tightly as regular sling material, and untying the figure-eight knot, even after weighting, is a breeze.


Showing the neatly dressed figure eight knot  weighted. While it did cinch down  we found that this knot in this sling was easier to untie than any other slings that we tested.
Showing the neatly dressed figure eight knot, weighted. While it did cinch down, we found that this knot in this sling was easier to untie than any other slings that we tested.

The one thing we did notice, however, is that the stiff nature of this cord makes it slightly harder to tie the knots in than with a softer and more supple sling, and we found that in some cases we had to "dress" up the knots a little before weighting them. This means that they weren't automatically shaped correctly after tying, and had to be adjusted a little bit before we really tightened them down. This is a minor complaint.

A prussik knot is used to ascend the rope if you don't have ascenders  or to hold the rope in an emergency (like you need to escape the belay). It is most often used for glacier travel. This cord works just fine for this purpose  but its stiffness means its tougher to get it tightened down and neatly dressed  as shown in this photo  than normal cordalette cordage.
A prussik knot is used to ascend the rope if you don't have ascenders, or to hold the rope in an emergency (like you need to escape the belay). It is most often used for glacier travel. This cord works just fine for this purpose, but its stiffness means its tougher to get it tightened down and neatly dressed, as shown in this photo, than normal cordalette cordage.

Edelrid recommends the 30cm, or single length sling, in particular for use as a prusik sling (these days most commonly used in glacier travel or self-rescue situations). We tested this by tying many prusik knots, and once again found that the stiffness made it so the cord didn't automatically want to cinch down, and that the prssik also took a fair bit of dressing up before it gripped the rope correctly. Due to its heat resistance, they also claim that this would make a good rappel backup. Heat resistance for this sling is of paramount concern, since it runs over the rope, creating heat from friction, as you rappel. The most common knot for this use is a klemheist knot, and although our 60cm test sling is a bit too long for this usage, we tested tying it anyway. Klemheist knots in general are much easier and quicker to tie than prusik knots, and we found this one set up quickly using this sling.

The klemheist knot is good for use as a rappel backup  and a short (30cm) aramid cord sling is ideal for this due to its heat resistant properties  so it won't melt as it gains heat while it slides along the rope.
The klemheist knot is good for use as a rappel backup, and a short (30cm) aramid cord sling is ideal for this due to its heat resistant properties, so it won't melt as it gains heat while it slides along the rope.

Alpine Quickdraw Test


Despite the stiffness of this sling material, we found that it is possible to triple it up into alpine quickdraws without a problem. In fact, it is perhaps a bit easier than when using thicker Nylon slings. As one would expect, the large black covering over the sewn section presents a bit of a problem sliding through carabiners, but we found a nice trick, which is to situate one of the carabiners right next to the edge of it before beginning the process, and this positioning will guarantee that this casing will not need to slide through the 'biner, ensuring that it equalizes properly.


Because the cord is stiff, once tripled up into the alpine draw, it also doesn't hang straight down as naturally as regular slings, instead hanging a bit open. This takes up a bit more room on the rack, and may make it slightly more prone to catching on other items on your gear loops.

Sometimes when making an alpine quickdraw with this sling the large black protective sheath over the sewn section had a propensity to hang up on a carabiner  so it wouldn't equalize properly. If we began the process with one carabiner right next to the sheath  we found that this wouldn't happen.
Sometimes when making an alpine quickdraw with this sling the large black protective sheath over the sewn section had a propensity to hang up on a carabiner, so it wouldn't equalize properly. If we began the process with one carabiner right next to the sheath, we found that this wouldn't happen.

Weight


Our 60cm long double-length sling weighed 43g on our independent scale. While this isn't very much, it makes it heavier than any of the Dyneema or Nylon slings that we tested.


These slings weigh roughly double to the lightest Dyneema slings. We think that having one or two of them is advantageous, but there is no need for a whole set.

This cord sling weighs 43g  as you can see here  slightly more than any of the Nylon slings we tested  and considerably more than the Dyneema options out there.
This cord sling weighs 43g, as you can see here, slightly more than any of the Nylon slings we tested, and considerably more than the Dyneema options out there.

Bulk


This cord is 6mm in diameter, which is actually fairly thin compared to most of the slings in this review, which average about 11mm in width. Of course, it is hard to compare the width of a flat sling with the diameter of a round one, but by no means is this the bulkiest sling in the review.


Showing the differences between different slings  especially their bulk. On the top is the Beal Dynamic sling  which is clearly the most bulky. Below it is a nylon sling for comparison  then the Dyneema/Nylon blend of the Metolius sling. In orange is the Trango Low Bulk sling (11mm)  below it the Petzl Puranneau  and below that in red is the Mammut Contact Sling. On the bottom is the Edelrid Aramid Cord  which is 6mm in diameter  and only more bulky than those above it because of its relative stiffness.
Showing the differences between different slings, especially their bulk. On the top is the Beal Dynamic sling, which is clearly the most bulky. Below it is a nylon sling for comparison, then the Dyneema/Nylon blend of the Metolius sling. In orange is the Trango Low Bulk sling (11mm), below it the Petzl Puranneau, and below that in red is the Mammut Contact Sling. On the bottom is the Edelrid Aramid Cord, which is 6mm in diameter, and only more bulky than those above it because of its relative stiffness.

That said, due to its stiffness, this sling won't pack down as small in the backpack as a supple sling, not will it sit on the harness quite as low profile either. For these reasons, we can't rate it with the best.

A close up of the thermo-molded rubberized sheath that is covering where the two ends of the cord meet and are sewn together. This is one of the few downsides of using sewn cord like this for slings  the bar tack is far more prominent than with flat webbing.
A close up of the thermo-molded rubberized sheath that is covering where the two ends of the cord meet and are sewn together. This is one of the few downsides of using sewn cord like this for slings, the bar tack is far more prominent than with flat webbing.

Value


While this sling is by no means what we would describe as expensive, it is among the most expensive slings that you can buy. However, for the right user in the right locations, we think that its particular advantages, especially its durability, make it very worth having on the harness. We think its performance versus price indicate good value. For those who are looking to stay on the lowest possible budget, there are a ton of slings that will cost you less.

Conclusion


The Edelrid Aramid Cord Sling is our Top Pick for Using as Pro because it is more durable than your average sling, and has added stiffness that makes it far easier to place with one hand while leading. This is an ideal sling for wrapping around blocks, over horns, behind flakes, or pushing through threads. They were designed with traditional limestone climbing in mind, like that found in the Dolomites of Italy, but are a great choice for all alpine climbing. We think one or two of these can be very handy tools to have on the rack, but see little reason why purchasing a whole selection would be necessary.

Paulo navigates the second pitch ridge on the way to the second belay of Voyage of the Cow Dog  a classic multipitch moderate at Smith Rock. Long slings on the bolts are key for wandering  alpine-esque pitches such as this one.
Paulo navigates the second pitch ridge on the way to the second belay of Voyage of the Cow Dog, a classic multipitch moderate at Smith Rock. Long slings on the bolts are key for wandering, alpine-esque pitches such as this one.


Andy Wellman