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Mammut Contact Dyneema Review

The best climbing sling due to its great handle and low weight and width.
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $9 List | $5.25 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Low weight, very thin, handles great, affordable
Cons:  Weighted knots harder to untie than thicker slings
Manufacturer:   Mammut
By Andy Wellman ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 11, 2019
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88
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 10
  • Handle - 25% 9
  • Knot Test - 25% 6
  • Alpine Quickdraw Test - 20% 10
  • Weight - 15% 10
  • Bulk - 15% 10

Our Verdict

The Mammut Contact Sling wins our Editors' Choice award for the best overall climbing sling because it far outperforms the competition, leading the way when it comes to weight (a mere 19g), bulk, handle, and the ability to quickly and easily use it as an alpine quickdraw. It's tubular design and Dyneema fibers allow it the same amount of mandated strength as all climbing slings — 22kN — but in a design that is only 8mm wide and weighs less than any other. Not only is it the highest scoring in our comparative testing, but it's our favorite sling to use for nearly every situation, not simply for alpine climbs where the low weight and bulk can really come in handy. It's also pretty affordable. If you want the best sling at a reasonable price, then we highly recommend stocking up on a selection of Mammut Contact Slings.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Low weight, very thin, handles great, affordableVery light, low bulk, easy to manipulate, very small bar tackLight weight, low bulk, knots untie relatively easily, affordableCovered sewn bar tack, thin and lightLow price, light weight despite width, small bar tack
Cons Weighted knots harder to untie than thicker slingsHigh price, harder than some to untie knotsNot as soft a handle as other top scorersExpensive, rubberized covering adds weight and feels weird sliding through handsAbrasive edges, wide for the weight
Bottom Line The 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 great sling that costs more than it seems like it shouldA solid sling at a fantastic price
Rating Categories Mammut Contact Dyneema Petzl Pur'Anneau Sling Black Diamond Dynex Runner Sterling Dyneema Sling Trango Low Bulk 11mm Sling
Handle (25%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
Knot Test (25%)
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Alpine Quickdraw Test (20%)
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
Weight (15%)
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
Bulk (15%)
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
Specs Mammut Contact... Petzl Pur'Anneau... Black Diamond... Sterling Dyneema... Trango Low Bulk...
Type of Fiber Dyneema High-Modulus Polyethalene Dynex Dyneema Dyneema
Measured weight 19g 19g 20g 22g 20g
Width Tested 8mm 10mm 10mm 10mm 11mm
Length Tested 60cm 60cm 60cm 60cm 60cm
Strength 22Kn 22Kn 22Kn 22Kn 22Kn
Widths Available 8mm 10mm 10mm 10mm; 12mm 11mm
Lengths Available 60cm; 120cm 60cm; 120cm; 180cm 30cm; 60cm; 120cm; 240cm 10"; 24"; 30"; 48" 30cm; 60cm; 120cm

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Mammut Contact Sling is the perfect example of what can be gained by using the top of the line technology, in this case Dyneema fiber, to lower the weight and size of a product. Since Dyneema is so much stronger than Nylon, slings made with it can cut serious weight, if you look at it from a percentage standpoint, as well as bulk. Not only does lowering the weight and size make a difference on the climb — lighter is easier to carry up a route, and smaller is easier to rack on the harness — but also translates directly into increased performance as well. The very thin (8mm) nature of this design means that there is far less friction when using it, both against a carabiner, and against itself as one triples it up for use as an alpine quickdraw, providing further arguments for increasing performance by cutting size. Other slings in this review, in particular the Petzl Pur-Anneau Sling and the Black Diamond Dynex Runner, also use a high-molecular weight polyethalene similar to Dyneema to lower weight and size, but these slings are sewn flat, and so need to be a bit wider to ensure the same strength. The Contact Sling, by comparison, is sewn with tubular webbing, enabling it to be even thinner than these already thin alternatives, and further increasing performance.

The only complaint we have about this excellent product is that due to its thinness, figure-eight knots can become welded very tight, making them quite hard to untie at the belay before you follow the leader up the pitch. We tested the 60cm (24" double-length) version of this sling, the perfect length for extending protection pieces, but don't recommend it for use in anchors for equalizing many pieces, despite the fact that it also comes in a 120cm (48") version.

Performance Comparison


Leading one of the stellar face pitches on Levitation 29  Eagle Wall  Red Rocks during a beautiful January day. A large selection of slings is essential to success on this route.
Leading one of the stellar face pitches on Levitation 29, Eagle Wall, Red Rocks during a beautiful January day. A large selection of slings is essential to success on this route.

Handle


Handle is a measure of how nice a sling feels in a person's hand while using it, as well as how supple and easy it is to use for its intended purpose. The Contact Sling was the only Dyneema sling in our review that feels just as nice as the slipperier and softer Black Diamond Nylon Sewn Runner or the Sterling Nylon Sewn Runner.


Not only is the material of this sling silky smooth in the hand, but its round shape means there are no abrasive edges, like those found on some of the other slings. Furthermore, no other sling in this test uses such a low profile way of sewing the bar tack to remove tabs that can potentially hang up. Since the webbing is tubular, Mammut stuffs one end inside the other where they join, and then sews that together, so there is only one potential tab at all. This tab is then encased in a fabric sleeve that is sewn over the top of it, and the effect is a much smoother bar tack than found on any other sling.

While this sling is a mere 8mm wide  it is thicker due to its tubular design. You can see the bar tack which is extremely low profile. One end of the tube is stuck inside the other  then sewn together  and the black sleeve covers what would be the only potential tabs.
While this sling is a mere 8mm wide, it is thicker due to its tubular design. You can see the bar tack which is extremely low profile. One end of the tube is stuck inside the other, then sewn together, and the black sleeve covers what would be the only potential tabs.

Knot Test


When tying knots in slings, we find that both the very thinnest, as well as the very thickest Nylon slings, seem to manage to cinch up tighter when weighted, making them harder to untie quickly when it is time to move on. By comparison, the medium width flat slings, such as the Metolius Open Loop Sling and the Camp USA 11mm Express Dyneema Sling, don't weld together nearly as tight, and are therefore easier to untie quickly.


Compared to the other end of the spectrum, the thick Nylon slings, we think the Contact Sling is slightly easier to untie after weighting a figure-eight knot, and it, like all the other slings, is no problem to untie a girth or clove hitch after weighting. Regardless, this wouldn't be our first choice for purposes like anchor building where it is common to tie knots.

Its thin tubular design makes tying knots very easy. However  it also means that they cinch down much tighter than most slings. This clove hitch remains easy to loosen  even after weighting.
Its thin tubular design makes tying knots very easy. However, it also means that they cinch down much tighter than most slings. This clove hitch remains easy to loosen, even after weighting.

Because of how thin it is  this sling cinches down tighter than any other when you tie a knot in it and weight it  although its slippery nature helps one to untie it. Regardless  we don't recommend using this for anchor building  or for tying knots.
Because of how thin it is, this sling cinches down tighter than any other when you tie a knot in it and weight it, although its slippery nature helps one to untie it. Regardless, we don't recommend using this for anchor building, or for tying knots.

Alpine Quickdraw Test


No other sling as smoothly or easily triples up into an alpine quickdraw, or releases into an extended runner than the Mammut Contact Sling. This fact is due in large part to the thin, 8mm wide webbing that is more circular in shape than it is flat. Friction is greatly reduced between the different pieces of sling as they slide against one another in the crotch of a carabiner, allowing one to very easily equal out the lengths of the sling to make the quickdraw.


The low profile bar tack, which we already described above, also does a nice job sliding over a carabiner, once again making it easy to equalize or extend this runner when needed. The only other sling that has a similar feature is the Sterling Dyneema Sling, a flat sling that has a rubberized plastic sheath that encases the entire bar tack. While the goal of this sheath is the same as the design on the Contact Sling, it still doesn't manage to slide over the edge of a carabiner quite as easily.

As you can see  the thin strands of sling rarely overlap in the crotch of the biner  meaning they won't pin each other  creating friction. This fact combined with the low profile bar tack makes this the best and easiest sling to triple up into an alpine quickdraw.
As you can see, the thin strands of sling rarely overlap in the crotch of the biner, meaning they won't pin each other, creating friction. This fact combined with the low profile bar tack makes this the best and easiest sling to triple up into an alpine quickdraw.

Weight


On Mammut's website this sling is advertised as weighing a mere 14g, which would make it far and away the lightest sling available on the market today. To our surprise, when we weighed it on our independent scale immediately upon arrival, we found that it weighed 19g, quite a bit heavier than advertised. It is still tied with the Petzl Pur'Anneau Sling as the lightest in this test, but we still aren't sure why it isn't as light as advertised.


All climbing gear benefits from being lighter, as long as performance is not also compromised. Simply put, the more weight you have to carry up a route with you, the harder it is going to be to climb at your best. While slings are so light as to seem irrelevant, percentage wise there is still a large gap between the lightest and heaviest slings, and we see no reason not to reward the ones that are lighter than others.

At a mere 19g  this is tied with the lightest slings in our review. However  it is still 5g heavier than the 14g listing on Mammut's website... What gives Mammut?
At a mere 19g, this is tied with the lightest slings in our review. However, it is still 5g heavier than the 14g listing on Mammut's website... What gives Mammut?

Bulk


At only 8mm wide, the Contact Sling is a full two millimeters narrower than the second closest competitors, the Pur'Anneau Sling, Black Diamond Dynex Runner, and the Sterling Dyneema Sewn Runner. However, where all those slings are flat webbing, this one is a rounded shape.


The effect of this shape is that it adds to the bulk of the sling, almost negating the differences in width when it comes to actual quantity of material used. However, the rounded shape does minimize friction when sliding over a carabiner, thereby adding to performance. Overall this was the single least bulky sling we tested, and when you compound this fact by 6-14 slings in your pack or racked on your harness, we think it presents a compelling advantage.

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


The Mammut Contact Sling is the best sling for use while leading to extend protection pieces and minimize rope drag. Due to its low weight and profile, it's especially advantageous in the mountains for alpine rock or mixed climbing. Because it can be hard to untie knots that have been weighted, we don't recommend it for anchor building.

Speed record holder Stefan Greibel seconds pitch 3 of the Naked Edge  a wild and wandering pitch made easier with long slings  on a not-speed ascent in December!
Speed record holder Stefan Greibel seconds pitch 3 of the Naked Edge, a wild and wandering pitch made easier with long slings, on a not-speed ascent in December!

Value


This sling retails for about $9 for a 60cm length, which is on the low end of the spectrum for a Dyneema sling, although is close to double the price of a Nylon sling. Since it's the highest performer and nowhere near the most expensive, we think it presents fantastic value.

Stefan and Andy on the summit of Mt. Wilson after a successful sling testing mission on the Resolution Arete  excited that January is no shirt weather  and that the route was better than expected.
Stefan and Andy on the summit of Mt. Wilson after a successful sling testing mission on the Resolution Arete, excited that January is no shirt weather, and that the route was better than expected.

Conclusion


The Mammut Contact Sling is our favorite climbing sling and also scores as the highest overall, making it our recommended choice as the best climbing sling you can buy. The only time we would seriously consider a different sling is if you are concerned about expense, where we would look at the value you can find by purchasing the Black Diamond Nylon Sewn Sling, our Best Buy Winner, or if you want one for anchor building, when we would choose the Metolius Open Loop Sling.


Andy Wellman