Indoor rock climbing is a lot more controlled than outdoor rock climbing because everything is set up and staged to help you achieve your goals. Safety is generally maintained with only a few pieces of gear, such as a harness, rope, and perhaps a boulder mat. But when you’re outside, there are a lot more factors to consider for safety. The best climbing slings are designed to help you manage your rope and gear, as well as establish anchors. Slings are among the most versatile pieces of climbing gear, along with carabiners.
By using slings as directionals, running your climbing rope in a straighter line to your position on the rock, you’ll reduce the amount of friction and damage to your rope. In turn, this will keep you safer as you climb. But it can be difficult to choose between all the top-rated slings for climbing. Here, we will provide you with the best products and buying tips so that you can find a quality sling to support you on your climbing journey.
How To Choose A Climbing Sling – Buying Guide
The best climbing slings will be available in various sizes, which means that you can choose the exact measurement that you need for your climb. The length of each sling will vary by its design and most brands provide slings that are 60-120 centimeters in length. However, you may find a climbing runner that is up to 200 centimeters long.
Most slings will be labeled as single, double, or extra-long. A single-length sling is 60 centimeters or 24 inches in length. A double-length sling would be exactly double the length of a single sling, so 48 inches in length. A 200 centimeter or 78-inch-long sling would be considered extra-long.
The sling length also corresponds to the intended climbing sling use. Shorter slings are best for setups like the alpine quickdraw when you are attempting to reduce rope drag on the rocks. You can also use them for belay protections or as anchors.
A long-length sling is better suited for use as multiple-point protects anchors or to extend the length of your rope as you anchor. The extra length allows you more versatility to tie climbing knots in the sling length for various setups.
Extra-long slings will help you create extended anchors in difficult to climb places like a rock edge or overhang. The longer length just gives you more length to work with and create your anchors.
Along with length, you should also be conscious of the width of your sling. One of the Dyneema sling designs on our list is 10 millimeters wide, which is one of the skinnier options. Skinny slings are still strong, but they are best used for lightweight climbing. If you are in more rugged locations or need a heavy-duty option, you should look at a diameter of 16 millimeters.
The material is also an important consideration when you are shopping for top-rated slings for climbing because it can affect the durability and strength of the design. The best slings for climbing will be made out of high-quality material with the three most popular options being nylon, polyester, and Dyneema.
Nylon and polyester are lightweight materials, and both durable and strong. Nylon tends to be slightly stronger than polyester and the tight weave of the webbing can bear more weight. Heavier duty slings will likely be made of nylon for the added bulk and weight, which increases the overall power and strength.
Dyneema slings are the most lightweight and are made of Polyethylene. The material is ultra-light, while also being resistant to abrasion and UV damage. With less water absorption, Dyneema is also less likely to stretch or change shape over time. That said, Dyneema is generally not as strong as nylon, which means that it is less beneficial for anchor use.
Climbing sling use is centered around your safety, which means that any product you choose should be extra durable. The best climbing slings will feature a sewn-in bar tack, which will stop the sling from separating and is guaranteed to be unbreakable. But you also want the weave of the material to be durable.
While slings are designed to reduce the amount of friction and wear on your rope, the sling itself also needs to be resistant to damage from the rocks as it holds your various climbing positions. Climbing sling reviews are the best resource to determine whether the durability of a design can be trusted or if you should continue on your search. Many reviewers will state how they use their sling and how durable the design was for their specific application, which can help you determine which sling will best suit your needs.
There are a lot of different styles of climbing and your sling can be used for (almost) all of them, but you should learn how to use your sling in different situations. Most climbers will use a sling for outdoor climbing, but indoor climbing can be a good place for beginners to learn how to properly set up and use a climbing runner.
There are several types of climbing you could use a sling for. Top-rope climbing uses anchors at the top of your climbing route, which protects your climb. You will climb towards the anchors, up the wall. Slings can be very useful in this type of climbing to set up anchors in a solid position. Slings can also be used in sport climbing, trad climbing, alpine ascents, mountaineering, and more.
No matter what style of climbing you choose, slings are designed to improve your safety and make your anchors stronger.
The vast majority of climbing slings are one type: a simple loop of strong material. The loop is closed with a sewn-in bar tack for security. With the loop, you can twist, turn, or hang the material in various ways to suit your needs.
But some brands have unique designs. The GM CLIMBING chain design is one of the unique designs that has 6 individual loops that have been connected to make one long sling. The chain provides more versatility because you can adjust the length of the sling, but it is not the most common type of sling that you’ll see on the market.
Q: What Are Slings Used For In Climbing?
Safety and convenience. Climbing sling use is primarily designed to increase your safety while you climb. Ultimately, the slings are made so that you can run your rope in a straighter path, from one piece of protection to another, which decreases friction with the rocks. Climbing anchors are also easily built with slings.
Q: How Are Climbing Slings Measured?
Top-rated slings for climbing will be measured by length (or circumference) and width. Not all brands use the same measurements, so you will need to read the product specifications or climbing sling reviews before you make a purchase. If a sling is measured by length, this means that it will be the length of the material before it has been connected into a loop. If it is measured by circumference, this means that the length will be measured once the loop has already been made and secured with the bar tack.
Q: How Long Is A Single Length Sling?
A single-length sling would be 60 centimeters or 24 inches in length. A double-length sling would be 120 centimeters or 48 inches in length.
Q: How Long Do Climbing Slings Last?
General guidelines suggest that the best slings for climbing will last up to 10 years with proper care, maintenance, and use. Climbing rope can be washed and you can use the same methods on your slings, which will extend their lifetime. But if there are any signs of damage like tearing or fraying, the sling should be immediately replaced.
Q: How Do You Tie Climbing Slings?
There are a lot of different types of climbing knots and most of them will help you with your journey. But there is no one good way to tie a knot on a sling because it will depend on how you wish to use the sling. But there are knots, hitches, or carabiners that can all assist you in setting up your sling.
Globo Surf Overview
Rock climbing is a full-body workout and there are a lot of health benefits, but before you can reap the rewards, you should always consider what gear you need to stay safe. The best climbing slings are designed to not only guarantee your safety but also help extend the life of your climbing ropes. A quality sling will make your climbing more efficient and safe.
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Do you own one of the climbing slings that made it onto our list? Let us know which climbing runner your favorite is in the comments section below.