Trango Diamond 9.4mm | $194.95 (60m) $224.95 (70m) trango.com ★★★★
Your rope is one of the few pieces of gear you can’t back up. It has to be light, provide a soft catch and never fail. Climbing ropes are marvels because they all fulfill the above list of obligations. Rope reviews, then, are more about which qualities you prefer, rather than an assessment of whether a given cord works. For me, durability, weight and cost are the most important considerations, and the Trango Diamond pretty much fills the bill.
Let’s start with durability since this is where the Diamond really shines. I used the Diamond for about a year, fixing it for rope-soloing, working projects and redpointing, and the rope held up really well—better in fact than many cords with a larger diameter. When I finally had to cut out a bad spot, I was struck by how hard I had to bear down with the knife. Though subjective, this “knife test” gave me confidence that the Diamond resists cutting better than other cords and demonstrated the fact that Trango isn’t skimping on the thickness of the sheath.
The Diamond is two to three grams per meter heavier than some comparable ropes, and has a somewhat stiffer hand, but the increased durability seemed worth the extra weight. I didn’t experience any unusual twisting, even when new, and the diameter seemed right on the money. (Sometimes ropes will be assigned a diameter but seem thick in the hand, especially after heavy use. If anything, the Diamond seems thinner than it’s given 9.4 mm, more like a 9 mm rope I compared it to.)
Finally, at $194.95, the Diamond is in the ballpark for similar ropes that are made in America—some cost a bit more, others a bit less.
About the rating: I gave the Diamond four stars because this rope performs all the essential functions expected of a climbing rope and goes a step further by exhibiting excellent durability and resistance to cutting. The only demerit is the fact that the Diamond is 100 to 200 grams heavier than its American-made competition.
• Indelible middle mark.
• A little stiffer hand.
• Good durability.
• No noticeable sheath slippage, even after a year.
• Weight: 59.1 grams per meter.
• Impact Force: 7.9 Kn
• UIAA Falls: 7.
• Dynamic Elongation: 34 percent.
• Static Elongation: 5.6 percent.
• Dry treated.