BlueWater Icon 9.1mm
$190 (60m) to $284 (80m); bluewaterropes.com
This cord quickly became the top choice among our sport climbing testers thanks to its supple feel, easy handling, thin diameter, and kink-free performance. “We’ve had this line for about seven months, and it permanently stays in the rope bag as our go-to cord,” said one testing duo. “It hasn’t kinked once on 100+ pitches, and it clips like a dream.” A tighter braid and more sheath mass (than other BlueWater ropes) means this rope maintains its shape and handles abrasion well from running over edges or through carabiners. The Icon’s Double Dry treatment repels water and snow, as well as increases durability and protects it from dirt. And at 55 grams per meter, it’s less than 8.5 pounds for a 70-meter rope.