Gear Guide 2020: Sterling Quest 9.6mm (70m) Rope Review

Our picks for the best gear of 2020.

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The Sterling Quest 9.6mm (70m) climbing rope. 

Trad ropes need to withstand abuse, which typically means choosing a workhorse (read: heavier) rope. Sterling’s new Quest 9.6mm provides that workhorse durability yet still handles like a smaller-bore redpoint rope—at 61 g/m, the 70m weighs less than 10 lbs, light given its 8-UIAA-falls rating. With over 100 pitches of testing from the granite of Colorado’s South Platte, to Red Rock Canyon’s Aztec sandstone, to the basalt of Northern Arizona, the Quest showed minimal wear and retained its smooth sheath. One tester noted, “It clipped like butter on lead and handled well with a Grigri. Feels great in the hand.” The Quest excels as a trad rope, project rope, or all-arounder; also comes in DryXP and bicolor options. MSRP: $256,

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