Maxim Whippet 9.5, $183
Summary: The Maxim Whippet handled like a charm and absorbed plenty of route-working punishment. The cord’s smooth sheath and moderately stiff core made clipping and belaying a breeze. However, the rope’s weight (as much as some 9.8mm ropes) is high considering the diameter.
Cons: Heavy for the diameter.
Overall grade: A-
Maxim/New England Ropes: (508) 678-8200, www.neropes.com