Sterling Nitro 9.6, $162
Summary: At a slim 60 grams per meter, Sterling’s Nitro is light enough for limit-pushing redpoints, yet also stood up to route-working abuse with aplomb, thanks to its durable sheath. On the downside, the Nitro softened up fairly quickly, making for limp clips and the occasional belay-device bind.
Pros: All-around performer.
Cons: Softens up quickly.
Overall grade: B+
Sterling: (207) 885-0330,www.sterlingrope.com