With two years of lugging around my Mammut 10.5mm rope, it was finally time to splurge on something thinner. After feeling up many a rope in climbing stores and pouring over online reviews, I opted for the Petzl Arial.
Not being enough of a crusher to choose 9.2 mm or below, nor wanting to climb on a python sized rope, 9.5 mm seemed to be the ideal diameter for a mere mortal.
Why the Petzl Arial Single Rope is Awesome
- It’s supple and easy to work with. I can’t write a pulitzer prize winning description, but as a climber you immediately feel the difference between a rough, stiff rope and a smooth, silky one.
- Dry coat! – No worries about snow and ice, also more resistant to wear and dirt.
- 9.5 mm is super light without losing durability. The weight difference (58g/meter) is amazing on multipitch, both when leading and just managing rope.
- Comes coiled and ready to climb with – a small bonus admittedly, but still nice.
- Feeds super smooth, catches just fine in a Grigri (i.e. not too thin)
To be fair, there are some small negatives, but nothing that would make me hesitate to fully recommend the Arial.
Petzl Arial: Minor Disadvantages
- Good feeding and smooth handling means it can slip a bit on tube devices
- Stretches a bit more than thicker ropes which may or may not matter to you
- Will wear a little more than thicker ropes, especially if you do lots of wandery multipitch
Granted, these downsides are minor and mostly a result of higher performance elsewhere (e.g. handling vs slipping more in some devices). I’m a big fan of Petzl, having a helmet, Macchu kids harness, Grigri and lots of Spirit Express draws. The Arial continues their record of awesome gear in my opinion and I’ll definitely be getting another Petzl rope whenever it comes time to replace this, or I have magically have enough free time to make getting half ropes worthwhile.