HTP or Nylon – The difference between two types of static lines

A tale of two ropes: HTP (left) and nylon (right).

I have two spools of static rope, HTP (see above) and nylon, and have been using them for the past few years for everything from fixing lines for photographers, as a retrieval line when climbing remote desert towers, and for hauling gear. Of note, static lines are not designed to absorb shock when climbing – they work great for caving, big wall climbing, and for ascending the line with ascenders.

The 9mm 100% polyester static kernmantle HTP ($175 for 200’) provides less elongation than the 9mm SuperStatic2. Sterling’s site states this rope the HTP has “Elongation at 10% MBS 2.60%.” Don’t even think about top roping on this rope. It’s hydrophobic, meaning it doesn’t absorb water, making it an obvious choice for canyoneering, caving, and it also works for rescue. It’s very pliable, so it rolls over sharp edges; for example, when jumaring the notoriously rough Fisher Towers. It is more abrasion resistant than the nylon SuperStatic2.

The 9mm 100% nylon SuperStatic2 ($179 for 200’) is commonly used for Search and Rescue, fire departments, military, hauling on big walls, and fixing lines. Sterling’s site states this rope has  “Elongation at 10% MBS 7.60%.” It has slightly greater stretch and is softer to handle than the HTP.

The ropes are priced nearly identically. For my purposes – fixing lines and hauling I prefer the HTP. I generally wear gloves when handling this rope to keep the wear and tear down for my hands. I like how the sheath doesn’t scratch up over sharp edges like with the nylon rope, and how it double as a canyoneering rope.


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