Atwood Rope

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Atwood Rope

Postby GroundquestMSA » Jan 22, 2016 8:00 pm

A few previous threads have bashed Atwood for making "unsafe look-alike" ropes. The specific ropes mentioned were not marketed as climbing ropes, but looked like them. This was viewed by many as irresponsible, and maybe it is, but that's another matter. Atwood does make static rappelling rope, and I wonder if any of you have used it?

I have used a piece for the last four years, and it frankly destroyed PMI's claim that, "No other 11 mm rope will outlast a PMI® Classic in side by side, real world applications except a PMI® Max-Wear rope." We have used the bit of Atwood far more than the PMI, have abused it terribly, and it's is still in better shape. In fact, it has been superior to PMI in almost every way. It's extremely tough and stretch is almost nil. It's a smoother ride than PMI, and much more supple once broken in. Price through Atwood is $100 per 150' which is a little more than my brother paid at (oh the horror) a local hardware store. The pre-packaged lengths are a potential problem, and the lack of certification on their site may scare some. However, I have dissected and thoroughly destroyed the stuff component by component and can find no structural or strength difference from PMI (now you feel confident eh?). The performance is enough to get me to buy more.

I have written to ask if other lengths might be available, and for more general information about their materials. I'll let you know if they reply, just in case anyone is intrigued.
https://atwoodrope.net/collections/static-rope/products/7-16-x-150ft-static-rappelling-black-or-camo
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Re: Atwood Rope

Postby spider » Jan 23, 2016 9:23 am

Haven't used (or even seen) Atwood ropes, however at $100 per 150ft isn't it a bit more expensive than Highline? Highline seems to be a pretty popular rope among vertical types.
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Re: Atwood Rope

Postby GroundquestMSA » Jan 23, 2016 9:40 am

Yes, Highline is 50 cents per foot, compared to 66. I have a long bit of Highline that I bought with a particular pit in mind, but I think I'll buy another bit of this Atwood stuff to beat up on all the little vertical stuff I usually do.
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Re: Atwood Rope

Postby Bob Thrun » Jan 23, 2016 10:06 am

GroundquestMSA wrote:A few previous threads have bashed Atwood for making "unsafe look-alike" ropes. The specific ropes mentioned were not marketed as climbing ropes, but looked like them. This was viewed by many as irresponsible, and maybe it is, but that's another matter. Atwood does make static rappelling rope, and I wonder if any of you have used it?

What previous threads? A search on Cavechat does not find any previous mention of Atwood.

All kernmantle ropes look pretty much alike.

Atwood's static rappelling rope is "made from 100% HTPE fibers". That is High Tenacity Polyethylene. In the absence of specific numbers, high tenacity is synonymous with high strength. These fibers are often called Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethlene, or UHMWPE.
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Re: Atwood Rope

Postby GroundquestMSA » Jan 23, 2016 10:34 am

http://www.forums.caves.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12423&p=106628&hilit=ATWOOD#p106628

http://www.forums.caves.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=436&p=3413&hilit=ATWOOD#p3413

Their utility kernmantle rope was considered a problem since the sheath looks the same as a rappelling rope, but the core is various papery stuff.
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Re: Atwood Rope

Postby tncaver » Jan 24, 2016 10:34 am

At least they claim it is all manufactured in the USA in Millwood Ohio. I hope their packaging for the paper core stuff
mentions that rope is not for rappelling of any kind and gives the strength rating.
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Re: Atwood Rope

Postby GroundquestMSA » Jan 24, 2016 12:29 pm

It does. My local hardware sells it.
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Re: Atwood Rope

Postby GroundquestMSA » Jan 25, 2016 5:19 pm

Dale Atwood wrote:It has been difficult for us to get our Static ropes promoted through our users online. We sell Tons of static rope and yet we do not get many people posting their reviews about it online. I have read the forums that you are speaking about and it sounded like it's all from people that have not even used our products. All our safety products are sent out to 3rd party labs to be tested and We use the same materials as the other brands, such as high tenacity polyester and nylon.

As far as the stock lengths on our website, typically people just email for longer lengths, we make our static ropes in 150 / 200ft / 300ft / 600ft / 1,000ft .

Regarding the colors and patterns. All of our ropes are packaged with correct labels that state whether they are static safety or utility grade and the price per foot is not close on either of these. Also all of our Utility Ropes state that they are not life lines.


I see no safety reasons why anyone should avoid Atwood's products. Highline has a better price and PMI has a better reputation, but this stuff is darn good rope.
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Re: Atwood Rope

Postby NSS8921 » Jan 26, 2016 12:21 pm

Bob Thrun wrote:
GroundquestMSA wrote:A few previous threads have bashed Atwood for making "unsafe look-alike" ropes. The specific ropes mentioned were not marketed as climbing ropes, but looked like them. This was viewed by many as irresponsible, and maybe it is, but that's another matter. Atwood does make static rappelling rope, and I wonder if any of you have used it?

What previous threads? A search on Cavechat does not find any previous mention of Atwood.

All kernmantle ropes look pretty much alike.

Atwood's static rappelling rope is "made from 100% HTPE fibers". That is High Tenacity Polyethylene. In the absence of specific numbers, high tenacity is synonymous with high strength. These fibers are often called Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethlene, or UHMWPE.


Well, Bob, you got my attention! HTPE? That is not the same as UHMWPE/Spectra/Dyneema. UHMWPE would make a rather slick rope... But HTPE - is it strong enough for a static rope?
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Re: Atwood Rope

Postby Bob Thrun » Jan 26, 2016 4:50 pm

NSS8921 wrote:
Bob Thrun wrote:Atwood's static rappelling rope is "made from 100% HTPE fibers". That is High Tenacity Polyethylene. In the absence of specific numbers, high tenacity is synonymous with high strength. These fibers are often called Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethlene, or UHMWPE.


Well, Bob, you got my attention! HTPE? That is not the same as UHMWPE/Spectra/Dyneema. UHMWPE would make a rather slick rope... But HTPE - is it strong enough for a static rope?

I stand corrected. I was confused by similar-sounding descriptions of high strength. I did not find an authoritative definition of the different fiber types with a quick search. I did find several companies selling HTPE rappelling rope.
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Re: Atwood Rope

Postby NSS8921 » Jan 27, 2016 9:51 am

Sorry, Bob, it is just that it so rare to catch anything on which to correct you.

HTPE rappelling rope: in your research, was this a HTPE core with a nylon or polyester sheath? Is the strength adequate?
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Re: Atwood Rope

Postby Bob Thrun » Jan 27, 2016 5:44 pm

When I went to the Atwood website a couple days ago, it said that the rappelling rope was "Made from 100% HTPE fibers". Now it says "Made from 100% High Tenacity Polyester fibers". Other vendors take HTPE to mean high-tenacity polyethylene. And there is HDPE, high-density polyethylene, and UHMWPE.

Polyester rope is slightly heavier and slightly less strong than nylon. Nylon loses about 10% of its strength when wet. Polyester does not lose strength when wet. Polyester has less stretch than nylon.
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Re: Atwood Rope

Postby GroundquestMSA » Jan 27, 2016 6:34 pm

Bob Thrun wrote:Polyester rope is slightly heavier and slightly less strong than nylon. Nylon loses about 10% of its strength when wet. Polyester does not lose strength when wet. Polyester has less stretch than nylon.


Why are poly ropes not the cavers standard? Especially in this country where elegant rigging is the exception?
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Re: Atwood Rope

Postby tncaver » Jan 27, 2016 7:34 pm

I've used some poly webbing. It seems to hold water longer than nylon, gets heavier when wet, and the knots are harder
to tie/untie. Just my experience. If something isn't broke, don't fix it. Nylon braided on solid core has worked great for
me since 1969. Nylon ropes offer several types that have lasted me a decade or longer of regular use. Flexibility, maximum
wear, little stretch, and for those who want it, dynamic. All great quality by several manufacturers. But the one thing that
really annoys me is that I can't find any of those ropes for 17 cents a foot any longer, like I did in 1969. Darn. :laughing:
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Re: Atwood Rope

Postby NSS8921 » Jan 28, 2016 8:37 am

GroundquestMSA wrote:
Bob Thrun wrote:Polyester rope is slightly heavier and slightly less strong than nylon. Nylon loses about 10% of its strength when wet. Polyester does not lose strength when wet. Polyester has less stretch than nylon.


Why are poly ropes not the cavers standard? Especially in this country where elegant rigging is the exception?


It's a matter of personal preference. I have used PMI Isostatic a fair amount, and I just feel safer with nylon. My concern is shock loading - admittedly rare - but when it does happen, I prefer the stretch of PMI Max Wear or Flex over PMI's Isostatic. My concern is regarding the anchors failing, not the rope breaking, BTW.
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