Edelrid_Topaz_92mm_BipatternThe updated Edelrid Topaz 9.2mm is a bi-pattern dry rope that is $20 bucks cheaper than its 2014 predecessor, thanks to some new factory technology that makes it more efficient for the rope-making machine to switch to a new pattern. With a price of $260 for a 60-meter, or $290 for 70-meter, the Topaz sits at the lower end for what ropes of this caliber, feature set and quality cost.

It’s cheaper than the Sterling Aero Bi-Pattern 9.2mm (which I’m itching to try) and the Maxim Pinnacle Bi-Pattern 2X Dry 9.5mm, but more expensive than the Mammut Revelation Dry 9.2mm, which isn’t bi-pattern … but do you really need bi-pattern?

I love bi-pattern ropes for multi-pitch trad climbing, as it makes setting up rappels much easier. I find them less useful in sport climbing, however, especially as once you trim an end of the rope, the middle marker where the pattern changes is no longer accurate.

The Topaz doesn’t feel like a 9.2mm rope. Both in terms of its weight and heft, the Topaz climbs much more like a 9.5mm rope. Indeed, the Topaz is 59 grams per meter, which is actually what ropes in the 9.5mm range typically weigh. The extra mass comes from an extremely tightly braided sheath that accounts for a whopping 37 percent of the rope’s construction.

I really appreciated this durable sheath, as it stood up to my myriad falls and hang dogging sessions quite well. I trimmed the rope ends twice over four months, which is impressive performance for such a thin rope.

The dry treatment didn’t pick up a lot of dirt and grime, unlike some other dry treatments. However, the Topaz didn’t stay quite as clean as the Mammut Eternity Dry Duodess 9.8mm that I recently tested. The Topaz does, however, pass the new UIAA test for dry treatment, which is awesome.

Bottom line: while the Topaz claims a diameter of 9.2mm, it climbs much more like a 9.5 mm rope in terms of its weight, feel and durability. Don’t be fooled into thinking this will be your new lightweight redpoint cord, but if you’re looking for a solid-performing all-around workhorse rope that withstood an impressive 8 UIAA falls, and especially if you want a bi-pattern rope with long-lasting dry treatment, you should seriously consider the Edelrid Topaz.

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