Edelrid Boa Eco ReviewMarch 20, 2017
- Unique color pattern for each rope
- Good handling
- Great value
- Got dirty fast
- Obscure middle mark after heavy use
- Average durability
The Edelrid Boa Eco is an environmentally conscious 9.8 mm single climbing rope that uses recycled yarns that offers a unique color pattern in each rope. Good handling characteristics and a middle mark make this rope popular for sport and trad climbers for single pitch climbs. The recycled yarns used are not from recycled used ropes but are new yarns leftover from the rope making process and are completely safe.
The Boa Eco was one of the most popular ropes for handling in this group of ropes tested. The rope has a soft, supple feel and was easy to tie knots into, thread into belay devices, and was also easy to maneuver for belaying and clipping. These handling characteristics also held up over extended use and Edelrid credits their Thermo Shield treatment with the rope’s ability to maintain that supple and smooth feel.
Resistance to Dirt
The Boa Eco comes out of the package in a rainbow of colors due to the recycled yarns that are used. These eye popping colors quickly lost some of their luster as the rope got into heavy use but then it seemed to not get any dirtier, reaching some sort of baseline dirtiness. The rope got dirtier faster than other ropes tested but in the long run it was of average resistance to dirt. A lack of a dry sheath treatment probably contributed to its initial dirtiness but the wide range of colors in the unique sheath pattern may hide some of that dirtiness in the long run.
For durability, the Boa Eco was fairly average for ropes in this category, both in isolated testing and real world application. In testing, the Boa Eco didn’t hold up as well as some a couple of the standout ropes tested but fared comparable to ropes such as the Sterling Evolution Velocity. Our abrasion test with a heavy bag caused the Boa Eco to show some real wear and fuzziness on the sheath while our sharp edge test caused significant damage to the sheath but the core was still concealed. In real world testing, the Boa Eco shows plenty of life left in it but looks used after over 25 days of outdoor use, demonstrated by fuzziness on the sheath but nothing dramatic.
The feature that stands out on the Boa Eco is the use of high-quality, recycled yarns from the production of previous ropes, giving it instant appeal to eco-conscious climbers. The yarns are new and unused yarns leftover from the rope making process and are as safe as any other yarn. As good as that sounds, what many testers appreciated was the eye-catching rainbow of colors found in each rope and the fact that each rope has its own unique design. On top of that, the Boa Eco features a black middle mark to make finding the halfway point easier.
During testing, the middle mark help up admirably and while it wasn’t the easiest middle mark to find, it proved functional enough to serve its purpose. The inclusion of a rope mat template doesn’t affect the performance of the rope but is a novel thought that may appeal to climbers who are seeking a use for an old, retired rope. The one area lacking for the Boa Eco is the lack of a dry treatment option or bi-pattern rope. While lacking in flashy options, the Boa Eco should appeal to value seeking climbers as the rope has the lowest price for ropes tested.
In terms of versatility, the Boa Eco excels at single pitch cragging, both sport and trad. The favorable handling, good durability and workhorse size of 9.8 mm makes it a rope that can stand up to the abuse of daily cragging while providing the performance one wants in a rope for repeated clipping and knot tying. Lacking a dry treatment option, the Boa Eco lacks appeal for climbers in the alpine and ice realms, thus limiting its overall versatility.
Schneiter is an AMGA-certified guide, founder of Glenwood Climbing Guides, and very quick on his draws.