Mammut Infinity 9.5 ReviewMay 11, 2017
- Good handling
- Great durability
- Durable rope identification tag
- Poor resistance to dirt
- Middle mark was hard to find after heavy use
The Mammut Infinity is a great all around rope for rock and ice climbing owing to its good handling and effective dry treatment that passes the UIAA dry treatment standard. The durability of the Infinity makes it popular for both trad and sport climbers seeking a long lasting rope although multipitch climbers may be discouraged by the hard to find middle mark.
The Mammut Infinity was a popular rope with testers for its fine handling characteristics, receiving a score just under the highest scoring ropes. Testers found the Infinity to have a soft, supple feel that took knots well and held those knots with great security. The rope fed well through belay devices and caught falls comfortably. Testers found it to be just slightly stiffer than the most popular ropes tested and over time the rope lost some of that soft feel but otherwise held up well.
Resistance to Dirt
The Infinity comes with a dry treatment that initially makes it hold up well to dirt but over time, once that dry treatment loses its effectiveness, the rope can get dirty. Compared to other ropes tested in this group, the Infinity scored the lowest for resistance to dirt, losing its bright green luster, as seen in before and after pictures. After several outings, the Infinity got dirty and the black middle mark was difficult to find.
The Infinity held up well to the rugged use we put the rope through. During field testing the Infinity’s sheath showed a slight amount of wear in the form of fuzz but otherwise the rope maintained its shape and its popular feel. During in-house testing the Infinity fared well, scoring just below the top scoring ropes. During the abrasion test, the sheath picked up some wear and the Infinity performed as well as any other rope in the sharp edge test, showing wear on the sheath and just a small amount of core exposed.
The Infinity’s big feature is its dry treatment that comes standard on all Infinity ropes and is designed to pass the UIAA’s dry treated rope standard. That standard requires that the water absorbed by a rope cannot be more than 5 percent of the rope’s weight. During testing, the Infinity did an excellent job on ice climbing days where its dry treatment proved to be up to the task. While Mammut warns of other company’s dry ropes not being as effective, it was hard to prove that the Infinity was significantly better than other ropes tested. That being said, the dry treatment performed well and perhaps it’s with some caution that users should view cheaper dry treated ropes.
Another plus of the dry treatment was its effectiveness at resisting dirt and increasing the durability of the Infinity. Although, over time the Infinity faded, picked up dirt and showed wear the dry treatment likely extended its life. One of the results of that fading and dirt picked up by the Infinity was the difficulty testers had in finding the middle mark after extended use with the rope. In before and after pictures, the black middle mark sticks out well against the bright lime-green color of the Infinity but after dozens of days, that middle mark became almost impossible to find.
A subtle but nice feature of the Infinity is the rope identification tag that proved to be the most durable of any tag. Unlike other ropes that use a clear plastic sleeve over the rope end, Mammut uses what appears to be a small sticker listing the rope’s length and other information. With time it received some wear but it was still hanging on, leaving no doubt for the user about the length of rope being used. Finally, the Infinity is available in 60 and 70 meter lengths and a bicolor pattern to make it easier to find the middle during rappels.
The Infinity is billed as an all around rope and for the most part it fits the bill. The handling of the Infinity made it popular with testers across a broad range of climbing types including sport and trad. The dry treatment makes it a great choice for ice climbers and those looking for a rope for snow and alpine objectives. Without buying the bicolor option, the Infinity lacked something in desire for climbers looking for a multipitch rope due to the fact that the middle mark got really hard to see after extended use.
Schneiter is an AMGA-certified guide, founder of Glenwood Climbing Guides, and very quick on his draws.