ProView – Sterling Velocity 9.8mm XEROS

The Velocity 9.8mm uses the new XEROS dry tech, which means it’s dry treated inside out, including the yarn that makes up the core and sheath, not just a coating of the sheath. Living in the wet Pacific Northwest makes having a rope that is dry treated necessary, whether for alpine climbing or crag sending. I have tested the rope in both alpine and crag setting and find that it meets the all-round definition well.

Sterling Velocity 9.8mm XEROS

Product Name: Sterling Velocity 9.8mm XEROS

Product Description: Our flagship rope and all-rounder for use in virtually any condition, the Velocity is a near-perfect balance of characteristics for a wide variety of climbing styles and conditions. A favorite among world-renowned athletes for working routes, the Velocity is a must-have for kitting out any crag pack.

Offer price: MSRP: $144.99 - $424.99

  • Quality
    (4)
  • Features
    (4)
  • Durability
    (4)
  • Eco-Friendly
    (5)

Summary

I am impressed by the ropes feel and handling right off the factory loop. Purchase it and head to the crag! The rope is stiff but not too stiff, and soft but not too soft. It provides a comfortable catch without sheath slippage, per Sterling’s literature, the XEROS process to treat individual yarn reduces such issues.

Overall
4.3

Pros

  • Handling
  • Color
  • Bi-color option
  • Dry treatment tech

Cons

  • Cost
  • Occasional twist/ kink

Look/Style

The rope color is bright and beautiful, and it comes in blue and green. The ability to purchase bi-color is a luxury for the alpine terrain when requiring multiple rappels. I am happy that Sterling offers this. The mid-marker for single color rope is dull and is easily missed particularly on darker blue color. 

Weight/Packability

Weighing in at 62g/m, it’s not the most packable rope for a long approach, but certainly a light rope for crag setup.

Function/Performance

The rope feels very natural right from the factory packaging. The XEROS treatment is so well embedded into the rope there is no cheap plastic feel or stiffness in the sheath. The rope is soft, with just the right amount of stiffness, and moves smoothly through the belay device — perhaps the best handling rope I have ever climbed with. Fellow climbers exclaimed the same while handling it, especially after learning that this was a brand new rope. 

The rope was easy to use in the alpine, although while trading leads on a few multi-pitch climbs, the rope seemed to show minor kinks and twists. The rope was used through a tubular style device (and guide mode) throughout the climb, so was slightly annoying to clear the kink while passing it through the device. On the more subjective aspect of reviewing the catch, I can confidently say I didn’t feel any stiff pull or too much stretch while taking lead falls or as a follower. I would characterize the stretch for this rope at the middle of the scale.

Durability/Construction

Having used the rope on a few alpine routes, running them over sharp edges, and dragging it over low 5th class routes, this rope has proven to withstand abuse well without any visual wear or fuzzies. Occasionally, I caught the rope pinched tight between rocks or under feet, and the shape seemed to bounce right back.

At 9.8mm thickness, its longevity for cragging (the Velocity is skinnier than most preferred crag ropes) would need a follow-up review, but the XEROS treatment to shed water and dirt should facilitate against premature wear and extend its life.

It remains to be seen how long the dull middle-marker lasts before requiring to re-mark.

The rope came in a drum coiled form, albeit paying very little attention to uncoiling, the rope showed minimal kink and one pull through a carabiner cleared the kinks if any were present. Personally, a butterfly coil would be preferred from any rope manufacturer.

Friendliness to the Earth

All Sterling ropes are PFOA-free, and it is touted that the new XEROS technology process is better for the environment by reducing waste, energy use, and labor. This Velocity rope is made with bluesign certified raw material which backs Sterling’s environmental commitment. 

Sterling also offers a rope recycle program, where the user can send the retired rope back to them. Providing a closed-loop recycling process is an important step in reducing a climber’s environmental impact.

The Final Word

I am impressed by the ropes feel and handling right off the factory loop. Purchase it and head to the crag! The rope is stiff but not too stiff, and soft but not too soft. It provides a comfortable catch without sheath slippage, per Sterling’s literature, the XEROS process to treat individual yarn reduces such issues.

The availability of bicolor is a big plus, although the mid-marker on the single color rope can be improved. The only issue I experienced while reviewing this rope was occasional twists/ kinks while switching leads on multi-pitch climbs. 

The new XEROS tech makes for an excellent dry-rope, but with record heat and drought conditions in PNW it hasn’t been possible to provide a thorough user review. 

I would recommend this to anyone looking for a one-quiver rope. 

Shop the Sterling Velocity 9.8mm XEROS on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
Shiv Gourshetty
Volunteer Medical First Responder

Shiv is a climber transitioning between ski mountaineering during winter seasons to alpine ice and rock for the remaining seasons. Based in PNW he spends 120+ days in the alpine wilderness, is a volunteer medical first responder, and earns a living as an engineer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.