Sterling nano 8.9 xeros
(Photo/Pavel Markevych via Shutterstock)

Flake No More: Sterling Adds ‘Send Ready’ Coil to Nano 8.9 XEROS Ropes

Sterling positioned the XEROS dry series as a climber’s best bet at a cost-effective, workhorse rope. Now, it claims you can take a fresh one straight from the gear shop to the cliff and start climbing — no flaking required.

There’s a singular appeal to a factory-coiled climbing rope: the tight figure-8 shape, the perfectly uniform coils, the tightly wound collar.

But any climber who’s bought a brand new rope knows a factory coil makes extra work. If you just unwind the collar and start climbing, you’re asking for snag trouble — the first step in new rope ownership, every time, is flaking it out.

Not so anymore. Sterling announced it’s delivering its new Nano 8.9 mm XEROS rope with a factory lap coil. The Send Ready Coil, it says, makes the Nano “ready-to-climb, straight from the factory. No uncoiling and flaking necessary!”

 

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Send Ready Coil: No Flaking?

At first glance, it sure looks different in the package than the typical peanut shape. Sterling said feedback from climbers informed the innovation. To deliver it, the brand said it built its own new factory equipment.

sterling nano 8.9 xeros
(Photo/Sterling)

“Sure, the old coil looks good on the shelf, but it’s not ready for climbing. We heard the feedback from climbers and developed our own lap coil machine that removes the need for extra uncoiling and flaking to get the kinks out.”

In fact, Sterling says ropes with the Send Ready Coil need “no” flaking. Of course, conventional wisdom says you should flake your rope before you climb, no matter what.

And the GearJunkie climbing staff would not compromise on that principle. But whether you want to tie into a rope fresh out of the packaging without going through the whole thing first is your business.

Nano 8.9 XEROS

The Nano 8.9 XEROS is something of an all-around option geared toward a wide range of experienced climbers. If you’re in the market for an affordable water-shedding rope that can go wherever you do, but don’t need a line that can tolerate the heavy abuse new climbers often exert on ropes, it could be worth considering.

The skinniest single ropes are now slimming down to 8.5 mm and narrower, but an 8.9 still falls within the tolerance range of a GriGri 2. And XEROS dry technology aims at both sustainability and durability by treating each nylon fiber with a PFOA-free waterproof coating before spinning them into yarn.

Still, the process skips various energy- and cost-intensive processes that traditional dry treatments rely on. That helps keep the XEROS line affordable.

Sterling XEROS Dry Ropes: More Eco-Friendly, Durable, and Affordable
Sterling XEROS Dry Ropes: More Eco-Friendly, Durable, and Affordable
The Sterling XEROS aims to prevent wear and damage, while reducing the environmental impact and price of its climbing rope. Read more…

The Nano 8.9 XEROS is UIAA (International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation) triple-rated as a single rope, or when used as a half or twin system. It includes Bluesign-certified raw materials, and each single-pattern rope 60 m or longer gets a middle mark; 40-80m options cost $140-390 MSRP.

It’s also the first Sterling offering with the Send Ready Coil. The brand said it will begin transitioning all its ropes to the (claimed) climbing-ready coil method.

Sam Anderson
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Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.