Review Detail

Overall rating 
Type of Use 
Frequency of Use 
Ease of Use 

NE Rope Safety Blue braid, 1/2"

11/26/2007 - New England Safety Blue, 1/2" 16 strand

1/2", 16 strand NE Safety Blue braid (NE SBB) is among my oldest and newest climbing lines. Because if something works for me, I replace it. Safety Blue braid, in case you don't know, gets its name from the deep blue fibers in its core that immediately become starkly visible against the rope's outer covering if any real damage is done, such as cutting with a chain or hand saw.

Safety Blue is LIGHT.

Safety Blue knots well.

Safety Blue holds up to UV pretty well, considering mine is white. (You'd think the lighter the color the better for exposure, but it's actually the opposite - as a rule, darker is better for prolonged exposure to sunlight.)

Safety Blue is durable.

I used my original 105' NE SBB line for SRT, "Texas Style" with Petzl ascenders. I went up that same piece of rope nearly every day, twice a day, for 2 years. I climb mostly for the exercise and the love of it, so it was getting a lot of use, day and night, spring-summer-winter-fall. You'd think those ascenders would have killed that rope, but that same section is now part of my mobile climbing rig I carry in my truck. Even being outside in a tree for years, all that UV exposure didn't kill it. I purchased that rope back in 2002, so I am getting close to retiring it as a climbing line - but I haven't yet.

Any rope sheds some fuzz when descending using a figure '8'. This one, as it gets older, is now throwing off some dust, i.e. polyester fine particulates. Maybe as this line (or any line for that matter) gets used more and more, it might be a good idea to think about a mask to keep from inhaling the polyester dust.

I give it a 4, not a 5, for ease of use because, after having experience with a 12 strand line like Safety Pro, I feel that friction hitches like the Blakes require a little more care and attention with any 16 strand.

It's furred up a bit, and I can feel the difference betwixt my old and new NE SBB lines insofar as the old line is less "supple". But the old line still performs well and I'm currently using it as a lifeline for a removal right now. Good stuff. Hey NE Rope ... Thanks for making it great!




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