Edelrid and Mammut were the first two companies to take extra measures to ensure their slings were bluesign® certified. They worked closely with bluesign® to create certified ropes and slings. bluesign® is the strictest chemicals management company there is – they trace the entire supply chain, from the source materials, dying, construction, etc. They have a list of restricted chemicals, and measure and look for improvements in water usage, waste management, employee safety, and more.

Modern lightweight climbing slings are a combination of nylon and Dyneema® or Dyneema-like materials. Bluesign certified® slings are unique in the climbing industry, and would be much harder to certify today as bluesign® has changed their partnership requirements over the years. Currently, the company that makes Dyneema®, DSM is not a bluesign® SYSTEM PARTNER, and Dyneema is not officially a bluesign® APPROVED material. These facts would make it very hard to gain the bluesign® PRODUCT label today.

Right now, Edelrid and Mammut ensure that the Dyneema® yarn still conforms with all bluesign® requirements that were set and agreed upon with bluesign®. It is not standard for a climbing company to be in charge of checking compliance and this is brought up during each yearly audit. Hopefully, someday soon, bluesign® will officially partner with DSM and other yarn companies to create more bluesign® APPROVED materials. Until then, the options will be limited.

It’s worth noting that Edelrid and Mammut slings use bluesign® certified polyamide thread for the stitching and the product label is certified too.

Bluesign certified Edelrid Slings

Edelrid 8mm Dyneema Sling

8mm Dyneema® Sling

Available in these sizes: 30cm, 60cm, 90cm, 120cm, 180cm, 240cm

This 8mm sling is mostly made of Dyneema®. It is very strong, but its stretch is limited compared to a fully nylon sling. The biggest benefit is it’s super light. Since it’s so skinny it’s durability for abrasion will be lower.

Edelrid 11mm Dyneema

11mm Dyneema® sling

Available in these sizes: 60cm, 90cm, 120cm

11mm seems to be one of the most common sling widths as it tends to last longer than the 8mm slings and can still be lightweight, especially when it’s mostly made of Dyneema®.

Edelrid 12mm Tech Web Sling

12mm Tech Web sling

Available in these sizes: 30cm, 60cm, 90cm, 120cm, 180cm, 240cm

This Tech Web sling has a Dyneema® core and a Nylon sheath to protect it. The Nylon helps with abrasion and the Dyneema® core keeps it light.

Edelrid 16mm Tubular Sling

16mm Tubular sling

Available in these sizes: 30cm, 60cm, 90cm, 120cm, 240cm

This is the most robust and abrasion resistant sling that Edelrid makes. The downside is that this width can sometimes get caught when it doubles over a carabiner because it’s wider than the carabiner basket.

Note: Not every Edelrid sling is bluesign® certified. Edelrid’s Aramid Cord sling is not certified.

Bluesign certified Mammut slings

Mammut 8mm Contact Sling

Contact Sling 8.0

Available in these sizes: 30cm, 60cm, 120cm, 240cm

8mm slings look skinny and like they couldn’t hold much, but they are approved to the same standards as the wider slings. These skinny slings are great for alpine draws, big wall climbing, or anywhere where weight is the top prioirty. The longer lengths, like 240 cm are great for anchors as the weight of an 8mm 240 cm is almost the same as 90cm of 16mm webbing.

Mammut’s Contact Sling 8.0 is Available at REI

Mammut 16mm Tubular Sling

Tubular Sling 16.0

Available in these sizes: 60cm, 120cm

The 16mm Tubular Sling is a wider diameter for more durability. This sling is known to be stiffer than many other slings out there, which could be a pro or a con depending on your use (it holds its shape very well).

The 7 Most Sustainable Climbing Slings 1

Belay Sling 19.0

Available in these sizes: 65cm, 90cm

Mammut’s self belay sling is for belaying at the anchor. Girth hitch one end to your belay loop, attach the other end to your anchor, and belay from the middle loop. It’s patented design means its one of a kind!

Mammut Magic Slings and the Alpine Trad sling are not bluesign® certified.

Why aren’t their more sustainable slings?

The biggest challenge holding up more certified slings is that there is only one bluesign® certified yarn – polyamide. Polyamide is certified specifically because Edelrid and Mammut pushed bluesign® to certify it years ago. The plan was to certify more yarns, like Dyneema®, but that hasn’t happened yet. Possibly this is due to lack of demand from other climbing brands, possibly it’s due to bluesign® finding more lucrative markets, possibly it’s because bluesign® is shifting to other industries that would have a bigger world-wide impact (can you imagine the impact if all clothing and bedsheets were bluesign® certified?!).

What you can do to help

  • Ask brands if their gear is bluesign® certified. If not, ask if they are in the process to make it bluesign® certified
  • Ask retailers why they are not carrying some/more bluesign® certified products
  • Ask what other sustainability measures brands are taking during the manufacturing process
  • Ask if the brand tracks wages in all of their factory or has any other fair labor standards in place
  • Ask how the brand is giving back to the community it is in (as an industry and as a local)

Back to Talking About Slings…

Can’t decide which sling width is best?

Buying slings online can be tough get get a sense of the size. Below is a general look of how the sizes compare. We go over a TON more details about how to choose the best sling width in this Sling Width Post.

sling width comparison with hand

Curious about material types?

Nylon versus Dyneema®? Below we’re listing an overview but you can dive into way more details in this Sling Materials post.

Nylon (polyamide)

Pros

  • cheaper
  • colorful
  • stretchier (more dynamic during falls = less impact)
  • easier to untie [weighted] knots
  • can buy in any length from spools

Cons

  • bulkier
  • heavier

Best Use

  • anchors
  • sport quickdraws
  • repetitive fall situations

 

Dyneema / Spectra / Dynex / UHMWP (mostly all the same thing)

Pros

  • higher strength to weight ratio
  • absorbs less water
  • easier to rack/extend
  • lighter, thinner, more pliable
  • more abrasion resistant
  • more resistant to UV rays
  • easier to rack/extend

Cons

  • expensive
  • minimal stretch to reduce fall impact
  • lower melting point
  • knots reduce strength
  • knots are difficult to untie

Best Use

  • alpine draws
  • when weight/low bulk really matters

 

See every sling and filter on features like bluesign®, sling width, and material type at WeighMyRack.com/sling

This post is sponsored by REI as part of an Educational / Sustainability Series. This sponsorship means if there are specific products mentioned in the post, we’ll link them to REI’s product pages when possible. Also, if there is a relevant sale period, we'll talk about that too. All words are solely the authors and have in no way been altered because of the sponsored nature of the post.

Other sponsored posts you may find interesting:

  • Sustainable Climbing Ropes
  • Sustainable Climbing Shoes
  • Sustainable Climbing Slings
  • Sustainable Climbing Harnesses


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