It seems that you should be able to recycle nylon slings, just like you can recycle nylon climbing ropes. The difference is that slings are rarely made entirely out of nylon. Most slings are made with a combination of nylon and Dyneema® (or Dyneema®-like material) the latter, which is not recyclable. We are currently unaware of any recycling options for slings. Most manufacturers customer service folks are lost at this question, but they might help you brainstorm upcycling options. 

CAMP mentioned it’s possible that CHaRM recycling in Boulder might take them, as they take textiles but CHaRM doesn’t answer recycling questions over the phone so we’ve yet to confirm this option. Or, if you’re abroad in the UK, you could contact Green Peak Gear.

Upcycle Sling Options

To use as inspiration for your own creative ideas. At a minimum, there’s no need to throw them in the garbage!

Hang gear for easy transport

Sling to hold gear

The majority of climbers have used a sling to hold gear at some point. When we started out, we even used a new sling to do this (no longer!).

This is one the easiest and no-nonsense ways to store gear. Personally, we store our gear on multiple slings. We have the sport rack, trad rack, doubles rack, and the extra/miscellaneous gear rack. I like to double up a single sling so it’s not quite as long.

Protip: If your sling is long, you can also add knots and section it out, like a daisy chain.


Gear sling while climbing

Some people use slings over their shoulders, this is similar, but allows you to hold gear as you climb. The downside of this option versus a more official gear sling is the lack of padding.

Or, use as a gear sling while at a hanging belay or bivy to store gear securely.

Chalk Bag Belt

Your chalk bag didn’t come with a belt? Or your wimpy string belt broke? Here’s an option to upgrade!

Hang Non-Climbing Gear for Storage

Great for hanging kayaks or canoes in the rafters or to hold fat tire bikes on hooks in the garage.

Aid in Hanging a Planter

Petzl Helmet holder
A sling pairs so nicely with a helmet for added length! This photo is from m.hilger who spied it in the background of a Petzl video.

Does your potted beauty want to be free, swinging in the breeze? Perhaps it’s time for an upgrade from a sitting plant to a hanging plant. Plus, you’ll know if any climbers enter your house because they’ll surely notice and comment.

Weave into a Bag

This would be one burly bag! We heard this suggestion from our Instagram feed. We’re not sure what type of bag, but Dyneema® in particular would be hard to sew. That’s probably why the suggestion was to weave. We’re still waiting for photos!

Camera Sling

Back in the day, Andreas cut one of our slings for use as his Canon camera strap. I still lament this slings exit from the climbing world to the camera world. Best for retired slings, so there’s no remorse. 

For the record, it was one of our oldest slings, just not at retirement age yet. 

Water Bottle Holder

Normally we’re not fans of dangly items, but sometimes a holster can come in handy for multi-pitch, backpacking, or anywhere, really. We’ve turned many an old webbing sling into a water bottle holder with the assistance of a bit of duct tape.

Pro tip: for gatorade bottles tie it where the indent is for additional security.

With a bottle leash It’s easier to fill water from the middle of an alpine stream. And it can make it easier to carry back to basecamp if you had a lot of bottles to fill.

A slung bottle can also help keep your gear in the “vehicle” if your rafting or tubing.

sling and soda plus cigs
Stay classy San Francisco. This photo and other multi-pitch drink sling photos found via Mountain Project.

Cat Toys

Dyneema® slings could provide a robust scratching post material, just don’t make it too taught (it’ll reduce the breaking strength of sharp claws). Or, it could act as string to hold feathers or other cat toy options. The Dyneema® (or Spectra or Dynex, etc)  in particular would be good for holding dangling toys as the loose but strong sling would be unlikely to break with sharp claws. 

Short Dog Lead or Harness

When you’re training a dog to walk by your side, a short leach is helpful. This is where your sling could come in handy.

If your savvy you could also make your dog a harness and save $20-60.

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

  • And if you need new gear, you can possible save some bucks at REI
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