Top 7 Best Prusik Cord

While mostly for emergencies, a prusik cord is an invaluable addition to any climber’s harness. Using a simple prusik hitch, climbers can safely protect themselves from various dangers using the prusik cord while rappelling, without causing costly damage to your rope. Prusik cord is a lightweight and affordable way to ensure that you live to climb another day.

What’s the Best Prusik Cord?

While many prusiks are fairly indistinguishable from each other, there are some minor differences that can improve your overall user experience. While users should never have to test out the strength of the product as this should be done by the manufacturers so that users can comfortably rely on it, we have listened to customer reviews regarding ease of use, durability, and overall experience. The best prusik cord is the cord that you don’t have to think about, and that operates intuitively and effectively. After looking through the current marketplace, we came up with the following list.

1. GM Climbing 8mm (5/16″) Pre-Sewn Prusik Loop

PROS

Pre-sewn loop so you don’t need to bother with double fisherman’s knots,

Flexible enough to make knot tying easy,

Braided core and braided cover to make it super strong and durable,

CE and UIAA certified

CONS

Pre-sewn loops can be a little less versatile than other products

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Pre-sewn loop so you don’t need to bother with double fisherman’s knots, Flexible enough to make knot tying easy, Braided core and braided cover to make it super strong and durable, CE and UIAA certified

This pre-sewn prusik loop may look just like any other pre-sewn prusik loop, yet it is packed with subtle features that make using it easier. For example, the rope is supple and flexible, making it easy to bend and tie knots in – something that some other prusik cords can not do so easily. The braided exterior has been engineered to last a long time, and the overall construction is super resistant to moisture, which is helpful as a moist prusik cord does not grip nearly as well as a dry one. The heat-shrinking tube applied over the stitching makes it considerably stronger than a knotted prusik loop. It is affordable, durable, and everything you could need from a pre-sewn prusik loop and nothing more.

2. GM Climbing 6mm Prusik Cord Pre-Sewn

PROS

Budget-friendly option,

Pre-sewn ends ensure it is ready to use right away,

Heat-shrinking tube placed over the stitched ends for extra safety,

CE and UIAA certified

CONS

Not as versatile as un-sewn products

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Budget-friendly option, Pre-sewn ends ensure it is ready to use right away, Heat-shrinking tube placed over the stitched ends for extra safety, CE and UIAA certified

This budget-friendly pre-sewn cord is a little thinner than the 8mm cord from GM climbing featured above, which makes it great to use on thinner climbing ropes as it is less likely to slip under pressure. It essentially has all the features that the 8mm cord has, except it is not quite as strong as its thicker counterpart, and while in most situations this is not a problem, that little bit of extra assurance might just fuel the confidence you need in precarious situations.

3. ROPE Logic Ocean 8mm X 30″ G Spliced Eye & Eye Prusik Cord

PROS

High quality, premium product,

“Eye” loops on either end of the cord make this a versatile product with multiple uses aside from prusik hitches,

Extremely strong

CONS

Very thick in diameter – could slip on thinner ropes,

Expensive

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High quality, premium product, “Eye” loops on either end of the cord make this a versatile product with multiple uses aside from prusik hitches, Extremely strong

While this is a little more expensive than the pre-sewn prusik loops above (although still very reasonable in price), the eye loop design allows climbers to utilize this product in a plethora of different ways, besides just creating a prusik loop. For example, you could attach strong carabiners to either eye loop to use this as a long quickdraw, particularly effective on overhangs. The cord is quite thick, and while unlikely to slip under pressure, there is a higher chance than when using the 6mm cord featured above.

4. GM Climbing 8mm (5/16in) Prusik Cord

PROS

Excellent heat resistance (important because of rope friction),

Easy and intuitive design, complete with “eye” loops,

Large “eye” loops make adding thicker carabiners very easy

CONS

Thicker diameter is prone to slipping on thicker climbing ropes

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Excellent heat resistance (important because of rope friction), Easy and intuitive design, complete with “eye” loops, Large “eye” loops make adding thicker carabiners very easy

The GM climbing 8mm with eye loops is comparable to the Rope Logic Beeline and the Rope Logic Ocean cords, however, the larger eye loops make it easier to fit in larger carabiners. We particularly like the kevlar fiber which provides a high level of heat resistance, as prusik hitches create a lot of friction which can, over time, cause damage to the cord.

5. ROPE Logic Bee Line 10mm x 30″ G Spliced Eye & Eye Prusik Cord

PROS

“Eye” loops on either end open up a range of different uses,

Easy to use

CONS

Thick in diameter, so it is possible it could slip on thinner climbing ropes,

Eye loops are quite tight and can be difficult to fit carabiners through

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“Eye” loops on either end open up a range of different uses, Easy to use

This prusik cord is very comparable to the Rope Logic Ocean 8mm cord above, except it has a thicker diameter and smaller eye loops on either end of the rope. The thicker diameter does make it harder to tie into knots and more likely to slip, and the smaller eye loops can be difficult to squeeze larger carabiners through, however, the extra millimeters of thickness provide additional strength and durability to the product.

6. Ayamaya Prusik Cord Pre-Sewn Loop, 10mm

PROS

Available in multiple lengths,

Easy “eye” loop design, with a snug yet adjustable fit around thicker carabiners,

Comes with carry case

CONS

Very thick diameter which increases strength, but users should be careful when using as it is prone to slipping on thin climbing ropes

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Available in multiple lengths, Easy “eye” loop design, with a snug yet adjustable fit around thicker carabiners, Comes with carry case

The Ayamaya Prusik comes with a handy stuff sack, which may just seem like a gimmick, but climbers can always find a use for such things when it comes to organizing their gear before, during, and after their climbing days. The eye loops on the cord are quite unique too, in that they are small to snugly fit around equipment, but engineered in a way that they can open up to allow larger carabiners to squeeze in. While the product is extremely safe, both with stitching and a heat shrinking tube applied to a large area, it is not very flexible which makes it difficult to set up in some situations.

7. GM Climbing 8mm (5/16in) Accessory Cord

PROS

As the rope is not sewn, the product has a multitude of uses,

Can hold at least 19kn of force

CONS

You will have to measure, cut, and tie a prusik loop yourself

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As the rope is not sewn, the product has a multitude of uses, Can hold at least 19kn of force

The GM Climbing Accessory Cord is more of a DIY solution, as you will have to measure, cut, and tie the prusik loop yourself before you use it. This does open up a world of different uses for the cord, but a knotted loop is not as strong as a pre-sewn loop, and more susceptible to human error.

What You Should Know Before Buying Prusik Cord

Before purchasing a prusik cord, it is worth knowing exactly what it is used for, how to use it, and if it applies to any situation that you may find yourself in when working with ropes. For example, if you are solely a boulderer who never repels from the top of a route for cleaning and inspection, it might be difficult to imagine a use for prusik cord, and you might be better off investing in a literal tonne of climbing chalk instead. That being said, trad climbers, sports climbers, big wallers, and even window cleaners will all find a dedicated rope for prusik loops helpful when working with ropes.

best prusik cord

What is a Prusik Cord

While prusik loops have been used since their induction in the 1930s, dedicated products are a much newer thing. They consist of a thin but strong piece of rope that has been attached on either end, as this is required to make a prusik hitch. Traditionally, this was done by tying the ends together using a fisherman’s knot, however, several reputable climbing equipment manufacturers are producing a streamlined product that has been professionally sealed, usually in the form of a prusik loop. Other prusik cords have small loops or “eyes” on either end so that you can join them with a carabiner.

What is a Prusik Loop

A prusik loop is a construction that you can make by tying a loop in a thin piece of strong rope to create a prusik hitch.

What is a Prusik loop used for

A prusik loop can have many different functions, and not just for climbing but also mountaineering, kayaking, caving, canyoning, and even in some forms of gardening. It was originally used by Karl Prusik, hence the name, for ascending a rope, much like the modern-day rope ascenders that you can find today. They are, however, more frequently used for safely repelling by working as an emergency brake should you be knocked unconscious or distracted by falling debris, for example.

Prusik Cord Thickness

Most prusik cord is 5 – 8mm thick, however, you can also use a thicker cord, especially alongside thicker climbing ropes. This does provide less grip when using thinner ropes, so generally, it is best to opt for a thinner cord.

Prusik Rope Length

To make a prusik loop, you generally need between 1.2 and 1.5m of rope. This is not so much of an issue if you are buying a pre-sealed prusik loop, however, if you are tying your own, you need to ensure that you have enough rope to compensate for the fisherman’s knot that is holding it together as well as leaving enough space for you to tie a prusik hitch that works effectively

How to Tie a Prusik Hitch

First of all, in case your cord is not already in a loop, you should tie the ends together using a double fisherman’s knot. The video below describes how best to do this.

If your prusik cord has eye loops, you can attach these together using a carabiner and attach it to your harness, for example, if setting up a rappel brake.

Secondly, you will need to tie the prusik hitch by wrapping your prusik loop around the rope. A clear and accurate example can be seen by watching the video below.

Some of the products below have an “eye” loop on either end of the prusik cord instead of a prusik loop design. This is not standard practice when making your own prusik loop or prusik hitch but would be possible by tying a loop, such as a double-figure 8 knot, on either end of your cord and attaching them together with a carabiner. We would recommend the double fisherman’s knot method.

Pre-sewn Prusik

As previously mentioned, many reputable climbing equipment manufacturers are producing pre-sewn or pre-sealed prusik loops so that you do not have to measure out your cord and seal the loop yourself using the double fisherman’s knot. For a few examples of these best prusik cords we recommend, you can check out some of the products listed below.

We find that using a pre-sewn loop is our favorite method when setting up a prusik hitch, as you do not need to check that both eye loops are threaded correctly and because they are quick and easy to set up once you know how to tie a prusik hitch. We feel confident when using a slightly thicker diameter even though it is prone to slipping, as a small slip is definitely preferable to a broken cord, although both situations are extremely unlikely. For these reasons, we have chosen the GM Climbing 8mm pre-sewn prusik loop as our favorite and best prusik cord as it requires the least amount of thinking when setting up, and the malleable design makes it even easier to use.

How to tie a Prusik Knot?

A prusik knot is the same as a prusik hitch. Please see detailed instructions on how to tie one n this article.

How long should a Prusik loop be?

If you are tying a prusik loop yourself, use at least a meter of cord to compensate for the cord used to make the double fisherman’s knot that holds both ends together. A finished loop should be at least 40cm in length to ensure enough space to create a prusik hitch around your climbing rope. Alternative uses may require longer loops.

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