I'm new to rope-climbing, I have made some slings to use as false-crotches/cambium-savers/friction-savers that act as my "canopy anchor" when climbing. These were all made with lengths of my 11.7 mm climbing rope (anchor-knotted at the ends to aluminium O-rings)

But then I noticed an auto-lifting sling: 2" flat webbing with 6k break-strength / 2ton working-load; each end of this 7' sling has sewn eye terminations. I am thinking that 'choking' (girth hitching) this sling around a natural crotch in a tree would be significantly superior to comparably-rated rope, due to the shape advantage of being flat instead of round. I just wanted to verify that I'm on-point before I start messing-around climbing it. lol ;D

(FWIW I'd treat it like anything when using it, starting very low & slow to feel it out!)

  • @Erik, that's probably not 6 kN, as the working load weighs more than that. As to what "6k" actually means: who knows? Jul 2, 2019 at 15:38
  • @toby good point.
    – Erik
    Jul 2, 2019 at 17:12
  • 2
    Never use gear that isn't rated for climbing. It simply isn't worth the risk. If one of my climbing partners was cutting corners like this, I would stop climbing with them.
    – Qudit
    Jul 2, 2019 at 17:18
  • The break strength should be around 3 times the working load, so 6000kg break, 2000kg working would make sense.
    – Separatrix
    Jul 5, 2019 at 8:12

3 Answers 3


I think this falls into that grey area where you shouldn't do it but it probably won't cause problems if you really want to use it.

I personally wouldn't use it. There's so much quality climbing gear out there and slings are cheap. We're far beyond the time when Royal Robbins hammered lumber into cracks for fall protection. In my opinion the apparent advantage of saving less than $20 by using likely maltreated car repair equipment isn't worth the risk.

Some cheap alternatives include a 48 inch rabbit runner for $7 or tubular webbing sold for 50¢ or less by the foot.


My only concerns would be around its tear resistance (in case of rubbing against a sharp bit of the tree) and bend radius. If those are appropriate, then it should work as a sling.

Be aware that it will have no elasticity, so you'll still want to build in whatever "give" you need, but a short sling of any kind won't give much either.


I am not a climber.

These should work in the sense that they are unlikely to fail. But be sure you understand both the original purpose and the history of the sling:

A: Some emergency stuff -- tow straps come to mind -- aren't designed for long term use.

B: Some gear is not well stabilized for UV resistance. Their normal cycle may be to be used hard for a month and discarded. (Think sling used in a wrecking yard.)

C: Some gear may have been exposed to chemicals that affect the strength or flexibility of the fibres. (Uncommon)

I've seen some awfully ratty 4" wide tie down straps used on semi-trailers. They don't lose loads that often.

There is no weight criteria on auto lifting slings. Your gear is going to weigh more than gear designed for climbing. Analogy: You'd be using steel carabiners instead of aluminum. Still work. But a heavier slog to the mountain.

If you are using the sling as a component to making your own gear, be sure you really learn how to do the sewing, and are using the right thread.

One way to safely use sling webbing would be to either sew it into a tube, or sew straps across the width. You could then run your rope through the tube/ under the straps to keep the pad between the rope and the rocks/tree.

  • 1
    I think you've just described a (heavy) rope-protector. I find the bought ones aren't expensive enough to be worth making my own... Jul 3, 2019 at 15:09

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