When crossing glaciers or scaling peaks without vertical ice, there's no need to carry 10mm or 11mm rope. That's because crevasse falls–your primary hazard in such situations–typically impart less stress on a rope than a freefall on a vertical face. That makes dynamic 8mm lines, which have gotten significantly stronger in recent years, an excellent alternative. This rope has the diameter of a Sharpie and only a fraction of the weight of thicker ropes.
"It was way less bulky in my pack on a winter trip in the Canadian Rockies–smaller than a bread loaf," said our tester. "Which left room for more layers and food." Bonus: It's one of the most affordable ropes around. Comes in 30-meter ($60) and 40-meter ($80) lengths. Pair it with a second lightweight rope to use at your local crag on short rock and ice routes. 3 lbs.; edelweiss-ropes.com