Review: Beal 5mm Back Up Line

The Beal 5mm Back Up line (tag line) is one of the ultimate weapons and backup tools for any Alpine or Trad Climber. I could see this being a great piece of equipment for the guiding community as well. Being ultra-static and soft to handle this thin cord is my new favourite tag line!


  • Weight: 21g/m
  • Length: 40m 50m 60m 70m (we tested 60m)
  • Middle Mark
  • Ultra-Static
  • Materials: Aramid / Polyamide
  • Resistance: 1200 kg


We used the Beal 5mm Line over the past few months running around Squamish and the local Alpine. With how compact and light weight this rope is, it mainly stayed in the bottom of my pack until descent time. There were several times I actually forgot the line was in my pack because of how light it is.

How to use it:

This is a tag line, not a rap line. It’s not designed to be rappelled or climbed on, not to mention no belay device (that I know of) is certified to be used with a 5mm line.

When using the 5mm Back Up Line you need to do a single rope rappel (on your primary rope) with a blocker system. Once you finish your rappel you can use the Beal 5mm Back Up Line to retrieve your rope

Hauling your day pack up in a Micro-Traction works great for hard multi pitch climbing. This will put some small wear on the line though.

The handling:

Considering this rope is 5mm it handles well. You definitely have to hold on tight when pulling it down, a wrap around the hand will do the trick. Probably a good idea to have a glove on when doing that though.

An illustration on the hand wrap I use when pulling the uber thin Beal Back-up line.

Surprisingly the 5mm Back-Up line is not stiff or ‘cordy’ feeling. This line feels softer and more supple than most 5mm cords you can buy off a spool.


How packable is the Beal 5mm Back Up Line? Well, if you’re ok with taking an extra 1L water bottle then you’re good to go! Beal made this line so light and packable that I wouldn’t hesitate to take this on any climb.

There is many different systems you can use in the alpine, but one I personally really like involves keeping the Back Up Line in the bottom of your pack as a 3 line. Because, if you get a rope stuck, you can still do Full length rappels (using blocker system). And If you run out of cord for anchors you can cut up the tag, not one of your lead ropes.

Beal 5mm Back Up Line and 1L water bottle to compare size


This line has help up over the past few months, some minor scuffs from hauling a full day pack on a micro traction (but expected because its such a thin rope). It stays soft feeling just like it was when we opened the package. For a 5mm line it held up as expected.


  • Light…Very Light
  • Packable
  • Static


  • Hard to pull down sometimes (Its thin and hard to hold)
  • Tag / Pull Line Only! No climbing or rapping on it. If want something that can be climbed on check out the Rap Line II


Yes, I would highly recommend this line to anyone who wants a light Back Up Tag line.


Beal gave us the 5mm Line to test but we write our reviews for fellow climbers….Straight up