battle rope sizes

What Size (Length & Thickness) Battle Rope Should I Get?

April 29, 2021 1 Comment

Battle ropes may seem like a simple, straight forward piece of training equipment, but there are actually some important nuances to consider when buying one. Battle ropes come in different sizes (lengths and thickness) and materials. The length, thickness and material you choose for a battle rope will depend on your workout space, training goals, fitness level and overall stature. 

All in all, battle ropes are an awesome training tool that will last you a very long time, so if you get it right the first time, you won’t ever have to think about buying one again.

In this battle rope buying guide, you will learn everything you need to know about battle rope sizing and materials so you can get the right battle rope for your gym or home workout space. 

battle rope length

WHAT ARE BATTLE ROPES?

A battle rope is a long, thick, heavy rope that is held with one side in each hand by doubling it over with an anchor point at its middle. The length and thickness of the rope gives it considerable resistance and movability, allowing trainees to whip (undulate) the rope independently of each arm for the purpose of strength and conditioning.

Battle ropes are also known as known as battling ropes, heavy ropes and CrossFit ropes.

Battle ropes generally come in lengths of 30, 40 and 50 feet and thickness of 1.5, 2, and 2.5 inches. Remember, since battle ropes are anchored at the middle to be doubled over, a 50 foot battle rope will have approximately 25 feet of rope in each hand, which means you need around 30 feet of space to use it. 

While this training tool is very mainstream (you’ve probably seen it at every gym you’ve been to), it actually hasn’t been around for that long.

The battle rope was invented in 2006 by a well-established trainer by the name of John Brookfield.  Brookfield introduced his newly developed training concept to the Special Forces, Cincinnati Bengals and US Olympic Wrestling team soon after and it was quickly realized for its effectiveness on conditioning. It didn’t take long before battle ropes were in nearly every gym across the US, and ultimately, the world.

Battle ropes provide efficient, effective, low-impact workouts for improving explosive power, burning fat, increasing endurance, improving balance & coordination, and even building muscle. Battle rope workouts are typically high intensity, so the training is not for the faint of heart.

Read more about the benefits of battle ropes.

Besides the physical and health benefits that battle ropes can offer, we personally love them at SET FOR SET because the workouts never get boring (there’s so much you can do with battle ropes!). Moreover, they are relatively inexpensive, they are awesome for outdoor workouts, and they are suitable for any fitness level (you control the intensity!).

It’s safe to assume that since you are reading this, you are interested in buying a battle rope, so you don’t need to be sold on their effectiveness. However, if you aren’t sure if battle rope training is right for you, hit your local gym, which most likely has a battle rope, and give it a try. If you like it, get one for your home because they make for fantastic cardio, HIIT & conditioning training at home.

If you are ready to buy a battle rope, you probably have a couple important questions in mind about sizing (length and thickness) and materials. We are hear with the answers you need.

Let’s quickly go over the different sizes and materials of battle ropes...

battle rope thickness

Battle Ropes Sizes & Materials

Battle Rope Lengths:

  • 30 feet
  • 40 feet
  • 50 feet

Battle Rope Thickness (Diameter):

  • 1.5 inch
  • 2 inch
  • 2.5 inch

Materials:

  • Synthetic Fiber Rope (polyester, polypropylene, Dacron, Nylon)
  • Natural Fiber Rope (Manila, Sisal)

We will discuss the material and which sizes are best in-depth further below.

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A BATTLE ROPE?

There are a few things you need to consider before buying a battle rope because it will help you determine which size battle rope you should get.

Here are some important questions:

  • Do you want to use the battle rope to lose fat, increase endurance, improve your cardio, build muscle, or all of the above? This relates to the thickness of the battle rope.
  • Do you have small hands, are you of average size, or are you a mammoth of a human? This also relates to the thickness of the battle rope.
  • How much workout space do you have? This relates to the length of the battle rope.
  • Where will you use your battle rope? This relates to the material of the battle rope.

The length, thickness and material of a battle rope will be easy to decide on if you know the answers to the above questions.

We will now go through the different battle rope lengths, thicknesses, and materials with the above points in mind.

battle rope size guide

BATTLE ROPE LENGTH

The typical length of battle ropes are 30, 40, and 50 feet.

You can find them as short as 10 feet, but this short of a size will not allow you to use battle ropes as they were truly intended  - creating undulations down the rope.

While a 30, 40 and 50 foot battle rope may seem very long, remember that it will be wrapped around an anchor point so it makes two ends.

This means a 30 foot battle rope will be 15 feet in each hand, a 40 foot battle rope will be 20 feet in each hand, and a 50 foot rope will be 25 feet in each hand.

Give yourself an extra 5 feet of “elbow room” and that’s all you need for your workout space.

So, if you get a 50 foot battle rope, you should have around 30 feet of workout space.

What length battle rope should I get?

Deciding on what length battle rope to get is easy if you just consider what workout space you have. But assuming space isn’t an issue, we always recommend a 50 foot battle rope.

A 50 foot battle rope is the most popular and effective size for battle ropes because the longer the rope, the more fluid and versatile it will be.

Shorter ropes have less fluidity, which causes a form of recoil to get sent back to you before the force you create on the rope reaches the anchor point. With thicker shorter ropes, this effect is only compounded.

Another great thing about longer battle ropes is they weigh more, which will require you to create greater force to move the rope and create undulations. Essentially, this means they are harder to use because they have more resistance. It also makes them more unpredictable and unstable, which further increases difficulty. 

All in all, battle ropes are meant to be used in a fluid manner, so the longer it is, the better and more effective it will be.

If you are concerned about how much space you have, the good thing is you can use them outside so you really don’t have to limit yourself. You could also use them in your garage, opening up your garage door and pulling them from an anchor point inside your garage into your driveway.

To sum it up, get a 50 foot rope if you can, especially if you are already in good shape. A 40 foot rope works pretty good too, and even more so if you are a shorter and somewhat weaker. And if you really only have space for a 30 foot battle rope, then it’s better than nothing. You can still create shorter undulations effectively. Anything shorter than a 30 foot battle rope and you might as well consider a different training implement for power and conditioning workouts.

NOTE: If you own a gym, get a 50 foot battle rope. 40 foot would be ok too, but a 30 foot battle rope for a gym is like only have dumbbells that range from 5-25lbs.

Battle rope weight

BATTLE ROPE THICKNESS

The most common diameters for battle ropes are 1.5” and 2”, however, you may be able to find them as thick as 2.5”.

The thickness of the rope may seem trivial, but it actually makes a big difference. A half an inch will considerably impact your workout, so you need to consider your goals. You also need to take your stature and strength into consideration.

Thicker battle ropes have more weight, which makes them more difficult to use.

A 1.5 inch 30 foot battle rope will weigh around 16-18lbs, a 1.5 inch 40 foot battle rope will weigh around 22-24lbs, and a 1.5 inch 50 foot battle rope will weight around 27-29lbs.

A 2 inch 30 foot battle rope will weigh around 27-30lbs, a 2 inch 40 foot battle rope will weigh around 37-40lbs, and a 2 inch 50 foot battle rope will weight around 47-50lbs.

Heavier ropes are best for quick, intense workouts. They are good for building muscle and explosive strength.

Lighter ropes are best for conditioning, like cardio, endurance and HIIT based workouts.

Depending on your hand size, grip strength and overall stature, what is considered thick will differ. For example, for a smaller person, a 2 inch rope will be very thick. However, for a larger person with big hands, the 2 inch rope will be kind of a happy medium for both strength and conditioning.

To make things clear, lets go over a quick “who should buy?” For each size.

1.5 inch battle rope: No matter how big you are, you should buy a 1.5” battle rope if you want to use it for cardio finishers, HIIT, and circuit training. The thinner rope allows you to have a firm grip that can sustain longer sets at high intensity. With a 1.5 inch grip, men and women will be able to wrap their entire hand over the ends of the rope.

2 inch battle rope: If you have large hands and a strong grip that you want to become even stronger, and you plan on using your battle ropes for short, intense sets to build muscle and explosive power, then a 2 inch battle rope will be good. Only men with extremely large hands will be able to completely wrap their hands around a 2” battle rope.

2.5 inch battle rope: Honestly, only massive humans will find a 2.5” battle rope useful. They are just too thick and heavy for the vast, vast majority of people to use effectively. Even guys who you think they are beasts will probably not be able to use a 2.5” rope productively. It’s just so difficult to grip and it's too heavy to create sustainable undulations. So, unless you are like Thor (or Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson), don’t even think about a 2.5 inch battle rope, you’ll be wasting your money.

How thick of a battle rope should I get?

Just as we always recommend a 50 foot battle rope, we always recommend a 1.5 inch battle rope. It’s simply more versatile. This applies to pretty much everybody, especially beginners (both big and strong or small and weak).

If you are experienced with battle ropes and you want to really challenge your strength and grip, go for a 2 inch battle rope. But remember the following...

Thick ropes carry more weight, which makes them harder to use in all the various ways battle ropes are intended, and they are much more difficult to grip. They are better for slams in short bursts and waves. Even the strongest and fittest people won't be able to do multiple sets for more than 30 seconds with a 2” battle rope. Half an inch may not seem like a lot, but it makes the rope a whole 35% thicker and heavier.

We much prefer the 1.5” battle rope, even as strong and fit men, because you can use the battle ropes in all the best and most fun ways - waves, slams, whips, crossovers, circles, etc.

So, at this point, we have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of people should get a longer rope (50 feet or at least 40 feet) and a 1.5” inch diameter battle rope...but what about material?

battle rope material

BATTLE ROPE MATERIAL

When discussing material, we are essentially talking about durability. There are two main types of materials used, manila and poly Dacron, but poly Dacron can be cheap or high quality depending on the blend.

You can find battle ropes made from other materials, but the market mainly comprises battle ropes made of poly Dacron, so we won’t even bother discussing the others as you probably won’t be able to find them available for sale.

Let’s first talk about manila ropes...

Manila is a type of plant from the Philippines that has very strong hemp fibers. Therefore, manila battle ropes are all-natural. Some people are drawn to this fact.

Manila was the go-to choice for battle ropes before synthetic fibers came to the battle rope scene.

There are some pros and cons to manila battle ropes.

The advantage manila ropes have is they are organic and environmentally friendly. They also provide great fluidity and have excellent resistance to the sun's UV rays. Overall, the cool thing about manila ropes is they have a unique raw look because they are made from a plant!

The main disadvantages of manila battle ropes are the fibers shed, they can get water logged if left outdoors in the rain (which can make them moldy), and they are around 10-25 percent more expensive than poly Dacron. If you are using your battle ropes outside, shedding of fibers is not an issue, but if you plan on using your battle rope indoors, cleaning up fibers all the time is a pain in the butt. Poly Dacron battle ropes will not shed at all.

So, unless you are a big proponent of using organic material and you want to use your battle ropes only outside, then skip manila battle ropes and go for poly Dacron battle ropes.

Now, let’s talk about poly Dacron (aka Polydac) battle ropes...

Poly Dacron is made from two types of synthetic fibers - polypropylene and Dacron plastic. The synthetic fibers are braided into strands, using Dacron to provide strength in the outer braid. The polypropylene core keeps the rope lighter (a perfect weight) and allows for flexibility since this type of fiber is very flexible. Moreover, both polypropylene and Dacron are resistance to rot, water, oil and most chemicals. 

The advantage of polydac battle ropes are they don’t shed, they are more economical, and they are way more resistant to abrasive surfaces and water. So, they can be used indoor and outdoor to great effect.

The only real con of polydac ropes is it can be hard to know if it is cheap polydac or high quality polydac...yes, not all polydac ropes are created equal.

So, what is the issue with cheap polydac and how to tell the difference?

Well, the issue with cheap polydac battle ropes is they are less fluid and they feel more fibrous. This is obviously not ideal.

It would be nice if sellers told you whether it is cheap or high quality polydac, but they obviously don’t. The only way to tell before actually buying and feeling and using the battle rope is to consider the price and read the reviews. If the price is quite inexpensive, presumably it is cheap polydac. But even if the price is not inexpensive, check reviews. This is why we like buying battle ropes on Amazon, because you know the reviews are authentic, as Amazon cracks down on fake reviews. Read through the reviews and you will find out what you need to know (but take people’s reviews with a little grain of salt, as some people can be, well, a little bit salty). Overall, the more positive reviews, the better.

Note: Even good polydac battle ropes will feel a little stiff when you first pull them out of the box. However, after a few workout sessions, they will be broken in and feel very fluid (so long as it’s good polydac).

What type of material is best for battle ropes?

Just get a polydac battle rope. Keep things simple. You won’t have to worry about shedding, it’s more price friendly, and they will last you a very long time without any concern of rot, water logging, etc. It’s the most durable and best option for battle ropes.

Remember, just check reviews to make sure the battle ropes are not made from cheap polydac.

Of course, if you have your mind set on manila battle ropes, go for it. They are cool, you just need to treat them with more care and clean up shedding. Rogue has a nice manila battle rope.

battle rope price

SUMMARY ON WHAT BATTLE ROPE TO BUY

The all-around best choice for a battle rope is a 50 foot, 1.5” polydac battle rope. This kind of battle rope will allow you to do everything imaginable with a battle rope and in the most effective manner. Moreover, it’ll last you a very, very long time.

For those who are experienced with battle ropes, have a bigger stature, and want to build grip strength and focus on maximizing muscular hypertrophy, a 2 inch rope may be good for you.

For gym owners, stock your gym with a 50 foot, 1.5 inch polydac battle rope. You don’t even need to think about anything else, this is the size and material you want.

If you are truly limited on space, try to get at least a 40 foot rope. A 40 foot rope is actually perfectly fine, it’s just not as good as a 50 foot rope.

BATTLE ROPE PRICE

  • 30 Foot, 1.5 inch Polydac Battle Rope - $45-$100 (most are around $50)
  • 40 Foot, 1.5 inch Polydac Battle Rope - $65-$110 (average is around $70)
  • 50 Foot, 1.5 inch Polydac Battle Rope - $80-$150 (expect to pay over $120 for a good quality battle rope)
  • 30 Foot, 2 inch Polydac Battle Rope - $80-$150
  • 40 Foot, 2 inch Polydac Battle Rope - $100-$150+
  • 50 Foot, 2 inch Polydac Battle Rope - $100-$200

You’ll notice the price ranges are pretty large. It’s not to say that the less expensive battle ropes are poor quality, but it is an indication of lower quality. Definitely read many reviews if you are planning on saving money by going with a cheaper option. It’s better to spend more to have a high quality battle rope.

Manila Battle Rope Price - There aren’t too many options on the market, but to give you an idea, Rogue sells a 50 foot 1.5 inch manila battle rope for $125. The only manila ropes you’ll find on Amazon are for tug of war or climbing.

It should be noted that 2” battle ropes are not as commonly produced as 1.5” battle ropes because 1.5" ropes are in the most demand. So, you will have less options to choose from for 2 inch battle ropes, and if you want 2.5” battle ropes because you are superhuman, then you will be extremely limited.

what size battle rope should I get

FAQs About Buying Battle Ropes:

Do I need a protective cover for my battle rope?

Protective sleeves are not necessary at all. It’s a way to sell battle rope for a greater price at only a little additional cost to the seller. Even though most protective covers are made from nylon, they don’t really add value in terms of durability as polydac is already resistant and durable enough. The only thing they do is protect the rope from getting dirty as a flat nylon cover is easier to clean. But do you really care if your battle rope is dirty? It’s meant to be used and abused and you won’t even be touching anything but the sheathed handles of a battle rope anyway.

How to anchor a battle rope?

While most sellers have battle ropes that come with an anchor, they aren’t that necessary. You can anchor your battle rope to anything sturdy, like a pole or even a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell.

If you train outside, a lot of people use a tree. If the tree is thick or you are worried about wearing down the battle rope, tie a chain around the tree and then anchor the battle rope to the chain.

Just try to keep the anchor point as low as possible.

Should I get 1.5 or 2 inch battle rope?

If you are new to battle rope training or you simply want the most versatile size, get a 1.5” battle rope. If you are experienced with battle ropes or you are a large, strong individual, a 2 inch rope can be good. Overall though, if you have any doubt, get a 1.5 inch battle rope. You simply can’t go wrong with a 1.5 inch battle rope, but you can with a 2 inch battle rope.

Should I get a 30, 40 or 50 foot battle rope?

The best option is a 50 foot battle rope, but if you are limited in space, get a shorter battle rope, but don’t bother with anything less than 30 feet. All in all, the longer the rope, the better, so always go for longer.

How much do battle ropes weigh?

A 1.5 inch 30 foot battle rope will weigh around 16-18lbs, a 1.5 inch 40 foot battle rope will weigh around 22-24lbs, and a 1.5 inch 50 foot battle rope will weight around 27-29lbs.

A 2 inch 30 foot battle rope will weigh around 27-30lbs, a 2 inch 40 foot battle rope will weigh around 37-40lbs, and a 2 inch 50 foot battle rope will weight around 47-50lbs.

These are estimates that may vary seller to seller.

Related: How to Use Battle Ropes - 20 Best Battle Rope Exercises & Workouts

should i get a 1.5 or 2 inch battle rope

WHERE TO BUY BATTLE ROPES?

Battle ropes are not really a speciality product that only certain brands do right. Anyone can sell a good battle rope as long as they take time to source from a good manufacturer.

Besides Rogue, the vast majority of battle rope sellers are sourcing from China (safe to say all Amazon sellers are sourcing from China).

Now, this doesn’t mean that all battle ropes are equal quality. Manufacturers in China vary in the quality they produce. So, focus on the price and reviews rather than the brand.

Here are some good, economical options on Amazon:



1 Response

GP
GP

May 24, 2021

Great review, Thanks for the detailed specs and recommendation.
Super helpful to choose the right equipment!

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