Tree Climbing Fliplines and Lanyards

Tree climbing lanyards are a critical part of your kit. A flipline is a special type of lanyard made from braided arborist rope over steel wire cable. This makes it more rigid and easier to flip up the tree - especially on larger stems. Lanyards without a wire-core are lighter and ideal for line clearance workers to avoid the conductivity of steel wire. Extra-long lanyards can also be used as a short MRS climbing system in the canopy. Contact us if you need help selecting.

Looking for more fliplines or lanyards?

With the best wire-core fliplines in the business and our in-house splicing shop making rope lanyards, we have a giant selection for you to browse. Please contact our customer service team if we may help find something for you, or you would like to make a custom lanyard.

Climb Right Wire-Core Fliplines

Quality wire-core fliplines from Climb Right, with double-crimped terminations & ANSI-approved locking steel swivel snaps. Flipline kits available.

Maxi-Flip Wire Core Fliplines

The highest-quality flipline we sell. Maxi-Flips have Free Flex Flemish eye splices for the safest possible end termination. Flipline kits available.

Microflip Wire Core Flipline

Petzl's steel cable-reinforced flipline with the Micrograb pre-installed and eye for use with your favorite auto-locking carabiner.

Work-Positioning Lanyards

Ideal for work-positioning in the canopy, spur climbing when a conductive flipline can't be used, or when a lighter lanyard is wanted. Lanyard kits available.

2-in-1 Fliplines & Lanyards

2-in-1 fliplines used with a prusik or 2-way adjuster allow the tree climber to use both ends of the flipline to climb past branches while remaining secured.

Mechanical Flipline Adjusters

These rope grabs offer reliable, consistent adjustment for fliplines & lanyards.

Adjuster Kits for Fliplines & Lanyards

Flipline adjuster or prusik & pulley with an appropriate double-locking carabiner. Makes it easy to grab what you need to adjust your flipline of choice.

Hip Prusiks

Hip prusiks allow adjustment of fliplines or lanyards. Combined with a micro-pulley, they can be used for one-handed adjustment, even under tension.

Lanyard Management

Clips, keepers, and pouches for managing lanyards on your harness.

Guide to Fliplines, Lanyards, and Adjusters in Tree Climbing

We've helped thousands of tree climbers pick the right flipline or lanyard for their job. This extensive video guide from our in-house trainer, Dave Stice (aka Niceguydave), gives a thorough overview fliplines and lanyards in tree climbng. The goal is not to push a certain product or brand, but to help understand the types and categories of fliplines, lanyards, and adjusters. Dave covers the pros and cons, and demonstrates use in the tree.

There are many lanyard options available in arborist work. Some have been in use for many, many years, but there are also some recent innovations in tree climbing gear.

Wire Core Fliplines / Lanyards

Wire core fliplines are a tree climbing lanyard most are familiar with. You may also hear them called lanyards, work positioning belts, or steel-core flipline. Wire-core fliplines have a central body made of braided steel wire, covered with 16-strand or 12-strand textile rope jacket. This wire gives the lanyard rigidity, and helps the tree climber ‘flip’ the lanyard up the tree - thus, ‘flpline’. Some fliplines like Yale’s Maxi-Flip form the eye holding your rope clip by splicing the wire back on itself. Others, such as Climb Right, use a machine-press swage to secure the cable and form the eye. In all types of wire-core fliplines, the steel cable provides strength and rigidity, and the rope covering makes it easier to handle.

Rope Lanyards

Rope Lanyards allow a tree climber to position in the tree in much the same way as a flipline, with some key differences. Without a wire core, it is not as easy to ‘flip’. While not as rigid, they are lighter and easier to stow when not in use. A rope lanyard is easily adjusted with a prusik and micro pulley, or appropriate flipline adjuster. There are also situations, such as when climbing near powered lines, when a wire-core flipline can’t be used, and a rope positioning lanyard is the only choice.

A very long rope lanyard (25 feet or more) can be used as a short Moving Rope System in the tree. There are lanyard systems like the Chinook or HipSTAR which open up advanced work-positioning options thanks to a long length and additional prusiks or pulleys.

Flipline / Lanyard Diameter

Common sizes for lanyards are 1/2" (12-13mm), 5/8" (16mm) and 3/4" (18-19mm). A lot of folks prefer the 5/8" and 3/4" sizes because a larger diameter is easy to grip. This makes it less fatiguing over the course of a long day on your spikes. There are some sport lanyards that are as small as 11mm (7/16"), that are lighter weight and trimmer, but they're going to be more fatiguing on your hands. This won't be as noticeable on smaller-diameter stems.

When you do get into large trunks it's all forearms, so having something that's easier to grip is critical. That's why you'll see folks who are commonly climbing big trees using 5/8" and even 3/4" fliplines. (There are even still old-timers running 1" Manila!) Those larger diameters are easy on your hands and roll effectively.

Rope Grabs and Adjusters

Rope grabs have been used for adjusting fliplines for many years, since before there were dedicated mechanical flipline adjusters. Classics like the Gibbs rope grab still see use thanks to their strength and durability. Now we've got smaller, more compact units built specifically as flipline adjusters. Some of the newer adjusters put a 90 degree twist in the cam to change the angle the carabiner connects to it. Which position feels better (90 or straight) is a matter of personal preference.

The cam in a flipline adjuster is tensioned with a spring that pushes it into contact with the rope. Some adjusters have external springs, which are easy to inspect and replace, while others have an internal spring. All mechanical flipline adjusters work essentially the same way - when you push forward on the cam lever, you can move the adjuster on the flipline. When the cam is loaded, it grabs and holds position. The tree climber's weight when leaning back is what activates the cam to grab on the rope.

The springs on flipline adjusters need to be inspected and replaced when damaged or no longer functioning. WesSpur stocks repair kits for the adjusters we sell.

Safety guidelines differ by region and employer, but generally speaking your flipline adjuster should be a be "semi-permanent connection", that is, secured with a bolt and nut, screws, or other hardware, and not a 'quick-release' mechanism.

It's important to make sure you're adjuster is built for the flipline diameter you choose. Compatible rope diameters are clearly marked by the manufacture on the body of the rope grab or adjuster.


We hope this helps you make a decision about your next flipline or lanyard. If you have any questions about choosing a flipline, adjuster, or any other tree climbing gear, please get in touch and we will help you get the info you need to make an informed choice.