What Is The Difference Between Nylon And Polyester Rope?

Have you ever wondered: what is the difference between nylon rope and polyester rope? If you have, you’re not alone. In fact, this is one of our most frequently asked questions. At QNR, we are happy to share our expert knowledge of ropes to help you find the best rope for your needs.

Not sure what kind of rope you need?

Learn the difference between nylon and polyester rope:


Nylon and polyester are both strong, synthetic materials, and are suitable for a number of different jobs. Here’s how they differ:



Nylon is more flexible. Unlike polyester, nylon rope has an impressive stretch resistance, which may be desireable if you need that extra “give.”

This means that you can stretch out a nylon rope as needed, and the rope will still return to its normal size when you are done with the job. For example, nylon’s flexibility is particularly handy for projects like an anchor line where you want that bit of “give.”

Nylon is shock resistant. While nylon and polyester are both strong synthetic ropes, nylon is the winner when it comes to shock jobs.

Because of its flexibility, nylon is able to maintain its strength despite withstanding high levels of stress.

KnotRite nylon can be dyed. Can’t find the exact color of rope that you’re looking for? If you use our KnotRite nylon rope, you can dye it to match any color you choose!

This advantage is specific to our KnotRite nylon rope polyester rope and standard nylons cannot be dyed.


Nylon is not the best for wet environments. Although nylon is normally a very strong rope, its strength becomes compromised when wet, causing it to sag.

Nylon is not suitable for extremely high temperatures. While most of your jobs are probably not this extreme, it is important to note that nylon rope will begin to degrade at 250℉. (Polyester, on the other hand, can withstand heat up to 275℉.)



Polyester retains its strength when wet. If you’re looking for a rope to use in marine applications, polyester is the way to go.

Unlike nylon, polyester will retain its normal level of strength, even when wet.

Polyester is low-stretch. While nylon’s flexibility does bring it certain advantages, polyester offers a set of different perks for its low-stretch nature.

Because it won’t stretch out while in use, polyester is ideal for use for awnings, flagpoles, bundle ties, and general, firm tie-down requirements.

Polyester is the best-all-around synthetic rope. For a no-brainer, fail-safe, strong and efficient synthetic rope, polyester is almost always the best choice.

While nylon is indeed more flexible (making it stretch and shock resistant), polyester doesn’t share any of nylon’s potential weaknesses.


While nylon and polyester vary on a few specificities, they are both, at the end of the day, strong, efficient, and reliable synthetic ropes that are suitable for many different applications.

Here’s what they have in common:


Nylon and polyester are both UV resistant, abrasion resistant, wear resistant, and rot resistant.


As synthetic materials, nylon and polyester are both stronger than natural fiber ropes. (Out of the two, nylon is the slightly stronger choice!)


For utility and sporting applications, polyester is the clear-cut, cost-benefit winner. While you’ll pay a little more upfront for nylon or polyester, these synthetic ropes will long outlast and outperform natural fiber ropes.

Nylon and polyester are both strong, suitable ropes – but they are not always interchangeable. While nylon might be the best rope for some jobs, others really call for polyester.

Find the rope that’s best for you at QNR. See our selection of nylon rope and polyester rope.

Learn more about How to Match the Right Rope With the Right Job.