Double Bowline Knot

Sport climbers, who take multiple lead falls, often use The Double Bowline Knot as a tie-in knot because it is easier to untie after a weighted fall than a figure eight knot. However, this knot is not as secure as the figure eight knot for climbers. The knot can have a tendency to slip, so it is best coupled with a stopper knot.

The Double Bowline Knot was first named by Clifford Warren Ashley. The knot goes by several different names including the Double bowline, the Round Turn Bowline, and Double-Knotted Bowline. Other related knots are the Bowline, the Water bowline, the Double sheet bend, and the Bowline on a bight.

Clifford Warren Ashley (December 18, 1881 – September 18, 1947) was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He became a sailor and knot expert as well as an author and American artist. In 1944 he published The Ashley Book of Knots, a reference manual that listed thousands of illustrated knots with directions for tying. It is a reference book that is still used today for knot tying.

Tying the Double Bowline Knot:

Step 1:
 With the free end of the rope hanging down, create a small loop or half hitch in the rope in the palm your left hand.

Step 2:
Next, create another small loop/half hitch resting below the first loop.

Step 3:
Take the free end of the rope, going on the underside of the loops, thread it through both loops.

Step 4:
 Then, supporting the standing line, wrap the rope around the standing line and rethread back through the two loops.

Step 5:
Grip the standing line and pull on the free end to tighten the knot.

Step 6:
 Add a safety knot, such as an Overhand or Stevedore knot, to prevent slipping above the double bowline.

Our Take:

This versatile knot can be used for heavy rigging when an easy release is needed.
Joshua Keaton
Joshua Keaton

Joshua is our senior staff writer for and He is an avid hunter, clay shooter and amateur photographer.