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Retractable Belt Barriers or Rope Barriers, Which is Best?

If you’re running an event, need to manage customer queues or simply want to block off access to an area, at some point you’re going to find yourself looking for a suitable type of lightweight temporary barrier.

Rope barriers and belt barriers both have their good points, so you’re going to need to think carefully about how and where you plan to use them. Here’s our handy guide to the key features and benefits or both types.

Rope barriers

rope barrier


A classy and stylish looking barrier system, ropes can provide a feeling of luxury and quality. Rope Barriers are a common sight in Hotel lobbies and used for awards or red carpet events.

Ropes are available in a wide range of colours and with posts and bases made from metal in a variety of different finishes, so there is probably an aesthetically pleasing option to suit your décor.

However, rope barriers are typically a more expensive option than retractable belts, so are perhaps not ideal for larger runs.

Some great use cases might include:

  • Cordoning off VIP areas
  • Forming extended entryways to theatres, clubs, bars and restaurants
  • Enforcing distancing from exhibits in galleries/museums


Retractable belt barriers

Retractable Belt Barrier

A more cost-effective option, the retractable belt barrier is also more versatile. In a busy multi-checkout/cashier environment for example, a retractable belt barrier can quickly be deployed, adapted or removed with no issues.

It also lends a more professional air to the queue management – a velvet rope barrier would look out of place in the bank or the supermarket, but a belt is a clean and efficient, business-like solution.

Some common use cases for retractable belt barriers include:

  • Banks, supermarkets, council offices
  • Concerts and festivals
  • Passport control, customs, security checkpoints

Make sure to check out our full range of Safety Barriers and Bollards, and please feel free to get in touch with one of our helpful team members by way of chat or e-mail if you need any further assistance.

See our Crowd Control Barriers range for more queue-management and safety boosting barriers.


Richard O'Connor's Headshot

Richard O'Connor is a Director at First Mats. He has deep knowledge in areas like Manufacturing, Warehousing, Marine, and Health & Safety. Richard's insights have been featured in well-known publications such as Bloomberg Business, The Sun, and Reader's Digest. His blend of industry expertise and passion for sharing makes him a sought-after voice in his fields.

Contact Richard