Chalk bags are the unsung hero of climbing. When you need it most, they keep your chalk close by so you can relax, stop sweating, and avoid slipping off your project. The best chalk bags also allow you to express your style, from cute to edgy to minimalist. We at Adventurism want to assist you in finding the chalk bag that is the perfect match for you.
Top 8 of 8 Best Chalk Bags
Arc'teryx C80 Chalk Bag
This bag is a comfort to use, and it's simple to see why.
"It's so simple to get your hand into it," according to one tester. The C80's huge, inflexible Aperture makes it the most easy-to-access chalk bag we tested.
Whatever position you're in, the gently tapered form appears to direct your hand precisely to your chalk. I didn't have to fumble with my chalk once while wearing this bag, and for that reason alone, we thought it was great.
The C80 follows up with several valuable features, including a drawcord closure and a waist cord for extra support. The drawcord system was one of the most beneficial in our test, even though it doesn't utilize the distinct closure mechanism as its relative (Arc'teryx Aperture). The inside is soft and pleasant to use, and the deep basket allows you to fill it with as much chalk as possible. Arc'teryx backpacks include a bottle opener built into the belt system for those who like to bring along their victory beer.
There are only three reasons why you shouldn't buy this bag. First, all of our testers had average or larger hands, so if your fingers are tiny, you may not need such a big unit. Second, although the majority of the bag appears to be highly durable, the drawcord is thin (which aids in its closing efficiency) and may wear out after being subjected to frequent use. We didn't anticipate this to be an issue since everyone treats their equipment differently.
Finally, there's the price. The C80 is a fantastic chalk bag, but it comes with a hefty price tag. This is very Arc'teryx of them all. If you're looking for the most excellent backpack in the business and don't mind paying premium rates, this is a perfect choice. Getting one at a discount is even better. However, even though none of the others were as well-designed as the C80, several high-quality bags are available at much cheaper rates.
Best Minimalist: Petzl Saka
The Saka is a well-known bag. It's made by Petzl, which also makes the Bandi cylindrical backpack (the Cylinder). The Saka's form is an incredible benefit. It's surprisingly simple to use, and chalk stays right where you want it. "It fits well on you," said one tester.
Another feature to note is the material. It feels robust and well-made, yet it's also quite soft without being floppy. This may not appear to be a big deal, but it's enjoyable to utilize, and the small touches made all the difference in this test. The Saka's ergonomics are excellent, with no unnecessary features added on.
The only complaint from our testers? "I wish it were a little deeper," said one. The Petzl may not be deep enough for people with more extensive hands. This isn't a problem for many people, but if it is, have a look at some of our deeper selections.
While this bag has a double brush holder and is well-equipped, it lacks any pockets. If you like the Sakapoche by Petzl, which has a pocket, there's one available.
Best Closure: Arc'teryx Aperture
"Neat" was the most common adjective used to describe this chalk bag.
It's a nice touch, and it's stylish — this was the only bag to get a perfect 5/5 for closure. The twist-closure is unique and extremely useful. Even though the C80 came second, it was awarded first for keeping no chalk from leaking out.
Unfortunately, the Aperture isn't perfect in every area.
The opening is big enough, and the firm brim helps you to get a hand in. However, when expanded, the twistable midsection of the bag makes it too floppy. "I didn't think it helped my hand locate the chalk well," said one tester.
The bag's floppiness made it challenging to reach the chalk on overhangs and falls. The Aperture's lack of structure made it more challenging to get to the chalk when the bag was hanging free (as it might be on a roof climb). On falls and tumbles, the bag was also likely to spill, which is inconvenient.
The Aperture's floppy midsection
Arc'teryx produces a high-end bag that, like all other Arc'teryx products, is well-made and polished. The coating is excellent, as you'd expect from Arc'teryx. Everything is simple to operate, and the closure mechanism truly does represent a step forward. If the design of this chalk bag improves in future versions, it may very well be the finest yet.
The Arc'teryx Bloc/Vest is a good jacket, but the twist-close closure compromises too much. The Arc'teryx Bloc/Vest is a decent jacket, but the twist-close clasp detracts from the experience. The price, as you might expect from Arc'teryx, is ludicrously high.
It's a relief to throw your chalk bag in your climbing pack without having to worry about loose chalk, but a gallon-size Ziploc costs me 10¢ and does the trick.
Best Value: Sukoa Chalk Bag
Our test found this bag to be a pleasant surprise favorite. It's not because it's an excellent product; it has a few flaws that kept it from achieving the same level of excellence as our other award winners. The Sukoa, on the other hand, stands out for its low price.
The closure, in particular, is a significant drawback. It's not as bad as your regular drawcord, but it did release more chalk than usual. Its cylindrical design makes it challenging to get your hand into, although it isn't the worst.
The Sukoa sports a deep form that keeps its structure well and makes application a breeze. The materials are excellent, and the whole package appears to be well-made. It also has two zippered pockets, both of which are functional. The rear pocket should accommodate even huge, modern smartphones.
The Sukoa didn't resemble anything we'd seen before, and for a good reason: it was designed by the same company behind the Arc'eryx C80. The form isn't as lovely, the clasp isn't perfect, and the details aren't quite as dialed, but overall it's a respectable substitute for less than a third of the price. Some reviews cite quality-control concerns, but our bag stood up well. As of this writing, the Sukoa is our second-favorite budget chalk bag, and it's far superior to any others we've tried.
Reviews of the 4 Other Chalk Bags We Tested
The other chalk bags we evaluated fell into one of two groups: ordinary and awful.
prAna Chalk Bag
This bag was true to prAna's ideals. It's smooth and fashionable, and it almost flaunts its lack of technical sophistication. There are no frills except for a brush holder on this simple sack, simply a belt, and a bag. It's adorable.
The soft, fluffy coat of this material makes the prAna bag appealing to use. What's the disadvantage? "It's just so floppy," one tester observed.
This is most likely a matter of personal taste. Many of our testers preferred a chalk bag with some structure to make application easier. For climbers who want something softer, the prAna will be ideal.
The prAna bag's execution is superior to most: everything is well-made, the closure works effectively, and the bag is sufficient. It was simply not our first option.
Black Diamond Mojo Zip
"There isn't much I can say about it.," remarked one Mojo tester. "It's a fine device."
Our take on Black Diamond's most popular bag is summarized in the previous paragraph. This is a bag that accomplishes everything adequately, with little else going for it.
The cylindrical design is delicate, the closure is adequate, and the brim is enough to finish the job. It includes a brush holder that works and a reinforced lower section that appears to take a beating. A zippered pocket seems like it might be big enough to hold a topo.
This bag feels like a reasonable starting point for comparing other bags. It's not terrible, but it isn't great either.
Metolius Competition Chalk Bag
This is another typical bag, but it has a few minor flaws.
Overall, the design is well-executed, and the bag appears to be well-made and long-lasting. The materials are first-rate, and chalk adheres effectively to the inside fleece.
Unfortunately, the first thing ruins everything. The brim isn't stiff enough to stay open for long, and it's tough to get your hand in. One tester said, "The way it sits on you is odd." The cylindrical design isn't particularly appealing, and this chalk bag rarely did much to wow us.
It's not awful, but it isn't wonderful. The Metolius is on the lower end of the price range, but if you're looking to save money, we recommend the Sukoa bag instead.
Two Ogres Essential-Z
The Two Ogres bag won't be able to hold up under pressure. Every tester was shocked that a product as simple as a chalk bag could be so severely mishandled. The Two Ogres bag is presently the cheapest in our test, but it's one I wouldn't want to use.
Perhaps our bag was a dud due to numerous Amazon purchasers loving the Two Ogres. The bag we received, on the other hand, failed in nearly every way imaginable. The bag is ill-shaped and has an uneven brim. There isn't enough room for a lot of chalk, nor is there enough inside fleece for chalk to stick to the walls. Because nothing is simple to utilize — not even the belt, which is a real pain in the *** to change - nothing works all that well.
The most astonishing thing, however, was the closing. We tried everything imaginable to open it, but only half of the drawstring closure would budge no matter what we did. As a result, the chalk bag never closed adequately and remained at least half-open.
In all areas, the artistry was insufficient. A tester stated, "It reminded me of my first chalk bag...that one dissolved after three months." There was a lot of swearing and a few inquiries about why Two Ogres would go with such an odd company name (as well as why they picked such a weird business name). After our
Things you should consider
Choosing the right chalk bag isn't quite as difficult as it may seem. The market for climbing gear has grown increasingly complicated, so finding the right bag should be simple. Just choose what matters most to you and get the bag that suits you best.
Decide what features you need in a bag as a starting point. Make sure your package includes a pocket and a brush rack for your climbing brush. If you have big hands, make sure the bag is roomy enough to accommodate them. Ensure your bag has an effective closure mechanism (or get a vast Ziploc to carry it in).
We tested several chalk bags in our study, and we didn't even consider the most expensive ones available. Chalk bags should last for a long time, and if you're comfortable paying top dollar, you may upgrade to premium features (or wild designs). Don't worry if you can't afford anything - there are plenty of outstanding cheap alternatives. The Sukoa Chalk Bag is a perfect chalk bag at a reasonable price.
Finally, choose a bag that reflects your style. Chalk bags are an opportunity to express yourself, whether it's the sleek and technical Arc'teryx or an unusual design from a bespoke maker. There are several fantastic chalk bags (and patterns) on the market, so don't miss out on this chance! If you haven't been inspired by this article, head over to our list of stylish designs for more options.