Your chalk bag is one of the most used and least appreciated pieces of climbing gear. Whether you’re a boulderer, trad dad, or brand new climber, chances are your chalk bag is the first thing you grab from your kit when you’re going to climb. You can get a lot of mileage out of one chalk bag, so it’s important to pick the best one for you to dip your hands in.
Part fashion accessory, part performance mechanism, there are a lot of factors that go into choosing the right chalk bag. You want it to be sturdy enough to keep its shape, yet supple enough to not feel bulky on your harness. Then there are the aesthetics of it; why not choose a chalk bag that will make a statement?
With all the options available on the market, it’s hard to find a place to start! But don’t worry, we’re here to help. This guide will serve as a jumping off point to finding that perfect chalk bag of your dreams. First, we’ll provide a run-down of the top features to consider when shopping for a chalk bag. Then, we’ll give our definitive list of the 10 best chalk bags on the market today.
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Table of Contents
- Chalk Bag Buyer’s Guide
- 10 Best Chalk Bag on the Market Review
- 1. Best Overall: Arc'teryx C80
- 2. Most Durable: Static Waxed Canvas Chalk Bag
- 3. Best Value: Sukoa Chalk Bag
- 4. Best for Beginners: Black Diamond Mojo Zip Chalk Bag
- 5. Best Chalk Bucket: ORGANIC Climbing Lunch Bag Chalk Bucket
- 6. Best for Sport Climbing: Petzl Saka Chalk Bag
- Other Top Chalk Bags:
- 7. prAna Chalk Bag
- 8. Mammut Togir Chalk Bag
- 9. DMM Edge Chalk Bucket
- 10. EDELRID Trifid Chalk Bag
Chalk Bag Buyer’s Guide
There are many different types of chalk bags to choose from, and because of that there are quite a few choices you need to make before deciding which one will work for you. While many of the choices boil down to personal preference, there are a few things you need to watch out for depending on certain factors. For example, if you have big hands, you might want to purchase a larger bag than if you have small hands. Similarly, if you boulder a lot, it might be worth it to buy a dedicated chalk bucket, whereas if you mainly sport climb it would be useful to choose a bag with a sturdy opening to allow you to dip your hands and chalk up at the crux.
Given all the options available, it’s helpful to have a list of key features to keep in mind when you’re out shopping for a new chalk bag. We’ve taken the guesswork out for you. Here’s our list of the top chalk bag features to look for.
Although there aren’t standardized sizes for chalk bags, their sizes do vary. Some manufactures do provide size options for certain bags, but most do not. That’s why it’s very important to look at the size of the bag and decide if that’s a good choice for you.
Here are the benefits of each size:
The shape of your chalk bag can affect how it feels when it hangs against your body, and whether it will stand upright on the floor. There are two main shapes, although there are plenty of novelty bags that have creative, fun shapes ranging from Pokémon characters to dino tails.
The spectrum of chalk bag features spans from a minimalistic approach where the bag literally just holds chalk to an array of pockets, loops, and designs. Some people prefer to keep their bag simple, while others like to have tactical features. Which of these features you need boils down to personal preference.
Here are the benefits of the most common features available:
Whether your bag is rigid or supple depends on the materials that go into its construction. If you already know what you want out of your bag, you can shop for ones that are made with materials to produce that effect. Generally, the rigid materials tend to be more durable, but if your bag is made of quality materials, even the soft ones will hold up against frequent use.
If performance isn’t your main concern, or if you are just looking for a fun addition to your gym climbing kit, consider making your own chalk bag. There are plenty of tutorials that show you how to sew, knit, or even make your bag out of duct tape. The sky’s the limit with homemade chalk bags, and whatever you come up with is sure to turn heads.
10 Best Chalk Bag on the Market Review
Now that you know what to look for in a chalk bag, let’s dive into the reviews! Here are the top 10 chalk bags on the market today.
1. Best Overall: Arc'teryx C80
The Arc’teryx C80 is the perfect chalk bag for any climber. It’s loaded with useful features and is designed with unmatched craftsmanship. There’s a sturdy rim that makes it easy to dip your hands into, an efficient draw cord system that prevents any chalk from spilling out while it’s closed, and a convenient pocket to stash smaller items like keys or credit cards. The belt system even doubles as a bottle opener!
The outside of this bag is super rugged, made from Burly™ Double Weave four-way stretch fabric, but the inside is soft and supple, providing a comfortable chalking up experience. This bag is the industry standard, and it has the price tag to prove it. Although this bag is significantly more expensive than most other bags on the list, you really do get what you pay for.
2. Most Durable: Static Waxed Canvas Chalk Bag
Hand crafted in Southern California, the Static Waxed Canvas bag offers a stylish design and supreme durability. This bag is beautifully designed, comprised of sturdy waxed canvas on the outside and a soft fleece lining on the inside. The rugged canvas can withstand frequent use. The fleece lining feels nice and soft on your hands, and even doubles as a chalk reserve for when you run out. The paracord closure cinches shut nicely, so you don’t lose any chalk.
Classic and functional, the Static Waxed Canvas bag also comes in a variety of colors. To add to the aesthetic benefits of this bag, it comes infused with USDA Organic San Diego Lavender. It’s quite large and even stands upright so it can double as a miniature chalk bucket. The one thing this bag doesn’t come with, however, is a belt.
3. Best Value: Sukoa Chalk Bag
This bag has just about any feature you’d want in a chalk bag, with a price tag that makes it hard to pass up. The Sukoa has not one, but two zipper pockets! This enables you to stash your phone in one and use the smaller pocket for your keys, cards, or whatever else you can fit in there. The durable material holds up with regular use, and the bag is deep enough to hold several days’ worth of chalk.
The main complaint for the Sukoa is its faulty closure system. Some complain that it doesn’t cinch completely closed, allowing chalk to spill out while not in use. There are also complaints that the draw cord breaks easily. Despite this, this is still the cheapest chalk bag on our list, and the features and overall quality of the bag make it worth much more than its price tag.
4. Best for Beginners: Black Diamond Mojo Zip Chalk Bag
Classic, affordable, and durable, this Black Diamond chalk bag offers pretty much everything you would need in a chalk bag. Its cylindrical shape makes it easy to chalk up, leaving plenty of room for you to fit your hands inside. It also stands upright, which comes in handy if you’d like your bag to perform while climbing ropes or while bouldering. The rear pocket is a good place to stash cards or a topo. The bag is also available in a variety of colors, and its design is streamlined.
The price, features, and quality make this bag an industry standard, thus it is a great baseline for which other bags can be judged.
5. Best Chalk Bucket: ORGANIC Climbing Lunch Bag Chalk Bucket
Chances are that you’ve seen this bag at your local bouldering gym. It is one of the most popular chalk buckets, and for good reason! The ORGANIC Lunch Bag Chalk Bucket is built to last, large enough to fit both hands in it, stays open while you’re bouldering, and comes in a wide variety of flashy colors and designs. On top of its unique flashiness, this bag is made from recycled scrap fabric. There is a large outer pocket and two elastic brush loops.
The simple, time-tested design of the Lunch Bag leaves little room for complaints. Although it doesn’t have as many burly features as other chalk buckets on the market, it has everything you need, including personalized, eye-catching designs.
6. Best for Sport Climbing: Petzl Saka Chalk Bag
This is a great option for anyone looking for a soft, supple, no frills chalk bag. The Saka is well constructed and features a reinforced rim that makes it easy to place your hands inside while climbing. Its soft microfleece interior feels good on your hands and the wide, round shape makes it easy to chalk up. The main complaint about this bag? It’s not very deep, so it wouldn’t be the best choice for someone with large hands.
Other Top Chalk Bags:
7. prAna Chalk Bag
The prAna chalk bag is a staple for many climbers. The bag is simple in design, lightweight and pliable. It works for indoor climbing, outdoor climbing and even stays put while bouldering. This is a bag that really checks all the boxes for what you might want in a chalk bag: it cinches great, forms to your hands, comes in a variety of colors (and fun graphics), and is made of super soft polyester.
8. Mammut Togir Chalk Bag
The main thing that distinguishes the Togir from other bags on this list is its stretchy spandex material. The bag is nice and stretchy, making it easy to chalk up before your next send. There is a stable opening to keep the rim open and accessible, and a plush fleece lining.
There are also some extra features like a zippered pocket to store tape and other small items, and a handy brush holder.
9. DMM Edge Chalk Bucket
This heavy-duty bag looks the part of a high-performance chalk bucket, and it executes as expected. From the zip pocket for secure storage to a side Velcro pocket and four brush holders, this bucket will hold all your essentials. As durable as it is functional, the DMM Edge works hard holding your chalk and supplies so you can work hard on your projects.
The carry handles and the stable base make it a cinch to use, and the double-seal chalk closure keeps your chalk where you want it.
10. EDELRID Trifid Chalk Bag
Instead of sticking with the more common paracord closure, the EDELRID Trifid chalk bag uses a unique twist closure system. There are fans on both side of the spectrum for this. Some argue that it doesn’t work as well as the typical paracord closure, while others swear by the design.
The Trifid is large sized and lightweight, made of a pliable nylon exterior and soft fleece-lined chalk reservoir.
Chalk bags perform double duty on your harness. They are a necessary piece of gear that demands performance, but they are also a statement accessory. Now that we’ve covered the types of chalk bags and our top picks, you are ready to get out there and start shopping!
Remember that the type of bag that works for one person may not be the bag of your dreams. Take time to research, test, and really pin down how you’ll be using your chalk bag. The good thing about chalk bags is that they are generally less expensive than other pieces of gear in your kit, so you can likely afford to keep a couple on rotation.
Whether you’re looking for a chalk bucket for your next bouldering session, a lightweight bag for your hard sport project, or a flashy accessory for the gym, remember that at the end of the day your best chalk bag is so much more than just a bag that holds chalk.