Best Rope Bags
If you enjoy climbing of any sort, you know that the rope is one of the most essential parts of your climbing equipment. As such, it’s a good idea to keep it protected. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this task is through the use of a rope bag. So what’s with maintaining a clean rope? Well, having a rope that is clean and free of dirt keeps it alive and kicking much longer than if it is dirty. This is because when the core of your rope is infiltrated by even the smallest amount of dirt, the unwanted particles can weaken the fibers, which shortens it’s lifespan. Along with this, dirt particles act as sandpaper to your other equipment; meaning that your belay device can become worn down, and eventually, dangerous to use. So all in all, if you are serious about maintaining healthy climbing equipment, a good rope bag is essential.
Rope bags come in many different sizes, shapes, and styles, so finding the right one to fit your needs can be a little daunting. But don’t worry; we’ve taken a look at what the market has to offer and picked out what we think are the best rope bags that money can buy.
- Petzl Bolsa
- Protective tarp
- Weaver Leather
- Great capacity
- Tough material
- Petzl Kab
- Easy to access interior
10 Best Rope Bags
This rope bag features not only a sturdy construction, but also an integrated protective tarp that is designed to create a clean area of approximately 140 square centimeters that can be used to store your climbing rope.
Ease of Use
In addition to featuring a comfortable backpack design, this rope bag also has a number of practical features that makes it a great overall choice. The tarp has handles on each of the four corners which make gathering it up to fold over the rope a simple process. Also, the straps are easily adjusted for a more customized fit overall.
While it can’t really compress down too far with the rope or equipment inside of it, this bag does flatten down very nicely when not in use for easy storage.
If you prefer to wear a backpack style rope bag in your travels, it’s hard to find fault with this bag from Petzl. The straps are easily adjustable, and offer a great way to distribute the weight of the rope and your equipment across your back easily. While we certainly would have liked to see a little more padding overall on the straps, they are certainly comfortable enough for most situations.
This rope bag can house a maximum of eighty meters of rope with relative ease. Unfortunately, there isn’t that much room for more equipment in the main compartment if that max threshold is reached. In addition, there are no real outside accessible pockets for the storage of additional supplies or equipment. This bag from Petzl is clearly designed to hold your climbing rope and not much else.
If you want a simple way to store your climbing rope that is comfortable to use, and practical, you certainly should take a look at the Bolsa Rope Bag by Petzl. While we certainly would have liked to see a little more room dedicated to the storage of other equipment and supplies, if you want a bag to keep your rope in, this is a great choice.
- Simple design
- Integrated protective tarp
- Comfortable to use
- Capacity could be a bit more
- No separate pockets for other equipment
Weaver Leather Deluxe
If you want to truly protect your rope from the elements, this bag is one you need to take a closer look at. It features a tough outer shell constructed of 1,200-denier polyester, a zippered closure at the top, and a grommet at the top for easy rope deployment when the time comes. In addition, the grommet is leather lined and features a flap for extra protection from the weather.
Ease of Use
One of the great features about this rope bag is that it can easily stand on its own because of the collapsible wire skeleton that allows it to stand ridged when you need it to, and collapse down when you don’t. A simple release of a few buckles is all it takes to get the job done.
Despite its semi-ridged nature when in use, this bag easily collapses down to a mere fraction of its original size quickly and easily.
In truth, this rope bag can be considered a type of specific use bag, and is often used for climbing in arbor environments, and is often attached to harness belts using the included one inch ring. For some people, this specific type of carrying style may be a bit uncomfortable or problematic, depending on the situation at hand.
This rope bag from Weaver Leather features enough room to fit a rope that is 150 feet long. It also has two outside pockets that are easily accessible for smaller supplies or equipment that are easy to keep secure through the use of snap enclosures.
If you want a truly tough rope bag that is designed to safely deploy your rope while protecting it from the elements, this deluxe rope bag from Weaver Leather is one to consider. While it’s harness only carrying style may be a bit cumbersome for some, it’s collapsible nature, great capacity, and easily accessible outside pockets make for a great bag overall.
- Great capacity
- Made from tough material
- Easy to deploy rope
- Not always easy to carry
In addition to a tough outer shell, this bag also features an integrated tarp that allows for 140 x140x50 centimeters of space for protecting the rope from the elements. In addition, it also features equipment loops and pockets on the inside of the bag for additional supplies or equipment that you want to keep out of the elements.
Ease of Use
Overall, this is one of the easier rope bags to use, whether you’re on the approach or setting up your gear at the base of the wall or cliff-face. It’s a simple matter to unbuckle the flap and get to the rope or gear you need with very little effort. For some however, using it while actually climbing may be more than a bit of a hassle. It really depends on the climber’s personal preferences.
While this bag can certainly be folded down when not in use, it doesn’t really offer much more compressibility beyond what you would expect from a normal messenger bag.
If you prefer to sling your rope bag over your shoulder messenger bag style, this is a fairly comfortable and easy bag to use. Some customers did find the shoulder strap to be a bit too short, but other than that there were no serious complaints.
This bag has the ability to hold up to 110 meters of rope, plus equipment depending on the size and thickness of the rope itself. Some found the capacity to be a bit on the small size when larger diameter ropes were used, but overall most climbers found this bag to have more than enough room.
The KAB Rope Bag from Petzl is a great choice if you’re looking for a rope bag that can be used on the approach to the climb, or at an indoor wall. While some may find it a bit cumbersome during the actual climb, most find the easy to access interior and shoulder harness to be a benefit.
- Comfortable to use
- Easy to access interior
- Protective of gear
- Not always suitable for use while actually climbing
- Shoulder strap may be a bit small.
This bag offers fairly good overall protection for your rope through the use of 600D polyester material. While it doesn’t include a dedicated tarp, the easy use zippered main pouch makes it easy to store your rope and retrieve it without too much of a hassle.
Ease of Use
This rope bag features an easy to access main pouch, as well as two exterior pouches that can be used to store smaller equipment and climbing supplies. In addition, the sling back styling makes it easy to swing around to your front or side as needed while climbing.
When not in use, this rope bag can be easily rolled into a much smaller size and placed inside another backpack or bag.
The single shoulder strap is fairly comfortable and sturdy. The bag can be a bit awkward though, especially if you prefer to use a full backpack style or a messenger bag, as it falls somewhere between those two extremes. However, for most people, the simple sling handle is easy enough to carry on the go.
This rope bag can hold 10.8 liters or 660 cubic inches of rope and equipment as the climber sees fit. It is a little on the smaller side, but is more than enough room for someone who simply wants to climb without the use too much equipment.
If you’re looking for a great rope bag that is perfect for use on an indoor climbing wall, this bag by KAVU is definitely one to consider. It’s relatively lightweight and compact, but still has plenty of room to carry your rope and other essentials needed for a single person climbing adventure.
- Easily access equipment and rope
- Plenty of room
- One-shouldered sling might be uncomfortable for some
Black Diamond Super Chute
This bag is made from a tough vinyl material that is designed to stand up to the usual wear and tear that most active climbers will encounter on the approach. While some found the overall construction a bit flimsy for the price, most users found it more than adequate to keep their rope and equipment safe from the elements.
Ease of Use
Overall this is one of the easier bags to use on our list. The included funnel like tarp with colored rope guide leads make it fast and easy to pack away the rope at the end of the climb, and make it fairly easy to deploy it when the time comes. While it does take a few minutes of practice to pack it away correctly, once you get the hang of it, the whole process only takes a few minutes.
This bag offers some compressibility when not in use, but can be a bit awkward to collapse down without some practice. The barrel compression straps are great to use while the bag is full to further reduce the size, but really offer no real benefit when the bag is empty.
The longer shoulder strap makes it fairly easy to carry and distribute the weight of the bag across your shoulders and back. While the style may not be for everyone, it is still a fairly easy way to carry your rope and equipment. The only downside we saw was that the shoulder strap itself could have used a bit more padding for comfort while carrying it over longer distances.
This bag has the ability to hold about 80 meters of rope, but leaves little real room for other equipment. If you choose to use this bag, be prepared to bring an extra bag for equipment.
The Black Diamond Super Chute Rope Bag is a great choice if you’re looking for an efficient way to pack away your rope for easy storage and retrieval. While it doesn’t offer much room for anything else, it does perform quite well as a rope bag.
- Easy to store away and access your rope
- Fairly comfortable to carry
- Shoulder strap could use a bit more padding.
- Not much room for added equipment
Metolius Ropemaster HC
This bag features a sturdy canvas outer layer that is well suited to protect your rope and equipment from the elements, as well as a 52” by 58” rope tarp that can be easily used to keep your rope protected while flaking, or coiling the rope for storage or later use.
Ease of Use
One of the reasons why this rope bag is so popular is because it really is simple to use. Just unbuckle the two strong aluminum buckles and unroll.
In truth, both with the rope inside and without the rope, this bag offers some of the best compressibility that we’ve seen in a long time. The compression straps attached to the buckles are strong and durable, and the bag itself can easily be rolled into a very tight bundle when needed.
While the shoulder strap is comfortably padded, this bag is somewhat of a burden to carry over longer distances simply because of its greater size. In addition, the size also makes it impractical to carry while actually climbing. However, if you’re looking to simply carry your rope on a relatively short approach, this is a great bag to use.
Capacity is certainly one area where this rope bag excels. It has a carrying capacity of approximately 1960 cubic inches, which is more than enough room for longer ropes, equipment, and supplies to be carried in the central pouch area. While there aren’t any side pockets, most people use the included tarp to hold the rope, and store their other equipment inside the main pocket as well.
The Ropemaster HC Rope Bag by Metolius is one of the best-selling bags on the market today and with good reason. It has ample room, is easy to use, and provides great compressibility when needed. While its bulk and weight make it less than ideal for longer treks, as a simple rope bag it’s hard to beat.
- Lots of room for equipment and rope
- Very easy to use
- Bag may be too bulky or heavy for some
Black Diamond Superslacker
In addition to the protective outer shell, this bag also features an included tarp that can be used to protect your rope and equipment from the ground during packing and unpacking.
Ease of Use
When it comes to putting the rope away and retrieving it, this is one of the easiest bags to use. Simply unzip the side of the bag, place a twice folded rope inside and zip back up. Then, draw the drawstring for added security. Then, when it’s time to deploy, just unzip and remove the rope as needed.
This bag features two compression straps that work quite well to help keep the bulk of this bag to a minimum.
Overall this bag isn’t that hard to carry, although the shoulder strap could have been a bit longer to accommodate longer torsos or arms. In addition, the longer size of the bag makes it somewhat cumbersome to carry over longer distances.
In total, this bag has about 1831 cubic inches of storage space, and most climbers find that it provides more than enough room for their rope and other essential equipment. There really aren’t any usable external pockets, per se, but most people simply store their shoes or other equipment in with their rope.
The Black Diamond Superslacker Rope Bag is a great choice if you’re looking for something that allows you to carry your rope easily from one climbing location to the next. While we wouldn’t suggest using it for longer distances, the unique zippered design makes for a quick deploy when needed.
- Very easy to use
- Great compressibility
- A great transitional bag
- Somewhat uncomfortable to carry over long distances
- No exterior pockets.
Petzl Pro Bucket
This bag offers adequate protection for your rope through the use of a heavy duty polyester material. In addition, the ridged nature of the bucket makes it easy to quickly store the rope away when the elements are less than ideal.
Ease of Use
Unlike most rope bags, this one stays ridged even when not in use, so it’s a fairly straightforward process to coil the rope into the bucket or remove it when the time comes.
Generally speaking, this rope bag doesn’t have any compressibility to speak of. The rigid nature of the bucket doesn’t allow the bag to be made smaller. However, in most cases, this wasn’t a huge issue considering the above average capacity.
This bag features a few different options for carrying. There is a shoulder strap that allows the bag to be worn low against the hip, or it can be carried by hand using two smaller side straps. Finally, there is an internal ring that can be used to attach the bag to the harness with a strong carabiner. Overall it’s a fairly easy carry over short to medium distances, but the weight of the longer rope may prove to be a bit much for longer treks.
Generally speaking, the capacity for rope storage is where this particular rope bag has nearly every other example on this list beat. This bag has an interior volume of nearly 35 liters, and can easily fit between 275 and 300 feet of rope depending on the size of the rope. The one major flaw is that you really can’t fit much else in there and still be able to deploy the rope easily because of its design. In order to deploy the rope quickly and easily, it needs to be coiled in like a snake. This leaves little room for anything else depending on the thickness of the rope.
If your climbs are long, and you need to carry a rope that can go the distance in both length and thickness, you’ll need something that can handle it. The Petzl Pro Bucket Rope Bag is an excellent choice to do just that. While it may not be the best for pack ability, it does offer a great way to hold a lot of rope.
- Fairly easy to use
- Fantastic capacity
- Can’t collapse it down to smaller size
- No allowance for other equipment
- Somewhat awkward to carry over long distances.
This rope bag is constructed of tough 1,200 denier polyester material, so the chances of the elements or even a sharp edge getting into harm your rope is fairly slim.
Ease of Use
This rope bag is extremely easy to use with a top drawstring closure that allows for quick access to your rope when needed.
The rope bag folds down nicely when not in use, but doesn’t offer any real compressibility beyond what you would normally expect from a backpack type of bag.
This bag offers some of the most comfortable carrying options that we’ve seen in a climbing bag, especially if you prefer to have your hands completely free. The backpack style is designed for use around and on trees, so its weight distribution is top-notch.
The shoulder straps offer great padding, and the central quick release chest strap helps to provide for a much more even distribution of weight across the whole of the back. The only true complaint in this area that we saw was that the addition of a few sturdy equipment loops at the bottom would be a great asset.
This bag features three compartments, a main compartment that can easily fit up to 150 feet of ½ inch rope, and two side compartments that have a depth of nearly 14 inches, so they can easily store an extra pair of shoes, a few quick draws, or other equipment as needed.
The Weaver Leather Backpack Style Rope Bag is a fantastic choice if you want a rope bag that can carry ample rope in a convenient hands-free manner. While it may be designed for a special use, it can easily be translated into normal climbing use without much effort.
- Good capacity
- Extremely easy and comfortable to carry
- Not very compressible
This bag is created using a tough polyester material that offers a good bit of protection from the elements. It should be noted that some customers found that it didn’t quite hold up to extensive and intense use.
Ease of Use
Overall the bag is fairly easy to use, and the top drawstring closure can widen to easily accommodate larger hands and rope. There are also a number of side pockets that can be used to temporarily store smaller supplies or equipment.
While this bag does fold down to make a smaller package, it really doesn’t offer much in the way of true compression.
This rope bag features two fairly sturdy handles that can easily be held by hand, but aren’t really suitable for carrying on the back or across the shoulder area like a messenger bag. This is one rope bag that is best suited to be left at the base camp and used as a way to transport the rope during a short approach.
Depending on the size of the rope, this rope bag has the capacity to fit between 150 and 200 feet of rope easily. The outside pockets provide some additional storage, although it isn’t secure and the items could easily fall out with enough shaking.
If you’re looking for a simple, yet fairly sturdy rope bag that is great for use at an indoor wall or near an easy to access cliff face, the ArborMax Rope Bag is certainly an option. It has fairly good capacity, and although it’s not exactly easy to carry, it does store rope quite well.
- Stores ample rope
- Fairly sturdy
- Handles allow for only hand carry
- Outside pockets somewhat unreliable
Criteria Used For The Evaluation
One of the central uses of a rope bag is to protect your climbing rope. Over time, dirt, grime, debris, and yes even the chalk dust from your hands can get into the rope’s fibers and begin to wear them out. The rope itself will begin to fray and become unusable. While replacing your rope is necessary from time to time, you can help to prolong its life by simply storing it correctly in a good rope bag that offers protection from the elements.
In order to offer the protection you need, the best rope bags are made from sturdy materials such as canvas, nylon, heavyweight leather, or a duck cotton material. In addition, any seams should be re-enforced, or at least tightly woven in order to prevent seam failure.
Ease of Use
Let’s face it; a rope bag is only as good as the willingness to use it during your climbing activities. A rope bag that sits in the trunk of your car while you approach a cliff-face isn’t going to do you much good. So in order to be the best rope bag for your needs, it has to be user-friendly. Openings need to be easily accessed, it has to be comfortable to carry and wear on your person, and most of all it needs to be able to handle what you need to haul.
The ability of a rope bag to be packed away when not in use is also an important factor to consider. While it needs to be large and sturdy enough to carry the climbing rope and possibly other essential equipment, it also needs to be able to compress down into a smaller size. Thankfully, many rope bags can be easily rolled, collapsed, or folded into a smaller size for storage in a wide range of places.
Of course, another factor that you should consider when purchasing a rope bag to use while climbing is how easy it is for you to carry. It certainly won’t be the only thing that you need to take along with you, so having comfortable straps and a bag that can be easily distributed along your body is a good idea. It also needs to work well with your other equipment. The last thing you need is a bulky and cumbersome bag getting between you and your chosen climbing surface.
Sometimes you need to carry more than just rope in the rope bag you choose. That’s just one of the reasons why having one with a decent amount of capacity is so important. In addition to a climbing rope, you can easily store extra carbiners, gloves, climbing shoes, or even chalk or first aid supplies in your rope bag if it has enough capacity.
Generally speaking, a good rule of thumb is to have a bag with enough capacity to hold double the volume of the rope you’re using. Yes, it may sound a bit excessive, but the extra capacity can definitely be a life-saver at times. While not every bag on this list meets this guideline for every situation, most offer a pretty respectable amount of room.
More to think about when choosing your rope bag
What type of equipment are you bringing?
As indicated earlier, sometimes rope isn’t the only thing that is stored in your rope bag. There is often plenty of other equipment being taken along for the ride, and keeping that in mind will often help you in choosing the right bag for your needs.
If you find that you need to take additional equipment or materials that need to be easily accessible at a moment’s notice, a rope bag with extra zippered pockets on the outside may be a good choice for you. If most of your equipment can either be worn, or is not needed until you reach a stopping point, then something with a larger central section that can offer more protection or stability may be in order.
How do you wish to carry your rope bag?
In essence, there aren’t too many different ways to carry a rope bag, especially when you’re climbing. You can sling it over your shoulder like a messenger bag, keep it on your back like a backpack, carry it in your hand, or attach it to your harness. While we certainly wouldn’t suggest you carry it around by your hand, how you carry your rope bag is really up to your climbing style and personal preferences. Some climbers prefer the stability and hands-free storage capabilities of wearing the rope bag like a backpack, while others prefer to have their rope and equipment be a bit more accessible, and use a messenger bag type of carry.
Do you need a general or “specific use” rope bag?
Depending on the type of climbing you enjoy, or perform for work, you may need to have a rope bag which is specifically designed to be used in that situation. Rope bags come in many different shapes and sizes, and ones designed for use in colder environments, by rescue personnel, or even during cayoneering expeditions all exist.
The rope bags presented here can all be used for general purposes, and can often be used in a pinch for more specialized circumstances.
Q: What is the best way to pack a rope bag?
The short answer here is carefully and with patience. Trust us, the last thing you want to do is hurry your way through packing a rope bag. You’ll just end up with a pretty big mess of tangled rope, and that is never a good idea, especially when you’re out on the rock face.
In truth, the best way to pack a rope bag depends on the bag itself. If there is an included tarp, be sure to lay that out on the ground. Sometimes there will be loops at the end of the tarp that can act like guides to pull through, so even if you don’t coil things correctly, the rope can still be removed with relative ease through those guiding loops. If you don’t have those loops, or you don’t have a tarp, one packing method that works very well is to find the center-line of your rope and create large coils, either using your hands, or your neck as the center point for the coils themselves. The trick is to make sure that the coils alternate in direction so that the rope lies relatively flat in the bag, and can easily be unwound if needed.
Q: How should I store my rope bag when not in use?
When your rope bag isn’t being used, it can be treated like any other bag that is used to keep a serious investment protected. Store it in a relatively cool and dry place, and make sure that it doesn’t contain any significant damp areas, or areas of stress. Most climbers store their rope bags along with the rest of their equipment inside a closet or hanging in their room.
Q: Is it important to have a bag that can carry other items?
In short, yes, of course. It’s highly convenient to have a rope bag that can carry your rope equipment and life essentials, such as a cellphone or keys. If you find that organization is an important factor for you, you will want to find a bag that has a lot of extra pockets and storage compartments. However, some people really don’t worry to much about keeping a tidy “work space” or rope bag, so it really is up to personal preference.
When buying a rope bag for your use, it’s important to take into account a number of factors into account. The most important, however, is how well the bag will protect your rope and equipment from the dirt, grime and moisture that can do some serious damage them. Thankfully there are many quality rope bags to choose from on the market today. Here we have presented a few of our favorites.