The first time I went outdoor climbing was the first time I ever saw a climbing rope bag. I had no idea such a thing even existed. I just assumed that climbers were transporting their rope by carrying it around draped over their shoulders or in their arms. It got me wondering if rope bags were necessary or if I was just with some fancy climbers.
As a general rule, rope bags are not a necessary piece of climbing equipment but are extremely helpful. Rope bags provide climbers with an easy way to transport and properly store their rope. In addition, rope bags extend the life of climbing rope by protecting it from dirt, moisture, and UV rays.
I wouldn’t blame you if you are still on the fence about getting a climbing rope bag. While they may be helpful, they are definitely not free. In this article I explore whether or not rope bags are worth it and recommend which ones are the best to get if you do decide to buy one.
If you are interested in seeing what the current prices are for the most popular climbing ropes, you can find them on Amazon by clicking here. Using the Amazon affiliate link above and/or other links in the article helps support this website.
Are Climbing Rope Bags Worth It
If you have already decided to buy a rope bag then I recommend skipping to the next section titled “Best Climbing Rope Bags”. In that section, I give you my opinion on what the best rope bag for you will be based on select criteria/desires.
However, if you are someone looking for more information about rope bags and how beneficial they actually are, you came to the right place.
Benefits of Rope Bags
Protecting climbing rope is pretty important in the world of climbing. Not only is climbing rope expensive, but it is also responsible for preventing you from falling.
If you do not properly take care of your climbing rope, it will dramatically shorten its lifespan. A few examples of this are allowing your rope to sit out in the sun, get extremely dirty, or get excessively wet.
Rope bags provide climbers with an easy way to continually keep their rope protected and properly taken care of. They do this by:
- Preventing the rope from getting exposed to excessive moisture. Although getting your rope wet is necessary for cleaning it, you will want to keep it dry at all other times. Rope bags help repel water and keep your rope out of puddles.
- Keeping the rope clean and off of the ground. Dirt and grime can build up very quickly on the rope and if not taken care of, can decrease the lifespan of the rope. Rope bags act as a buffer for the rope and the dirty ground.
- Preventing UV rays from damaging the rope. UV rays are another way that ropes can be damaged and their lifespan shortened. When ropes are not in-use, the bag will protect it from the sun and keep it ready to go.
- Providing a proper storage area for the rope. The rope bag allows climbers to keep their rope loosely flaked in the bag when not in use. This keeps the rope dry, out of sunlight, clean, and protected from any spills that may have reached it otherwise.
In addition to this, rope bags provide climbers a very quick and easy way to pack up and transport their rope. Wearing the rope bag as a backpack or carrying it as a duffle bag is sure a heck of a lot easier than draping 60m of rope over your shoulders.
Cost of Rope Bags
A decent climbing rope bag will typically cost between $30 and $60. The quality, size, and features of the rope bag are all factors that affect the cost.
Higher quality rope bags with various special features will be on the upper end of this price range while the more simplistic ones will be on the lower end. I discuss which type/style may be right for you based on what type of climbing you are primarily looking at doing.
So … are rope bags worth it?
As a general rule, climbing rope bags are worth the cost. The extra rope protection, portability, and proper storage ability they provide climbers with outweighs the cost of the bag.
Best Climbing Rope Bags
The best climbing rope bag for you will depend on what you hope to use it for. Will you be using it strictly for indoor climbing, outdoor climbing, or a mixture of both? Will you be using it to transport your rope a few kilometers or just a few meters?
Below I list the what I think is the best rope bag for a few different options:
Best Indoor Gym Climbing Rope Bag
The best indoor climbing rope bags are ones that provide climbers with ample storage space and durability. You are going to want a bag that will stand up to the heavy use it will receive transporting your gear to the climbing gym day after day.
The best indoor rope bag that I have found is the Black Diamond Gym Solution 35 Bag. You can check out its current price on Amazon linked here. It actually is a bag designed to carry ALL of your gym climbing gear including your rope, shoes, harness, brush, extra chalk and belay glasses. On top of this, it is extremely durable, heavy-duty, and not terribly difficult to carry.
Best Outdoor Climbing Rope Bag
Rope bags that are the best for outdoor climbing specifically are ones that are lightweight and easy to carry around. Most crags are not very accessible by vehicle and can require a significant hike in. You will want a rope bag that isn’t too heavy and bulky that still provides your rope with the protection it needs.
The best outdoor rope bag that I have found is the Metolius Speedster Rope Bag. You can check out its current price on Amazon linked here. It is lightweight, extremely easy to pack, and has both a handle and backpack straps which makes carrying your rope long distances a breeze.
Best All-Around Rope Bag
If you are looking for a bag that will perform well in both the gym and outside settings then look no further. As the full saying goes: “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”
The best all-around rope bag that I have found is the Metolius Ropemaster HC Rope Bag. You can check out its current price on Amazon linked here. While it doesn’t have the space of an indoor gym bag or the extremely easy transport ability of the outdoor bags, it performs quite well in both settings.