Chalk bags, along with shoes and a harness, are one of the gear pieces you will be using very frequently when you go climbing. That said, chalk bags are one of the few rock climbing items that you do not need to spend a fortune on. In fact, the very expensive chalk bags are likely a waste of money for almost every climber out there.
Although you don’t need to splurge or break the bank on a chalk bag, you still want to get a decent one that you like. You don’t want to get super cheap bag that is poorly constructed, leaks chalk all over the place, and is falling apart within a couple months of use.
The chalk bags I believe are the best bang for your buck are:
- All-Around: Petzl Saka – Check its current price on Amazon here
- Fun and Unique Design: AMC Rock Climbing Panda – Check its current price on Amazon here
- Bucket (bouldering/group use): Survivor Chalk Bucket – Check its current price on Amazon here
The following sections cover what you should look for when buying a chalk bag and explain why I recommend the ones I do above.
Recommended Chalk Bags
When looking to get a chalk bag, you will want to find one with the following features:
- High quality construction and material – makes it last longer and maintain its shape
- Easy access mouth – lets you fit your hand(s) in with ease and prevents fumbling around with chalk
- Solid closing – prevents chalk from spilling all over the place
- A good waist belt – affects how well the bag hangs on you while climbing
In my mind, the above factors take priority as they will directly impact the bag’s performance. Secondary factors to consider include its design and if it has any additional/cool features (like a brush loop).
In addition to the above factors, you will want to consider what you will be using your bag for. If you are primarily a boulderer and have no intention of bringing your bag up with you on the wall, you may want to opt for a chalk bucket instead.
All of the bags I recommended above are high quality and perform very well while maintaining an affordable price point. The following sections detail why exactly I recommend the chalk bags I do.
Recommended All-Around Chalk Bag
The Petzl Saka is by far my favorite chalk bag. It is the definition of a high quality product without all of the unnecessary crap. If you are a looking for a chalk bag that is simple, easy to use, and gets the job done right, then look no further than the Saka.
It is made of a high quality material that is soft yet sturdy. This allows you to stick your hand in it and chalk up without having to struggle with a flimsy exterior. While this may not seem like a big deal, it is. Nothing is more infuriating than being exhausted and feeling pumped on the wall while having to struggle to shove your hand into a chalk bag.
The Saka is incredibly easy to use and can even be opened with a single hand without an issue (this really comes in handy when you forget to open it up before your first ascent and need to get chalked up while on the wall). Its ergonomic tapered shape allows incredibly easy access to the chalk inside of it as well.
It does an excellent job of closing and does not allow chalk to fall out when it is completely closed. This will not only save on your chalk supply but will keep anything you have stored nearby from getting too dusted up.
In addition to its sturdiness and easy access, the bag has a good waist band and is designed to hang very comfortably on you while climbing. Overall, I just love this chalk bag (especially for the price).
Recommended Fun and Unique Chalk Bag
The AMC Rock Climbing Panda is one of my favorite chalk bags I have come across. The simple rock climbing panda design is so simple and yet so cool.
In addition to its fun design, the chalk bag itself is actually quite good. It holds it shape very well and provides climbers with easy access to their chalk. The material is high quality and the bags are constructed very well.
The bag is the perfect size for average and below average hand sizes. The opening is not quite large enough for climbers with baseball mitts with hands. If you are someone who has very large hands, I recommend opting for a bag with a larger opening.
The only major drawback I have come across with the chalk bag is its closing. When fully closed there is still about a finger or two gap on top. This allows chalk to shoot out if the bag gets compressed or dropped from high up. This shouldn’t be a hug issue if you are being mindful where you are placing it.
For the cool design and incredibly cheap price, the rock climbing panda bag is hard to beat.
Recommended Chalk Bucket
Buckets, unlike bags, are designed to sit on the floor/ground and are not meant to be taken up the wall with you. Therefore, they are better suited for bouldering or group bouldering sessions.
The Survivor Chalk Bucket is my favorite chalk bucket that I have used. It is made incredibly sturdy and is composed of very durable weatherproof material. This bucket was designed to take a beating and hold up for years.
A lot of the chalk buckets out there have a hard time closing and seem to leak chalk all over the place. The Survivor Chalk Bucket stands above the rest that I have tried in this regard. Its magnetic clasps that are able to rolled up function similar to a dry bag and don’t allow any chalk to fly out of it.
In addition to this, the bucket has four pockets (two of them are zippered) which provide ample storage space along with 4 brush holders. (Personally I feel like having 4 brush holders is a little over kill but I can definitely see how it comes in handy for large groups).
It has so much space compared to the other buckets on the market that it really does feel like a mini backpack at times.
Overall, the bucket functions fantastically and will be perfect for any group bouldering session! (The really cool topographic design on it doesn’t hurt my review either.)