What do you think is the most important part of rock climbing or bouldering? Is it the shoes? Is it the climbing gear? Well, yes, but there’s something equally important that’s oft-forgotten when it comes to critical climbing gear – and that’s a chalk bag! For those who don’t know, chalk (scientifically known as magnesium carbonate) is used by climbers for pasting it all over their hands for improving grip and combating moisture. A chalk bag, which is the unsung heroes of climbing sports, is basically where climbers store all the chalk to keep it close at hand during rock climbing, bouldering, or even gymnastics. So, the next time you see climbers sporting pasty white hands, you know why they’re that way. Besides keeping chalk accessible, chalk bags also help you not slip off your rock and help your palms stop sweating too, thus helping you calm down.
Just because they’re functional doesn’t mean that they have to be zero on style. The best climbing chalk bags, besides being great at their jobs, also sport minimalist and flamboyant designs. Depending on what your personal style statement is, you can choose from a plethora of choices in the market, which range across designs, sizes, shapes, and budgets. To that end, here are the 13 best chalk bag options for rock climbing, bouldering, and gymnastics.
How To Choose The Best Chalk Bags For Rock Climbing?
Just like other important climbing gear such as the Best Rock Climbing Pants or the Best Climbing Shoes for Bouldering, chalk bags are also an important piece of “gear.” Basically, they contain a reservoir of loose chalk into which you plunge your hands to get a thorough coating. So, what do you need to look for when buying chalk bags? Read on.
Chalk bags aren’t designated as small, medium, or large, per se, but they come in largely three sizes:
- Bucket bags: These are perfect if you’re going bouldering in a group and require tons of chalk. This is placed on the ground for pre-problem dips rather than tied around the waist.
- Standard bags: These are the commonest kinds of bags, and allow you to completely coat your hands.
- Small bags: These are used by climbers who’re wary of carrying more weight or with small hands.
Bag shape and closure
Basically, waist-mounted bags come in two major shapes, tapered and cylindrical. Tapered bags are better suited for shorter sport routes and less likely to hang up. Cylindrical bags, on the other hand, hold a larger reservoir of chalk and perfect for longer climbs. Also, some are even flat on one side in shape, thus hanging flush to your body. When you’re carrying these bags around, closure becomes very important. After all, you don’t want chalk spilling all over your pack, and neither do you want it to be very inaccessible. While most of the chalk bags have drawstring closures, some even come with twist-lock closures.
- Brush loop – This holds the brush that’s used to clean old chalk off the holds.
- Zippered pocket – Pockets can be very useful on multi-pitch climbs for storing small items such as lip balms, keys, cellphones, and of course, snacks.
- Bag belt – This allows you to slide the bag to the rear or front for easier access. Or, you could clip a bag to the Best Climbing Harnesses, along with a backup carabiner.
- Toggle and cord closure – This keeps the chalk from spilling between dips.
- Fleece lining – This helps distribute the chalk evenly on your hands and also holds down the chalk dust.
- Stiffened rim – Finally, this holds the bag open for easy dipping.
How do I clean a chalk bag?
As opposed to popular myths, it’s very easy to clean a chalk bag. Firstly, you need to remove everything from the bag including the chalk, tape, brush, etc. Next, fill a tub or a sink with warm water enough to cover the chalk bag completely before mixing in the hand soap. Then, dip your chalk bag completely into the water and wash it inside out with your hands. After you’re done, dry as much of it as you can with a towel before letting it sit out to air dry. Pro tip: Do not dry it out in the sun since that can cause the bag to harden. Also, don’t store anything in it when it’s even damp.
Survivor Chalk Bag
Costing just $20, the Survivor Chalk Bag is the best chalk bag for rock climbing, as well as gymnastics, bouldering, powerlifting, and more. Survivor has designed this one into a multipurpose bag, and it works beautifully. The cylindrical bag features a drawstring closure located at the top. It’s what helps keep the chalk stay put in the bag, no matter what. What’s more, it also seals the bag tightly, thus eliminating any risk of accidental spilling. In fact, the bag doesn’t come alone – it comes with a refillable chalk ball as well as a bottle of chalk in a liquid form! Use the liquid grip first, after which you can stash it in one of the side pockets. Post that, you can keep using the chalk ball for maintaining friction until the end of your climbing session.
- Exterior, inner, and two side pockets.
- Comes with liquid chalk and a refillable ball.
- Drawstring closure.
- People with large hands might not be able to dip their hands in entirely.
Evolv Andes Chalk Bag
How many people can boast about having a chalk bag for bouldering that was woven and crafted in the South American Andes? With the Evolv Andes Chalk Bag, you sure can. The unconventionally gorgeous Boho-chic chalk bag is designed from a mixture of organic cotton and nylon into a one-of-a-kind design that’s traditional and unique to the region. The tapered chalk bag makes it easier for you to dip your fingers into the chalk, with a well-designed drawstring holding all the chalk in. It even comes with an included belt that makes it easy for you to tie it around your waist for equally easy access. Costing just $24, this wonderful and traditional chalk bag is a must-have for those climbers who’re looking for their own sense of style along with functionality.
- Tapered shape for easy access.
- Drawstring closure.
- Comes with a waist belt.
- Handwoven, unique design.
- The waist belt isn’t durable.
PETZL – SAKA Chalk Bag
Yet another excellent chalk bag for rock climbing, as well as gymnastics, is the PETZL – SAKA Chalk Bag. The bag is available in two sizes and three colors of black, green, and grey. Plus, this ergonomically designed bag allows you to easily access chalk and covers your fingers completely. Thanks to the soft material in the tapered shape, you’ll have no discomfort wearing the bag around your waist either. Also, no matter how much the bag moves or hits against the wall as you climb, the chalk won’t spill out. Besides the drawstring closure keeping everything in, the cord lock attached to it is practical for opening and closing the bag when you’re smack dab in the middle of the climb. The best part? All these actions can be performed one-handedly, which shows just how flexible the bag’s opening is.
- Soft fabric.
- Drawstring closure with cord lock.
- Rigid rim with a flexible opening.
- Not very deep.
prAna Chalk Bag
Whether you need a chalk bag for gymnastics or you require a chalk bag for bouldering, the prAna Chalk Bag has you covered. There’s a lot to like about this bag, starting with the fact that it comes in six colors – green, cobalt, slate, metal, black, and yellow. The bag is made from polyester super suede that’s nice to the touch, while the inner fleece lining makes for a great “pillow” for the chalk. For those who don’t want too much technical stuff and rather like simplicity, this bag is perfect. Since the bag doesn’t have any structure per se, it flops around you as you climb, not interfering with your ascent. Not only does it come with double belt loops for stability, but also it comes with an elastic brush holder and a separate chalk compartment. The drawstring closure rounds off the features of this bag.
- Drawcord closure.
- Fleece-lined compartment for chalk.
- Comes with an elastic brush holder and double belt loops.
- The bag is very small for those with large hands.
GGBuy Drawstring Chalk Bag
Is there a chalk bag for rock climbing, gymnastics, bouldering, etc. that costs around $10? Behold the GGBuy Drawstring Chalk Bag, which is perfect for those who’re on a very tight budget. That said, the chalk bag isn’t cheaply made or anything; rather, it’s crafted from durable 600D polyester. So, the bag is designed to last you a long time without coming apart or ripping or tearing. What’s more, the size had shape is such that you can easily dip your hand into it, thus making sure that your fingers aren’t moist or slippery when you’re high above the ground. If that wasn’t enough, the drawstring closure is well-designed and crafted to keep the chalk from spilling at all points of time during the climb. Finally, the rear and front pockets make for excellent storage space for your cards, keys, phone, and other valuables.
- Available in four colors.
- Drawstring closure.
- The drawstring isn’t durable.
AMC Rock Climbing Panda Design Chalk Bag
If the style factor is what you’re interested in, the AMC Rock Climbing Panda Design Chalk Bag is a great chalk bag for bouldering, rock climbing, and is even an excellent chalk bag for gymnastics. In fact, it might just be the cutest gear on this list, thanks to the panda print in not one, but six colors – black, navy, slate blue, red, grey, and green. Despite that, the functionality of the bag isn’t compromised at all. In fact, the bag can hold up to as much as 0.7 lbs of chalk and even comes with a handy pocket and an easy-to-use drawstring for storing your essentials and gear securely. Moreover, the wide opening means that even if you have large hands, you won’t have any trouble dipping your hands in without spilling the chalk. Finally, there’s even a soft fleece lining at the bottom for accumulating the chalk residue.
- Well-designed shape and size.
- Comes in many colors.
- Wide opening.
- The drawstring closure doesn’t close very tightly.
Black Diamond Mojo Zip Chalk Bag
If you’re new to rock climbing, then you’d certainly have looked up the Best Climbing Shoes For Beginners. When it comes to the best chalk bags for rock climbing for beginners, what you need is the Black Diamond Mojo Zip Chalk Bag. It’s the perfect simple yet elegant bag for those beginners who’re not exactly sure what a chalk bag has or what they’d specifically want in a chalk bag. That’s because this one has all the basics covered, right from a webbing belt embedded with a quick-release buckle to the rear pocket for storing all gear and valuables. Moreover, the interior of the bag has a fleece lining that not absorbs the chalk but also allows it to settle and accumulate at the bottom.
There’s even a zippered pocket for you to stash your IDs, keys, phone, etc., while the bag’s construction allows it to not bend and stand upright. Wrapping up everything is the closure in the form of cinching cord-lock design.
- Upright construction.
- Made from abrasion-resistant material.
- Rear zippered pocket.
- Inner fleece lining.
- The closure is hard to use at times.
Sukoa Sports Chalk Bag
The Sukoa Sports Chalk Bag is one amazing chalk bag for bouldering as well as other outdoor climbing and other activities such as gymnastics and weightlifting! The cylinder-shaped bag is designed from a water-resistant material that holds up well even in the harshest weather conditions. What’s more, it’s deep enough to hold large amounts of chalk that’ll last you several days, and that too without spilling at all. This is thanks to the adjustable and tight drawcord closure. The cherry on top is the large and spacious main compartment for holding the chalk and which is large enough for people even with large hands to dip their hands in. So, you don’t have to waste time maneuvering through small pockets, and that too at high altitudes. Finally, the bag comes with two back loops and an easy-to-use quick clip clip or belt.
- Comes in four colors.
- Features a large pocket made from water-resistant material.
- Tight and adjustable drawcord closure.
- Some users found the fit too tight.
Psychi Bouldering Chalk Bag
Yet another excellent chalk bag for rock climbing is the Psychi Bouldering Chalk Bag. The tapered bucket bag is on the wider side and is perfect for accommodating larger hands and more amount of chalk. In fact, you can easily fit in as much as a pound of chalk that’ll last you an entire day of climbing. Just like other good chalk bags, this Psychi one features a drawstring closure making it easy for you to access its contents. Plus, it has tons of room for storing your brushes, keys, phone, and other valuables as well. Thanks to the fleece lining, the chalk doesn’t spill out at any moment and absorbs the residue, thus allowing you to coat your hands with chalk completely. Finally, the back color of the bag is a standout and makes it easy to clean the bag as well.
- Comes in a universal black color.
- Toggle fastening with drawstring closure.
- Comes with a grab handle.
- Not suitable for short climbs.
Arc’teryx C80 Chalk Bag
The Arc’teryx C80 Chalk Bag is one chalk bag for bouldering that’s been raved about by almost every climber – and it’s easy to see why. Firstly, the ease of access and the large dimensions that the bag offers are unparalleled. In fact, the 18-inch rim allows you to load it up with tons of chalk that’ll last you during long or even multi-day climbs. Made from burly double-weave four-way stretch fabric, the bag is tough yet flexible. Adding to the durability and longevity is the polar fleece lining integrated into the bag that keeps dust at bay and the chalk from spilling. Moreover, the high-quality drawcord ensures that everything is secure and there’s no spillage. Wrapping up the features is the external pocket that keeps quick-access stuff handy, while the adjustable belt helps get a snug and comfortable fit.
- The shape and size make it easy to access the chalk.
- Durable and well-designed.
- External pocket.
- Very expensive.
Two Ogres Essential-Z Climbing Chalk Bag
If you’re a beginner at the sport of climbing, then you need great gear that’ll suit you, such as the Best Beginners Climbing Harnesses. That said, climbing gear can be expensive. So, if you want to even out your expenses by looking for a value-for-money chalk bag for rock climbing is the Two Ogres Essential-Z Climbing Chalk Bag. Despite being affordable, the bag isn’t cheaply made but is rather designed with durable 600D fabric with a soft lining, making it look and feel luxurious. What’s more, the drawstring closure is well-designed so that there’s no chalk spillage when the bag is hung horizontally to the ground. The best part is that the bag is large enough to accommodate even the largest of hands entirely.
Moreover, the slim belt buckle makes it easy for you to wear the bag on top of a harness too. On the inside, you’ll find pockets for keeping your keys, IDs, brushes, and other valuables safe as well. Finally, the furry bottom of the bag is perfect for accumulating chalk dust so that you can coat your hands with it.
- Zippered pockets for storage.
- Manufacturer’s warranty.
- Large enough.
- Belt buckle for easy wearing.
- The drawstring quality isn’t that high.
Mammut Multipitch Chalk Bag
The Mammut Multipitch Chalk Bag is a great chalk bag for bouldering as well as a great chalk bag for gymnastics, weightlifting, etc. Designed specifically for multi-pitching, this is perfect for climbers who plan to stop more than once at the belay station. The bag is large enough to store large amounts of chalk for a multi-day climb. On the inside, there’s more than sufficient room in in-built pockets for your essentials such as phones, keys, wallets, protein bars, etc. You’ll even find an adjustable bungee tucked right at the bottom of the bag where you can remove and attach your jacket for when it gets too hot. Furthermore, the bag’s cylindrical shape, coupled with the firm rim and opening and fleece lining makes it easy for you to reach into the bag and close it down to avoid chalk spillage.
- Safety lock for keeping the chalk in.
- The buckle on the webbing belt for easily attaching the bag.
- Lots of storage.
- Fleece lining and firm opening.
STATIC Climbing Waxed Canvas Chalk Bag
Sitting on top of the list is the STATIC Climbing Waxed Canvas Chalk Bag, one of the best chalk bags for rock climbing. The incredible waxed canvas chalk bag is entirely handmade – yes! The robust sturdy climbing accessory is made from 12 different components to craft a good-looking piece of gunpowder-colored bag. This product is designed to last, right from the rugged waxed exterior to the paracord closure. Moreover, the anti-pill inner fleece lining soaks up all the chalk, thus providing you with a ton of supply whenever you need it. Plus, the bag is sized larger than the standard-sized chalk bag, allowing you to stock up more chalk for longer or multi-day climbing expeditions. Finally, what you’ll also love about the bag is that it’s infused with organic lavender from San Diego!
- Infused with organic lavender.
- Well-designed and handmade.
- Interior is lined with fleece,
- Virtually none.