Best Chalk Bag – Expert Review (2022)

Let's be honest - it's chalk bags we are reviewing here. They will all hold chalk and let it out to you. The only difference is in how easy you can get your chalk, how much of it is wasted during use, and how many of the additional features, like zipped pockets and reinforced bottoms, actually add value to your climbing.

The bottom line: the most classic of them all is the Black Diamond Mojo - perfectly good bag. The best and fanciest is Arc’teryx Ion, yet it's a bit pricey. And then the cheap, yet effective enough chalk bag is Sukoa Basic

If you have more time, let's dive in for more deets.

Best Chalk Bags (Top Picks)

Best Overall

Arc'teryx Unisex's Ion Chalk Bag Large, Black, One Size

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Black Diamond Mojo Zip Chalk Bag (New 2019) (Black/Slate, Medium/Large)

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Best Multipitch

Mammut Multipitch

Mammut Multipitch Chalk Bag

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Top Chalk Bags For Climbing (Detailed Reviews)

We reviewed over 11 chalk bags for this article. Below are the best chalk bags that made our short list. PETZL Saka is large and super durable. 

  1. Black Diamond Mojo - Classic
  2. Arc’teryx Ion - Best Overall
  3. PETZL Saka - Most Durable
  4. Mammut Multipitch - Best Multipitch
  5. Sukoa - Best Value

Read our complete buyers guide for chalk bags.

Best Overall Chalk Bags

1. Black Diamond Mojo

Black Diamond Mojo Zip Chalk Bag (New 2019) (Black/Slate, Medium/Large)

4.5/5 Overall Rating

The Black Diamond Mojo has been ranking high for a while, and for a good reason - it's basically a Black Diamond classic. I call it a Mona Lisa Smile of chalk bags. Let me show you why.

Although I'm not a big fan of cylindrical bags, it works pretty well on Mojo. I also wouldn't rave about its closure, yet, I can't quite fault it. Even a feature like a brush holder actually works.

What I liked the most, though, is that Mojo's reinforced bottom can deal with a bit of ruff handling, and a zipped pocket is safe and big enough for some of your tech. 

So you see: it's not superb, yet, very solid on all fronts. An illusive Mona Lisa Mojo. Mojo, meaning a magic talisman, is the perfect name for it too!

Main Features
  • Solid cyclical shape
  • A useful zipped pocket
  • Reinforced bottom
  • Brush holder
What we like
  • A pocket is safe and big enough for topo tech
  • Opens quite easily
  • It's a classic!
What we dislike
  • Not quite sure tbh
Key Takeaway

If you've never had a solid good enough chalk bag - try Black Diamond Mojo. If anything, it will give you a reliable yardstick to measure all your slicker purchases in the future.

2. Arc’teryx Ion

Arc'teryx Unisex's Ion Chalk Bag Large, Black, One Size

5/5 Overall Rating

The Arc’teryx Ion, overall, is just a joy to use. Its large size makes it easy to keep your whole hand dry and grippy with chalk and its design is incredibly efficient, making it our (and many climbers’) favourite chalk bag.

The opening has a rigid ring that keeps it open at all times so that you never miss a reach back, with a drawcord system that is one of the most effective yet.

The wide opening even allows for double-handed chalking. The softly tapered shape guides your hands directly to the chalk, minimising fumbling and/or chalk spill.

The inside material is soft and comfortable, with the basket depth allowing you to load as much chalk as you could need.

What’s more, it has a zippered pocket to stow away small essentials as well as a bottle opener built into the belt system in case you bring along a celebratory beverage!

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Main Features
  • Loop at the side stores a brush for cleaning holds (brush sold separately)
  • External zippered pocket
  • Integrated bottle opener
  • Drawstring with a cord lock
  • Includes a nylon webbing belt
What we like
  • Durable
  • Cord cinches down tight
  • Easy to use
What we dislike
  • Pricey
  • Drawcord is narrow to allow for tight cinching, which means it may wear out quicker
Key Takeway

The Arc’teryx Ion chalk bag is durable, comfortable and its effective design ensures no chalk will stray. Its ease of use and reliability makes it our top pick on our list of chalk bags.

3. PETZL Saka

Petzl Unisex_Adult Saka Chalk Bag, Gray, Uni

5/5 Overall Rating

As the a cylindrical bag, PETZL Saka it's super easy to use and wears easily too.

It might seem rather basic, but the material makes it very light and useful. There aren't any unnecessary frills. It's a chalk back - and this one is just that.

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Main Features
  • Great shape
  • Storage capacity
  • Lightweight
What we like
  • Hangs off well
  • Easy to use
What we dislike
  • No additional features
Key Takeaway

The PETZL Saka is very basic bag, yet is rather light and easy to use.

4. Mammut Multipitch

Mammut Multipitch Chalk Bag

5/5 Overall Rating

A multipitch climb refers to an ascent of climbing routes that have one or more stops at a belay station, and the Mammut Multipitch was designed especially for them.

The midsized chalk bag provides enough space to carry the extra chalk you’d need to get to the top of a multipitch, and the bag has several installed low-profile pockets for other tools so that you can skip over a movement-restricting pack.

A brush holder allows you to keep a cleaning brush on you at all times, and the larger zippered pocket offers enough space for small necessities like an energy bar (for that much needed mid-climb boost).

There’s even an adjustable bungee on the bag’s lower half to secure a jacket if need be.

The bag’s cylindrical shape and rigid opening make accessing chalk easy, while the secure drawcord and thick fleece lining saves any potential for stray chalk.

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Main Features
  • Storage space
  • Jacket attachment
  • Thick fleece lining
  • Toothbrush carrier
  • Mesh pocket
  • 2 suspension points
What we like
  • The comfortable waist belt distributes weight evenly
  • Clip inside the zipper pocket secures keys or rings
  • Keeps your pockets empty
What we dislike
  • No color choice
Key Takeaway

The Mammut Multipitch  allows you to enjoy your climb with more than enough chalk and with no filled pockets, an extra pack or stress about a difficult reach back.

5. Sukoa Original

Sukoa Chalk Bag with Quick-Clip Belt and 2 Large Zippered Pockets

3/5 Overall Rating

Not the best bag out there, to be honest, but I had to list here - for the price, it's probably the best you can hope to get. With all its flaws, Sukoa Chalk Bag would be my choice for the value for money bag and it's good enough for occasional use.

Main Features
  • Cylindrical shape
  • Quality material
  • 2 zippered pockets
What we like
  • Back pocket can hold a big phone
  • Price
What we dislike
  • Ineffective closure
  • Cylindrical shape makes it harder to use
  • Lets out more chalk than normal
Key Takeaway

I guess the best things about Sukoa Chalk Bag are that's it's insanely cheap and has two very practical pockets, one of which is safe for a large smartphone.

Chalk Bag - Buyer's Guide (Key Features)

Climbing gear has become increasingly complex over the years, so it should come as a relief to you to know that purchasing a chalk bag is pretty simple.

Most gear would require you to focus on your intended use, but because chalk bags aren’t as influenced by your activity, focus on your priorities instead. Do you prefer lightweight over strong?

Large over lightweight? Wide over small? Take a moment to consider your priorities and then purchase the bag that suits you best.

Below, we elaborate a little bit more on each chalk bag characteristic to guide you through your purchase.

Shape

A chalk bag can come in two different shapes: tapered or cylindrical.

Cylindrical bags tend to be more popular, and because of this most of the chalk bags in the market are cylindrical shaped. They are easy to put your hand into and ideal for long routes.

Tapered chalk bags are smaller than cylindrical ones and hold only a small amount of chalk. They are commonly used for sport routes, where climbers like to shave off any excess weight/bulk. Tapered chalk bags are also usually ergonomically designed to allow for a quick finger dip.

Belt vs Harness

Most chalk bags come with an adjustable and/or removable belt, and a lot of climbers attach their chalk bag to a nylon belt to wear around their waist. Some climbers, however, prefer to clip it onto their harness with a small carabiner.

Chalk bags will normally have a couple of small loops that a belt can either slide into or a carabiner can attach to, but you still need to make sure that if your desired chalk bag has a belt and you prefer clipping it to your harness, the belt is removable.

The advantage of a belt is that the chalk bag can slide from one side of your waist to the other, so you can dip either hand into the chalk.

Size

Smaller bags are best for longer climbs, as they reduce weight and bulk, but bigger bags are easier to use and tend to be more comfortable. It comes down to preference at the end of the day, but it’s important to note that if you have large hands, make sure to get a bag that is big enough to fit them.

Design Details

There are a variety of small technical features that are available in chalk bags.

Stiff Rim 

Most bags will have a stiff rim, which lets the bag stay open and makes it easy to slide your hand into. This is ideal, as a floppy rim (like the Arc’teryx Aperture) can lead to chalk spillage during climbs.

Lining

A fleece lining is awesome as it allows for even distribution of the chalk throughout your hand. Even better, look for absorbent fleece linings, as this holds chalk extra well.

Loops and storage 

A loop for a brush to clean holds makes a huge difference too, especially for bouldering. Also, exterior pockets are a bonus because you may store small tools and valuable things (phones, keys etc.) without having heavy pockets or an extra bulky pack. For multipitch climbs, chalk bags with pockets are ideal.

Closure 

Chalk bags have a drawstring around the rim and a toggle for tight closure. The tighter the closure, the less chalk escapes which means less chalk that you’d waste. For long climbs, when you want a small bag for less bulk and weight, a tight closure is necessary as you will have a limited amount of chalk.

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