Best Climbing Rope Bag – With Comparison Table (2019) - Mountain IQ

Best Climbing Rope Bag – With Comparison Table (2019)

Climbing-Rope-Bags

This review discusses the best rope bags for climbing currently on the market. 

Dirty ropes wear out faster than clean ropes, and they also put friction on your other gear, wearing them out too.

Therefore, not only do rope bags make carrying climbing equipment  easier, but they also increase your climbing ropes' longevity by keeping them clean.

With so many rope bag options out there, it can be overwhelming to choose one. Use this guide to find out which bag is right for you.

Read More Climbing Reviews: Climbing Shoes | Helmets | Ice Axes

Best Climbing Rope Bag

Metolius Ropemaster HC Bag

The Ropemaster HC is a new and improved version of Metolius’ long-lived model and provides everything you need in a rope bag and nothing more. Its perfected simplicity has appealed to climbers for many years.

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Top 5 Rope Bags - Comparison Table

Take a look at the comparison table below before moving on, it might help you make a quick decision based on the most important specs.

Gear

Rating

Weight

Storage

Pockets

#1

Metolius Ropemaster HC

Best Overall

1.3lbs / 0.6kg

70m

0

#2

Metolius Speedster Storm

Most Versatile

1.1lbs / 0.5kg

70m

1

#3

Petzl Kab

Best for Storage

2.2lbs / 0.99kg

110m

2

#4

Black Diamond Full Rope Burrito

Best Lightweight

8.8oz / 0.25kg

60m

1

#5

Psychi Climbing Ground Buckles Straps

Best Value

1.1lbs / 0.5kg

60m

1

1. Best Overall Rope Bag

​Metolius Ropemaster HC​

5/5 Overall Rating

The Metolius Ropemaster HC is a faultless base option for climbers who are looking for nothing more and nothing less. It is its perfected simplicity that has made us rate it the best overall rope bag.

The Ropemaster HC was one of the first rope bags ever introduced, and the fact that is it still around today proves its timeless design.

This basic construction is still made of heavy-duty material and is big enough for 70m of rope as well as some gear. 

The bag includes a tarp large enough to flake rope without your rope touching the ground.

The drawcord closure and buckles help to cinch the bag to as small as possible, which is awesome for transport, and a plastic window on the top of the bag allows you to identify your rope and gear inside your bag.

The bag’s lightweight and storage capacity with no extra additions makes the bag both enjoyably simple and affordable.

Available at:
Main Features
  • Built-in tarp
  • ​Durable plastic window
  • Compression straps with aluminium buckles
  • Padded carry strap
What we like
  • Easily compressible
  • Easy to roll up rope
  • Big tarp
What we dislike
  • The straps aren’t as padded as most bags and therefore are not as comfortable for longer treks
  • No smaller pockets
Key Takeway

The Ropemaster HC is a new and improved version of Metolius’ long-lived model and provides everything you need in a rope bag and nothing more. Its perfected simplicity has appealed to climbers for many years.

2. Most Versatile

Metolius Speedster Rope Bag

4.5/5 Overall Rating

This backpack styled rope bag is great for the short approaches as well as the long approaches, and can easily fit a rope, chalk bag, shoes, draws, harness and water, making it our top pick for versatility.

The Metolius Speedster’s front zipper allows easy access for loading and unloading your gear and includes a smaller zipper pocket for your phone or wallet, etc. 

The comfortable backpack styled straps and overall lightweight makes it nice to carry while also allowing enough freedom and movement to scramble over rocky approaches when need be.

Past owners have said to own this bag for years without seeing any damage.

A large, easy-load tarp that is 52 by 58 inches is also included in the rope bag. Overall, the Metolius Speedster is an amazing single day cragging pack.

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Main Features
  • Two-strap backpack style body with centre zipper
  • Massive tarp
  • Small zippered pocket
What we like
  • Shoulder straps are surprisingly comfortable
  • Works amazing as a cragging pack
What we dislike
  • Isn’t as easy to pack inside of another bag
Key Takeaway

The Metolius Speedster is a style that you will either love or hate depending on what kind of climbing you indulge, but it is a great option to take out on a day of cragging in warmer weather.

3. Best Climbing Rope Bag For Storage

Petzl Kab Rope Bag

5/5 Overall Rating

The Petzl Kabe Rope Bag is a voluminous bag capable of storing up to 110m of rope (with room for extra climbing gear) and has been one of the best rope bags in the market for several years now.

One of the best things about the Kab, besides its large storage space, is its durability.

You can chuck this bag around quite a bit without spying a single tear in the heavy-duty canvas.

The adjustable bandolier is supported by a waist stabilizer, making it easier to carry around, and a protective detachable tarp is integrated into the bag to keep your rope clean.

Another great feature is that the bag stands upright on its own due to a polyurethane bottom, so it can double as a rope bucket for when you’re climbing.

The price is a little steeper than most rope bags, but it is guaranteed to stay with you for years to come.

Available at:
Main Features
  • Multiple pockets
  • Gear loops
  • Huge removable tarp
  • Adjustable bandolier with belt
  • Adjustable aluminium buckles
What we like
  • Has a lot of additional features
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Tarp can be detached
What we dislike
  • Pricey and heavy
Key Takeaway

The Kab is one of the most popular rope bags due to its burly design and extra features and its storage capability make it our favourite bag for large storage. However, because it is on the heavier side, we advise against purchasing if you plan to go for long-distanced climbs.

4. Best Lightweight Bag

Black Diamond Full Rope Burrito

4/5 Overall Rating

The Black Diamond Full Rope Burrito is stripped down to all that you need at 8.8 ounces, making it the best lightweight bag on our list.

The bag’s lightness means it is smaller than other rope bags, but this has its perks.

The full rope burrito has a tarp that is large enough to have no problem catching falling rope and flaking but it is also small enough to be packed away quickly between climbs. 

The ease of putting away your ropes differs from other bags, as the Full Rope Burrito’s elastic cord around the mouth means it is as simple as attaching the rope to the tarp, folding it up and then stuffing it in the bag before pulling the cord.

The fabric is not that strong, but its malleable design makes it easy to pack into other bags.

Available at:
Main Features
  • Built-in tarp
  • Colour coded rope tie-in points on the tarp
  • Elastic opening
What we like
  • Very easy to pack away your rope
  • Large storage space
  • Easy to stuff into other bags
What we dislike
  • Fabric isn’t that durable
Key Takeaway

The Black Diamond Full Rope Burrito keeps your ropes protected while being light and comfortable to carry, but note that its thinner fabric makes it more delicate than other rope bags.

5. Best Value Rope Bag

Psychi Rock Climbing Bag

4/5 Overall Rating

At half the price of any of its competitors, you can’t beat the Psychi Rock Climbing Bag - its lightweight and durability has made it a popular choice.

It is advertised to fit 60m rope but can easily hold 70m with room to spare.

It has an aluminium metal buckle closure and a draw-string opening that keeps your rope securely in the bag when packed away, while the bag’s lightness and adjustable straps make it a delight to carry.

With the choice between seven different colours, it’s stylish, too!

The bag comes with a built-in resilient tarp groundsheet that can be folded out next o your bouldering mat to keep your rope in good shape while you’re climbing.

Overall, the Psychi Rock Climbing is efficient, light, allows for a quick setup and take down and an all-round fantastic minimalist bag for its price.

However, it is not built for heavy-duty work. You might wish to stick it inside another bag when they are taking it over hectic rocky trails.

Available at:
Main Features
  • Built-in groundsheet
  • Top pocket with a zipper for storing small items
  • Closing buckles
What we like
  • Two corner tags prevent the rope from tangling
  • Adjustable compression shoulder straps are comfortable
What we dislike
  • Lacks gear loops
Key Takeaway

If you want lightweight and efficiency at a low cost, the Psychi Climbing Rope Bag is a nice choice, especially if you plan on sticking it inside another pack.

Rope Bag - Buyer's Guide (Key Features)

As with any gear, the type of rope bag you should purchase will be directly influenced by what type of activity you wish to use it for. Different types of climbing, approach lengths and climates should all be considered before deciding what rope bag to buy.

Ask yourself what kind of climbs you want to venture into, and keep the answer in mind as you read through some of the product points we’ve listed below.

Tarp Size

The point of a rope bag is to keep your ropes clean so that they don’t wear down as quickly. Dirt can dramatically shorten a rope’s lifespan.​

Part of keeping your ropes clean comes down to some tender loving care, but in terms of storage, there is nothing more important than a tarp.

Tarps stop your ropes from even touching the ground as you unpack them, as well as when you are climbing. In the latter’s case, you’ll want a big enough tarp to supply some room for feeding and dropping rope. A good-sized tarp is generally 4’ squared.

Anything under that is considered small and will often have complaints, but if you want to reduce pack weight you might want to consider a smaller tarp. If you have long ropes, opt for a larger tarp. This will guarantee clean ropes.

Storage Capacity

The longer your climbing rope, the more storage you’ll need. Almost all rope bags will state what size ropes they can carry, so check up on their product pages.

But it also is common to double a climbing rope bag as a climbing pack. And this isn’t difficult, as lots of rope bags accommodate to this by adding gear loops and features. If this is the case, you’ll want to consider how much you need to fit into your bag and buy accordingly. 

Ask yourself what gear you take on an average climb, and how you store it. It’s important you purchase a rope bag that can carry all that you intend it to carry, or it defeats the product purpose.

Backpack vs Messenger Bags

These are the two styles of climbing rope bags. Neither style is necessarily better than the other when it comes to its sole purpose – keeping rope clean – but they do differ in their travel experience.

Backpack-style bags have two shoulder straps and is worn against your back like a backpack. They are better for longer approaches, as they tend to be much more comfortable and lie securely against your back. They also typically have more space than a messenger style.

Messenger-style bags will have straps that sit on your shoulder. They are prone to swing and bounce around and often need one hand to stop it from doing so. This makes them difficult to scramble with and uncomfortable on long hikes.

Their perk, however, is that you can carry a climbing pack simultaneously.
Consider what kind of approaches you’ll be doing and pick your style accordingly.

Weight

If your general climbing requires short or no approaches, weight shouldn’t be much of a concern. Focus on tarp size and storage capacity.

However, if you are looking to tackle long approaches, the rope bags weight should be a major key factor. You’ll want a lighter bag so you won’t wear out as quickly. Rope bag product pages should always show their weight, so make sure to check into that.

If you’re really trying to shave off ounces, you may even want to consider if you need a rope bag at all. It obviously won’t keep your ropes as clean as a rope bag, but if weight is your main concern then maybe you could stuff your rope into you climbing pack instead.

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