Top 5 Best rope bags Reviewed

Sir Edmund Hillary says, ‘It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves’. We as human beings are instinctively afraid of falling off high things. Rock climbing brings you into a ‘ flow state‘ and makes you overcome your fears and apprehensions while letting you visualize this grand world from another perspective, top of the summit. 

You return from the climb feeling like you can take over the world. Good rock climbers make hard climbs look easy and a perfectly clean climbing rope is the lifeline for great ascending.

Best Rope bags are essential equipment for a safe and hassle-free climbing experience. Dirt, sand, and mud abrade the rope fibers making it susceptible to breakage during use. Unclean ropes have lesser longevity and also wear out the additional climbing gear. Rope bags protect the climbing rope from dirt and contain it untangled for you to breezily experience the joy of rock climbing.

We have researched the best rope bags available for your ascent to go upward and forever upward.

Most trusted : Metolius Rope Master HC

Highest Capacity : Petzl Kab Rope Bag

Backpack style : Petzl Bolsa Rope Bag

Budget friendly : IKEA Frakta Rope Bag

Compact : Black diamond full rope burrito

Now let’s take a look at each of those products individually.

Most trusted : Metolius Rope Master HC

best rope bags

This rope bag is evergreen in true sense. With it’s simple and efficient design, it has remained the most preferred rope bag in the world for generations. It has a heavy-duty basic structure with just the essential features that makes it durable and comfortable to work with.

The major function of a rope bag is to protect the climbing rope from dirt while climbing and after pack up. This bag comes with a big redesigned implanted tarp of dimensions 52″×58″ (132cm×147cm) which makes it easy to load and carry the rope.

It has drawstring closure, burrito opening and unbreakable Aluminium buckles to reduce it into a smaller size to fit into the crag pack.

Metolius Ropemaster HC is a messenger style bag with a single padded shoulder strap and has a volume capacity of 29L. It can carry a rope of upto 70m in length along with additional small climbing gear. 

One unique feature is the plastic window on this bag that helps to identify the rope without opening it.

Some users have reviewed that the shoulder strap isn’t padded adequately for long treks while the messenger style of the bag makes it difficult to transport and interferes while climbing. Users also report that there are no smaller pockets for holding extra stuff and the bag has lesser capacity if additional larger gear has to be carried.

This isn’t a bag that can replace a climbing bag and isn’t advised for those used to backpack style rope bags.

Why should you buy Metolius Ropemaster HC?

  • A big implanted tarp
  • Compressibility with unbreakable Aluminium straps
  • Easy accessibility with drawstring closure 
  • Padded shoulder strap
  • Heavy-duty material and durable design

Why should you not buy Metrolius Ropemaster HC?

  • Messenger style makes it difficult to wear during the climb
  • Inadequate capacity for larger additional gear
  • Shoulder padding is not suited for long treks 
  • No additional pockets or attachments for additional gear

Highest Capacity : Petzl Kab Rope Bag

This bag is a gargantuan of rope bags. It is a messenger style bag with a very large capacity. It can impressively store a climbing rope upto 110m in length and can also carry additional climbing gear be it quickdraws, carabiners, down-turned shoes, or sports harness. 

It’s huge tarp can be detached and has a triangular dimensional area of 140×140×50cm.

Petz Kab is constructed out of heavy duty canvas and is known for its durability. It provides adjustable bandoliers with belt support to the waist for ease of carrying. 

There are multiple pockets and gear loops for smaller gear, as are adjustable Aluminium buckles for compressibility.

One additional feature is it’s polyurethane base material which makes it stand erect on the ground, rendering it useful for containing the rope like a bucket.

Users sometimes report the impracticality of this bag while climbing because of it’s heavy weight. It is also not as compressible as other bags so it is quite hard to fit it inside a crag pack. This bag is more expensive as compared to other rope bags.

Why should you buy a Petzl Kab rope bag?

  • Large capacity
  • Multiple gear loops and pockets
  • Big detachable tarp
  • Durable heavy-duty canvas
  • Comfortable padded shoulder strap

Why should you not buy a Petzl Kab rope bag?

  • Not enough compressible to fit into a crag pack.
  • More expensive than other bags
  • More additional weight to lift while climbing

Backpack style : Petzl Bolsa Rope Bag

A compact backpack. This is an austere and conservative backpack style rope bag for those who are not used to messenger style bags and for ease of comfort in longer ascends and treks. This bag is light in weight (625g) and can carry a climbing rope upto 80m in length. It has one of the largest tarps with handles on all four corners that make it accessible to move between sections of the rope and also make it easier to wrap the rope without producing tangles.

The tarp has dimensions of 1.4×1.4m and there are two coloured loops inside the bag to organize the rope and identify the rope ends.

This back is compact and can be easily fit into a crag pack but it’s capacity for additional gear is limited.

The shoulder straps are adjustable but do not have a comfortable padding hence this bag is not suitable for longer treks.

Why should you buy a Petzl Bolsa rope bag?

  • Compact backpack, easy to carry and fit in a crag pack
  • One of the largest tarps
  • Light in weight

Why should you not have a Petzl Bolsa rope bag?

  • Insufficient padding on the straps
  • Insufficient capacity for additional gear

Budget friendly : IKEA Frakta Rope Bag

This is the most affordable option amongst rope bags. This bag is very lightweight, can store your climbing rope along with other additional equipment, is waterproof and keeps your equipment free of dirt. It comes with a zipper and can be worn like a backpack.

One main disadvantage is the lack of a tarp. This bag is mainly used by climbers who store their ropes within an extra tarp in the crag pack. A tarp can be incorporated in this bag to contain the rope because it is extremely important to keep the rope clean.

Why should you buy an IKEA Frakta rope bag?

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Waterproof
  • Can be worn like a backpack

Why should you not buy an IKEA Fracta rope bag?

  • No attached tarp
  • Zipper closure is not suitable for some climbers

Compact : Black Diamond Full Rope Burrito

This bag is perfect for short climbs and for those who carry their rope bags within the crag pack. It is a lightly constructed medium sized bag that can store a rope upto 70m in length and  additional gears. 

It’s foldable material makes it fit compactly into the crag pack without leaving any extra space. 

It has an elastic opening with a built in tarp and colour coded rope-tie in points for easy storage and management. There are easy to hold handles to transport the bag.

This bag is not recommended for independent usage without a crag pack. It can only be an auxiliary fit inside a bigger, more durable and supportive bag.

Why should you buy a black diamond full rope burrito? 

  • Compact, easy to store inside a crag pack 
  • Inbuilt tarp
  • Lightweight
  • Elastic cords provide ease of opening 
  • Colour coded rope tie-in points

Why should you not buy a black diamond full rope burrito? 

  • Not ideal for long climbs
  • Cannot be used without a crag pack
  • Not durable fabric

How to find your The Best rope bags

One golden rule of Rock climbing is to do nothing in haste and to look well into each step. It is important to choose the appropriate gear according to your need and comfort. A few steps will help you analyze your perfect rope bag so that your rock climbing experience feels like a dance.

Protection from dirt

For your joyous rock climbing experience, your perfect rope bag should have a large enough tarp to contain the length of your rope and keep it safe from damage by dust, mud, and dirt. Dirt is the biggest enemy of your climbing rope’s strength. Unclean and dirty ropes have less life than clean ones.

Particles of dust, mud, and dirt are abrasives that produce tears in the binding fibres that build the core portion of the rope. A climbing rope is your lifeline and it is highly unsafe to use and take risks in this regard.

Not only this, each gear that comes in contact with a dirty rope suffers the same outcome. Your anchor systems, quick draws could all be uneven and damaged by friction which would disturb your climb.

The draws fixed on the rock climbing route can also be damaged by such a rope which could make all hikers complain.

Your climbing rope needs to be protected in a tarp when it is stored in your rope bag and also while you are climbing. While some climbers prefer to use a bucket at the base of the cliff to store the rope, others use different bags that provide different accessibility and ease of carrying, built in tarps and rope holding points.

It is also important to make sure your rope is free of tangles. Some rope bags provide built in hooks and holders to keep the rope organized.

Tarp

Tarp is either attached inside the rope bags or is separately available to be carried inside a crag pack, any how, tarp is extremely important to protect a climbing rope from damage and to save accidents.

The function of the tarp is to keep the climbing rope off the ground.

The larger the tarp, the easier it is to flake all the rope once the climbing is done.

Medium sized tarps can be used for shorter ascends. Higher ascends need larger tarps to contain the whole length of the rope on the ground.

Metolius Ropemaster HC Rope bag and Petzl Bolsa bag have a large inbuilt tarp. The Petzl Kab rope bag has a large attached tarp of triangular dimensions. Black Diamond Full Rope Burrito has a medium sized tarp, while IKEA Frakta Rope Bag has no tarp.

Storage and Capacity

Rope bags have different storage capacities. Your choice of the perfect rope bag depends on how high you wish to climb.

The Petzl Kab Rope Bag has the highest capacity and can store upt0 110m of climbing rope. This is suggested for higher climbs and longer treks. ( owing to the heavy weight of Petzl Kab, it is often used as a rope bucket at the base of the cliff).

The Petzl Bolsa Rope Bag has a smaller capacity and should be used for scaling shorter heights.

Extra gear loops, hooks, and pockets should also be considered for ease of storing, using, and fitting back smaller equipment during the climb.

Additional equipment like quickdraws, carabiners, down turned shoes, and sports harnesses also need to be stored along with the climbing rope. Choose a bag meant for the duration and limit of your climbing adventure. We hope it is limitless.

Comfort 

While messenger style rope bags are uncomfortable for most climbers, some find it difficult to climb with the backpack type. Choose your rope bag according to what type you are most comfortable with.

If you use a crag pack while climbing, choose a rope bag that is compact to fit in easily.

Remember the words of Barry Finlay ‘every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing’. 

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