Rock Climbing Chalk Bags, What You Need To Know.

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You go to the gym and see everyone dipping their hands into their chalk bags to get ready for their next climb. You start to look around and notice everyone has a different bag, “Her’s is bigger and holds more chalk.” “His is average sized but with a cool twill print.” Some might just have them for their looks but others can have them for a specific purpose.

All these chalk bags have one purpose though and that’s to hold the chalk that boulders and rock climbers put on their hands. I’m here to distinguish what to look for in your first or even next rock climbing chalk bag.

What Type Of Chalk Bags Should I Get?

Chalk bags come in so many styles, colors, sizes and can be a good way at reflecting your personality to fellow climbers. What might be as simple as a container to hold your chalk can also be very beneficial to your specific needs.

Do you have big hands, need to carry a brush, or even need carry it around your waist? These are just little things to take into consideration when searching for your next bag. I know I have made a few mistakes when going to get my first bag and I want to prevent you from doing the same.

I’ll go through some basics when looking shopping for a chalk bag below.

Shape of the Climbing Bags

You might notice that there are two specific shapes for climbing bags. These two shapes are Cylindrical and Tapered bags.

Cylindrical shaped bags are the most common type of bag you will find. They hold the most chalk and are good for longer routes. You can get a good coating over your whole hands before setting foot onto a great climb.

Tapered bags are designed for climbers who climb harder sport type routes. These bags only allow for your fingers to be coated so climbers do not have to worry about the size of the bag getting in the way or dealing with excess chalk.

Another thing you might notice is that some also have flat backs while some have a curve to them. The flat backs are just a little added design touch usually added to tapered bags so they sit flat against the back lower waist.

Size of The Bag

Different types of climbing allows for a few different sizes of rock climbing chalk bags. When looking at bags there are basically three general sizes to chose from.

  • Small Bags: Smaller bags are good for people who want to have a bag at their waist while climbing or people who have smaller hands. You would not want to be climbing a wall with a rather large bag behind your back. To me that seems like it would get in the way.
  • Medium/Standard Bags: These types of bags are the most common you will find. They allow you to coat your whole hand so you can get even coverage all over.
  • Large Bags: Large bags (otherwise known as buckets) allow you to carry a large amount of chalk at one time. They are great for bouldering and easily allow you to dip your hands in and out.

Features to Consider

When looking at a bag there are pieces that will separate a lot of bags apart.

Do you want a stiffened rim or a normal bag with a cord closure? The stiffened rim will make it easier to cover your hands while the cord will make it easier to open and close the bag for easy storage in your gym bag. You might also find that you want a zipper pocket to hold accessories while climbing so you do not need to carry your gym bag around with you.

Do you carry around a chalk brush or considering owning one in the future? If so then a loop to hold your brush might be something to consider. Do you want to carry your bag with you while you climb? Then consider buying a bag with a belt and clip so you can have easy access to your bag at all times.

These are some most common things to consider when looking for your next chalk bag.

Is the Chalk in Your Bag?

Now that you have a full understanding on what to consider when getting a rock climbing chalk bag, you can proudly get a bag that fits your personality and suits your needs. (I know my next bag will have a brush holder and a zipper pocket to allow me to carry a brush and possibly my phone.)

What will your bag be though? Leave a comment below mentioning what type of bag you use now or want to get.

Beta on Boulders!






8 Replies to “Rock Climbing Chalk Bags, What You Need To Know.”

  1. Hello Branden,
    Wow i never new climbers used chalk on their hands!
    Does it help with the grip?
    If i was younger and braver,i might have tried climbing
    Bet you see some beautiful sights when climbing!
    great post!have an awesome day!

    1. Hey Laurie!
      Yes it helps improve grip and gives you traction on holds. Sometimes your hands can become moist and it helps dry out your hands so you do not have to worry about sipping off holds.
      Thank you,

  2. Wow I didn’t know there is so much knowledge in a chalk bag. Thanks for the comprehensive and detailed article, now I know the various features and purposes of chalk bags. May come in handy when my son tries out climbing!

    1. Yeah, it may seem so simple as going to purchase something to hold chalk but it is a lot more than that. Now you know where to come if he likes it. Thanks for your reply and taking interest in my post.
      Have a great day.

  3. I really would like to rock climb, never been rock climbing before. My sister wanted to get lessor eye surgery for that specific reason, so she could go rock climbing. She thinks that it’s the coolest sport in the world, but she can never do it because she has to ware glasses. So when she doesn’t have to ware glasses any more I will definitely consider on getting her a chalk bag for rock climbing.

    1. Rock climbing is definitely a really cool sport, it’s a rather good workout too. As for the glasses, I don’t think she needs to worry about them when climbing. I wear mine all the time. Take her out when she finally decides to climbing and get her a nice bag, she will appreciate it.

  4. Hi Brandon,
    Great review.
    I actually never paid attention to the chalk bags, but now I realized that you are right.
    I go to the gym where we have a climbing wall and I saw different types of chalk bags but thought that maybe it was just a matter of different styles.
    Indeed, it is also a practical matter!
    I usually used the big bag that the gym offers, but now I think I would want to get a small one, that I can hook up to my waist!
    And I have small hands, so it will suit perfectly my needs!
    Do you have any recommendations on the small chalk bags?

    1. Thank you Anna! See it’s not something many people think about, yeah they come in cool colors and sizes but when you dig down you can really find a bag that really suits you. The ones that strap onto your waist are awesome for when on a longer climb.
      As for recommendations, I would say shop from the brand Black Diamond, they have great quality products.

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