Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products and services; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
The chalk bag is one of the simplest elements of your climbing equipment and most share the same basic properties. These include a leakproof closure system, a fleece lining that retains chalk for an even coating and an attachment point for a waist belt or haul rope. There are some differences: Sport climbers may prefer the low-bulk profile of a tapered chalk bag, while trad climbers will value a cylindrical bag’s increased capacity. Many climbers use their chalk bag as a way to personalize their climbing gear and as such, quirky patterns and fabrics are popular. In this article, we recommend our favorite climbing chalk bags to buy.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Arc’teryx C80 Chalk Bag
The Arc’teryx C80 Chalk Bag has been raved for its large size and ease of access. With a height of nine inches and a circumference of 18 inches, it’s big enough to hold several days’ worth of chalk. Its wide, rigid opening, slightly tapered profile and four-way stretch material all help you to find your chalk at a moment’s notice; while the polar fleece lining keeps chalk dust to a minimum and ensures an even coating. Users also love the bag’s effective drawcord closure that helps to eliminate chalk loss.
The only downside is the bag’s high price-tag. However, the Burly Double Weave fabric is made to last and an array of additional features help to sweeten the deal. Use the external zippered pocket to store your keys or credit cards. There’s a holder for your toothbrush and an injection-molded belt attachment that doubles as a bottle opener for cracking open your post-climb beer. The attachment slides along the included waistbelt so that you can access the bag easily from any angle. Color choices include black and carbide.
Best Multi-Pitch: Mammut Multi-Pitch Chalk Bag
The Mammut Multi-Pitch Chalk Bag is designed with moderate multi-pitch routes in mind. It’s plus-sized, giving you enough space to carry the extra chalk you’ll need to get to the top. It also offers several clever storage options so you don’t have to carry a movement-restricting pack. Use the toothbrush holder to stash your favorite hold-cleaning device. A relatively large zippered exterior pocket gives you enough space to carry a cell phone or energy bars; while the adjustable bungee on the bottom of the bag is intended to secure your jacket if you need to strip off.
Accessing your chalk is made easy by the bag’s rigid opening and cylindrical shape. It boasts a thick fleece lining and a secure drawcord, which prevents chalk from spilling on your ascent and also helps to keep transfer to a minimum when transporting it in your vehicle or backpack. The extra-wide webbing waist belt distributes weight evenly and allows for a comfortable climb. Choose Inferno or Dark Cyan, both of which stand out on the cliff face and look great in photos.
Best Tapered: Metolius Ultralight Taper Chalk Bag
Serious sport climbers seeking to cut down on weight and bulk should consider the Metolius Ultralight Taper Chalk Bag. It tips the scales at just 50g (in comparison to the Mammut Multi-Pitch, which weighs 130g) and is at least half the weight of most other chalk bags. It achieves this feat by keeping things simple — no external pockets or bottle-opener belt attachments here. Instead, the bag is made from lightweight nylon and lined with soft pile to help reduce chalk dust.
Its tapered shape not only cuts down on material but also helps guide your hand to the chalk and is less likely to snag during technical moves. A drawcord closure keeps the bag fastened when you’re not using it, and there’s a basic loop for storing a toothbrush. You can attach it to the included webbing belt via the sewn-in belt loops or clip it directly to your harness using a lightweight karabiner. The waist belt has a handy side-release buckle. Colors vary but the bag linked here is a smart black/gray/red model.
Best Durable: STATIC Waxed Canvas Chalk Bag
The STATIC Waxed Canvas Chalk Bag is created from 12 different components hand-stitched together to create a top-quality final product. The canvas exterior was specifically selected for its toughness and should last season after season no matter how roughly your treat your gear. The vintage-look wax coating makes it sturdier and less likely to tip over than regular canvas. The bag also boasts a tough Paracord closure, one-inch belt loops and an anti-pill fleece lining that absorbs chalk so you’ll have some left in reserve if your stash ever runs out.
With its stitched label and eye-catching colors, it is a thing of beauty that adds an element of style to your climbing set-up. It even smells good, since the material is infused with organic San Diego lavender. At seven inches in height and 4.5 inches in width, this is a medium-large option that will suit the needs of most climbers.
Best Novelty: Pure Grit Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Chalk Bag
Boulder, Colorado-based company Pure Grit specializes in unique chalk bags that are as handy for self-expression as they are for carrying your chalk. There are countless different styles to choose from, including bohemian knitted bags, faux fur bags, Christmas-themed bags and bags printed with flowers, cartoons, animals, and mermaids. The product linked here is the popular Day of the Dead Chalk Bag, which features colorful Mexican sugar skulls offset by a black background. However, while this brand is all about the aesthetics, they also promise quality practicality.
The cotton print on the outside of the bag is paired with a reinforced backing fabric and strong stitching for added tear resistance. The interior is lined with super-soft Polartec fleece and the drawcord slides smoothly shut to prevent any chalk from escaping. You can tie the bag directly on to your harness or use the adjustable, removable waist strap with its quick-release buckle. Additionally, the chalk bag measures 5.5 inches in height and 4.25 inches in diameter.
Best Customizable: Mammut Stitch Chalk Bag
If you truly want to stand out from the rest of the climbing crowd, take your chalk bag design into your own hands with the Mammut Stitch Chalk Bag. This innovative option comes with three cards of high-quality colored yarn in addition to a needle and stitching pattern. The outside fabric is perforated, making it easy for you to adorn it with your own designs. You can change the look of your chalk bag from one expedition to the next, and doing so gives you a way to pass the time while recouping your energy in between summit attempts.
The bag weighs 100g and has a cylindrical cut with a shape-retaining opening for ultimate ease of access. The interior is lined with thick fleece, which keeps chalk dust to a minimum and helps you to achieve an even coating; while the drawcord closure system prevents spillage and waste. Use the integrated holder to carry your toothbrush for cleaning handholds and the included belt for attaching the bag to your waist. Color options include black, dark cyan/black extra-wide and lava/black.
Best Budget: two Ogres Essential-Z Climbing Chalk Bag
Available on Amazon for just under $10, the two Ogres Essential-Z Climbing Chalk Bag measures seven inches in height and five inches in diameter. Its quality construction is also impressive, proven by the durable 600-denier polyester exterior and wonderfully soft fur-like lining. The bag boasts a stiff rim, a handy toothbrush holder and a zippered front pocket big enough to secure your money, ID, and keys while you climb.
Some reviewers report that over time, the bag’s drawstring closure is liable to leak, which may be a deal breaker for serious climbers. For beginners or occasional climbers, however, this product represents the best value for money on the market. Choose yours in lime, gray or blue and attach it using the included, adjustable waist belt. The belt has a slim profile so that you can wear it comfortably on top of your climbing harness.
Best Bucket: prAna Pranzo Bucket Bag
The prAna Pranzo Bucket Bag is ideal for use as a community chalk source for bouldering. At 13 x 13 inches, it holds enough chalk for everybody and is exceptionally well made, with a brushed microply exterior and tough duck coating on the reinforced bottom and sides. The interior is lined with waterproof nylon. When in use you can keep chalk from escaping by sealing the velcro top, which has die-cut tabs for easy opening. When it’s time to pack the bag back into your car, the roll top features a buckle closure that makes it completely leakproof.
You can use the buckle to clip the bag onto your pack, or you can carry it by hand using the separate top handle. On the back, you’ll find two elasticated stretch mesh pockets with plenty of space for snacks, maps, and sunglasses. The zippered pocket on the front is big enough for a phone or wallet. Daisy chain loops on the front of the bag also provide attachment points for toothbrushes and karabiners. The bag also comes in smart Charcoal.
Our writers spent 4 hours researching the most popular chalk bags on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 15 different bags overall, screened options from 10 different brands and manufacturers and read over 40 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.