A chalk bag is an essential for any climber – dropping your hands in one to grab a fistful of the white stuff means drier hands and better grip, giving you a way better shot at sending that stubborn V5 all the way to big school.
But wait, not all chalk bags are created equal. Here are the very best, very coolest and very awesomest that we’ve come across; bags, in other words, that your blistered little digits will actively look forward to being dipped into…
Colorado cool kids Topo Designs make outdoor apparel that’s just as bombproof as it is brilliant and beautiful. Seriously, you could leave any one of their products, from their all-new mountain jacket to their siiick camera strap, in a room with your demonic 6-year-old nephew, a pair of scissors, some fire and a borderline illegal amount of Haribo, and your kit would live to fight another day, looking hella good in the process. And their tidy little chalk baggies are no different. Made from hardcore 1000D Cordura fabric for unadulterated ruggedness on the outside, and a soft fleece inside to keep your chalk where it should be and not all over your shit, this thing’s a bouldering banger.
Fifty coconuts for a bag full of dust? Oh, sure, it’s a spicy meatball to swallow but knowing that Static started out with little more than an old sewing machine and Californian founder Taylor Carpenter’s idea to handcraft hella dope high quality chalk bags made from locally sourced Californian materials, and knowing that you’re getting a completely unique and handmade product every time, AND knowing that these ones in particular are made from unkillable waxed cotton, and, well, slowly your grip around that crisp salmon note should start to free up. BTW, every bag is infused with San Diegan lavender too (for reasons we’re not totally sure of but properly dig). Of the lot, the one in oxblood gets our vote. Oooosh.
A bleedin’ monster from Sheffield outdoors company Moon, now. This thing, this beast, is big enough to fit both your massive mitts inside at once – or, if you’re romantically inclined, one of yours and one of your sexy climbing partner’s – for maximum dusting. Of course, size isn’t everything (right? RIGHT?!), but even so, this bag excels for its reinforced construction, super smart closing system and futuristic design, too. We likey. We really likey.
If you’re after a bag that harks back to the formative dirtbag days of Yosemite – the era that birthed climbing and was fuelled by enough LSD to off an entire circus – then here’s yo’ boy. Evolv’s knitted chalk bags are handwoven from organic cotton in the depths of the Andes Mountains, and look a heck of a lot like the hacky sacks those crag-grabbing hippies would’ve booted about when the conditions were just too crazy to climb. It’s an unexpected winner from a company we thought were totally wrapped up in leading-edge climbing shoe technology.
First impressions are that this serious-looking Arc’teryx bag isn’t here to play. It’s not got time for japin’ and messin’ and general dickin’ about. No son, it’s here for a job, and it’ll ruddy well do it. But get to know it, get to really know it, and soon enough its little secret will show itself unto you. This lightweight (and reasonably priced) bucket opens up and closes with a twisting motion that not only saves a bit of space, but keeps your chalk firmly locked up. Pretty sure there’s a very important moral to this story. Somewhere.
This Italian brand has been doing it, and doing it real good, for around twenty years now, after starting life inside climbing maestro Mauro Calibani’s head in the late nineties. We’re enjoying the DIY, cut-and-stitch aesthetic to their Fischio chalk bucket, and the fact that there’s abso-LUTE-ly no flippin’ way of knowing what colour or design you’re gonna get when you order one, as they’re all unique and one-off. Living life on the edge, bruh! Living on the edge with E9.
Rarer than hen’s teeth, these things. Rarer than coming back from a Spring shred without the bottom of your board looking like Edward Scissorhands’ face. Last year, outdoor legends Black Diamond dropped this, an Alex Honnold-approved heated chalk bag to not only carry your dust, but warm your fragile, frosty little fingies when the temperatures plummet around the rock face. Insanely extra? Maybe. Just maybe. But oh boy, you want one as bad as we do, don’t you.
Designed by a hardcore set of senders out in Barcelona, Charko make an absolute ton of rad chalk bags that we’d happily lug down to the wall. But of the lot, it’s this one that comes out on top. It’s only made with flipping cork, pal! Excellent for standing out from the crowd at your local peak-time wall, brilliant for pinning reminders like ‘don’t forget chalk bag’ to, and really very good for reminding you how delicious wine is, too. Oh yeah, it’s very eco-concious and environmentally minded, but what about wine, eh? Good ol’ wine. Lovely stuff, that wine.
The shiny shiny supersuede will make people think a T-1000 from Terminator 2 is weeping out of your climbing wall crash mat. Immediately sold.
Even if your hands are ripped to shreds and your face has gotten a little too intimate with a granite crack or hold, at least you’ll feel good on the inside with this bag by your side, knowing that you’re saving the planet with its recycled construction. Organic Climbing are, obviously, all about that eco life, and make each of their large chalk bags by hand and from mixed off-cuts (meaning they can’t specify the exact colourways or designs in stock). It comes with a belt, is super strong, and looks the business.
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