Do I Really Need a Crag Bag?

Here's why a crag bag is worth it...

In a world where you can buy storage containers designed for a single piece of a specific fruit, you have to wonder if every product on the market is really needed on the market. With such an expansive range of hiking, trekking, camping and rope bags readily available, are crag-specific bags just a money-making gimmick? We’re not so sure – here are just a few of the reasons we recommend investing in a designated crag bag…

Three very important factors to consider are gear care, storage efficiency and comfort:


Sure, you can stuff your rope and draws in a pillowcase and slog like them around like that if you want… but neither your gear nor your wallet will be very happy. Crag bags are (obviously) specifically designed to organise and store your gear as efficiently as possible, and most include at least a few of the following features:

● Chalk bag pocket
● Rope tarp
● Shoe storage or place to clip shoes to outside of bag
● Rope storage inside and out (webbing and clips to stash rope on top of bag)
● Quickdraw / cam racking loops
● Place to wipe your feet before climbing (you can find this on the Mammut Neon Smart)
● Daisy chain / loops on the outside for gear storage
● Hip belt for intense and/or long approaches 

These features, along with adding convenience, allow you to store, transport and use your gear in the best way possible by protecting it from dirt and unnecessary damage, extending its longevity as much is possible.


The very simple reason that hiking and camping bags are not ideal for climbing is that they were not designed for climbing. That means you’re going to have plenty of pockets and storage options, but you’ll probably struggle to use them all to full capacity – you’ll most likely end up with an over-stuffed main compartment and empty side pockets. At best, finding your gear will probably require a fair amount of rummaging – and time spent rummaging is time that could be spent climbing. This isn’t helped by the fact that many non-crag-specific bags have one opening at the top, maybe a second at the bottom if you’re lucky.

Crag bags, on the other hand, have storage pockets and loops specifically designed for storing the different pieces of your rack as efficiently as possible – arrive at the crag, unzip, and your gear is ready to go. Plus, they can often be stuffed from the top and/or bottom and then accessed via a large main panel – many crag bags are tapered towards the bottom with a larger top opening for easy gear access from the top of the bag. And, after a chaotic day at the crag, your bag makes it uber easy to pack everything away neatly, ready for the next session; plus, you’re more likely to spot missing gear than if you were just shoving everything into your pack.


Just as important as convenience as comfort – unzipping and unfolding your immaculately organised gear bag isn’t really the same if your spine is crying from the approach. Rope bags may offer similar gear storage perks to crag bags, but they just aren’t designed for any approach fiercer than a 5 minute stroll. A crag bag is a hiking pack AND a rope bag rolled into one – not only is it designed for the storage of both gear and adventure supplies, but it’s also designed to comfortably distribute and carry the bloody heavy stuff we have to haul into the mountains.

Another (perhaps unexpected) perk of a crag bag is that you are sorted for climb-related travel – grab yourself a monster bag like the Black Diamond Creek 50L or Mammut Neon Gear 45, and you’ve got enough space for everything your little heart desires for your adventures abroad. There are even bags specifically designed for travel, like the Black Diamond Creek Transit 32L and DMM Flight.

For the sake of your gear’s longevity, your peace of mind, and your peace of body, head to your local gear store, chat to the experts and find the crag bags that’s perfect for you!