The 8 Best Chalk Bags for Bouldering + Buying Guide + FAQ

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Climbing chalk is another tool in the rock climber’s arsenal. With the right chalk, you’ll get a good grip and stop yourself from slipping off of a boulder. The chalk bag* is essential to carrying your chalk with it, especially when you are in the middle of climbing a huge boulder. Since easy access to equipment is the name of the climbing game, you’ll want a handy chalk bag that’s lightweight and easy to open without falling apart and spilling chalk as you climb.

The best chalk bags for boulder climbing are made from high-quality, durable materials, and they’ll have zippered pockets with lightweight construction. Basically, you want a bag that can carry your chalk without interfering with the climb.

If you’ve never heard of a chalk bag or don’t know their importance, these are small bags or buckets that hold chalk. They can be attached to a harness or belt, and they have a hardened rim along the outside to make it easy to open and get chalk when you need it.

Related: What is Rock Climbing Chalk for? What is it made of?

Below, you’ll find our current top chalk bags for boulder climbers based on materials, ease of use, and climber satisfaction. 

Best Chalk Bags for Boulder Climbing

Sukoa Chalk Bag

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If you want something easy to use and affordable, the Sukoa Chalk Bag* is the right choice. It’s a multi-purpose bag that will surely hold your chalk, but it’s also easy to use and has a variety of pockets. For the price, you’ll get a versatile, stylish bag that doesn’t get in the way of you as you climb.

There are two large zip-up pockets on this bag. One is a full-length zipper that can carry your smartphone or similar items, and then the smaller pocket can be used for cards, keys, batteries, or whatever else you want to bring with you. The main area of the bag holds your chalk, but it can also be used as storage. While the Sukoa doesn’t have the largest storage for chalk, it’s more than enough for a day of boulder climbing. The drawcord closure pulls extremely tight, which means that chalk won’t spill as you climb.

Things to Consider:

  • Drawcord closure for easy, tight seal
  • Two additional zip-up pockets for storage
  • Quick-clip belt included
  • Made from durable, water-resistant nylon
  • Weighs 2.4 ounces

DMM Edge Chalk Bag

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The color of this bag will immediately attract attention. The DMM Edge Chalk Bucket* in red is one of the most stylish chalk carriers on the market, but it’s also the most durable and largest of all. While it tends to be a little expensive, the DMM chalk bag is worth the money because of its durability and storage. The high-quality material, durable stitching, and double drawcord closure mean that you’ll be able to store chalk in this bag for many years.

Since DMM is a historic climbing brand, it’s very recognizable in the climbing community as well. In addition, four brush holders and another zippered pocket are included with this chalk bag. You’ll love its lightweight feel and ease-of-use while you climb.

Things to Consider:

  • Fits two hands at once
  • Double drawcord
  • Made from durable nylon
  • A soft, luxurious lining
  • One large zippered pocket
  • Four brush holders
  • Weighs 10.1 ounces

GGBuy Drawstring High-End Chalk Bag

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This bag is well-made without being as expensive as the DMM. This chalk bag from GGBuy* is made with 500D Oxford polyester, which is pretty common for climbing materials and camping, as well as backpacking gear. Since it’s a cheap, tough material, this bouldering chalk bag will last a long time, and it’s waterproof.

With a drawcord enclosure and four pockets, there’s a lot of storage. However, the pockets may be a bit precarious as they’re not zippered. This bag is also extremely lightweight.

Things to Consider:

  • Easy to use drawcord closure
  • Waterproof material
  • Uses one loop design
  • Four pockets included (no zippers)
  • Built with 600D Oxford polyester
  • Weighs 3.2 ounces

Black Diamond Mojo Zip Chalk Bag

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The quality of this bag* cannot be understated. Black Diamond has gone out of their way to make a designer bag for the avid rock climber. With durable, waterproof materials, your chalk will stay inside the bag and never get wet. The stitching on this bag is how you know it’s extremely durable. With fleece inside, it’s quite soft and allows the chalk to rest perfectly inside.

Black Diamond also had the intuitive idea to line the bottom with TPU, so that it’s abrasion-resistant. Even though it’s still lightweight, the bag maintains its weight from the bottom making it hard to tip over. While the design is quite small, you’ll still be able to use one hand to get chalk, but it might be more difficult for climbers with larger hands. It also comes with one zip-up pocket to hold smaller items, as it’s not big enough for a smartphone. What makes this chalk bag so great is that you don’t have to attach to your harness since it comes with a webbing belt.

Things to Consider

  • Drawcord with lock closure
  • Includes one brush loop
  • Includes webbing belt with a quick-release
  • Waterproof materials
  • One zip-up pocket
  • Weighs 3.2 ounces

Simhoa Rock Climbing Chalk Bag

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The Simhoa* is a simple chalk bag designed to do one thing: make it easy for climbers to chalk up and start the climb. While it’s made to be simple, it still looks great and uses durable materials. While other bags try to have too many pockets that take up a lot of space and weight, the Simhoa doesn’t try hard to be anything but a good chalk bag for the avid climber.

The prism shape for the Simhoa bag is unique. Since the bottom of the bag is wider than the tip, it won’t tip over especially when there’s wind. It’s one of the most reliable chalk bags on the market for the price of this design. It’s easy to operate with one hand, too. The interior lining of the bag is made from a very soft fleece, and it still comes with two zip-up pockets.

Things to Consider

  • Easy one-hand operation
  • Drawcord closure
  • Uses two-loop design
  • Waterproof material
  • Two zip-up pockets
  • Prism design
  • Weighs 3.5 ounces

Arc’teryx Aperture

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This bag* doesn’t allow any chalk to escape, and it’s got a nifty design with a stiff rim. With a twist-closure, it’s also the most effective bag for preventing spillage. With a wide opening and rigid band, you can easily slip your hand in to pick up some chalk. It can get a little floppy when fully extended, however. If you are climbing up an overhang, you may find it difficult to pick up chalk in the bottom of the bag.

However, the design and look of this bag are exceptional. It’s made with extremely durable materials, and the closure is a step forward for the market as a whole. In addition, the price is a little bit high for a chalk bag as you’ll likely get the best use out of the larger size.

Things to Consider

  • Twist snap closure
  • Synthetic fibers
  • Multiple colors
  • 4” height, 10” width
  • 3.0 to 5.0 ounces

Petzl Saka

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Every climber has heard of the brand Petzl. With its cylindrical design*, rigid rims, and brush holders, it’s easy to use and has lots of convenient features for the price. The lightweight construction, durable fabric, and waterproof features make it a long-lasting chalk bag as well.

One major difference about this bag is that it is just for chalk. There are no other pockets or zippers on this bag, and it closes with a simple drawstring. While its handy and durable, it’s definitely for the budget climber who wants something minimalist.

Things to Consider

  • Ergonomic design, easy to use
  • Fits both hands
  • Neat, minimalist design
  • Two brush holders
  • Won’t flip out when you pull your hands due to strategic stitching
  • Lightweight

Mammut Multi-Pitch Chalk Bag

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This is an all-around amazing chalk bag*. The Mammut is a larger size and carries all the chalk you’ll need to get to the top of a long climb. There are also a few different storage pockets included with this design, so it’s very handy for all-day use. The brush holder allows you to store your brush easily, and it has a large zip-up pocket to carry energy bars, keys, wallet, and so forth.

The Mammut is designed so thoughtfully that it also comes with an adjustable bungee on the bottom of the chalk bag that helps you secure a jacket if you need to strip down and get some air. The bag is a stiff opening and a cylindrical shape, as well as thick fleece lining and a single drawcord design. It’s incredibly secure, and chalk won’t spill out. The wide webbing belt helps to distribute even weight as you climb, so it’s quite comfortable too.

Things to Consider

  • Rigid wide opening, fleece lining
  • One zip-up pocket
  • Multiple brush holders
  • Includes webbing waist belt
  • Lightweight

How to Pick the Best Chalk Bag for Bouldering

There are a ton of different rock climbing brands out there, and each them has some type of chalk bag. However, even some of the older brands don’t really use the best materials, and they may not work well during mid-climb when you need to easily reach in to add more chalk. In addition, prices are generally the same for the quality of a chalk bag, so you shouldn’t be spending too much as it would be a waste.

Features in the Best Chalk Bags

A typical chalk bag weighs between 3 and 10 ounces, and it has enough room to slip in one or both of your hands to gather up chalk. There is a large pouch for the chalk that should be lined with a material like fleece. Drawstring closures are the standard for chalk bags because they’re easier to open. You may want to get a larger chalk bag if you want to place both hands in at once, or you may also want to get a bag with more loops or pockets if you need to carry more tools.

Stiffened Rim

It’s essential for a chalk bag to have a supported shape and structure. You want this type of rim because you’ll be dipping your hands into the bag to pick up chalk. You don’t want to fiddle around to find the opening when you are midway up a boulder.

Fleece Interior

This the standard for a high-quality chalk bag. The fleece interior keeps the chalk in the bag and allows you to spread it over your fingers and palms easily. Without the fleece lining, chalk tends to slip out through the porous fabric or every time you open it.

Drawcord Closure

This is another standard in chalk bags. The drawcord is the easiest closure to use when climbing up a boulder. A chalk bag with a tight closure may have a lock, but other bags won’t be as secure. Some chalk bags have a double drawstring closure that guarantees the chalk stays inside of your bag.

Bag Belt

If you want to slide the bag from the front to the back while you climb, then you’ll need a bag belt. Most bags come with a belt, but you may need to purchase separately if you don’t see it in the product specifications.

Storage Pockets and Zippers

Almost all chalk bags have other pockets to store items as you climb, such as keys, cards, phones, and so forth. You may not want to put everything in your chalk bag, but it’s handy if you do. Most chalk bags come with one or two zip-up pockets.

Brush Holder or Brush Loop

You’ll need a brush to clean off old chalk when you need to. Most bags have a few brush loops to hold brushes and other tools for climbers.

FAQs About Chalk Bags for Bouldering

How much do chalk bags typically cost?

There is a wide range of prices for chalk bags. There are some that cost over $50, but the best ones are actually in the $20 to $30 market. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a durable bag either. Most chalk bags last for many years, so if you think it’s worth it to splurge a bit to ensure that all of the features are there, then you may find the bag of your dreams. It will probably come with a sturdy design, better material, and real fleece inside. From our list above, the DMM chalk bag is the most expensive, while the Sukoa is the best one for affordability and value.

What are the sizes of chalk bags?

Though you won’t find any designation of small to large on a website or in a store, there are small chalk bags that are designed to be lightweight, and there are heavier bucket bags that are best for group bouldering activities. These carry more chalk, and they likely sit on the ground for a pre-problem dip.

Small bags are best for those climbers with small hands who are wary of carrying too much weight. If you are an agile climber looking for technical movement, then you don’t want a heavy bag weighing you down. These bags are under 5 ounces typically.

Standard bags range from 5 to 10 ounces, and they are larger because they are built for routes where you need to cover your hands and forearms completely in chalk. This is especially true for climbing wide cracks.

What type of chalk bag shape is best?

Chalk bags are mounted on a belt around the waist typically. They come in two main shapes, but there are modifications depending on the brand. For example, some bags may be flatter on one side so that they will hang akin to your body’s angle as you climb.

A cylindrical chalk bag is best for longer routes, as they hold more chalk. Tapered chalk bags are best for sportier routes as they are less likely to hang upside down when you are doing a technical move.

How much chalk should a bag carry?

You’ll use chalk a lot when boulder climbing. It’s an essential tool. There are all different kinds of chalk brands, and they differ in texture. However, the main goal is to keep your hands dry so that it’s easier to grip and pull yourself up on a ledge or crack.

You don’t need to apply a lot of chalk typically, but everyone’s body is different. It’s best to grab two handfuls, cover your hand and jump into climbing. You don’t want to apply too much chalk as it will reduce friction on your hands.

You should treat chalk conservatively, almost like a precious resource and avoid suffocating yourself or other climbers by applying too much and getting it everywhere. This is why it’s important to pick a secure chalk bag that has a tight seal or closure. Otherwise, people will only see you in a cloud of chalk.


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