The 7 Best Chalk Bags and Buckets for Climbing and Bouldering

Defying the standard of bad style in climbing with minimalist design and well-considered functionality

The 7 Best Chalk Bags and Buckets for Climbing and Bouldering


Bob Myaing

Bob Myaing is a Philadelphia-based mountain biker, climber, and writer with an unhealthy gear obsession.

Whether you're racking up a harness of trad gear at a natural crag or sessioning your newest project at the local bouldering gym, a chalk bag is an essential piece of gear that every climber needs, second only to pair of climbing shoes. As a piece of gear, its requirements are simple: carry chalk. This hasn't stopped product designers worldwide from thinking outside the box—most notably with extremely ugly results.

The following seven bag and bucket options, on the other hand, have been specifically selected for their well-considered, attractive design and superior functionality. (While you're here, check out our picks for 7 best climbing pants too.)


Black Diamond Hot Forge Heated Chalk Bag, $60

Cold weather provides fantastic friction on rock, and cold hands. The Hot Forge's three settings gives your fingers a little bit of warmth every time you chalk up.

Arc'Teryx Aperture Chalk Bag, $36

This clever design features as twist-to-close function that allows the bag to compress down and snap secure when not in use. Saves space and saves chalk. (Honorable mention to the C80 Chalk Bag, a more conventional yet equally well-designed option from the Dead Bird.)


Mammut Stitch Chalk Bag, $30

The perforated outer fabric of this bag may seem odd, until you find that it comes packaged with a needle and a few colors of thread, encouraging some good old DIY art. Otherwise, it's a pretty straight forward, minimalist chalk bag and we're thankful for it. The Bucket version is pretty slick.

So iLL "On the Roam" Chalk Bag, $29

Funny to think one of the coolest climbing collections out now was designed in collaboration with Aquaman, but hey, nothing makes much sense these days anymore now does it. Available in both all-black and all-pink, this minilamist chalk bag is made with a TPU material for durability and water-resistance and features a cinch top closure and zippered pocket for storage. The rolltop Chalk Bucket iteration is worth shouting out too.


Organic Climbing Deluxe Chalk Bucket, $48

Made in USA and infinitely customizable, you're likely to see this bucket in dozens of iterations at practically every bouldering gym. Two pockets hold your phone and small necessities plus a couple loops for carrying brushes. Gotta solute the OG.

Topo Designs Chalk Bucket, $49

This jumbo bucket has two thin slip pockets for carrying your shoes in addition to your chalk. Throw on the detachable shoulder strap and carry everything you need for a trip to the bouldering gym.


Montbell Mega Chalk Bucket, $34

It's not uncommon for chalk buckets to rolldown for transport and/or closure, but this one really packs up nice and flat. A soft fleece interior is a plus, and an exterior webbing strap secures the bucket when fully folded down. On the outside a slip pocket is useful for stashing a phone, tape, or snack and elastic loops can hold brushes or an emery board. We use this bag weekly, and can't recommend it enough.

Published 12-04-2019