Chalk bags are that inconspicuous little piece of gear that hangs out of thought and sight ... until your in the middle of a difficult pitch, with your mind and finger tips sweating the next critical move. Your chalk bag then becomes the difference between success and a do-over.
In today’s growing market of climbing gear, your options are far and wide when it comes to chalk bags. It really boils down to personal taste as you consider size, shape, how the bag attaches and, of course, style. What your chalk bag looks like can say a lot about your personality. Just sayin'.
Here at Garage Grown Gear, we've discovered a handful of small companies making really unique and cool chalk bags. Most of our picks below are handcrafted and USA made.
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Brother’s Wilde Design
Simple. Straightforward. No fuss. Brother’s Wilde Design married function and form to create chalk bags for the passionate climber. They spare no expense in textile and stitching, producing a Montana-born bag of the highest quality. The company offers two sizes and plenty of color options.
“We try to avoid the word “manufactured” at BWD, we prefer handcrafted. Every part of every product is designed, developed, cut, stitched, and shipped in Missoula, Montana, USA,” boasts their website.
For a design that is truly original, check out the clean cut lines and classic leather work brought to you by a husband-and-wife team at Mythical.
Damian Pacheco and Glenda Leon make bags — all kinds of beautiful, steady, functional bags.
Damian is a fourth generation leather worker and a professional Industrial Designer who takes pride in handcrafted quality. Chances are these USA-made chalk bags will be love at first sight for any climber, giving you mythical powers to ascend into high places.
These chalk bags set out to not only celebrate the unique sport of climbing, but the individual ruggedness and spirit of mountain men and women. Organic Climbing offers some of the most durable chalk bags out there, with their handcrafted line of Lunch Bag Buckets, described by their website as follows:
“Burly 1000d nylon fabric is stiff, ensuring the Lunch Bag Bucket stays open while you're bouldering. The bag seals with a ¾” hook and loop and then rolls down and clips like a boater's dry bag. A big outer pocket, two elastic brush-loops and signature Organic colors round out this stylish, user-friendly bouldering necessity. Fully customizable in your choice of background color and accent colors, and created by recycling our cutting room scraps.”
Practical climbing was started by a husband-and-wife team who are passionate about climbing and about using renewable and recycled materials.
All of the company's chalk bags and buckets are USA made from recycled Polartec fleece lining with most of the shells made from hemp, sari and wool — all remnants that have been reclaimed from other businesses.
According to their company’s website, “Occasionally, we can get our hands on Cordura remnants as well. Bags made from reclaimed materials can be found in the 'upcycled bags and buckets' section of our online shop. Both our shipping bags and boxes are made from recycled materials and we encourage you to recycle them as well.”
Now that’s commitment.
Mago Mountain Works
Sam Magro, owner of Mago Mountain Works, purchased his first chalk bag from a local artist and climber while on a trip in Peru. Impressed by both the art and function of the bag, Magro provides the same experience to their customers through Mago Mountain Works – a Bozeman, Montana based company.
All Mago chalk bags are handcrafted in the Andes and made from genuine Andean textiles. The design is specific to the Peruvian culture and each bag is fleece lined with durable webbing attachment points and a reinforced bottom.
High school Home Ec and commandeering a mother’s sewing machine launched Granola Products, a made-in-the-USA company that sells backpacks and regular bags in addition to to chalk bags.
Owners Kelsey and Conner Scott say on their website that fine tuning their product took practice — not only on the sewing machine, but also outside doing what they love.
The Granola Products chalk bag is made of a 1000D Cordura exterior, while the interior fleece is made from 100% recycled soda bottle fibers. The design features the sun rising over the mountains.
TUFA stands for : Technical. Unique. Functional. Art.
And that’s exactly what kind of chalk bag you are going to get from a company on a mission to use innovative works of art to create durable pieces of climbing gear. They take the design process one step further by offering custom-made options to their clients. By a climber, for a climber is TUFA’s motto.
“TUFA Climbing is a 'cottage industry' run out of a 9’ x 13’ studio in Cottage Grove, Oregon. Since the company was founded in Missoula, Montana, TUFA Climbing has been a one-man-show. I take pride in building my products according to each of my client’s custom specifications. TUFA Climbing was 'Made in the USA' and I pledge to keep it that way,” said Josh Kornish-Sierra, Owner/Operator.