A Look at Rope and Gear Bags
Sometimes the most overlooked and insignificant pieces of gear can cause the most frustration. But, they can also make mundane tasks easier, keeping the flow of the job moving in a positive direction. The way you store your gear can have a tremendous impact on your day. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right rope bag for your needs.
A good rope bag should increase your productivity and eliminate annoyances by:
- Making it fast and easy to pack and unpack your rope
- Making it simple to transport gear to and from the job site
- Keeping twigs and branches from damaging your rope as it is deployed from the bag
- Keeping your gear in one place and ready to go
The right rope bag for you will depend on your work style. We’ll discuss a few different types of bags and the pros and cons of each. While there are a lot of different options for rope and gear storage, for now we’ll just cover rope bags. In a future post, we’ll take a look at gear and transport bags, as well as throwline storage.
Edelrid Rope Caddy
Our current favorite in rope bags is the Edelrid Rope Caddy. It’s easy to use, and while it is simple, it is also very well designed. The Caddy from Edelrid is a lightweight bag that doubles as a job site tarp. The rope is stored in a cylindrical opening in the center of the bag, which allows you to quickly flake the rope into position.
The tarp quickly folds up to keep the rope secure and protected from debris. It also features a shoulder strap for transporting to the job site.
The biggest drawback to this bag is its lack of available storage for anything except your rope. This is strictly a rope bag. It also lacks the rigidity that many climbers like for packing and unpacking their rope. However, since stowing and deploying the rope is easy, the lack of rigidity doesn’t affect performance.
The Caddy is similar in price to some of the cheaper wire frame or canvas rope bags, but is more user friendly and more durable.
The Buckingham RopePro
The Buckingham RopePro is a more traditional storage bag than the Caddy, but it is also much more versatile. The rigid design makes it easy to stow and deploy your climbing line. If you want a durable bag that will stand up on its own, this is a great option.
The Buckingham Large RopePro bag will hold up to 250’ of ½” climbing line, or 120’, a saddle helmet and other miscellaneous gear. The large bag measures 16” tall x 12” wide.
The XL RopePro bag will hold up to 500’ of ½” climbing line, or a saddle, climbing line, and a bunch of other gear as well. The XL bag is 24” tall x 14” wide.
Both RopePro bags are water resistant, with a large grommet on top for rope deployment. The lid of the bag is zippered, making it very easy to access your gear and keep debris out. Holding extra gear is easy with the included webbing loops, as well as storage pockets on the outside of the bag. Both of these bags will accept the additional shoulder straps for transport, and the larger bag is a great option for stowing a rigging line.
Our last option for great rope and gear storage is a plastic toolbox or tote that you can pick up from almost any hardware store or big box store. These hard, plastic totes keep moisture and debris out, are completely waterproof, and hold their shape well.
Depending on which one you choose, plastic totes are often stackable. One great option is a five gallon bucket with a lid.
Inexpensive and relatively durable, plastic totes take up very little space in your truck and can be replaced easily. Because options for size and shape vary, you can use plastic totes for anything from a climbing line to a complete rigging kit.
The biggest downside is that plastic containers are brittle when cold, so they snap easily. They also don’t provide any additional storage compartments. You won’t want to throw them around or drop a top on them, but if you do, it won’t cost much to get a replacement.
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for rope storage, some options are better than others. Investing in a decent rope bag can help keep your ropes and gear in better condition, help you to stay organized, and keep your co-workers from claiming your gear.