What Is a Crag Pack? Everything You Need To Know

What Is a Crag Pack? Everything You Need To Know

A crag pack is a type of backpack specifically crafted for transporting and storing climbing equipment during climbing activities. The bag is thoughtfully designed with the aim of holding a maximum amount of gear safely and in an organized way.

All around the world, more people are venturing into more energy-draining adventures. For this reason, you see people going camping, mountain climbing, gym climbing, and even skydiving. You cannot ignore the need for specific equipment and pieces of gear to ensure a hitch-free adventure for all these activities. This is where crag packs come into the picture. 

There are bags for various reasons; a golf bag is used to keep golf clubs, just as a camp bag helps keep everything required for camping. So when you are going for an intense adventure in the mountains and hills, a crag pack or alpine pack is used to keep all those hefty and complicated gear. For this reason, you often find crag bags or crag packs to be very spacious, comfortable, and highly stratified. With crag packs, you can carry

 your helmet, guidebook, flashlight, and other essentials effectively and comfortably. 

Identifying A Crag Bag

A crag bag is different from a regular backpack or a hiking pack. This is not just in functionality but also in appearance. A crag bag possesses distinct features that are only found in crag packs to perform its tasks better. 

Generally, when you go cragging, you don’t just lift any random bag pack and use it to store your cragging gear. Instead, you go for a bag with optimal functionality and specificity. 

Here are some features of cag bags that make identifying them easy. 

Let’s put it this way; a cragging bag that cannot store most of your gear is not a cragging bag. From the locking carabineer to the helmet and climbing shoes, along with its external mesh shoe pouch to let the shoes breathe, a crag pack should accommodate every gear in a very effective way. Gear comes in different shapes and sizes and should fit perfectly in the crag pack. A crag pack has extra compartments and spaces to fit in extra equipment. This is something your regular bag pack doesn’t have. Because some gears are relatively heavy compared to others, an excellent cragging bag should be able to store them all. No matter how heavy the equipment is. 

Crag bags are easy to open and close. Easy opening and closing are some of the special features of crag packs. You do not want to experience while cragging is delayed because you cannot unzip a zipper or unfasten a fastener. Also, a crag bag should be comfortable. Cragging is already a hectic task; cragging with a comfortable bag will help make the job easier for you. Coupled with this, a good cragging pack should be easy to open and close. This way, you are not delayed by a complication, especially when you need something instantly or at any time.

Choosing The Best Crag Pack for Cragging

Choosing The Best Crag Pack for Cragging

In deciding on the best crag pack to use, it is essential to consider so many things. You can start by asking yourself these questions; what will I use the crag bag for often? How frequently will I engage in activities like these? Will I be going cragging alone or in groups? After answering these questions, you can go ahead to select the best crag bag for you. 

Selecting the best crag pack for you is centered on these factors:

Style and Access

Style and Access

Crag packs come in different styles, with a relatively different approach to capacity, comfort, and accessibility. Some crag pack styles are explained below:

Duffel Style Climbing Backpack

The characteristic tube-shaped duffel bag comes with excellent accessibility and, at the same time, the comfort of a climbing backpack. The zip of a duffel–like handles pack is made so that opening it will make a complete side of the bag open. This way, you can access all of your gear with speed and ease. Unfortunately, while this crag bag is magnificent for comfort and accessibility, its poor padding on the back makes it less ideal for distant approaches. 

Haul Bag Style Climbing Pack

When it comes to comfort and durability, no crag pack beats the reach of the haul bag-style packs. This type of pack is the best option for cragging, especially when placing your gear into your pack. The hail bag style pack allows easy and wide opening with full capacity. This crag pack type can be used irrespective of your climbing preferences. 

Back Panel Access Packs

The zip is found at the bag’s back panel in this type of crag pack. As a result of the zip location, the back panel access packs are the best packs for fast and easy loading of gear. Other than its easy access, the back panel access packs help you avoid getting grit and dirt in the shoulder strap and back panel. For this reason, the back panel access packs have become the preferred option for many people today, even better than the duffel bag. However, one disadvantage of this pack style is sealing the zipper after fully loading the pack. 

Other Styles 

Sometimes, some other crag pack styles are utilized for cragging. For example, there is the unique, organic climbing dual zip roll-down pack. This style combines that of the duffle bag and a regular sack. The result is a pack that provides open and total when laid on the ground. 


The amount of gear you plan on carrying directly affects the size of the backpack you’ll need. More gear will require a bigger backpack and vice versa. Generally, crag packs have a capacity of between 35 and 50 liters. A capacity between 35 and 40 liters is typically enough for a complete trip to the crag. However, you may decide to go with more gear for a bigger trip. At this point, opting for a 50-liter crag pack will be an excellent idea. If you’re going to need more than 50 liters of cragging pack, you must go with someone to split the load into two. Carrying very heavy loads can be excruciating when going for cragging, including a double rack and other bulky gear.



You need a comfortable crag pack while cragging. This way, you can focus more on the journey ahead and not on the load you carry. Some ways crag packs can provide comfort include:

Load Adjustment

Packs with load adjustment features are important, especially if you carry loads or simply walk for very long periods. A comfortable crag pack comes with even weight distribution, helping in comfortable carrying. These bags do not concentrate loads on the part of the body. Instead, the load is balanced, and the entire body assists in bearing it. Load lifter straps can be used to take heavier loads closer to the body, while compression straps can be used in securing the contents of the pack, so they do not move around the pack when it isn’t full. 


Today, many crag packs have an acceptable amount of padding on the padded-shoulder straps and back panel. These breathable mesh-shoulder straps help cushion the pain the shoulder straps exert on the shoulders. These comfortable straps make it easy to carry the load. However, some crag bags do not have padding, which causes pain to the carrier. As a result of the load that a typical crag bag carries, that bag needs to be well padded, especially in areas that contact the body. Sometimes, you might want to consider adding a well-cushioned padded hip belt to your crag pack. All of these additions will help you with comfort while cragging



This is one of the main benefits of crag packs. When we say organization, we talk of the rope, padded straps, gear loops, pockets, and various other compartments. How are they arranged, and how essential are they?


We need pockets. Not just in our pants and dresses, but in our crag packs. In addition to the many compartments of the crag packs, it will help to have both an external and internal pocket. Sometimes, you just want to stuff something into the bag without opening the main bag. This is where an external pocket becomes extra important. For other times, you wish to organize very small items at some other time, so they do not go missing. This is where an internal mesh pocket becomes important. Not only do pockets help in organizing items, but they also help in easy accessibility. If your crag pack has a hip belt, having a pocket right at the hip belt can be very beneficial, especially if you’d like to put some snacks in it. Other items like a few liters of water bottles, flashlights, medical supplies, and other external gear can be placed in different pockets for easy organization and accessibility. As a matter of fact, there’s even a guidebook pocket and a helmet pocket for easy and quick access!

Compression Straps

You know that feeling when your bag isn’t full, and every item in it seems to dangle about the bag? Yes, that sucks when it comes to cragging. While cragging, it is critical for all your gear and equipment to be static. Some are very fragile, while others can spill easily. For this reason, compression straps are essential in keeping all of your gear static and in place. 

Gear Loops For Your Climbing Pack

Gear loops, especially the internal gear loops, are essential in organizing your gear. Internal gear loops can be used to keep climbing gear mess-free and easily accessible. They can be either soft or rigid, typically attached to the waist belt. 

Climbing Rope Straps

Crag packs with smaller capacity often require external straps for fastening ropes. However, many crag packs today are equipped with a removable rope tarp. This way, you won’t have any issues trying fastening and keeping your hiking ropes in place. 

Fabrics and Durability

The material used in making the pack typically determines its level of durability. The most popular material used for making backpacks is nylon. This is because nylon is waterproof and resistant to leakage. The denier ratings are used to determine just how durable the material is. Typically, a higher denier number indicates a better material for its strength and longevity.

Conversely, a lower denier number indicates materials of lower durability and quality. Other than denier ratings, some other factors are also used in determining the durability of materials used to make backpacks. Some of these factors include the types of weave used, the quality of the seam stitching, and the weave’s tightness. These factors can affect the durability of a material used to make packs. Nevertheless, the denier rating remains the easiest and most convenient way of measuring the level of durability of materials used for making packs. 

Best Cragging Bags

Price of Crag Packs

The price of crag packs varies depending on the type of pack and the material used. However, the retail price ranges from $110 to $350. Knowing the vast functionality of these packs, the price of this mountain hardware is worth it. 

Packing Tip

While most crag packs today offer a few external attachment loops, you must pack all your gear but the stinky pairs of climbing shoes in the inside compartment. You won’t believe how easy it is for equipment to get hooked on the tiniest twigs when dangling on the outside packaging. 


Climbing equipment can be difficult to manage sometimes. When it comes to keeping track of the gear and every other thing we need for sport cragging, many of us are not very good at it. However, we can ensure proper packaging of all our crucial cragging gear with crag packs while still enjoying the trip to the fullest. The crag pack has become the pinnacle of sport cragging essentials. When you put on a crag pack, people immediately see you as someone who is into cragging. Equipment for safety, direction, and even your snacks and fast foods can be comfortably placed in your crag bag. This is why crag packs are essential and should be taken very seriously when going for cragging.

Kevin Macey
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