Review: Kinetik Kilojoule 3.0 Chalk Bucket

Kinetik Kilojoule Chalk Bucket Bag Bouldering Rock climbing

The Kinetik Kilojoule 3.0 Chalk Bucket.

“Can you toss that chalk bucket up to me?” Those words usually preface a disaster of chalk, brushes, and tape strewn across the boulders. But Kinetik has stopped the spillage with their Kilojoule Chalk Bucket 3.0, a revamping of their popular, spill-proof chalk bucket. Named for the physics term for the unit of measurement for potential energy, the Kilojoule features a Constant Closure system, heavy-duty zipper, stable, wide base, and a taco-fold closure system, guaranteeing less spills of expensive magnesium carbonate, less mess at the crag, and a simpler, more efficient way to carry chalk.

First, to the main selling point: The Constant Closure system. As with past iterations, the mouth of the chalk bucket has overlapping flaps that let you easily reach inside—simply floss your hand through the opening—but that then seal themselves once you remove your hand. Thus is spillage prevented. In the field, this meant I could dip my hand in and pull out chalk without spilling it either all over the crashpads or my kitchen floor during a home hangboard session. And when the bag got knocked over, I lost none of the white stuff. For easier dipping, for getting a brush in to chalk up holds, or to refill the chalk bucket, version 3.0 offers two retainers that you hook over tabs on the outside of the mouth, leaving the chalk bucket temporarily open. This created an easy in and out for chalking up new problems in the far reaches of Upper Upper Chaos Canyon or for dipping my hands in for a massive amount of chalk. Version 3.0 is also slight smaller than its predecessors, making it more portable on longer approaches.

The bucket comes with two interior straps near the mouth, which allowed for a thicker, sloper-style brush and a thinner boar’s hair brush. Meanwhile, a new zipper pocket in the base offers perfect storage for nail clippers, an emery board, tape, a phone or other small accouterments—meaning I could just take the bucket and my shoes to the gym without needing a backpack. The waterproof vinyl shell on the bottom kept moisture out of the bag, useful for climbing on the snowy starts of Rocky Mountain National Park’s alpine boulders. And when I folded the bag in on itself in the “zip-up carry mode,” my white gold stayed dry even when an afternoon thunderstorm crashed through the boulders.

The Kilojoule 3.0 is one of the savviest, best-realized, most feature-rich chalk buckets on the market. It’s a hardcore bouldering tool that deserves a place in your bouldering quiver, whether you like the plastic, the blocs, or a little of both.