This article originally appeared in the February 2015 issue of our print edition.
Whether sport or trad, there’s not much better in this world than going out for a day of climbing with your friends, and getting gear to the crag should make your day easier and more fun instead of complicated and frustrating. Enter the most climber-friendly bag on the planet: the much-loved crag pack. With all the detail-oriented features a climber could ever want in a spacious hauler that’s easy to carry, your crag pack is the Subaru for all your gear. Our testers couldn’t agree more, putting these packs through their paces from Smith Rock, Oregon, to Foster Falls, Tennessee, to Yosemite, California, and a dozen places in between. What they came back with was this short list of winners—five packs that we honestly love.
Full-Featured, Bargain Workhorse
Review: Trango Crag Pack
“It’s really a two-in-one. It loads and functions much like a standard haulbag but carries as well as any dedicated alpine pack with its beefy, comfortable suspension.” Read the full review.
Accessible, Comfortable Carry-All
Review: Patagonia Crag Daddy 45
This bag holds everything inside with some room to spare, and the full-length zipper makes access painless. An easy-to-wear-all-day suspension system is comfortable, even with heavy loads. Read the full review.
Simple Time Saver
Review: Black Diamond Stone Duffel 42
Full-length zipper and clever throw handles let you squeeze in more pitches in a session by spending less time packing and more time climbing. Read the full review.
Review: DMM Vector
Easy to pack, unpack, and carry, with a few extra features that are ideal for trad climbers: included separate Racksack, zippered guidebook pocket on the side, and a 45-liter capacity to haul everything a gear-plugger needs. Read the full review.