ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST CLIMBING BACKPACKSCOMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST CLIMBING BACKPACKSCLIMBING BACKPACKS REVIEWSARC’TERYX ALPHA FL 30MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR SCRAMBLER 30 OUTDRYPATAGONIA CRAGSMITH 32BLACK DIAMOND STONE 42 DUFFELORGANIC CLIMBING ROLL DOWN PACKTRANGO CRAG PACKBLACK DIAMOND PIPE DREAM 45MAMMUT NEON GEAR 45HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST CLIMBING BACKPACKSMATERIALDURABILITYCAPACITYWEIGHTSUPPORT We climbers love our gear. So why not love the gear that carries your gear as well? Whether you’re out for a day of cragging with your friends or settling in for an afternoon bouldering session, you’ll need the perfect pack for transporting your beloved gear comfortably and efficiently. But with so many options on the market, how do you know which is the best climbing backpack for you? Here at The Adventure Junkies we understand how game-changing the perfect backpack can be. In a sport like climbing, the amount of gear you carry can be overwhelming, and the approaches to the crag long and arduous. To help you out, we’ve assembled a list of the top backpacks climbers are raving about this year, along with what to look for when making the right choice for you. For more of our top climbing gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: Ropes | Harnesses | Helmets | Backpacks Climbing Shoes | Approach Shoes | Pants | Shorts | Shirts Carabiners | Cams | Nuts | Quickdraws | Pulleys | Belay Devices Bouldering Shoes | Bouldering Pants | Crash Pads QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST CLIMBING BACKPACKS 1. ARC’TERYX ALPHA FL 30 VIEW AT REI 2. MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR SCRAMBLER VIEW AT AMAZON 3. PATAGONIA CRAGSMITH 32 VIEW AT REI 4. BLACK DIAMOND STONE DUFFEL 42 VIEW AT AMAZON 5. ORGANIC CLIMBING ROLL DOWN CHECK ON ORGANIC CLIMBING 6. TRANGO CRAG PACK VIEW AT REI 7. BLACK DIAMOND PIPE DREAM VIEW AT AMAZON 8. MAMMUT NEON GEAR 45 VIEW AT REI COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST CLIMBING BACKPACKS PICTUREBACKPACKBEST USEWEIGHTVOLUMEPRICERATING PICTUREBACKPACKBEST USEWEIGHTVOLUMEPRICERATING Arc'teryx Alpha FL 30Overall1.3 lbs30 Liters$$$5 Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 30 OutdryOverall1.7 lbs30 Liters$$4.4 Patagonia Cragsmith 32Overall2.3 lbs35 Liters$$3.7 Black Diamond Stone 42 Duffel Budget2.4 lbs42 Liters$5 Organic Climbing Roll Down PackBudget1.2 lbs32 Liters$5 Trango Crag PackBudget3.5 lbs48 Liters$4.5 Black Diamond Pipe Dream 45Cragging4.0 lbs45 Liters$$4.8 Mammut Neon Gear 45Cragging3.2 lbs45 Liters$$4 CLIMBING BACKPACKS REVIEWS ARC’TERYX ALPHA FL 30 Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Alpine adventures, fast and light approaches WEIGHT: 1.3 lbs VOLUME: 30 Litres MATERIAL: Nylon rip-stop, polyester and elastane PROS: Designed for climbers and skiers, minimalist design, highly weather resistant fabric and fully seam-sealed to enhance water-resistance, white interior to better find items inside, ultralight, can be used for actual climbing CONS: Expensive, top pack access only, some issues with shock cord durability MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR SCRAMBLER 30 OUTDRY Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Sport climbing, hiking WEIGHT: 1.7 lbs VOLUME: 30 Litres MATERIAL: Polyester PROS: Super waterproof and weather-resistant, water bottle pockets on outside, exterior gear loops, rope strap and compression straps CONS: Small, difficult to use side pockets when internal compartment is filled to capacity PATAGONIA CRAGSMITH 32 Check out the latest price on: Backcountry | REI BEST FOR: Sport climbing, hiking WEIGHT: 2.3 lbs VOLUME: 35 Litres MATERIAL: 630-denier nylon with 940-denier nylon on base PROS: Easy “clamshell” back-access, DWR-treated material, large guidebook pocket, exterior rope strap, comes in four sizes CONS: Low support while carrying heavy loads, not quite large enough for all gear BLACK DIAMOND STONE 42 DUFFEL Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Sport climbing, trad climbing WEIGHT: 2.4 lbs VOLUME: 42 Litres MATERIAL: 800-denier nylon with 1260-denier ballistic nylon on base PROS: Full length zipper for easy gear access, throw handles, internal zippered pockets, removable rope tarp, lightweight and simple design CONS: No external loops for extra gear ORGANIC CLIMBING ROLL DOWN PACK Check out the latest price on: Organic Climbing USA BEST FOR: Bouldering, gym climbing WEIGHT: 1.2 lbs VOLUME: 32 Litres MATERIAL: 1050-denier ballistic nylon PROS: Heavy duty fabric, two daisy chains on outside for clipping extra gear to, roll-down top to change capacity and meet the needs of climbers in any season, inside zip-pocket, made in USA, stylish CONS: Reduced back support due to lack of frame TRANGO CRAG PACK Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Sport climbing, trad climbing WEIGHT: 3.5 lbs VOLUME: 48 Litres MATERIAL: Nylon and Titan Wrap PROS: Minimalist design, side access zipper, mesh shoe sack, removable mini-tarp, guidebook pocket, double exterior straps, very durable catch-all “gear bucket” CONS: Some users reported discomfort on long approaches BLACK DIAMOND PIPE DREAM 45 Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Sport climbing WEIGHT: 4.0 lbs VOLUME: 45 Litres MATERIAL: 840-denier nylon with 1260-denier ballistic nylon on base PROS: Three point closure system for easy access, padded shoulder straps and waist belt, pack turns into comfy hang-out spot for those 2-hour rests between redpoint burns CONS: Heavy, in order to use pad for lounging all gear has to come out of pack MAMMUT NEON GEAR 45 Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Sport climbing, trad climbing WEIGHT: 3.2 lbs VOLUME: 45 Litres MATERIAL: 300-denier polyester with 1680-denier nylon ballistic trim PROS: U-shaped back zip for easy access, duffel-style straps, several climbing-specific features including rope tarp, chalk sack and guidebook pouch, 3D EVA foam back ventilation, rope attachment strap, DWR-treated exterior CONS: No external loops for extra gear Gear up for climbing, without breaking the bankGet the Latest Deals on Climbing GearSent right to your inbox...GEAR UP FOR CLIMBING HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST CLIMBING BACKPACKS MATERIAL The climbing backpacks covered in this review are made of Nylon, Cordura Nylon, Rip-Stop Nylon, or Polyester. Each of these fabrics offers great durability to protect your gear and your pack whether you’re tackling gnarly approaches or tossing your pack around at the base of the cliff. Some of the packs we’re recommending are also waterproof or DWR (Durable Water Repellent) treated. While waterproofing and water-resistance are a plus, remember that you will rarely be out climbing in the rain. An inexpensive rain cover might be all you need to keep you protected when that unexpected storm hits. DURABILITY Packing your climbing backpack for the day is not like packing for a day hike. If you’re heading out cragging, you’re likely to be filling your pack with a variety of oddly shaped metal objects like quickdraws and belay devices, and maybe some cams and nuts. It is important that your backpack is durable enough that you’re not at risk of wearing through it from the inside out. Climbing approaches can also be gnarly. You won’t necessarily be following a well-defined trail and often scrambling is required. Greater durability means that your pack is more likely to stand up against rogue branches and brambles or rock abrasion. Denier is essentially a measure of the thickness of fibers that make up a material. Fabrics with a higher denier rating are thicker and sturdier, whereas those with lower denier are more lightweight. As expected, higher denier materials tend to be more resistant to abrasion and less likely to tear. A higher denier fabric will give you greater durability but with the trade-off of a heavier weight. CAPACITY The size of pack you choose depends largely on the discipline of climbing you are engaged in and how much gear you might need to carry. If you need a climbing daypack to take on route with you, something in the 16-20 Liter range is sufficient to carry water, snacks, layers and a few other odds and ends. If you’re loading up to carry your gear to the cliff for a day of cragging, you’ll like want to consider a pack in the 30-50 Liter range. Boulderers require the least amount of gear for climbing. In fact, many boulderers stuff their climbing shoes, chalk, snacks and water right inside their crashpads for the day and avoid using packs at all. If you are a boulderer looking to invest in a backpack, choose something simple and on the smaller side. Sport climbers and trad climbers haul out substantially more gear. In addition to shoes and chalk, these climbers require a rope and a variety of safety gear. All this equipment is in addition to the typical things you need for a small hike like food, water, first aid kit, and extra layers. WEIGHT Weight is super important to climbers. Remember that the weight of your gear – especially your hardware – adds up quickly and is only a portion of what you’ll be bringing to the crag. It is important to find an appropriate pack to support all the weight you’re carrying. Fortunately, many packs for climbers are designed with weight in mind, meaning they aren’t overly heavy to begin with. You are unlikely to notice much difference in weight from one pack to another, so choosing your backpack based on other features may be a good idea. Avoid skimping on quality for a lightweight pack that might not hold up. SUPPORT You want to be in tip top shape when you arrive at your climbing destination, not worn out and exhausted from a poorly supported heavy load. If you know you’ll be loading down your pack with quickdraws, a trad rack and a rope, ensure you have a backpack with support to make hauling your gear more comfortable. We strongly recommend purchasing a climbing backpack with a sternum strap and waist belt to help you carry the load. Look for padded shoulder straps and if needed, a frame in the pack for additional support. Climbing gear weighs a lot so don’t expect your pack to be light while you’re on route to the crag. To ease the stress on your body, make sure your pack is fit to your torso correctly. ROCK CLIMBING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSROCK CLIMBINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. BASICS 5. CLIMBING CLOTHES 2. KNOTS & ANCHORS 6. TRAINING 3. CLIMBING SKILLS 7. SAFETY 4. CLIMBING GEAR 8. PSYCHOLOGY 1. BASICS 2. KNOTS & ANCHORS 3. CLIMBING SKILLS 4. CLIMBING GEAR 5. CLIMBING CLOTHES 6. TRAINING 7. SAFETY 8. PSYCHOLOGY Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.