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All About Climbing Packs

Which Climbing Pack Do You Need?


A climber crosses a via ferrata or

A light and compact climbing pack is ideal for a rock adventure in the Dolomite Mountains.

Photograph © Spencer Swanger

You're going to need a pack every time you go rock climbing. You can stash all your gear--harness, rock shoes, chalk bag, quickdraws, and a rack of gear--in the pack, making it easy to carry equipment to the cliff. Other extras like water, energy bars, first aid kit, raincoat, and the Ten Essentials also fit in your pack. Your climbing rope can be put inside the pack if it's big enough or carried on top under the lid.

What Kind of Pack Do You Need?

The type and size of pack you carry is determined by what you're going to climb; how long you'll be climbing; how far you have to hike; how much equipment you'll need on the route; and if you're carrying the pack up the cliff. Most climbers acquire a variety of different-sized packs for different kinds of climbs and climbing trips during their climbing careers.

Five types of Climbing Packs

There are five basic types of packs used for your climbing adventures:

  • Climbing Day Packs
  • All-Around Packs
  • Mountaineering Packs
  • Light Packs for Speed Climbing
  • Rope Bags

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