Top 10 Best Haul Bags in 2018

Haul bags need to be able to handle a lot of punishment, so it’s important you choose a quality bag.

Unfortunately not all the brands and models are of the same quality, so it really pays to spend some time comparing the different bags.

Having checked hundreds of haul bag reviews, we can say that the Black Diamond Stubby 35L is the best choice for most people.

Black Diamond Stubby 35L

Black Diamond Stubby 35L

The best reviewed haul bag
Rated 4.80 out of 5

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PS: We have checked 1,282 reviews to make this top 10 list!
1Black Diamond Stubby 35LBlack Diamond Stubby 35L4.80Check Price
2Black Diamond TouchstoneBlack Diamond Touchstone4.80Check Price
3Patagonia Black Hole 25Patagonia Black Hole 254.69Check Price
4Eagle Creek Gear HaulerEagle Creek Gear Hauler4.67Check Price
5Metolius MescalitoMetolius Mescalito4.27Check Price

How we rate the bags

We have checked 1,282 haul bag reviews, so we can show you the weighted average rating of all the bags.

Using the average ratings, you can check what all the reviewers think instead of just viewing the subjective opinion of one specific reviewer.

It’s much simplier to find the best bags that way.

Not sure what haul bags to choose? Read on as we are going to take a closer look at each bag!

1 – Black Diamond Stubby 35L

5 review stars Rating 4.80 based on 8 reviews

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Black Diamond Stubby 35L

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Black Diamond Stubby 35L:

Reviewers like these things about the Black Diamond Stubby 35L

  • Reviewers agree that the Black Diamond Stubby haul bag provides comfort to the user of the pack.
  • Reviewers also noted its vinyl-laminated nylon fabric is durable.
  • Users thought that its padded hip belt provides support and stability when used.
  • They also noted that the hip belt could be removed when not used.
  • Other reviewers pointed out that its thick straps could be tucked away when not needed.
  • Users noted that includes a zippered pocket so that they could secure their essential well.
  • Reviewers indicated that its compartments are easy to access.
  • Users thought that the bag is large enough to carry necessary equipment.
  • They have also mentioned that the bag may be used for travel, commute, or everyday use.
  • Testers have noted that it could be used for high-intensity adventures.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A user thought that the bag is a little heavy.
  • A reviewer said that the pack has no sleeve dedicated to water bottles.

2 – Black Diamond Touchstone

5 review stars Rating 4.80 based on 9 reviews

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Black Diamond Touchstone

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Black Diamond Touchstone:

Reviewers like these things about the Black Diamond Touchstone

  • Most users said that this bag has been great for what they needed.
  • Many users said that it has nice haul straps for big wall.
  • They also mentioned that the suspension system is excellent for a haul bag.
  • Some users said that it also holds everything you would ever need for a day at the crags.
  • Most reviewers said that it is great and its loading capacity is more than enough.
  • Reviewers said that it’s very easy to pack and unpack.
  • Some reviewers said that it stands straight up, and it’s wide open.
  • Users also said that the attachment points are secure and hold the weight with no problem.
  • Several users mentioned that the material is so burly that you don’t have to worry about ripping it on anything.
  • Some users said that it does have a super handy internal pocket or pouch.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users complained that the bag is missing load lifters.
  • One user complained that the shoulder and waist straps are really hard to use and almost impossible to take in and out.
  • Another user complained that his bag lacks the dry-bag closures and sealed seams.

3 – Patagonia Black Hole 25

4.5 review stars Rating 4.69 based on 1214 reviews

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Patagonia Black Hole 25

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Patagonia Black Hole 25:

Reviewers like these things about the Patagonia Black Hole 25

  • A lot of users thought that the Patagonia Black Hole backpack is resistant to any weather condition that might tarnish the state of the bag.
  • Other users recommend the bag for those who are commuting to school and work.
  • Other users noted that the bag has a lightweight design.
  • Many of those who have tried the backpack were able to secure things properly due to its pockets.
  • Several users observed that its straps could be pulled quickly.
  • Reviewers have found that it is comfortable to wear due to its back panel.
  • Laptop users found it easy to store their gadgets due to a padded sleeve dedicated for laptops.
  • Tablet users found it easy to secure their gadgets due to a sleeve dedicated to tablets.
  • Many wrote that the bag is durable and functional.
  • Another user said that its stretchable pockets make it easy to store different sizes of water bottles.
  • Other reviewers noted that there is a roomy storage space for more comfortable organization.
  • Users thought that the bag has an attractive design.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A user remarked that it has a minimal protection to laptops.
  • Another user thought that the bag might be too small for him.
  • A reviewer felt that it is not fit for hiking.

4 – Eagle Creek Gear Hauler

4.5 review stars Rating 4.67 based on 40 reviews

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Eagle Creek Gear Hauler

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Eagle Creek Gear Hauler:

Reviewers like these things about the Eagle Creek Gear Hauler

  • Many users thought it’s a great travel bag for its excellent quality and storage capacity.
  • Others chose it for excellent design and goos construction.
  • Many reiewers loved how it integrates well with a roller, slides over handle and actually balances the weight well.
  • Others were amazed with how it can function as a supplemental and carry on bag.
  • One user thought this luggage hauler has the latest and greatest compartments and durability.
  • Others appreciate how it came exactly as advertised and delivered on schedule.
  • A lot of users love the organization of the luggage.
  • One owner dubbed it as a versatile piece of compact travel luggage.
  • Frequent travelers find this bag well suited to specific short haul trips.
  • Many users were pleased with the presence of well placed handles and gear attachments which helps with general handling and use.
  • A lot of users find the separate compartment useful in separating any important items and electronics from the rest of the luggage, providing plenty of packing options.
  • As a backpack, many finds it effective for getting around stations, airports, on and off public transport and for city/urban use.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Others thought there were too many straps that are not needed.
  • A reviewer said it would be handier if the smaller compartment could open a little further.

5 – Metolius Mescalito

4.5 review stars Rating 4.27 based on 11 reviews

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Metolius Mescalito

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Metolius Mescalito:

Reviewers like these things about the Metolius Mescalito

  • Most users said that it works great as a top rope bag.
  • Reviewers said that it is small enough to not be annoying and large enough to accommodate.
  • One nice feature mentioned by the users is that the waist belt completely removable.
  • Most reviewers mentioned that it has heavy-duty construction and a nice wide opening for dropping in the rack and gear.
  • Several users mentioned that it holds a pretty good rack, shoes, helmet harness etc.
  • Users also liked the fact that it has few pockets just the big main area and a small zip pocket in lid.
  • They also mentioned that it is great for day packing, or sports climbing, as well as organizing on a big wall.
  • Many students said that holds a couple med school textbooks and their laptop.
  • Students also said that it is great for using it as their backpack for school.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • One user complained that it should have a small outside pocket.
  • Another user complained that he didn’t like the color.

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Buyer’s guide to haul bags

If you need to carry around the climbing gear that you have managed to accumulate, then there is no denying that you require a haul bag. There is very little information available about these type of climbing bags which can make it rather tricky to determine which option is best suited to you and your climbing style.

In this guide, we work on describing the various choices that you have when it comes to haul bags and how to know if you are making the right decision. Here, we will answer all of the questions that you may have regarding these type of climbing bags:

How to Choose a Haul Bag That is Right for Your Climbing Trip

Over time, you will find yourself with more and more climbing gear to carry around. After a while, you will find that you have simply too much gear to allow you to just clip it onto your belt or harness. You will need to make the transition to a proper bag so that you will be able to take what you need. This will come in particularly handy if you are going on an extended climbing trip.

Now, depending on your type of trip and climbing style, there may be much more variety available to you than you initially thought. If you are having some trouble deciding on what you will need, we will make it easy for you to narrow down your options.

What Do You Need a Gear Bag For?

First things first, precisely what is it that you need a gear bag for? In climbing situations, there are two bags that you might need – a haul bag or crag bag. A haul bag, as the name implies is one that you will fix to your rope and take up on the rocks with you. This type of climbing bag is mainly used for extended climbing trips as you are able to carry a greater number of items with you. Also, they are incredibly durable and able to withstand the friction experienced while climbing with your bag.

Crag bags, on the other hand, are not meant to be taken with you. While they do hold your climbing gear, its role is to contain your gear until you start climbing. This is what is often used on hikes or if you want to transfer items from the car to the mountainside. The crag bags are left at the bottom while you go climbing. One of the main benefits of this type of climbing bag is that it protects all of your gear incredibly well. A good example of a crag bag is the Gear Hauler which is easy to carry, has plenty of space, and lots of organization features as well.

So, before you go any further, you need to decide which type of bag is right for you. While they may seem similar, these bags actually perform largely different functions. This is why your first step should be to understand the discrepancies between the bags and which one can serve you best.

Haul Bag Sizes

In terms of size, haul bags can be classified as small, medium, or large bags. Let’s take a look at what these sizes mean and how to choose the best option for you.

Small Haul Bags

Small haul bags often have a capacity between 20 and 40 liters. The smaller bags can actually be used as secondary gear bags as well. These bags should be able to carry any gear and supplies that you need for a day route. It is usually just enough for one climber.

Medium Haul Bags

These bags have capacities ranging from around 50 to 75 liters. These are good options for overnight trips and can even be stretched to accommodate a weekend’s worth of climbing. The larger bags can even be used by more than one climber if you want to head out on a shorter trek.

Large Haul Bags

Large haul bags are essentially those that have capacities greater than 80 liters. These are ideal for multiple day routes, particularly if you are hauling your own gear. They work well for longer treks and can carry additional gear for cooler temperatures as well.

Haul Bag Durability


Now, as mentioned, haul bags are made from rather special materials, unlike many other climbing bags. This is due to the unique situation associated with this type of bag. Haul bags are taken with you as you climb which means they are constantly being rubbed against rock, brush, and various other ragged surfaces. This can result in wear and tear, especially if the bag is used quite regularly. Therefore, you need a haul bag that is made from a material that is able to withstand all of this friction and various other impediments.

Of course, this does depend on the type of climbing that you are doing. If you want to balance lightness and durability, for instance, you can stick with lighter materials such as polyester but with a higher denier. You should avoid haul bags that are made from a denier that is lower than 1200, just to be on the safe side.

A step up from the polyester would be nylon that was coated with a sturdier substance such as vinyl. This helps to add durability to the already tough nylon and makes it less prone to developing rips due to constant friction. It even helps it to repel water to a certain extent.

Another material that is making more of an appearance on the haul bag market is durathane. It is derived from polyurethane and has excellent abrasion resistance properties. On top of this, these bags are also well known for their weatherproof features, particularly protection against UV light.


In addition to the material that it is made from, you should also pay close attention to the seams of a bag. After all, if the seams happen to split, the bag will be of no use to you. It is typically quite common to find double stitching on haul bags. While these are not the best option, they will certainly hold together, even when carrying a considerable load.

If you are really keen on durability, however, welded seams are the way to go. Manufacturers can use either radio frequency, heat, or pressure to weld the seams shut. These are, without a doubt, incredibly strong. In fact, this type of seam is so reliable that the material will often give way before the seam does.

The Carrying System

Unlike with many other types of bags, the straps on a haul bag aren’t the most important aspect. In fact, it is a good idea for you to consider bags where the straps can be tucked away when they are not in use. This way, they will not catch on anything while you are climbing and slow you down. However, if you are planning on carrying a heavier load, you should look for padded shoulder straps to make it more comfortable to carry.

On a similar note, if you are carrying a lot of gear with you, you may want to look for a hip belt as well. This will help to distribute the weight more evenly, can offer up comfort, and can also work to keep the bag secured to you. Many of the haul bags have removable hip belts as they are not required much of the time. It can help if this belt is padded as well to avoid chaffing while walking.

Additional Features to Look For

There are a few additional features that you may want to consider while looking around for haul bags:

  • If you will be on a longer trek with limited shelter or if you feel as though you may be caught in bad weather, then having a bag that can repel water can help. In addition to having a bag that is made from coated or laminated water resistant layers, you can also look for a double walled skirt that will allow for the water to run off.
  • You should also consider additional attachment points such as daisy loops. It may not be possible for you to carry all of your gear or equipment inside your bag and may need to hang it outside. Or, you may need to take along additional bags and with the right attachment points, you can hang them from your haul bag.
  • You will also need to take a look at the closure system on the bag. This largely depends on the environment that you are climbing in. If your main concern is to reach all of your things quickly and with little hassle, then you should consider a drawstring top. However, if you want to protect your belongings from water or ensure that they are secure in your bag, buckles and zippers may be a better option.

Finding the Right Bag – The Grading Scale

If you are a bit new to the whole climbing scene, you may not feel as though you are experienced enough to choose a bag suitable for your climbing environment. Well, the good news is that certain manufacturers can help you out. It is not uncommon to find a grading scale attached to haul bags. Here, you will find a grading system denoting Grade I, II, III, IV, and V.

As a climber, you will be aware that this system is used to determine the difficulty and ruggedness of a particular climbing wall. While you can’t always rely on this information, it will provide you with a good start, particularly if you are headed to rather a rough terrain. In this instance, looking for bags that grade V will ensure that you have a haul bag that is durable enough.

So, there you have it, all of the information that you need to know to choose a haul bag that will serve you well.

Notes about this top 10 list

The list was last updated 19/09/2018.

The list shows the best reviewed haul bags from a much bigger list of selected products. The list should not be considered a complete list of all available, excellent haul bags

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

About MightyGoods

Here at our site MightyGoods, we have checked thousands of reviews in order to build the biggest directory of backpacks, luggage, handbags and lots of other bags.

So far we have checked more than 2,1 million reviews!

Using our bag review summaries, we aim to help you find the perfect bag without having to spend a lot of time reading an endless list of reviews.

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