Top 10 Best Reviewed Haul Bags - Buyers Guide 2017

Finding a good haul bag isn't easy. To help you choose the very best bag, we have checked hundreds of reviews (1,710 reviews so far!) Based on the many reviews, the top 10 list below shows you exactly what haul bags that are the best choices here in 2017.


Top 10 haul bags 2017


Marmot Urban Hauler
2 models available. Large and Small
Size 14 L (854 CI)
5.0
30 reviews

The North Face Longhaul
The North Face Longhaul
2 models available. 26 and 30
Size 67-79 L (4089-4821 CI)
5.0
12 reviews

Marmot Long Hauler
4 models available. Large, Medium, Small and X-Large
Size 50 L (3051 CI)
4.8
155 reviews

Osprey Porter
Osprey Porter
3 models available. 30, 46 and 65
Size 30-65 L (1831-3967 CI)
4.7
1,030 reviews

4.7
7 reviews

Osprey Shuttle
Osprey Shuttle
3 models available. 100, 130 and 90
Size 130 L (7933 CI)
4.6
9 reviews

Eagle Creek Load Hauler
Eagle Creek Load Hauler
Size 49 L (2990 CI)
4.5
61 reviews

Eagle Creek ORV
Eagle Creek ORV
2 models available. 30 and 36
Size 98-136 L (5980-8299 CI)
4.4
114 reviews

Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler
Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler
4 models available. 120, 45, 60 and 90
Size 45-120 L (2746-7323 CI)
4.4
292 reviews

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 (Buyers Guide)

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

Materials

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.

Seams

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.


Last updated on December 14, 2017

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