Note: Somebody is getting a free Practical Chalk Bucket later this month. It could be you. Details coming soon.
Searching For The Perfect Chalk Bucket
Having only seen chalk bags previously, the first time I ever saw a chalk bucket at a climbing gym, I have to admit I thought I was on the set of Honey I Shrunk the Kids. That was years ago and there were no similar surprises when I received a Crosshatch Chalk Bucket from Practical Climbing last week. I was already expecting one of the best chalk buckets available after polling a couple of online forums and having many climbers point me in their direction (Organic, Voodoo, and Dirtbag were also noteworthy contenders). I opened the simple, brown box that Practical Climbing generously sent and it was immediately clear I had received a quality product made by people who care about details.
Need More Grip
Home climbing at my place has ramped up recently having just finished a larger wall and keeping everyone’s hands grippy has been a challenge. Until now I have been satisfied at home, the gym, and outside using standard-sized, behind-the-back chalk bags, but after several sessions with a half dozen or more people constantly searching for a filled chalk bag, or worse, accidentally kicking a side-laying bag across the floor, I decided it was time to do things right and get a proper chalk bucket. I contacted Practical Climbing and they sent me two buckets, one for my home climbing wall, and one for an upcoming give-away (keep your eye on the site and I’ll post some details in the upcoming week).
Practical Climbing Crosshatch Chalk Bucket
For a week of almost nightly bouldering sessions, friends and family have been putting the bucket to the test. The first thing I noticed was that nobody was kicking it over even though I had filled it with enough loose chalk to create the equivalent of an indoor Saharan sandstorm. I credit this to the color selected and its sheer size. If you have problems avoiding tripping on objects of this magnitude, climbing really shouldn’t be your thing, or you better have one hell of belayer.
Practical Climbing’s chalk bags and buckets are made in what the husband and wife team describe as their USA workshop. Not only does that sound better than the alternative overseas factory, but the quality is immediately apparent.
The outer fabric is a water resistant, technical nylon fabric that doesn’t have that “you could have made this yourself” look. The zipper to the huge front pocket is a bomber YKK large-tooth design that isn’t going snag in the open position like the one on the Kmart parka I wore in the 4th grade. The pocket is big enough for a brush, tape, toenail clippers, and a reasonably sized sandwich (don’t put the clippers right next to the sandwich–come on that’s gross). There is a large webbing loop up top for hanging the bucket from something, an exterior elastic webbing for holding a brush at the ready, and a paracord drawstring with a sturdy, buttoned tensioner for cinching it shut when not in use. The top rim of the bucket is flashed with a durable, stiff Cordura-like material that visually finishes the design, but also helps the bucket hold its mouth wide open for even the shakiest, pumped hands. The internals are made from recycled materials, nylon lining and soft fleece for the chalk catch. The stitching has a nice contrast of being both hefty and simultaneously stitched with care. I can’t find a single loose thread on either bag I received. The bucket has no stability issues and easily stands upright at 8-9 inches high. Its top chalk opening is similarly 8-9 inches wide.
Observations On Practical Climbing
I suspect Practical Climbing was recommended to me not only because they make great products, but also because they have a good company culture. I don’t know them personally, but it doesn’t take long online to see that they do a lot for the climbing community. They are passionately involved in the sport, they sponsor local climbers, they care about the environment and manufacture responsibly–all that good stuff. They also have an eye for design and creative fabric combinations, so picking out a chalk bag or bucket can be a fun time in itself.
For me, Practical Climbing will become a good place to grab an affordable, highly unique gift for friends that climb and I fully expect that most of their products could last someone a lifetime. Click here to check out their inventory of chalk bags, buckets, and clothes and to support a climbing business that will love you back.
Upcoming Contest For A Free Practical Climbing Chalk Bucket
I have a second Chalk Bucket ready to give away! Be sure you are subscribed to receive email notifications from this site and like both www.homerockclimbingwalls.com and Practical Climbing on Facebook to get the upcoming details.