Rolling Travel Bags for Travelling Climbers
While some climbers can take months off to go on a road trip, most have to squeeze climbing in between work and other responsibilities. Perhaps this is why so many climbers tack on a few days to business trip if they’re close to a good climbing area; once the work is done the cragging can begin. For this kind of trip, the traditional expedition duffle or massive pack is painfully out of place. And rather than schlepping expedition luggage to the hotel, consider using one of these rugged rolling travel bags. Most have plenty of room for business attire as well as a basic rack. Throw in a small cragging pack and let the climbing begin.
The North Face (32 l)
Constructed with the same burly materials that The North Face uses on its expedition duffles, the Rolling Thunder is a great way to transport clothing and gear in less extreme environments. Multiple external handles simplify loading the Rolling Thunder to the overhead compartment and the various organizer pockets ensure that gear and documents are separated.
Osprey Ozone 28″ (80 l)
The midsize Ozone offers greater volume for anyone that travels with extra gear. But even with all this added space, organization is still easy thanks to the numerous internal and external pockets. Osprey wisely adds three grab handles which simplify loading the bag onto conveyer belts and scales. Unlike some bags, the Ozone i s
surprisingly light, which helps ensure climbers avoid any excess baggage-weight fees.
The Alapaca features a number of innovative details that make it a joy to use when traversing treacherous airport lounges. Consider for instance the wide pull-handle that allows for an offset grip and eliminates the irritating heel-clip that is coming when pulling other rolling luggage. The frame and body are similarly well conceived with a durable aluminum frame and a protective rigid back panel. The rest of the bag sports typical Gregory attention-to-detail with robust fabrics, slightly oversized wheels and a detachable single shoulder strap. There’s not much to not like, except perhaps the bag’s overall weight which was noticeably greater than the other bags in the review. But other than that one minor quibble, the Alpaca is a excellent choice for travelling climbers.
The burly construction on the Juggernaut 45 can survive almost any inhospitable airport environment. Mountain Hardwear uses slightly oversized wheels which allow the bag to roll smoothly over most paved surfaces. Numerous internal and external pockets provide excellent organization and the multiple compressions straps prevent any unwanted shifting.
Thule Crossover (38 l)
The Crossover is a good choice for any traveling climber wanting optimal organization. The bag features an external padded laptop pocket, a padded sunglass pocket and an internal organizer pocket. The main bag uses a semi-rigid construction that adds extra protection to any delicate contents, while hidden shoulder straps transform the bag into a viable pack when crossing unpaved surfaces.
Lowe Alpine TT Roll-On 40 (40 l)
The TT Roll-On 40 provides plenty of storage but can easily work with smaller loads thanks to its internal and external compression straps. Climbers venturing away from concrete urban jungles will appreciate the bags hidden shoulder straps that transform the TT Roll-On 40 into a small backpack; much better than trying to drag the bag across dirt roads or unpaved surfaces.
Climbers that don’t need rolling luggage for those work/climbing trips should check out the new Arcteryx Covert Case ICO bag. Constructed with foam-stiffened panels, the bag offers excellent gear protection while exhibiting a sophisticated and understated aesthetic. The interior is lined with a light grey coloured fabric that makes it easy to find small travel necessities. Three zippered pockets help keep things organized while the four grab-handles and tuck-away shoulder straps provide plenty of carrying options.