review by Tony Lourens
I see more and more rope bags are becoming hybrids these days. Top brands are now bringing out rope bags that are actually rucksacks with an attached ground mat for your rope. Which, if you think about it for half a second, makes a whole lot of sense.
Beal’s new Combi Rope Bag is just that – a spacious 45-litre pack that can take your 70-metre rope, draws, harness, shoes, chalk bag and all the other paraphernalia for a day of sport climbing at the crag, as well as a warm top, your lunch, and a thermos of tea. And the great thing is that the ground mat is separate (not attached to the bag), so you can whip it out without taking everything out your bag, and lay it down wherever you want, and your pack can stay in a shady niche.
The Combi carries very comfortably as a rucksack, with two broad, ergonomic, padded shoulder straps, a strong zip, which opens from either end along the full length of the bag to facilitate access. And the interior gear loop helps to keep things organised inside.
There is a carry/hanging handle on the top of the bag as well as two very handy grab handles on the front of the bag, making it easy to move around the crag and allowing the pack to also be used as a duffle bag for everyday use, and is the perfect size for a carry-on on a plane journey.
Sporting a mesh pocket on the outside for your water bottle or climbing shoes and a small zip pocket inside for keys and the like, the Combi is a simple, yet versatile crag bag which easily doubles as a travel bag, and being constructed with burly ripstop fabric makes it durable and long lasting.
The ground mat itself comes with coloured corner loops – red, green and white – to attached rope ends, giving it a bit of an Italian flair. Bet the French never thought of that when they chose their colours!
Capacity: 45 litres
Ground mat (100 cm x 140 cm)
Rucksack straps & Grab handles