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Patagonia Cragsmith Pack 45L - Climbing Rope Bag

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Patagonia Cragsmith Pack 45L - Climbing Rope Bag

True To Size
July 20, 2020

45L compared to 32L

If you're deciding between the 45L and 32L Cragsmith, this review is for you. Long story short, the 45L reminds me of something I'd use to go backpacking around Europe, the 32L is sized more like a typical day pack. I'm a 6 ft, 185lbs dude, climbing sport and top rope routes. Ultimately I find the 45L to be more comfortable, mostly d... Read Moreue to the better designed waist strap, and large enough to carry multiple people's gear. The 32L is perhaps better sized for an individual, solo day of rock climbing. However, the waist strap isn't as comfy. Both have similar zipper systems which are TERRIFIC for accessing gear and keeping things organized throughout the day. In the end, I've decided to keep both, but am going to give the 32L to my girlfriend (and borrow it every now and then if I'm being perfectly honest). The longer version of this story follows: I originally bought the 45L thinking it would be best to carry both my gear and my girlfriend's gear. For whatever reason I also liked the idea of carrying my 60 meter rope inside the bag instead of slinging it over top of my bag like I normally do. And WOW! I was able to fit ALL of our gear (4 pairs of shoes, a 60m rope, 2 harnesses, 1 helmet, water bottles, a set of quickdraws, belay devices, chalk bags and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting about) and still had some room to spare. Just as importantly, the bag was really comfy to wear too. The 45L will work really well on longer trips (like if I need to carry a tent, for example) and when the temperatures start dropping so I can pack additional layers. Yesterday I tested the 32L, this time with no girlfriend. I was still able to cram a lot into the pack (1 pair of shoes, 1 harness, 1 helmet, 1 big water bottle, a set of quickdraws, a sling, a quad anchor, an ATC, a Grigri, a Helinox Chair One) and, just like before, STILL HAD ROOM TO SPARE. This can be seen in the photo I posted with the bags opened next to each other. As in the past, I slung my 60m rope over the top of the bag with relatively no issue. The only complaint I have, however, and I've read this in other reviews too: the waist strap is not nearly as comfy as the 45L. I read this complaint before buying the 32L, but since my old bag also had a basic webbing-like waist strap I didn't think much of it. If anything I thought the complaint seemed to be a bit on the fussy side. But after feeling the comfort of the 45L, the 32L waist strap definitely felt insufficient especially considering that I assume most rock climbers CRAM their bags full of gear / water/ snacks. But, if you're the type of person who is fine with carrying all of that weight on your shoulders, I suppose the 32L strap isn't a big deal. Me, however, I before distributing that weight onto my hips.

June 21, 2020

Well designed pack!

Extremely well-made, very easy to pack, very easy to access, and really comfortable to carry. I can carry a full trad rack, full sport rack, full rope, extra layers, water, snacks, and a couple beers for afterwards with plenty of space to spare. This pack is awesome!

June 17, 2020

Well designed pack!

Extremely well-made, very easy to pack, very easy to access, and really comfortable to carry. I can carry a full trad rack, full sport rack, full rope, extra layers, water, snacks, and a couple beers for afterwards with plenty of space to spare. This pack is awesome!

January 30, 2020

My favorite crag pack of all time

I've used a lot of crag packs over the years and this one reigns supreme. Pretty much a perfect size for cragging, back access is awesome, carries a load really comfortably. I've used the 45L a number of times as a carry on during flights since it fits most overheads just fine. I would recommend this pack to any climber and have had multi... Read Moreple friends buy it after we climbed together. Two observations: 1) the pack can feel a little weird when it's under packed partially because it has a bit of "structure" which you can't really compress down so items can bounce around inside, 2) it would be nice to have an external helmet carry system. I

November 22, 2019

Love it

Actually bought it for a trip to Europe rather than climbing. Having everything open from the back was helpful from a security stand point.

September 30, 2019

Best Climbing or Travel pack there is

For climbing or traveling, you won't find a better pack anywhere. Simple, streamlined, and easy access makes this product top the list. You can stuff it from the top to get things packed in tight (be it climbing gear or clothes or whatever), then get to the crag (or your hotel) and open it up like a big suitcase. Top pocked (brain) is large ca... Read Moren hold a ton, but if you don't need it and the pack is stuffed to the brim, it gets out of the way not taking up extra space. For climbing gear, I can easily fit a rope, a full trad rack, two pairs of shoes, lunch, two water bottles, layers, harness, etc. etc. with no issues. Carries the weight super well. If you need more space, you can throw the rope over the top of the pack and lock it down, freeing tons of inner space. I've used a million crag packs in my day--this is the one to rule them all. Big burly zipper, too.

September 7, 2019

Love this backpack

I love this backpack. I love that I can access all my stuff without rummaging around in a dark hole for minutes on end. It carries a lot of gear well, too.

August 15, 2019

A good day crag pack

This pack is great for single day climbs at the crag. It easily fits all my sport climbing equipment for two people along with any other random stuff I want bring. If bringing a trad rack then I probably couldn't fit enough stuff for two people but it's pretty close. The Daisy chains on the top are great for holding climbing shoes or anyt... Read Morehing else you want to connect to it, and it's very easy to lay the pack down and open up the panel to quickly find anything you need. My only gripe is the rope attachments on the outside, it's great that there are straps on the side, but it would be even more secure if there was a single strap on the top to keep the rope in place on the top especially when I'm swinging my pack around . Very comfy as well, to carry, would recommend.

August 12, 2019

I am not a climber and I am in love with this pack

I bought this pack because the ENTIRE bag opens from the back and you cannot lose your items in this bag. I never like having to dig and dig in a pack to find one little thing and the opening solves that problem. I am 5'7 and went with the L/XL and it truly fits perfectly. I probably could've gone for the smaller size but I'd rather ... Read Morehave it a little bigger than too small. It is a bit big for just a day pack but it's great for travel, backpacking, and in the winter for skinning and skiing. All in all, this is a great all around versatile pack.

August 10, 2019

Cragsmith 45L

Best backpack for rock climbing ever!

August 10, 2019

Cragsmith 45L

This is not only a great bag for climbing, but also an awesome 3-7 day travel bag. However, I would like to see the top lid compartment in the smaller version of this bag, the cragsmith 32. The 45 is great for longer days/more gear, but the 32 is a more versatile bag for a variety of situations.

October 28, 2018


In one week, my typical bag use could be: walking to/from work with laptop, camera, warm jacket, waterproof jacket, lunch, notebook, and water bottle; full day hike with my stuff as well as a good chunk of my kids' stuff; traveling with camera, extra lenses, laptop, and a weekend worth of clothing; or just grabbing this on my way out the door ... Read Moreto go work at a coffee shop. I wanted something that could do everything. Pros: I realize this is a crag pack, and it will work great for that too, but opening is amazing—flipping the entire back open to switch lenses or grab my camera is crucial (and the reason I bought it). It rides extremely comfortably (I actually ran with it today for a little bit because I had a very tired kid and wanted to see how far away the summit was). Typical of Patagonia, it is bombproof construction. Cons: It's big. I wanted the top lid, so I stuck with the 45 vs the little brother, but I kind of feel like a jackass on my walking commute. I know I shouldn't care, but regardless... However, I can't knock a star off for that. That said, I don't sweat having an extra pair of clothes for workouts now or hitting the grocery store on the way home. I'm 5'11" and 160lbs and the large fits me.

September 17, 2018

Doubles as a great travel/camera bag

I travel 4-5months a year to some interesting places. My wife owns a high end travel agency specializing in very remote, unusual, customized travel. We burn through a lot of luggage as the wear and tear just grinds it down. We try to repair but eventually it needs replacing. I love this new Cragsmith for a bunch of practical reasons. 180 degree ful... Read Morel panel opening to access everything is so much better than just side access. Genius in fact because the opening is at the back next to the shoulder straps.For clothes it means never needing to unpack. For camera gear it means not needing to take remove and balance expensive equipment precariously or in the dust just to find the right lens. Clean lines with no water bottle holder or little pouches makes me so happy. The narrow shape means you can swing your arms all the way back unobstructed. One big gripe I had with the first Patagonia side access backpack was the lack of rigidity for the back panel. It meant items were always sticking into your back unless you were a very organized packer/unpacker. The more rigid structure of this pack is fantastic. I have packed 4 long lenses, a film camera, a digital camera, a Mavic Air and Pro into this pack and it's all snug and secure. As carry on with all my equipment I can open it up for TSA inspection or on board access really easily. Well done Patagonia. This is one of your smartest and best packs ever.

September 3, 2018

Gunks unit

This bag is an absolute unit for carrying my runners, 60m rope, full rack bd rack with doubles from .3 to 3, harness, shoes, waterbottle, guidebook, phone, car keys and wallet! The zipper opening in the back makes accessibility easy. Another plus is being able to climb straight out of the bag which will make the climbing process faster. Patagonia s... Read Morehould rename this pack the Gunk-smith!

August 5, 2018


I use this for trad climbing, mostly cragging and it is perfect. easy to pack and super easy to sort through everything. just throw it down and unzip it and everything is there in front of you. also nice top compartment. honestly its perfect

June 20, 2018

Best pack for everything ever

I bought this a few months ago,and have since used it for both cragging and as a big pack for hiking into base camp for long alpine climbs. It fits everything (double rack + rope + jacket + shoes + harness + guidebook + food + water) and is extremely comfortable and stable with heavy loads. It has all of the right pockets and features that you want... Read More,with sturdy fabric that seems really durable. The only thing I wish they would have added is a rope strap (like on the Cragsmith 35L),for the rare occasion where the rope doesn't fit inside the pack. I've been using an alpine draw clipped to the many attachment points on top for this,which works well. Overall,a spectacular pack. I loved the Cragsmith 35L,and still think that this one is way better.

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