With all of the emphasis placed on helmets, harnesses, carabineers, and footwear the bag chosen to hold tools often gets put on the back burner. After all, it is just a bad right? Well yes and no. It may be a bag, but on a climb the tower climber bag is what makes sure that all of the tools needed for the job make it up with you. There is no point in doing the job, if the required tools are 1000 feet down.
There are several different option when it comes to bags; canvas buckets, tool organizers, pouches and traditional equipment bags. Each has their own benefits, but in the end it is a decision each tower climber has to make.
Canvas buckets are exactly what the sound like. They are a flexible canvas bucket that is open on one end. Frequently there are internal pockets or straps for smaller items. They are durable and offer a single strap to connect to a rope. Something to be aware of is that since they don’t seal, there is always a chance that something will fall out. When carrying heavy equipment, this risk is minimized as the weight adds stability.
Tool organizers come in the open end variety and the type with various zippers and pockets. Some will even have detachable pockets for phones, radios, miscellaneous items, and parts. Specialized versions exist for protecting the more expensive equipment and will have a Y lanyard for 100% tie off. Since these range from generic to specialty it is best to consider the equipment most frequently needed when looking into the purchase of a tool organizer.
Not really recommended for climbing, a tool pouch is much like a tool belt. They may be leather, canvas, synthetic or a combination. There are smaller tool pouches which look much like a pencil bag. If these are placed within a climbing bag they work great for small items and items that would be irritating to dig for.
Where the choices really become obvious is when looking into equipment bags. Nylon, vinyl, canvas, leather, and other materials are just the tip of the iceberg. Each tower climber bag has a suggested weight limit, this is the most the bag can carry without risking rips forming and tools falling out. While some models do exist that are open, the majority of these bags have a zipper, or many. Some will even have zippers internally and externally to provide organization.
Consider having multiple bags each stocked up with their own gear. This benefits the climber by providing one lighter bag for smaller jobs and a heavier bag for the jobs that require more effort. Having multiple bags allows for there to be a waterproof one and a spare in case one start to wear out. An additional benefit to having more than one bag is that the amount of wear placed on each is limited, to the days it is actually used.
Luckily, tower climber bags are one of the tools that a climber can have the most fun with. Color, style, size, shape, and material can be compared and analyzed. No matter how a climber likes to have his or her stuff organized, there is sure to be a bag that will suit those needs.