GCR tests the new and innovative Haku ropebag from Arc’teryx.
I’ve tried plenty of ropebags in my time: bits of carpet, plastic sheet, Ikea bags, plastic ‘trugg’ buckets and of course bought ropebags. I would always recommend you keep your rope protected from the ground and dust. You would be astonished at how deep dust gets into a rope, this in turn affects its strength and efficiency. So a rope bag is a wise purchase, it will prolong the life of a rope and help keep it in peak performance.
Arc’teryx have had a ropebag in their product range for many years and it was seen as very much at the luxury end and the Haku is made is a similar fashion. Quality materials, workmanship and a brand new design make for a very desirable piece of kit. Haku is Hawiian for ‘invent’ and Arc’teryx feel they have an innovative new design in this new ropebag for 2013.
The Haku ropebag is designed to be very easy to use and once I got used to it was a joy. I could just funnel the rope back into the bag and using the internal carry strap carry it between routes. I could either feed the rope back out of the bag – which is what I did when training at the climbing wall – or redeploy it on the tarp for redpointing and on-sighting outside. So it was a little different to scooping the rope up in a tarp and transporting it between routes, but then I didn’t have to faff around with bits of rope falling out of the sides.
As long as I tied the rope into the red tab it was always to hand. Although feeding the rope out at the wall worked reasonably well, I wouldn’t want to be feeding it out on my mate’s redpoint as it did have some tangles. So I would always re-deploy the rope into the tarp thus avoiding sheepish looks when your mate is tugging for his clip!
It was just a case of pulling the rope through onto the large tarp and I was ready to go. The rope bag differs to normal ropebag design as you do not roll the rope up in the tarp and then into a bag. With the Haku you just hold the tarp up and funnel the rope through the central hole and into the bag. You then push the tarp on top of the rope in the bag.
Once that is done, roll the top down as tight as it will go and clip both ends, this can then be adjusted and tightened with the carry strap. The carry strap did not come with any padding and was very narrow. I found the rope bag was OK for the carry in to Malham, but for longer periods I would really want to have it in my pack. It’s compact size meant it fitted comfortably into my 35L pack with 60m of rope and I still had room for kit and some extra clothing. It struggled a little in my 30L pack, especially on colder days when I had to pack more. It did hold 70m of rope comfortably but again this was beginning to be a struggle to push it into my 35L pack.
The Arc’teryx Haku ropebag was a joy to use, especially in situations where I was continually moving the rope around between routes. The rope was manageable and the large tarp kept it off the dust and grime. High quality materials and workmanship, all the hallmarks of Arc’reyx products, makes this an affordable 5 star Arc’teryx product.