The Petzl Bolsa is unique because it's a rope bag that is a fairly functional cragging pack as long as you don't need too much stuff. It easily fits a 70m rope, shoes, harness, 10 draws and still has a little more room for other items. The Bolsa uses a newer "funnel" style design. Compared to the much more common "burrito" fold-and-roll design, it's much quicker and easier to pack. Its only downside is that it's slightly harder to unpack and it doesn't keep the rope as tangle free as most other models we tested. What's also rad is the Bolsa only costs $40, a killer price for a funnel style designed rope bag that doubles as a crag pack.
Petzl Bolsa Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Easy and quick to pack away rope, functions as a crag pack, tarp lays flat and is spacious
Cons: Rope isn't as easy to take out as other models, rope doesn't always pay out as nicely once it's taken back out
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Petzl Bolsa rings in at $40 and can hold its fair share of gear. One of our top scorers, it boasts a funnel style design that makes it an ideal cragging pack.
Keeping Your Rope Clean
The Bolsa was one of our top scorers among rope bags for keeping ropes clean and out of the dirt. The Bolsa dimensionally features the second largest tarp that's 55"x 55". While other tarps were close in measurements to the Bolsa, it felt bigger than the numbers might imply because of its funnel-style design which allowed it to lay flatter, unlike the burrito style designs which tended to bunch up at one end. Overall, the Bolsa does an excellent job of catching falling ropes and gives us plenty of room to flake rope on.
Ease of Packing the Rope
The Bolsa uses a funnel-style design that is among the quickest and easiest rope bags to pack, simply lift all four corners, give a quick shake and the rope slides into the bag. The Bolsa is quicker than most traditional burrito style bags.
Ease of Unpacking the Rope
This is the only real downside of the Bolsa and it's a small one. After you have shaken the rope into the bag and moved on to another route, the rope is marginally harder to take out and would tangle slightly more often than a traditional folding/rolling style rope bag, obviously the trade-off with the Bolsa is it's easier and quicker to put away. Again it's not terrible; it's just not quite as easy. The rope tends to get a little more tangled.
Compressibility, Pack-ability, and Ease of Transportation
The Bolsa, like the Metolius Speedster, is designed to be worn as a backpack rather than be packed inside of a larger crag pack. Unlike most over-the-shoulder carried rope bags, the backpack-style of this model makes long approaches more comfortable. Our testers didn't like wearing sling-style packs on approaches longer than 25-30 minutes when loaded down with a 70m x 10.1mm rope. Those same testers didn't mind wearing the Bolsa for an hour or more on hikes with the same rope, plus extras.Short Distances
The Bolsa is easy to move route-to-route, simply grab the four corners and move on. Most of the time, we didn't shake the rope into the lower bag if we were making a short move. This also helped keep the rope from getting as clustered. We did, however, pack the rope away most of the time for moves of more than a few minutes.
Other than backpack straps and the funnel style design the Bolsa doesn't have very many extra small features. The Bolsa does have four grab loops that are also possible places to tie the end of your rope, in addition to its two color-coded tie-in points.
The Bolsa soars above most of the competition on long approaches. If you pack light on crag days, this model is also a two-in-one rope bag and crag pack.
At $40 the Bolsa is one of the best-priced rope bags out there and one of the coolest. Among backpack-style and funnel-style rope bags we tested, this model hits the lowest price point.
Petzl created a versatile rope bag in the Bolsa. Our ropes slid in with ease, and it keeps them clean with a large tarp. We like it for its potential crag-pack ability but also think it's a booty-kicking rope bag on its own.
— Ian Nicholson & Graham Williams