Bag it Up with These Arborist Gear Bags
Ever find yourself dreading the job of coiling up your ropes? Pulling on that long 5/8" rope can have your arms feeling like noodles! The worst is coiling wet, frozen, or the even dog-shit-covered rope. That rope gets dirty in the customer's yard! Honestly, I always figured they left that shit out there as a surprise for us. WOOF! Getting that on your hands and arms will undeniably ruin your day. I know from experience. It’s almost as if getting dog poop on your rope is part of the journey to becoming a full-fledged arborist! ;)
Fortunately, there is a better way, and it's bagging your ropes.
Gear and rope bags can save both your shoulders and time. There's a lot less arm strength required and you don't need to take the time to coil your ropes, just bag them! Which bag should you use? I have experience with four different arborist gear bags, so here's my thoughts on them!
Starting with my Arbortec Drykit 35L bag. This is my go-to when it comes to comfort and stuffing/smashing gear right into it. The two side pockets are referred to as the Dry Kit pouches and they actually DO keep your small gear dry! I’ve thrown this bag through the wringer, but it's held up pretty well. My front mesh pocket did end up tearing pretty quick, but I ended up removing it and running without it. The top cover has a specific hole that allows the rope to be snaked through to keep it nice and neat.
The first bag I ever bought was the classic DMM Porter Bag. Although it doesn’t have a rigid inner lining like the Drykit bag, it feels pretty damn durable. The DMM Porter bag comes in both 45-liter and 70-liter versions, and is one of the lightest-weight bags in the tree world. I think the only downside to me was the fact that I couldn’t really fit much into it besides the essentials. If you're like me and like to keep it simple, this is a great bag for you.
A very different type of gear bag is the Speedster Rope Bag. This bag had to grow on me, I didn't think I liked it at first. It’s weird how that ends up working out. Be warned, don’t buy this bag hoping to store both your ropes and your harness because you'll be disappointed! When unzipped and opened, this bag actually folds out into a handy tarp to keep your gear off the ground. I generally keep 150’ of rope with a hitch climber system in it, and it is my dedicated "MRS Bag." If you thought flaking rope into a bag was easy, wait until you try this one out! Simply lay your rope onto the tarp, roll it and fold it into the bag itself. No rope coiling necessary.
Finally, for my crane-work bag, I use the DMM Classic Bag! It’s another zip up bag with the use of an optional tarp. Personally, I don’t use the tarp as this is my crane bag and this bag is on my back as I’m hitching a ride up, because why not! I’ve thrown it, dropped some limbs on it and it’s holding strong. You could fit a harness in this but depends on what style harness you use as some of the harnesses can fold up nice and small.
So those are the four bags I personally have experience using. Hopefully this info can help narrow down your search in choosing the right arborist gear bag. If you like a specific bag that you know is the greatest, drop some comments down low and let us know why!