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Climb X Rope Bot

The Bot is really a bucket—a canvas drum, powered by a springy metal coil. The bucket design has a couple of big advantages over the standard bag-tarp model.

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The Rope Bot gave me gear envy. When I saw someone using one this summer, I instantly wanted it.

The Bot is really a bucket—a canvas drum, powered by a springy metal coil. The bucket design has a couple of big advantages over the standard bag-tarp model: First, it keeps your rope cleaner; tarps inevitably hoover up dirt and mud. Second, you don’t have to repack or embrace the tarp like a horny octopus when you change location; simply pick the bucket up by its handles. This mobility is especially convenient at high-density sport crags where you’re frequently moving the rope just a few feet between climbs.

The Bot expands to 13 gallons, providing ample space for even the longest cord. I often toss my rock shoes and some clothing in it, too, and store my belay gloves and glasses in its zippered bag. Racking loops take your GriGri and quickdraws, and the Bot has tie-in loops for the rope. The mouth of the bucket is big enough to feed in rope and seals with a zippered mesh lid.

The Bot is quick to pack and comfortable to carry. Three buckles compress the bucket into a tambourine, which, when carried by the shoulder strap, sits snug against your hip. (Clip one end of the strap to the top and the other to the bottom of the Bot to ensure it carries flat.)

Disadvantages? The Bot doesn’t fit easily in a pack, and you’ll need a separate towel or tarp to keep your shoes squeaky clean when you step off the ground.

But these are quibbles. The Bot is nicely priced and multifunctional—throw in some clothes, secure one buckle, and it even doubles as a lounge cushion.