Professional climber Jeff Shapiro found himself dreaming of an improved rope bag, and, after some do-it-himself arts and crafts, created a prototype. One of his sponsors, Kavu, improved upon some of his original materials and construction and, voila, Shapiro’s eponymous rope bag entered their product line.
Like other rope bags, the Shapiro Rope Bag has an internal tarp that folds out for the rope to sit on. But unlike many rope bags, the tarp is removable: it zips off, allowing you to burrito-up your rope and move it from belay stance to belay stance without restacking the rope (read: somehow getting it hopelessly tangled) into the bag each time. If you did want to re-bag it each time though, the Shapiro’s bottom and sides have enough stiffness so as to allow it to function as more of a rope bucket. The Shapiro forgoes the cinch-up drawstring that many rope bags rely on, instead using three strategically-placed straps of webbing—one vertical, two horizontal—that tidily buckle everything up. The closure system makes this bag a solid choice for cragging, but rules it out for any multi-pitch adventures unless you want to risk exploding your pack at every belay.
When packed up and closed, the rope bag carries like a backpack, with two adjustable shoulder straps and a padded back (the bottom of the bag when unfolded and laid on the ground). There are a couple other nice features that elevate the design. The shoulder straps are adorned with some eye-pleasing cordelette. Two lengths of webbing sewn vertically onto the back, daisy-chain style, allow you to clip any extras (shoes, water bottle, etc.) to the outside if you run of interior space.
Rock and Ice vigorously tests all gear it reviews for either 50 days or 50 pitches. This is a time-consuming process and limits the amount of new equipment we can present to our readers. Every year hundreds of new products hit store shelves, and most of these aren’t reviewed due to our stringent selection and review process. To better keep you more up to date on what is new, we present First Look. Gear in First Look has not always been field tested, but is gear we think you’d like to know about as soon as it is available. Some of the gear will be reviewed using our 50 days/50 pitches criteria, in future print and online editions of Rock and Ice. We have opted to use affiliate links in our gear reviews. Every time you buy something after clicking on links in our gear articles you’re helping support our magazine.