Best Canopy Weights: What are they?
Canopy Weight Bags (CWB) are lightweight plastic containers with a mesh top which hold your gear while climbing or descending. They come in different sizes and shapes. Some have handles, some don’t. Some are made from PVC, others from vinyl. Most of them are available in multiple colors and patterns.
The main purpose of CWBs is to save space when carrying heavy loads up steep grades. For example, if you’re trying to carry a rope and harness up a route without having to haul it all the way down, then you might want to consider using one of these bags instead of bringing everything in your pack.
You could even use them for extra food storage during long days at the crag!
There are two main types of CWB: the “Standard” type and the “High Capacity”. Standard size CWB’s are usually 10 liters (3 US fl oz), while High Capacity ones can be as large as 50 liters (1.5 US fl oz).
There is no hard rule about how many you need to bring, but generally speaking you’ll probably want to keep your total weight under 40 pounds.
How much does it weigh?
These can weigh anywhere between 2 and 12 oz. They’re made from different materials and come in different shapes and sizes. Some are rectangular, some are mummy-shaped. It all depends on what you need!
High capacity bags can weigh more due to their larger size and thicker plastic.
What are the advantages?
There are quite a few advantages to using a weight bag.
First of all, they’re very convenient to use. They’re self-evident, in that there is no complex pulley system involved and you don’t need a climbing harness or a rope to help you carry heavy loads up the wall.
If you have a lot of stuff that you need to bring with you at once then this is probably going to be the easiest way to do it.
Second of all, you don’t really need any sort of training in order to use one. While it’s always a good idea to learn proper climbing techniques, you should be able to figure out how to use a bag after a few tries.
Third of all, they’re extremely lightweight. While it might not seem like much, those few extra pounds can really add up after a day of climbing.
What are the disadvantages?
The number one disadvantage is that they can be quite expensive! Most quality bags will set you back $100 at the very least. This is not to say that they don’t have their uses, however, as you could probably save more in weight over time by using one.
Second of all, you need to be familiar with the climbing area that you’re going to. You wouldn’t want to bring a bag on a steep overhanging wall only to find that there aren’t any good places to clip in!
Again, you need to be comfortable climbing without a climbing harness. While this isn’t as big of a deal for some people as it is for others, it’s still something to consider.
Can I save weight by not using one?
Yes, there are a few things you can do in order to save weight without having to buy a bag.
The first thing is to only carry equipment that you know you’re going to need. If you’re not planning on placing any bolts then there’s no point in bringing a drill.
The more stuff you have the heavier your bag will be, so just be aware of what you actually need.
The second thing is to make use of available resources. If you know there are going to be bolts in the wall that you can clip into then you probably don’t need to bring any carabiners.
Same thing with anchors, you can just clip your bag onto those. Slings can also be used as an alternative to bringing extra biners or carabiners.
The third thing is to be prepared to make sacrifices in terms of safety. While this shouldn’t really ever be a concern for beginners, it’s still something to be aware of.
It might be tempting to save weight by bringing fewer carabiners, for example, but this could end up putting you in a dangerous position if you don’t have enough available to you.
What type of bag should I get?
This is going to be specific to the climber and their individual needs. There are a few types of bags, however, that are more popular than others.
Backpacks are great for carrying a lot of stuff and are pretty comfortable. The downside is that they can be slow and cumbersome to use.
Vests are good for carrying smaller loads and remain fairly quick and easy to use. They also make it really easy to access your gear while you’re climbing.
Finally, there are chest packs. These are good for carrying only the essentials and remain light and easy to use.
The only issue is that they can be a bit limiting when you’re trying to reach things and you won’t have anything hanging lower than your waist.
How do I pick out a good one?
When picking out a bag you want to look for a few key features.
The first thing to consider is how much you’re going to be carrying and how long you’re going to be using it for. If you’re just going to be doing day trips then you probably don’t need to bring much with you, but if you’re going to be there for a week or more then you’ll want something that can hold more gear.
You’ll also want to consider how much you value your comfort. Carrying a bag around can be bothersome, so you’ll want to pick one that isn’t going to add to that.
Vests are great in this regard because everything is right there and won’t weigh you down as much, but backpacks do tend to hold more.
Finally, you want to consider how quickly you need to get to your gear. If you’re going to be placing gear regularly then a backpack might be best since you’ll be able to access things from the front, top, and sides.
On the other hand, if you’re only going to be placing gear once every 20 or 30 feet then a vest might work better for you since you can just reach behind you without having to take the bag off.
Even if you’re going to be placing bolts regularly then a vest might still be the way to go since you’ll be able to carry a few extra quickdraws with you (assuming you have pockets on the vest) and clip them to your belt rather than having a bunch of extra rope in your bag.
As for material you have a few options. The most basic ones are typically just made of cotton or denim and contain a few pockets and straps.
More advanced versions are made of stretchy material and have many more pockets, loops, and other features.
Sources & references used in this article:
Using Linear Regression, Random Forests, and Support Vector Machine with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Multispectral Images to Predict Canopy Nitrogen Weight in … by H Lee, J Wang, B Leblon – Remote Sensing, 2020 – mdpi.com
The effect of container size and aeration conditions on growth of roots and canopy of woody plants by I Biran, A Eliassaf – Scientia Horticulturae, 1980 – Elsevier
Croploading and canopy management by KM Cooper, RR Marshall – II International Symposium on Kiwifruit 297, 1991 – actahort.org