Would You Pay This Much for a Chalk Bag?
The last time you bought a chalk bag, how much did it cost? $15 or 20? Probably a not a lot of money, I would bet. Your average chalk bag costs anywhere from $5-35, depending on the brand and how fancy it is.
“It’s So Fancy…”
Well, I don’t know if you heard the news, but Louis Vuitton is selling one for $1,590. It’s called the chalk Nano bag. I saw an article about the chalk bag from Climbing Magazine, and I had to see if it was real and it’s not a joke.
The product description on the Louis Vuitton website reads:
“The Chalk Nano bag showcases the distinctive Louis Vuitton Monogram pattern alongside contemporary practical details. With a supple shape inspired by climbers' chalk bags, this item can be comfortably worn on the shoulder or across the body. It is decorated with a sleek chain and functional carabiner fastening on the strap, which are signatures of Virgil Abloh's Spring-Summer 2019 designs.”
Uh wait, wear it over the shoulder? Chalk bags aren’t purses. It won’t be easy to reach for when you want to chalk up on a problem.
I came across two points in the product care section that cracked me up.
“Beware not to scratch or rub your product against abrasive surfaces, especially the leather trim. Keep your product away from damp or humid environments and avoid direct exposure to sunlight, keep your product away from any direct source of heat (radiators, car interiors overheated by the sun, etc.).”
Impractical Chalk Bag
So, how I understand the content is you can’t bring this “chalk bag” to the crag and leave it outside because it will be in the sun. Also, it doesn’t matter if you use it in the gym or outside; it will rub against abrasive surfaces. It’s a given fact. Another point is we try not to get our bags wet, but it happens sometimes, and we can’t help it.
Looking at how the strap is attached with a chain and carabiner to the bag in the picture, if you try to wear it around your waist while bouldering and land on it, it will hurt. If you don’t have the chain on it, you can’t wear the chalkbag. I don’t wear mine while bouldering, but some people do.
In addition, I didn’t see anything that said if the chain is plastic or not. If it's metal, that will get hot wearing it outside. Oh wait, it’s not supposed to be in direct sunlight, silly me.
Oh, guess what? There’s one in black that costs about $2000. Why is it more in black? It makes no sense to me. Another product I saw on the Louis Vuitton site is the chalk sling back for $2180.00 in white. The black version is $2,250. Both look ridiculous and are also impractical. That’s what they should be called: “impractical chalk bags.”
Who in their right mind would buy this “chalk bag?” It’s utterly unusable for climbing! Browsing through the website, I could only find them in the mens category. Really? Women and other genders use them too.
The question I want to ask the designers at Louis Vuitton is, did anyone consult a climber about the product? Because it sure looks like that’s a no. In my opinion, no one is going to buy this, definitely not a climber.
For something this expensive, the chalk bag better be tripped out in heated pads, charge your phone, and have a place to keep it, waterproof and airtight, plus have a lot more features to it. (Let me know what else you would add to it for that price.) The only thing it has going for it is that it looks kinda cute. For that much money, I could buy a ton more gear or put it towards something useful.
So, to end this rant, here’s a little PSA for the fashion companies out there that want to create “fashionable” climbing accessories: please consult or talk to a climber first before putting something like this out on the market. You might make better sales that way.
Until next time, happy bouldering!