Climbing is a demanding sport in terms of gear selection, from climbing shoes, climbing helmets, ropes, and nuts to harness, slings and cams. All these justify climbers' pickiness and detail to attention before buying anything.
And, among the many things they tend to be picky about is pants. Climbing pants are the most overlooked among climbing gear, but they play an essential role in comfort during the adventure.
A pair of reliable climbing pants can be the difference between a good and terrible performance. For this reason, we have compiled a list of the best rock climbing pants. If you are looking specifically, for women's climbing pants, read our full guide on the best rock climbing pants for women.
Now, let's take a look at the list of the 10 best rock climbing pants we've found and reviewed.
List of the 10 Best Rock Climbing Pants
#1 Eddie Bauer Guide Pro
Eddie Bauer is our top pick in this review. Most of the time, it is often overlooked by climbers searching for rock climbing pants. Nonetheless, this pair of pants is solid and reliable. In addition, it is made using stretchy fabric, which is quite flexible, making it comfortable maneuvering different moves.
Besides, the low-profile cut reduces holdups and snugs in confined areas. It also allows you to fold the pant legs up if you want to. It features a DWR treatment that shields water. On the other hand, when it is sunny, the UPF 50 shielding will provide marginal cover.
Even though we loved how well these pants stretched, the thread materials and sewing are not that impressive, and it's not ideal for complex movement. But, overall, Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Pants is a reliable pair of rock climbing pants with appropriate protection from UV rays and water.
- Built for: sport climbing;
- Material: 6% spandex and 94% Nylon;
- Build: two-stretch construction & integrated knees;
- Water-resistant & DWR: Yes.
- UPF 50 shielding from the sun;
- Eco-friendly construction;
- Fitting and ideal for casual wear;
- Modest design aids to avert rubbing and snugging against the wall.
#2 Arc'teryx Gamma LT
While Arc'teryx Gamma LT rock climbing pants are relatively heavy, they have close to no other disadvantages. The Gamma LT pants are waterproof, breathable, warm, extremely flexible, and have many other handy features.
Among these features are the in-built chalk bag loop, multiple pockets, gusseted seams, articulated knees, and four-way stretch.
Nevertheless, all these spectacular features come at a price; they are expensive. Anyway, if you want high-quality and reliable pants for rock climbing, and you're not on a tight budget, this is the way to go.
- Designed for: multi-pitch climbing;
- Material: 12% Elastane, & 88% Nylon;
- Build: Gusseted Crotch & integrated knees;
- Water-resistant & DWR treatment: yes.
- Multiple pockets on the thigh and hips for placing small valuables;
- Integrated belt to keep the pants on when climbing;
- Pant cuffs feature a drawcord which keeps them in position.
#3 Prana Stretch Zion
Prana Stretch Zion are well-designed trendy, and highly functional climbing pants with a handful of features, making them ideal for rock-related adventures such as trad, sport climbing, and bouldering. These pants are the perfect all-around climbing pants.
Prana Stretch Zion are designed using quick-dry, abrasion-resistant, and stretchy fabric. Also, the finish is water-repellant, breathable, and quite warm. In terms of features, they feature a ventilated inseam, integrated belt, roll-up leg cuts, and five pockets which add to their versatility and ventilation.
- Designed for: all-around climbing;
- Materials: 3% Spandex & 97% Nylon;
- Build: stretchy but not articulated;
- Water-resistant & DWR treatment: Yes.
- Integrated belt to keep them on when climbing.
- Stretchy fabric offers excellent mobility.
- UPF 50+ shielding from the sun.
#4 Mountain Hardwear Yumalino
These climbing pants are for the committed climbers who climb throughout the year. Yumalino rock climbing pants are incredibly comfy and perfect for the winter. Moreover, they feature an incredibly soft lining, water-resistant, and a sturdy exterior, making them ideal for cold-weather climbing.
Besides, Mountain Hardwear Yumalino Pants have a gusseted crotch portion, articulated knees, and impressive stretch for extra sturdiness. If money is not a problem, these are the best alpine climbing pants you can buy. If you are interested in ice climbing, check our top picks for the best ice climbing pants for the winter.
- Designed for: Mountaineering;
- Materials: 12% Elastane & 88% Nylon;
- Build: articulated knees for extra mobility;
- DWR treatment & water resistant: Yes.
- Incredible stretchiness for sturdiness and warmth;
- The reasonable price tag for alpine or winter climbing pants;
- Extremely smooth lining for additional warmth.
#5 Outdoor Research Cirque
This is yet another pair of climbing pants suitable for alpine climbing. Why? Because Outdoor Research Cirque have a double-weave construction precisely to keep you warm during the cold weather. The wind-resistant build and bootlace hook work together to make the Cirque pants ideal for the cold weather.
Even though they're pretty heavy and expensive compared to the usual climbing pants, these pants have articulated knees and a snug fit to move through any wall comfortably.
All things considered, Outdoor Research Cirque rock climbing pants are only suitable for cold weather. If you want to go to the crag or gym at some point, it would be best if you went for lighter climbing pants.
- Designed for: mountaineering;
- Materials: 7% Spandex, 43% Polyester, 50% Nylon;
- Build: Articulated knees;
- DWR treatment & water resistant: Yes.
- Breathable yet warm fabric;
- Abrasion-resistant and long-lasting;
- Bootlace hook to link your pants to the mountaineering shoes.
#6 Outdoor Research Ferrosi
These climbing pants from Outdoor research are among our favorites in this review. Our favorite thing about these climbing pants is the feel. You can barely notice them while wearing them since the material is light and thin, with spectacular mobility and superb breathability.
Outdoor Research Ferrosi are just as comfy as sweat pants yet similarly light to gym shorts. Another intriguing thing about these pants is that they are as airy as they are protective.
The fabric is sturdy, bombproof, and incredibly waterproof. They are pretty warm for a chilly day climbing session, and the price tag is relatively affordable.
- Designed for rock climbing;
- Waterproof: Yes.
- Durable and light fabric;
- Protective and breathable;
- Waterproof material shields the pants from soaking water when climbing.
Mountain Hardwear AP also feature a handful of valuable features, such as the zipped rear pockets and the reflective strips in the calves. Once you roll up the cuffs, the strips face outwards. It is a nice bonus for climbers who love hiking and cycling.
The integrated belt is not flexible, though the tight fit meant that they didn't fall off when climbing. Mobility was impressive, but we had to adjust the pants after climbing down terrains at some point. While the breathability was good, it was not as good as other pants we've reviewed here.
- Designed for: multi-pitch climbing;
- Materials: 14% Spandex, and 86% Nylon;
- Build: Articulated knees;
- Water-resistant: Yes.
- Light yet durable construction;
- Wind resistant;
- Decent breathability;
- Great mobility.
#8 Black Diamond Notion Pants
The Black Diamond Notion rock climbing pants are all-around pants for working out in the gym, belaying, bouldering, and hanging out. They are very comfortable, and you will climb up that wall with no resistance. This is thanks to the stretchy and loose build with a similar fit to those baggy comfortable sweat pants.
The incredible comfort and well-designed behind make these climbing pants perfect for a simple hiking adventure, yoga, or cycling. But, unfortunately, all this stretch and convenience comes at a price.
Black Diamond Notion Pants are not very durable, which is why they are better used for gym climbing because they might not be able to hold up to extreme outdoor adventures.
- Designed for: gym climbing;
- Materials: 2% Elastane, and 98% cotton;
- Build: rather stretchy but not articulated;
- Not water resistant.
- Loose and comfy fit;
- Elastic cuffs;
- Versatile enough to be used for cycling or hiking.
#9 prAna Axiom Jean
The prAna Axiom Jean chic pair of pants look like the regular jeans that you'd wear when going out. However, they do have several features that make them ideal for climbing. prAna Axiom Jean rocks climbing jeans are highly comfortable and allow for unrestricted movement.
On the other hand, they are not quite durable. For this reason, they might not be suitable for any alpine routes or trad. But, they are ideal for indoor use or the crag, and they are incredibly functional and stylish.
- Designed for: indoor and crag use;
- Materials: 1% Spandex and 99% cotton;
- Build: relatively stretchy.
- Efficient and stylish climbing pants;
- Several pockets to place your small valuables;
- Stretchiness allows for comfort and unrestricted movement.
#10 Carhartt Washed Duck Work Dungaree Pant
Carhartt Washed Duck Work Dungaree pants are included in this list specifically for climbers on a tight budget. They feature thick fabric, and they were not quite feature-rich as the rest on this list. As mentioned, these pants are thick, which leads to restricted mobility.
Also, the fabric stretches minimally, and the fit does not allow for unrestricted movement. Finally, the breathability was not impressive though they do not look that bad.
It features six pockets that have no closures, though these pants are highly durable. Besides, they are suitable for off-width climbing since movement is minimal.
- Designed for: off-width climbing;
- Materials: 100% cotton;
- Build: relatively stretchy.
- Six pockets for carrying some valuables;
- It sits naturally at the waist;
- Fabric is thick and durable.
Things to Consider Before Buying Rock Climbing Pants
If you like going for outdoor adventures, it would be best if you considered buying weather-proof climbing pants. Also, go for pants with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish.
This will make the water runoff instead of soak inside your climbing pants, and they can be an excellent partner during rough weather. Besides, the DWR finish will only diminish over time after numerous use and washing.
2) Comfort and material
Most of the time, you spend long hours climbing, which is why it is essential to have a pair of comfortable and functional climbing pants. These will withstand all the inflexibilities of your climbing adventure, and they will make you feel comfortable as well.
There are numerous climbing pants in the market, but fortunately for you, we have already compiled a list of the best climbing pants, which are very comfortable to wear.
But, if you need something different from those listed here, go for climbing pants that stretch. This is because they allow for free movement when climbing, leaving you feeling comfortable.
3) Cuff securing
There are climbers out there who do not like climbing with their pants touching their ankles. Fortunately for you, many climbing pants nowadays have buttons or snaps on the cuffs to secure the pant leg above your ankle for all your adventures.
Also, some climbing pants have these snaps halfway up the calf, allowing you to connect the pant leg a bit higher. But, if your trouser does not have these snaps or buttons, you can fold them up and continue with your climbing adventure.
Rock Climbing Pants' Features Explained
1) Articulated design
The most reliable rock climbing pants will typically have knee articulation for better mobility. Usually, this includes adding extra fabric and integrating a sewing scheme that moves in tandem with the movement of your knee rather than restricts it.
Male-specific climbing pants also have a gusseted crotch. In addition, this build involves additional fabric sewn in this area, allowing for comfort during tricky moves. These two features will help prevent discomfort during your adventure.
2) Athletic vs. baggy cut
Some climbers prefer baggy trousers since they offer more comfort, freedom, and mobility. On the other hand, other climbers prefer a tighter fit, which is stretchy enough to provide the free movement they require. Both these pants work ideally for climbing, and you make a choice depending on your preferences.
We recommend baggy pants for gym climbing or bouldering. However, it would be best to wear athletic climbing pants for multi-pitch and technical climbs since they brush a lot against the rock and are typically studier than buggy climbing pants.
3) Brush pocket and chalk bag loop
Pants designed explicitly for climbers will feature a chalk bag loop. So what exactly is it? It's a loop positioned on the rear of your pants to fasten your chalk bag, allowing you to access it easily. This feature is ideal for bouldering when you would like to carry a few things instead of clipping in the complete climbing harness.
The brush pocket is used to brush off any amassed chalk from holds before resuming climbing. This is also good for bouldering, and it can also be handy when cleaning a track on the crag. Hopefully, this guide will help you find the most suitable rock climbing pants for you.
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