May 10, 2021

What Are the Best Rock Climbing Pants This Year (2023)?

by Brad

Climbing is a demanding sport in terms of gear selection, from climbing shoes, climbing helmets, ropes, and nuts to harnesses, 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 a terrible performance.

For this reason, we have compiled a list of the best rock climbing pants.

Now, let’s take a look at the list of the 10 best rock climbing pants we’ve found and reviewed.

Table of Contents
Best Rock Climbing Pants
What Are the Best Rock Climbing Pants This Year?

List of the 10 Best Rock Climbing Pants

1. Eddie Bauer Guide Pro

Eddie Bauer Men's Rainier Pants, Dark Smoke Rainier, 36W x 32L
2,230 Reviews
Eddie Bauer Men's Rainier Pants, Dark Smoke Rainier, 36W x 32L
  • Imported
  • Button closure
  • These pants will carry the gear you need on your next adventure and are perfect for any weather condition!
Eddie Bauer Women's Rainier Pants, Black Rainier, 8
  • CONVENIENT STORAGE: We know how important it is to have all your essentials within reach, that's why we've designed our pants with a zippered cargo pocket and spacious front pockets; You can carry your phone, gloves, or any other items you need for your adventure without feeling weighed down
  • ULTIMATE COMFORT: Elevate your outdoor experience to new heights with the Eddie Bauer Women's Rainier Pants, designed to offer you the ultimate comfort and mobility on your next adventure; Whether you're trekking through mountains, glaciers, or volcanoes, our pants will be your perfect companion
  • ALL WEATHER PROTECTION: Thanks to our durable StormRepel DWR finish, you can stay dry and comfortable during any outdoor activity, no matter the weather; Rain, snow, or even hail, won't stop you from enjoying your time on the trail

Last update on 2023-09-25 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

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.

Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Specs: 

  • Built for: sport climbing
  • Material: 6% spandex and 94% Nylon
  • Build: two-stretch construction and integrated knees
  • Water-resistant and DWR: Yes

Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Features:

  • 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

Arc'teryx Gamma LT Pant Men's | Lightweight Softshell Pant with Stretch - Redesign | Canvas, X-Large Short
  • GAMMA LT PANT - An icon known for its outstanding versatility, the Gamma LT continues to evolve.
  • GAMMA - Weather resistant mid or outer layers with stretch. Highly breathable and abrasion resistant.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT - High performance, minimalist design that is durable for its weight.
Arc'teryx Gamma LT Pant Women's | Lightweight Softshell Pant with Stretch | Black, 14
  • GAMMA - Weather resistant mid or outer layers with stretch. Highly breathable and abrasion resistant.
  • ESSENTIALS - Versatile high performance designs for diverse activities and conditions.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT - High performance, minimalist design that is durable for its weight.

Last update on 2023-09-25 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

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. 

Arc’teryx Gamma LT Specs: 

  • Designed for: multi-pitch climbing
  • Material: 12% Elastane and 88% Nylon
  • Build: Gusseted Crotch and integrated knees
  • Water-resistant and DWR treatment: yes

Arc’teryx Gamma LT Features: 

  • 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 Men's Standard Stretch Zion Pant, Charcoal, 35W x 28L
  • Welcome to the Promised Land of climbing pantsthe prAna Stretch Zion Pant's technical, lightweight design was created with climbers in mind.
  • Standard fit skims the body with a slight contour.
  • Stretch Zion fabric: Durable nylon with a touch of movement-friendly stretch. DWR (durable water repellent) finish sheds moisture. UPF 50+ fabrication blocks harmful UVA/UVB rays.

Last update on 2023-09-25 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

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 is 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.

Prana Stretch Zion Specs:

  • Designed for: all-around climbing
  • Materials: 3% Spandex and 97% Nylon
  • Build: stretchy but not articulated
  • Water-resistant and DWR treatment: Yes

Prana Stretch Zion Features: 

  • Integrated belt to keep them on when climbing
  • Stretchy fabric offers excellent mobility
  • UPF 50+ shielding from the sun

4. Mountain Hardwear Yumalino

Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Yumalino Pant, Dark Storm, 30Wx30L
  • 5 pocket styling
  • Warm and cozy fleecebacked fabrication
  • 4-way stretch outer fabrication for added mobility

Last update on 2023-09-25 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

These climbing pants are for 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 have 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.

Mountain Hardwear Specs:

  • Designed for: Mountaineering
  • Materials: 12% Elastane and 88% Nylon
  • Build: articulated knees for extra mobility
  • DWR treatment and water resistant: Yes

Mountain Hardwear Features: 

  • 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

Outdoor Research Men's Cirque II Pants -Lightweight Hiking Climbing Gear Black
  • Water Resistant Wind Resistant Breathable Abrasion-Resistant Movement-Mirroring Stretch Thermo-Regulating ActiveTemp Treatment at Waist Band
  • Avalanche Beacon Pocket with Clip Zip Hand and Thigh Pockets YKK DWR-Treated Zippers Grommets for Instep Lace Boot Lace Hook Drawcord Cuff Adjustments Reinforced Scuff Guards Brushed Tricot-Lined Waistband with ActiveTemp Articulated Knees Gusseted Ankle Zippers Gusseted Crotch Harness-Compatible Waist Adjustable Tabs at Waist Accepts Accessory Suspenders
  • Softshell, Stretch, Men
Outdoor Research Womens Cirque II Pants Black
  • Bluesign approved 50% Nylon, 43% Polyester, 7% Spandex 90D Stretch Double Weave
  • Water Resistant Wind Resistant Breathable Abrasion-Resistant Movement-Mirroring Stretch Thermo-Regulating ActiveTemp Treatment at Waist Band
  • Zip Hand and Thigh Pockets YKK DWR-Treated Zippers Grommets for Instep Lace Boot Lace Hook Drawcord Cuff Adjustments Reinforced Scuff Guards Brushed Tricot-Lined Waistband with Active Temp Articulated Knees Gusseted Ankle Zippers Gusseted Crotch Harness-Compatible Waist Adjustable Tabs at Waist Fold-Up Waistband For Additional Coverage Beacon Pocket

Last update on 2023-09-25 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

This is yet another pair of climbing pants suitable for alpine climbing. Why? Because Outdoor Research Cirque has 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 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. 

Outdoor Research Cirque Specs:

  • Designed for: mountaineering
  • Materials: 7% Spandex, 43% Polyester, 50% Nylon
  • Build: Articulated knees
  • DWR treatment and water resistance: Yes

Outdoor Research Cirque Features:

  • Breathable yet warm fabric
  • Abrasion-resistant and long-lasting
  • Bootlace hook to link your pants to the mountaineering shoes

6. Outdoor Research Ferrosi

Outdoor Research Men’s Ferrosi Pants, 32” Inseam – Climbing & Multi-Sport Pant
63 Reviews
Outdoor Research Men’s Ferrosi Pants, 32” Inseam – Climbing & Multi-Sport Pant
  • LIGHTWEIGHT MEN’S CLIMBING PANTS: These stretchy soft shell Ferrosi pants are made for the rough and rugged adventure rides. They come with a harness-compatible waist that you can use for attaching harnesses and boots alike.
  • MADE TO LAST CONSTRUCTION: These men’s stretch pants are made of 86% nylon and 14% spandex with a 90D stretch woven ripstop. They are lightweight and breathable so that your adventures are filled with comfort, and you can keep going.
  • UPF 50 PROTECTION: The UPF 50 protection of these men’s outdoor pants protect your legs from the harmful sun rays. Their drawcord cuff closures and belt loops allow you to tighten the pants according to your comfort.

Last update on 2023-09-25 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

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 is 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. 

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Specs: 

  • Designed for rock climbing
  • Waterproof: Yes

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Features: 

  • Durable and light fabric
  • Protective and breathable
  • Waterproof material shields the pants from soaking water when climbing

7. Mountain Hardwear AP

Mountain Hardwear Men's Standard Hardwear AP Pant, Dark Storm, 32x32
  • DURABLE AND STRETCHY MATERIAL: Durable, stretch fabric ensures optimal mobility. Relaxed fit and articulated knees for ample mobility. Cotton Nylon Canvas-Duck blend (75% Cotton, 23% Nylon, 2% Elastane.)
  • DESIGN: Belt loop waist offers the option of wearing with or without a belt; zippered fly
  • UPF FABRIC: UPF 50 fabric provides protection from the sun's harsh UV rays

Last update on 2023-09-25 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

While this pair of climbing pants was not durable enough to bag any specific awards, they are one of the most versatile pants in this review. The fabric is sturdy, warm, and weather-proof, but they do not have a sleek appearance. 

Mountain Hardwear AP also features 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.

Mountain Hardwear AP Specs: 

  • Designed for: multi-pitch climbing
  • Materials: 14% Spandex and 86% Nylon
  • Build: Articulated knees
  • Water-resistant: Yes

Mountain Hardwear AP Features: 

  • Light yet durable construction
  • Wind resistant
  • Decent breathability
  • Great mobility

8. Black Diamond Notion Pants

Black Diamond Mens Notion Pants, Black, Medium
  • A pliable pant fit for climbing or hanging out around town
  • Elastic waist band provides climb-long comfort
  • Drawstring at the leg hem cinches down for convenience
Black Diamond Women's Notion Pants Casual Stretch Cotton Pants, Ink Blue, Small
  • Soft cotton pants with a touch of stretch, the Notion Pants are ideal for training, cragging, gym climbing or casual, everyday wear
  • Stretch Cotton Twill (98% Organic Cotton, 2 % Elastane) offers a cool, soft touch that improves over time. Slight stretch allows for freedom of movement.
  • Two hand pockets and two rear pockets. Reinforced knees for durability and a seat gusset for flexibility

Last update on 2023-09-25 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

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 sweatpants.

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. 

Black Diamond Notion Pants Specs: 

  • Designed for: gym climbing
  • Materials: 2% Elastane and 98% cotton
  • Build: rather stretchy but not articulated
  • Not water resistant

Black Diamond Notion Pants Features: 

  • Loose and comfy fit
  • Elastic cuffs
  • Versatile enough to be used for cycling or hiking

9. prAna Axiom Jean

prAna Men's Axiom Jean,Antique Stone Wash,30
  • STYLE AND COMFORT: The prAna Axiom Jean for men is made from a comfortable organic cotton stretch denim blend.
  • DETAILS AND PERFORMANCE: The Axiom Jean one of prAna's performance denim with stretch fabrication which extends, expands and contracts to move with you allowing for ultimate flexibility. Gusseted inseam for range of movement and Faux suede label at coin pocket and pact at back wasitband will keep you looking good while you are out in the environment.
  • Button closure

Last update on 2023-09-25 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

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.

prAna Axiom Jean Specs:

  • Designed for: indoor and crag use
  • Materials: 1% Spandex and 99% cotton
  • Build: relatively stretchy

prAna Axiom Jean Features: 

  • 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 Men's Flame Resistant Washed Duck Work Dungaree,Mid Brown,30 x 30
  • Carhartt Company Gear Collection
  • NFPA 2112 Compliant
  • HRC2

Last update on 2023-09-25 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

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. 

Carhartt Washed Duck Work Dungaree Pant Specs: 

  • Designed for: off-width climbing
  • Materials: 100% cotton
  • Build: relatively stretchy

Carhartt Washed Duck Work Dungaree Pant Features: 

  • Six pockets for carrying some valuables
  • It sits naturally at the waist
  • Fabric is thick and durable

What to Consider Before Buying Rock Climbing Pants?

Let’s take a look at the specifications you need to look for before buying the best rock climbing pants.

1) Waterproofing 

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. 

Best 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.

Rock Climbing Pants FAQ

Are there specific materials or fabrics that are better suited for rock climbing pants?

Yes, materials with high durability and stretch are typically better suited for rock climbing pants.

These may include fabrics such as nylon, polyester, spandex, or a blend of these materials.

Additionally, pants with reinforced knees and seat areas can provide added durability and protection during climbing.

Breathability and moisture-wicking properties may also be beneficial for comfort during physical activity.

How do you ensure a good fit for rock climbing pants, especially when wearing a harness?

When choosing rock climbing pants, it is important to consider the material, fit, and features such as stretch and reinforced knees.

To ensure a good fit when wearing a harness, look for pants that have a low-profile waistband and a gusseted crotch for added mobility and comfort.

Make sure the pants are not too loose or baggy to avoid interference with the harness but also not too tight to restrict movement.

It is also helpful to try on the pants while wearing the harness to ensure a comfortable fit and freedom of movement.

What are some of the top brands or models of rock climbing pants on the market today?

Some top brands/models of rock climbing pants include Prana Stretch Zion, Black Diamond Notion, Arc’teryx Gamma LT, Patagonia Venga Rock, and Mammut Realization Shorts.

Are there any additional features, such as reinforced knees or pockets, that are particularly useful for rock climbing pants?

Yes, reinforced knees and pockets are particularly useful for rock climbing pants.

Reinforced knees provide extra durability and protection against abrasions and scrapes, which are common when climbing.

Pockets with secure closures, such as zippers or Velcro, keep small items like climbing chalk or carabiners easily accessible and secure while climbing.

Additionally, some climbing pants may feature stretchy or articulated knees and gussets for increased mobility and range of motion during climbing movements.

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Last Updated on April 3, 2023 by Roger

About the author


Brad is a professional climber in the discipline of traditional climbing. He often jokes that he can get a book to read during the long climbs. Of course, it always goes well with a good cup of coffee. Drinking coffee is his safer hobby.

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