The cliffs where I learned to climb instilled in me a personal, never-ending mission to find the best climbing pants money can buy. A lot of the rocks around me are pebbled, rough, and sharp – it’s great for gripping, but not for flimsy leggings or worse, bare legs So friendly. I quickly discovered that if I wanted to fully enjoy myself outside, I needed a pair of sturdy pants (or a few) instead of coming home with a bunch of chafing and pants holes. Fortunately, there is a vast world of climbing pants to explore, with options that are tough and protective, yet stretchy and comfortable enough to wear all day.
What kind of pants are best for rock climbing?
Wherever you like to climb, there are rocks, you know, rocks—they’re hard and abrasive, and they can tear pants made of thin materials. So, in general, you should look for thicker trousers or trousers made from abrasion-resistant, ripstop fabrics. Items advertised as “climbing pants” almost fit the bill, but they are generally not as protective as those clearly labeled as “climbing pants.”
While the pants you choose should prevent chafing and tearing, They should also allow a full range of motion. Some climbers prefer to climb in jeans and others as they are tougher, but I find it difficult to make high steps and other nimble movements in these pants, so I tend to wear more bottoms for (read ” more spandex”).
Finally, how and where you climb comes into play : If you like sport climbing, you need pants that fit comfortably with a climbing harness. Meanwhile, if you’re bouldering, you don’t have to worry about this. Those in cooler climates may prefer something warm, while those in milder climates may want to prioritize breathability.
Are climbing pants worth it?
If you plan to climb mostly indoors, your clothes should be comfortable and portable (you don’t mind if they’re a bit chalky), but they don’t need to be super protective . On the other hand, if you spend a lot of time climbing outdoors, a pair or two of outdoor-specific trousers with the aforementioned protections can give you peace of mind. And, when they finally save your knees from some bumps and scratches, you might fall in love with your climbing pants, just like your favorite climbing shoes, trusty backpacks, and other trail-tested climbing gear.
Even after years of climbing outdoors, I’m still trying new products from beloved outdoor brands like Prana, Patagonia, and North Face, as well as budget-friendly retailers like Amazon and Old Shoe navy. While I’ve found a few that I’ve always liked and worn, I’m still curious about a lot thanks to the glowing reviews of them from other climbers. Here I have highlighted both in the hope that you will find the best hiking pants for your outdoor adventures. Read on to discover my favorites and the pants at the top of my try-on list.
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