10 Best Climbing Pants (2020) – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

If you’re a rock climber, you probably already know the importance of having good gears!

Most often, climbers tend to put their attention on gears like climbing harnesses, rope, helmet, shoes, quickdraw, cams, and nuts. However, one item most climbers often neglect in gear selection is climbing pants.

The pair of climbing pants you wear while rock climbing or bouldering can make a whole a lot of difference in terms of comfort and performance. To pull off the most complicated moves and crush the technical routes, you need to have the best climbing pants available in the market.

The top traits of the best climbing pants are durability, flexibility, breathability, and lightweight. Any climbing pants must be highly durable so that it can withstand the harsh conditions of the outdoor routes. Likewise, it should also be stretchy enough to help you maneuver the walls comfortably, and lightweight to not drag you off the walls.

However, it is not always easy to get a decent pair of climbing pants with dozens of options available in the market. There are different pants designed for every category, including gym, single-pitch, trad route, and bouldering.

To guide you through this complication, we have taken our time to review the ten best climbing pants you can get your hands on. Not only does this article introduce you to the top ten climbing pants in the market, but it also includes a buyer’s guide to help choose the most suitable one.

So, let’s start, shall we?

Our Top Pick

Arc'teryx Gamma LT

If you’ve been strolling around the market, you’re most likely to find plenty of options when it comes to climbing pants. At times, the extensive choices can end up making your selection process baffling. Therefore, if you’re on the hunt for the most premium climbing pant, we recommend you go for the Arc'teryx Gamma LT.

Arc'teryx Gamma LT integrates superior comfort, performance, mobility, durability, and weather protection. It is made of Fortius DW 2.0 fabric that combines 88 percent nylon and 12 percent elastane. The fabric used in this climbing pant is soft and comfortable yet sturdy and long-lasting. It is suitable for backcountry as well as front country settings.

The fabric is DWR treatment coated for weather protection. The water and wind-resistant features perform exceptionally well, keeping you shielded from the wet conditions all the time. In addition to that, it also comes with a lot of attractive features. It comes with mesh-lined zippered pockets, a built-in adjustable belt, waistband liner, ankle cinch cord, and eyelets for your convenience.

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Quick Summary of Best Climbing Pants

Product Image Product Name
Best Choice for Functionality and Mobility
Arc'teryx Gamma LT Pants

With the powerful combination of comfort, flexibility, performance, and versatility, Arc'teryx Gamma LT is the most premium climbing pants in the market. This product tends to excel in wet and windy conditions, thanks to its incredible DWR coated weather protection. It is made up of highly stretchable and durable Fortius DW 2.0 fabric that combines 88 percent nylon and 12 percent elastane.

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Most Comfortable Climbing Pant
Prana Stretch Zion Pants

Prana Stretch Zion comes with a laid back design and superior comfort. It is fair to say that not many products can stand head-to-head against this beast when it comes to comfort. Although the nylon fabric feels soft against the skin, it is incredibly durable and can withstand the harshness of the wilderness. This climbing pant also has some of the best features, including low-profile waist tightener, dual-zippered cargo pocket, easily accessible front, and rear pockets

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Best Bang for Buck Climbing Pant
Ucraft Xlite Rock Climbing Pants

Ucraft Xlite is another top-performing rock climbing pant that comes in at a fairly reasonable price. It is designed for climbers who can not spend a hefty buck on a climbing pant. The stitch is a mix of high-quality polyester and spandex. It delivers enhanced flexibility and mobility with articulated knee design. You’ll be surprised to know that this top-class product comes at half the price of other similar products.

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Budget-Friendly Climbing Pant
Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Pants

Eddie Bauer Guide Pro is another inexpensive climbing pant that comes with plenty of excellent features. It is constructed with exclusive Flexion Stretch Woven Technology blending the stretchable nylon and spandex. With the inclusion of StormRepel DWR Treatment, this product also delivers solid performance on wet and windy weather.

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Top Choice for Ice Climbing and Alpine Climbing
Outdoor Research Cirque Pants

If you’re into alpine climbing or ice climbing, Outdoor Research Cirque is undoubtedly your go-to product. Its double-weave design ensures warmth and insulation to withstand extreme weather. In addition to that, the fabric is also wind and water-resistant, which is ideal for wet and snowy conditions. It features articulated knees and a precise fit to ensure comfort and mobility.

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Climbing Pant for Winter Activities
Mountain Hardwear Yumalino Pants

Mountain Hardwear Yumalino is a solid performer when it comes to extreme outdoor activities and winter sports. The four-way stretch nylon softshell stitch is coated with DWR Switchback II. To keep you warm and insulated in cold winter days, it features a soft microfleece lining. It also includes a low-profile loop waistband that provides all-day comfort. Additionally, it has a full-length inseam gusset that enhances mobility and maneuverability.

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Top Pick For Long Approach Hikes and Multi-Pitch Climbing
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants

Fabricated with the blend of nylon and ripstop spandex, the Outdoor Research Ferrosi is a top pick for long-day hikes and multi-pitch climbs. It is one of the best names in the industry when it comes to performance and comfort. The abrasion-resistant fabric provides enough flexibility and stretches for you to keep going. Also, it allows an adequate amount of airflow to keep you well-ventilated in the warmer days.

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Most Fashionable Climbing Pant
Prana Axiom Jeans

Prana Axiom is hands down the most stylish and fashionable climbing wear in the market. Not only that, but it also delivers superior comfort and robust performance. It features an excellent blend of organic cotton and spandex material. Although the fabric feels comparatively rigid, it is super stretchy and comfortable. It includes two front and two rear pockets that are easy to access and large enough to keep your valuable safe.

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Ergonomic and Eco-Friendly Climbing Pant
Coalatree Trailhead Adventure Pants

Coalatree Trailhead Adventure Pants are one of the best outdoor companions that can serve you for long hikes or climbing adventures. It is exceptionally lightweight and easy to pack for long adventures. This climbing pant comprises a patent-pending four-way stretch material, which is ridiculously comfortable and stretchy. Additionally, the fabric used in this climbing pant is odor-free, stain-resistant, and waterproof.

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Top Pick for All-Day Comfort
Mountain Hardwear AP-U Pants

In terms of performance, Mountain Hardwear AP-U is an above-average climbing pant. However, it excels in the comfort department. With a blended canvas fabric that combines cotton, nylon, and elastane, this climbing pant is exceptionally soft and smooth against the skin that ensures all-day comfort. Additionally, it includes articulated knees for added mobility and maneuverability.

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Best Climbing Pants in 2020 - Reviewed

Arc'teryx Gamma LT Pants

Best Choice for Functionality and Mobility

Features Highlights

  • The Fortius DW 2.0 fabric is highly sturdy yet stretchy and comfortable
  • It features brushed polyester waistband
  • It includes laminated zippers in hip and thigh
  • The zipper fly closure system comes with an adjustable webbing belt and metal buckle
  • The cuffs include an adjustable drawcord
  • It provides superb flexibility with articulated knees patterning and gusseted crotch
  • It comes with a laminated hem that features eyelets and static cord adjusters
Designed for maximum mobility, the lightweight soft-shell Arc'teryx Gamma LT Pants takes your climbing game straight to the next level. Check Price on Amazon

Specification

  • Weight:

    12.9 ounces

  • Best Use:

    Multisport

  • Fabric:

    88% Nylon and 12% Elastane

  • Inseam:

    32.5 inches

  • Design:

    Articulated Knees And Gusseted Crotch

  • Gender:

    Men's

  • Water Resistant:

    Yes - DWR Treatment

Pros

  • Stretchable Fortius DW 2.0 fabric
  • Brushed polyester waistband
  • Laminated zippers in hip and thigh
  • Zippered fly closure system
  • Built-in belt buckles
  • Articulated knees patterning and gusseted crotch
  • It features a laminated hem

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Does not have rear pockets

Verdict

Overall, the Arc'teryx Gamma LT is one of the favorites among rock climbers. It is an excellent blend of comfort, performance, flexibility, and versatility in a single pair of pants. They provide incredible weather protection and excels in both wet and windy conditions.

It also combines some of the best features for a climbing pant. However, the biggest problem with this comfortable pair of pants is that they do not include any rear pockets. While it certainly is not the deal-breaker, it still is slightly disappointing considering the quality and performance of the pant.

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Prana Stretch Zion Pants

Most Comfortable Climbing Pant

Features Highlights

  • Made of exclusive quick-drying stretch Zion performance fabric
  • Coated with durable water repellent (DWP) for weather protection
  • Features roll-up leg cuff snaps
  • Has dual-entry cargo pocket and mesh pockets
  • Has UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Comes with ventilated inseam gusset and cinch belt system
  • The streamlined waistband is highly adjustable
With quick-dry and water resistance, Prana Stretch Zion is an excellent choice for those who want to spend their weeks climbing in the wilderness. Check Price on Amazon

Specification

  • Weight:

    16 ounces

  • Best Use:

    Rock Climbing and Hiking

  • Fabric:

    97% Nylon and 3% SpandexNot Articulated - Relies On Stretchiness

  • Inseam:

    28/ 30/ 32/ 34/ 36 inches

  • Design:

    Not Articulated - Relies On Stretchiness

  • Gender:

    Men's

  • Water Resistant:

    Yes - DWR Treatment

Pros

  • Made up of quick-drying stretch Zion performance fabric
  • Wind and water-resistant
  • Roll-up leg cuff snaps
  • Dual-entry cargo pocket and mesh pockets
  • It includes UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Ventilated inseam gusset
  • Cinch belt system
  • Adjustable streamlined waistband

Cons

  • Not well ventilated
  • It absorbs water in heavy rain

Verdict

Overall, the Prana Stretch Zion is a decent pair of climbing pants. With laid back style and comfort, this product is an ideal choice for everyday use. Whether you want to use them for a day-long session at the crag or daily session at the gym, they will deliver outstanding performance.
With a soft yet sturdy nylon fabric that ensures a precise fit, comfort, and flexibility, this climbing pant also comes with almost perfect features. These features include low-profile waist tightener, dual-zippered cargo pocket, snap buttons, and easily accessible front and rear pockets.

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Ucraft Xlite Rock Climbing Pants

Best Bang for Buck Climbing Pant

Features Highlights

  • Available in two version — pants and knickers
  • Excellent flexibility makes it ideal for rock climbing, bouldering, running, and yoga
  • Combines four different pockets to keep your belongings safe and secure
  • Features a flat horizontal loop to attach the chalk bag while climbing
  • Also includes a thin adjustable belt to ensure a precise fit
  • Has a thin elastic waistband that comforts in harness
  • Made of sturdy and breathable fabric material
  • Comes with a two-year warranty
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly climbing pant that comprises all the top specs, look no further than the Ucraft Xlite. Check Price on Amazon

Specification

  • Weight:

    10-13 ounces

  • Best Use:

    Bouldering

  • Fabric:

    92% Polyester and 8% Spandex

  • Inseam:

    23.5-32.5 inches

  • Design:

    Articulated Knees

  • Gender:

    Men's

  • Water Resistant:

    No

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Available in two different versions
  • Ideal for rock climbing, bouldering, running, and yoga
  • It has four easily accessible pockets
  • It includes a chalk bag loop
  • Made up of highly breathable and durable polyester material
  • Backed by a two-year warranty

Cons

  • Not water resistant

Verdict

Ucraft Xlite is one of the best choices for climbers who have a limited budget yet do not want to compromise on quality and performance. It comprises an excellent blend of polyester and spandex material, which is lightweight, stretchable, and durable. It also features articulated knees for added flexibility and versatility.

Overall, it comprises some of the best features for a climbing pant. It might come as a surprise, but the Ucraft Xlite costs half the price of a premium-quality climbing pant. With such quality, performance, and features at such a budget-friendly price, this climbing pant is an absolute bargain.

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Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Pants

Budget-Friendly Climbing Pant

Features Highlights

  • Ensures mobility with two-way stretch
  • Produced with Flexion Stretch Woven Technology
  • The material used in this climbing pant is Bluesign certified
  • Uses StormRepel DWR finish to prevent wind and rain
  • Features UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Stays fresh and odor-free with Polygiene Odor Control
  • The small packed size is easy to pack and carry for a multi-day trip
  • Ensures a snug and precise fit without restricting mobility
If you’re on the hunt for an inexpensive climbing pant that can do it all, be it rock climbing or hiking, Eddie Bauer Guide Pro is your best bet. Check Price on Amazon

Specification

  • Weight:

    N/A

  • Best Use:

    Sport Climbing

  • Fabric:

    94% Nylon and 6% Spandex

  • Inseam:

    32 inches

  • Design:

    Articulated Knees And Two-Way Stretch Design

  • Gender:

    Men's

  • Water Resistant:

    Yes - StormRepel DWR Treatment

Pros

  • Inexpensive climbing pant
  • Enhanced movability with two-way stretch
  • Flexion Stretch Woven Technology
  • Bluesign certified material
  • Water-repellent
  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Integrates Polygiene Odor Control
  • Comes in small packed size
  • It has an athletic fit

Cons

  • The stitching comes apart really quickly
  • Pockets are not so durable

Verdict

Overall, the Eddie Bauer Guide Pro comes with above-average performance and quality. It offers loads of attractive features, which makes this product exceptionally versatile. It is made of high-quality nylon and spandex material and produced using an innovative Flexion Stretch Woven Technology. It also performs reasonably well on wet and windy conditions. At such a reasonable price, this climbing pant is a top deal.

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Outdoor Research Cirque Pants

Top Choice for Ice Climbing and Alpine Climbing

Features Highlights

  • Made of 50 percent nylon, 43 percent polyester, and 7 percent spandex
  • The 4-way softshell stretch fabric offers superb flexibility and mobility to allow you to move freely while reaching out for the next hold
  • The fabric is coated with DWR treatment to prevent both water and wind
  • Features an adjustable and low-profile waist that fits comfortably under harnesses
  • Has articulated knees and gusseted crotch to allow a wide range of motion
  • Includes highly adjustable ankle zippers and drawcord cuff closures
  • Comes with easy-to-access zippered pockets to keep your belongings safe and secure
  • The zippers have a water repellent finish coating
  • Features reinforced scuff guards
Designed with durable and water-resistant fabric, the soft-shell Outdoor Research Cirque is a top choice for high-energy pursuits like rock climbing, ice climbing, and mountaineering. Check Price on Amazon

Specification

  • Weight:

    20.5 ounces

  • Best Use:

    Mountaineering and Ice Climbing

  • Fabric:

    50% Nylon/ 43% Polyester/ 7% Spandex

  • Inseam:

    33 inches

  • Design:

    Articulated Knees And Gusseted Crotch

  • Gender:

    Men's

  • Water Resistant:

    Yes - DWR Treatment

Pros

  • Made of 4-way softshell stretch fabric
  • It is highly flexible and versatile
  • Sturdy and durable material to withstand harsh outdoor conditions
  • Four-pocket designed that are easily accessible
  • It is compatible with belts and suspenders
  • Wind and water-resistant
  • Adjustable low-profile waist

Cons

  • The inseam length has limited options
  • The front side pockets feel slightly shallow

Verdict

Outdoor Research Cirque is an excellent choice for alpine climbing and ice climbing. It comes with a double-weave design that keeps you insulated in extreme weather conditions. Besides, the fabric is also super stretchy and comfortable. The wind and water-resistant also adds to its credibility for wintery conditions.
Although this climbing pant is relatively heavy and pricey for regular climbing, it does feature articulated knees and snug fit for unencumbered movements. However, if you’re looking for climbing pants to hit the gym or climb simple crags, we recommend you to go for lightweight pants.

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Mountain Hardwear Yumalino Pants

Climbing Pant for Winter Activities

Features Highlights

  • Made of 4-way stretch nylon and elastane fabric
  • Ensures comfort, flexibility, and mobility
  • Ideal for winter sports with the inclusion of microfleece lining
  • Prevents light moisture with durable water repellent (DWR) coating
  • Features full-length inseam gusset that adds comfort and mobility
  • Includes quick-dry fabric that offers UPF 50 sun protection
  • Low-profile belt loop waistband that ensures all-day comfort
  • Has zipped side pockets along with dual back patch pockets
Mountain Hardwear Yumalino is designed with a stretchable fabric and microfleece lining to offer enough insulation and flexibility to go climbing on extreme wintery conditions. Check Price on Amazon

Specification

  • Weight:

    20 ounces

  • Best Use:

    Mountaineering

  • Fabric:

    88% Nylon and 12% Elastane

  • Inseam:

    41 inches

  • Design:

    Articulated With Full-Length Inseam Gusset For Added Mobility

  • Gender:

    Men's

  • Water Resistant:

    Yes - DWR Finish

Pros

  • Made up of 4-way stretch nylon and elastane fabric
  • Provide all-day comfort, flexibility, and mobility
  • Include microfleece lining for extra warmth
  • Includes DWR treatment to prevent light moisture
  • Includes full-length inseam gusset
  • UPF 50 sun protection
  • Low-profile belt loop waistband
  • It features zipped side pockets and dual back pockets

Cons

  • In case of heavy downpour, the DWR treatment absorbs water.

Verdict

Mountain Hardwear Yumalino is another solid outdoor gear for alpine climbing and winter sports. It comprises a 4-way stretch nylon material with a DWR-coated Switchback II softshell body. Not only does this climbing wear to ensure comfort, durability, and versatility, but it also keeps you protected from the harsh outdoor conditions.
It also includes a soft microfleece lining to provide you much-needed warmth and insulation during cold and wintery conditions. On top of that, this climbing pant comes at a fairly reasonable price.

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Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants

Top Pick For Long Approach Hikes and Multi-Pitch Climbing

Features Highlights

  • Combines 86 percent nylon and 14 percent ripstop spandex
  • Protects you from the wind while also providing enough breathability
  • The fabric is sturdy and durable while remaining stretchy and flexible
  • Includes easily accessible repositioned cargo pocket
  • Also features a simmer ankle cut
  • Comes with UPF 50+ sun protection to protect you from harmful UV rays
  • Designed with articulated knees for enhanced mobility
  • Includes zippered back and thigh pockets to stash your valuables
  • Has a brushed tricot-lined waistband and harness-compatible waist that adds cushion and comfort
  • Features drawcord cuff closures that offer adjustability for a precise fit
Outdoor Research Ferrosi is an excellent choice for multi-pitch trad climbing and long approach hikes, thanks to its robust, stretchy, breathable, and comfortable construction. Check Price on Amazon

Specification

  • Weight:

    11.3 ounces

  • Best Use:

    Multi-Pitch Climbing

  • Fabric:

    86% Nylon and 14% Ripstop Spandex

  • Inseam:

    30/ 32/ 34 inches

  • Design:

    Articulated Knees

  • Gender:

    Men's

  • Water Resistant:

    Yes

Pros

  • It is abrasion-resistant
  • It combines quality, comfort, mobility, and flexibility
  • Wind and water-resistant
  • Easy-to-access cargo pocket
  • It includes UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Enhanced mobility with articulated knees
  • It comes with zippered back and thigh pockets
  • Features harness-compatible waist and brushed tricot-lined waistband

Cons

  • It has a relatively loose waist fit
  • It is not ideal for cold weather

Verdict

Technically, the Outdoor Research Ferrosi is one of the best climbing pants in terms of performance and comfort. It integrates a perfect blend of fabric with 86 percent nylon and 14 percent ripstop spandex. The fabric offers plenty of flexibility and stretch while also staying resistant to abrasion.

Likewise, they are super breathable and allow adequate flow of air to keep you cool on warmer days. But, the thin fabric of Outdoor Research Ferrosi does not hold up on the cold and winter weather. However, this product stands out from its competitors on comfort, breathability, and mobility, making it an excellent choice for outdoor adventures.

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Prana Axiom Jeans

Most Fashionable Climbing Pant

Features Highlights

  • Made with the blend of organic cotton and spandex
  • The two-way stretch jeans ensure a standard fit
  • The stretchable fabric is relatively tough to withstand day-to-day outdoor abuse
  • Includes stylish zigzag stitching at the side seam
  • Offers incredible mobility and versatility with gusseted inseam
  • Includes deep pockets to keep your belongings safe and secure
  • Uses tack buttons and rivets to ensure a snug fit
  • Available in a variety of inseam lengths
Casual and comfortable, the Prana Axiom jeans are made up of organic cotton with the touch of spandex to bring you the comfort of a two-way stretch. Check Price on Amazon

Specification

  • Weight:

    16 ounces

  • Best Use:

    Rock Climbing, Biking, and Hiking

  • Fabric:

    99% Cotton and 1% Spandex

  • Inseam:

    30/ 32/ 34 inches

  • Design:

    Gusseted Inseam with Classic Five-Pocket Design

  • Gender:

    Men's

  • Water Resistant:

    No

Pros

  • Comfortable, stretchy, and durable
  • It is stylish and fashionable
  • Made up of organic cotton and spandex
  • Includes gusseted inseam for mobility and versatility
  • Five pockets that are large and functional
  • Available in different inseam lengths
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • It is not waterproof
  • It becomes heavy and bulky when wet
  • Comparatively less breathable
  • The waist fit seems slightly large
  • Relatively expensive

Verdict

With its stylish looks and reliable performance, Prana Axiom jeans find its spot on our list of 10 best climbing pants. Unlike other jeans, this pant integrates comfort, durability, mobility, and versatility to become one of the best outdoor wears.

Although it may cost you a hefty buck, it is worth the investment considering its top-class features and performance. The fabric is a blend of organic cotton and spandex material, which allows you the full range of motion. However, one major downside of this climbing pant is that it is not resistant to wind and water.

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Coalatree Trailhead Adventure Pants

Ergonomic and Eco-Friendly Climbing Pant

Features Highlights

  • Made up of patent-pending four-way stretch fabric
  • Suitable for multi-purpose outdoor activities
  • Features a gusseted crotch area for enhanced flexibility and comfort
  • Highly durable and tear-resistant
  • Stylish and lightweight
  • Waterproof and stain-resistant
  • Includes antimicrobial properties to keep it fresh and odor-free
  • Environmentally friendly and Bluesign certified
Coalatree Trailhead is the ultimate adventure attire that integrates weather-protection, durability, packability, and versatility in a single product for everyday use. Check Price on Amazon

Specification

  • Weight:

    10.9 ounces

  • Water Resistant:

    Multi-Pitch Climbing and Hiking

  • Fabric:

    88% Nylon and 12% Spandex

  • Inseam:

    29-31 inches

  • Design:

    Gusseted Crotch

  • Gender:

    Unisex

  • Water Resistant:

    Yes - DWR Finish

Pros

  • Patent-pending four-way stretch fabric
  • Ideal for multi-purpose outdoor activities
  • Improved comfort with the gusseted crotch area
  • Highly durable and tear-resistant
  • It is stylish and lightweight
  • It is waterproof and stain-resistant
  • It stays fresh and odor-free
  • It is eco-friendly

Cons

  • The cuff system does not seem to work well.

Verdict

If you’re looking for a lightweight climbing pant that can easily go on for multiple days, Coalatree Trailhead Adventure should be your go-to product. Sturdy and well-built yet stylish and fashionable, these climbing pants are exceptionally versatile and makes the investment worth it.
It is made of patent-pending four-way stretch fabric that offers comfort and durability. In addition to that, the material is fully waterproof that keeps you protected from wet weather. The fabric also includes antimicrobial properties to keep it fresh and odor-free after a long day of use.

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Mountain Hardwear AP-U Pants

Top Pick for All-Day Comfort

Features Highlights

  • Fabricated with blended canvas fabric — 75 percent cotton, 23 percent nylon, and 2 percent elastane
  • Offers incredible stretch and mobility for all-day comfort
  • Provides a free range of motion with its articulated knees design and stretches fit
  • Includes mesh-lined front pockets and zippered rear pockets to keep your personal items safely
  • Features roll waistband
Whether you want to go on a biking adventure or scale the most demanding route, wearing the pair of Mountain Hardwear AP-U will ensure all-day comfort and performance. Check Price on Amazon

Specification

  • Weight:

    20 ounces

  • Best Use:

    All Around Climbing

  • Fabric:

    75% Cotton/ 23% Nylon/ 2% Elastane

  • Inseam:

    32 inches

  • Design:

    Articulated Knees

  • Gender:

    Men's

  • Water Resistant:

    No

Pros

  • The fabric blends 75 percent cotton, 23 percent nylon, and 2 percent elastane
  • It feels soft and smooth against the skin
  • The fabric is stretchable and comfortable for the all-day purpose
  • It has articulated knees that provide a free range of motion
  • It includes five pockets to keep your belongings

Cons

  • It is not water-resistant
  • Not well-ventilated
  • Relatively tight fit

Verdict

Overall, the Mountain Hardwear AP-U is an above-average performer on this list. However, when it comes to comfort, this climbing pant is up there with the best. It is tailored with a blended canvas fabric that combines 75 percent cotton, 23 percent nylon, and 2 percent elastane.

The material feels exceptionally soft and smooth against the skin. It comes with articulated knees, which ensures mobility and maneuverability. However, this climbing pant is not resistant to wind and water, which is a bit disappointing.

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Comparison Table of Best Climbing Pants

SNProductsFabricInseam (Inches)Weight (Ounce)DesignGenderWater ResistantBest Use
1Arc'teryx Gamma LT Pants88% Nylon and 12% Elastane32.512.9Articulated Knees And Gusseted CrotchMen'sYes - DWR TreatmentMultisport
2Prana Stretch Zion Pants97% Nylon and 3% Spandex28-3616Not Articulated - Relies On StretchinessMen'sYes - DWR TreatmentRock Climbing and Hiking
3Ucraft Xlite Rock Climbing Pants92% Polyester and 8% Spandex23.5-32.52020-10-13 00:00:00Articulated KneesMen'sNoBouldering
4Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Pants94% Nylon and 6% Spandex32N/AArticulated Knees And Two-Way Stretch DesignMen'sYes - DWR TreatmentSport Climbing
5Outdoor Research Cirque Pants50% Nylon/ 43% Polyester/ 7% Spandex3320.5Articulated Knees And Gusseted CrotchMen'sYes - DWR TreatmentMountaineering and Ice Climbing
6Mountain Hardwear Yumalino Pants88% Nylon and 12% Elastane4120Articulated With Full-Length Inseam Gusset For Added MobilityMen'sYes - Water Resistant DWR FinishMountaineering
7Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants86% Nylon and 14% Ripstop Spandex30/ 32/ 3411.3Articulated KneesMen'sYesMulti-Pitch Climbing
8Prana Axiom Jeans99% Cotton and 1% Spandex30/ 32/ 3416Gusseted Inseam with Classic Five-Pocket DesignMen'sNoRock Climbing, Biking, and Hiking
9Coalatree Trailhead Adventure Pants88% Nylon and 12% Spandex29-3110.9Gusseted CrotchUnisexYes - Water Resistant DWR FinishMulti-Pitch Climbing and Hiking
10Mountain Hardwear AP-U Pants75% Cotton/ 23% Nylon/ 2% Elastane3220Articulated KneesMen'sNoAll Around Climbing

Things You Should Consider Before Buying Climbing Pants

Even though climbing pants are an essential climbing gear, they are often neglected by climbers. Having a decent pair of climbing pants will take you far in this sport. However, with so many different choices in the market, it might be challenging to find the best climbing pants.

So, to help you find the most suitable pair for your next session, here are a few things you need to consider before buying the climbing pants:

Types of Pants

Before you go shopping for a pair of climbing pants, you need to determine what kind of climbing you will do. There is no point in buying the breathable pants that are suitable for warm weather if you’re into alpine climbing. To help you find the right match, we’ve identified two different types of pants in the market.

Rock Climbing and Bouldering

Generally, rock climbing and bouldering involve more dynamic and athletic movements and footwork compared to alpine climbing. Therefore, these types of climbing require a better range of motion and mobility.

Compared to alpine wear, the climbing pants for rock climbing and bouldering must have great stretch, flexibility, comfort, and breathability. Moreover, this pant also tends to have articulated knees and gusseted crotch to provide uninhibited movements.

Alpine Climbing

Proper stretch and flexibility are essential features in alpine climbing pants. However, they’re not the deal-breaker for this sport. Since alpine climbing does not involve much technicality and athleticism compared to rock climbing, they do not require much flexibility, breathability, and mobility. Instead, comfort, warmth, and functionality is the key for alpine climbing.

Usually, alpine wear tends to be slightly heavier as they include microfleece lining, water-repellent treatment, and durable fabric.

Materials

Material is another significant thing you need to consider while buying the climbing pant. The material of the climbing pant determines most of its strengths as well as flaws. Believe it or not, but it is the material of the pants that ensures comfort, flexibility, durability, and breathability.

Comfort

For any rock climber, comfort is the number one priority. Unless your pants feel comfortable, you most likely will not have a good climbing experience. For comfort, most pants feature articulated knees, gusseted crotch, and elasticated waist.

In addition to that, most brands use stretchable fabric for maximum comfort. It adds mobility and comfort while climbing technical routes and challenging problems. Therefore, while shopping for climbing pants, make sure to buy a pair that ensure comfort and mobility.

Flexibility

Another significant element that comes along with the material of the pants is flexibility. Wearing non-flexible pants while climbing could end up as a terrible experience. Without surprise, flexible fabric allows you to perform the best range of movement and nail the complex techniques.

While you may look fashionable in a pair of jeans, however, those tightly stitched and stretch-free pants will not come to your rescue while scaling different routes and problems. Therefore, make sure to buy stretchy climbing pants that provide you enough flexibility and ensure you get that extra centimeter whenever required.

Durability

Like comfort and flexibility, the material also determines the durability of the pants. In modern days, the options for climbing wear are enormous. If you look around the market, you find feather-like lightweight models to heavy-duty material in climbing pants.

Generally, lightweight pants tend to offer much-needed flexibility while climbing. However, they are prone to wear and tear after heavy usage and are not likely to last-last for a long time. Heavier pants tend to withstand the harshness of the wilderness and are likely to last longer. However, they lack flexibility and comfort compared to lightweight models.

Which model suits you the best depends on what type of climbing you are into. If you’re into alpine climbing, we’d recommend you to go for heavy-duty pants that can resist the severe conditions. Similarly, if you’re into rock climbing and bouldering, we recommend you to go for lightweight pants that offer you better comfort and flexibility to perform dynamic moves.

Breathability

If you go climbing in warm weather, you’ll most likely have to go through a bit of sweat and dampness inside your pants. Most of the time, the stickiness can cause discomfort while you’re scaling on strenuous routes. To get rid of such issues, you might need a bit of ventilation in those pants.

If your climbing pants are made of breathable material, it will allow enough airflow and help to keep things cool on the crag. Therefore, it is advisable to invest in a pair of pants that offer proper breathability.

Water-Resistant

If you’re looking to go for an epic outdoor climb, you might also want to consider the water-resistant feature in your climbing pants. While climbing outdoors in the wilderness, the weather conditions are unforeseeable, especially at the alpine routes.

Most climbing pants coat the fabric with a durable water repellent (DWR) treatment to tackle the various conditions. With this coating, the water tends to run off the fabric instead of soaking into the pants. In extreme weather conditions, the waterproof feature can be a lifesaver. However, not every coating is likely to withstand the harsh weather.

While some fabrics are 100 percent waterproof, some may only resist light showers. In heavy downfall, these materials tend to fail and might absorb the moisture. Also, even the best DWR coating will likely degrade over time after multiple uses. Therefore, you need to put careful consideration regarding the water-repellent material before buying the climbing pants.

In addition to that, you should also look for the wind-resistant wear if you’re more of an alpine climber. Protecting the harsh wind in extreme conditions will come handy to keep you warm and isolated while climbing.

Features

Believe it or not, there are a handful of features in climbing pants that can make your life a lot easier as a climber. While these features may not be the deal maker, considering these handy add-ons might be a wise choice in terms of comfort and ease. Some additional features of climbing pants are:

Gusseted Crotch

It is merely an added fabric in the crotch area that offers comfort, flexibility, and mobility compared to standard pant crotch. It is especially ideal for male climbers while performing technical moves and footwork while climbing.

Chalk Bag Loop

It is a tiny integrated loop that often lies on the back of the waist belt that is used for attaching a chalk bag. This small feature of the climbing pants comes handy for free climbers and boulders.

Zippered Pockets

The zippered pocket is another excellent feature that can make a climber’s life much more comfortable. For those climbers who do not like to take off their backpack to get the route map or other essentials, these pockets are tiny gems. They are much easier and convenient to keep your must-haves while climbing.

Ankle-Cinch

Ankle-cinch is another great feature that allows climbers to adjust the length of their pants. You can transform your climbing pants into shorts or three-quarter length pants for extra breathability.

Brush Pocket

It is a small pocket designed to carry a wire brush to clean debris and moss from the routes.

Warmth

You indeed need to minimize the weight of your backpack while you go on multi-day climbing adventures. However, if you’re heading towards the higher elevation, the weight of your backpack might be even more crucial. Do you add a few extra pairs into your bag to keep you insulated?

If you’re going for alpine or trad climbing, we recommend you to go for heavy-duty climbing pants that will keep you warm and insulated. Not only that, if you’re aiming for much higher destinations, but you might also want to consider fleece-lined pants. Make sure the material is 100 percent waterproof and wind-resistant to tackle the unforeseeable weather conditions.

However, if you’re planning to go for regular rock climbing or bouldering, you may not require such heavy pants. A pair of stretchable wear will be enough to handle the technicality of such routes.

FAQs on Best Climbing Pants

When it comes down to single best climbing pants, there is no definitive answer to it. In the end, it all comes down to your preference, your climbing style, and the location of the climb. If you’re more of an alpine or trad route climber, you might want to consider heavy-duty, robust, and well-insulated climbing pants to withstand the cold weather.

However, if you’re a rock climber or boulderer, we recommend you to go for lightweight, stretchable, and comfortable climbing pants as these routes demand technicality and mobility compared to alpine routes.

To be honest, nylon pants are a decent choice when it comes to rock climbing. Nylon is one of the most sturdy fabrics that can resist the knee-drags and other abuses in the outdoors.

In addition to that, nylon does not tend to absorb moisture and sweat, keeping you fresh after a long-day climb. However, nylons do not stretch, which means you will not be able to get the full range of motion. Additionally, this material also limits your movements for technical climbs.

Leggings offer exceptional comfort, flexibility, and stretch compared to regular climbing pants. If you’re an occasional climber, wearing leggings on the route might be a decent choice. However, for regular climbers, leggings do not offer as much durability as the climbing pants.

In addition to that, leggings also lack most of the add-on features any rock climber would fawn over. Besides, they also lack breathability compared to most climbing pants, which make them inappropriate for regular use.

Since rock climbing is a physical activity that requires a lot of technical movement, wearing appropriate clothes is the key. You need to make sure that the clothes you wear are comfortable, stretchable, and breathable.

Your climbing pants should never be drenched in sweat while you’re climbing. For that, you should not wear cotton pants while rock climbing. Generally, cotton is not stretchable enough to rock technical movements, and it lacks moisture-wicking capacity compared to other fabric.

That’s that! Out of all the possible options in the market, we have selected the 10 best climbing pants. With this article, we hope to help you to narrow down the options to save your valuable time while browsing around for different brands and models.

Professional climbers also recommend these climbing pants. Regardless of which product suits you the most, they are guaranteed to deliver comfort, performance, mobility, and durability.

Happy Climbing!

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