instructor explaining safety rules inside climbing gym

Best Bouldering Pants

What is the Best Bouldering Pants in 2024? Here's a list of the Top 9 bouldering pants for boulderers based on our experiences and expertise.

When it comes to bouldering, it is fundamental to find a good pair of pants or leggings to master the sport. From moves like sitting in, step ups to dyno, you do not want your pants to be in the way of you grabbing for that handhold or crimp. What more, the embarrassment of your pants splitting or being see through given it is not stretchy or elastic enough. So what are the ones that can fufill all these needs and still look good?

Best Bouldering Pants

What are the Best Bouldering Pants?

Below you’ll find the list of the top 9 Best Bouldering Pants. We compiled this list from bouldering pants we have used, asked others about, and researched further to give you the best possible roundup. With many years of experience with bouldering pants for boulderers you can be assured that this article will give you what you’re looking for.

We also wrote a buying guide and answered some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) at the end of this article.

1. Prana Men’s Stretch Zion

Prana Men's Stretch Zion
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)

The nylon and spandex loose-fitting legs allow the Prana Zion pant to give you more room to maneuver. It also features a well-ventilated gusset to keep you cool when needed and adds greater mobility to your climbing.

They designed the pants’ bottom to roll up quickly, which stops your climbing shoes from getting caught. To keep the pant leg in place, they use a pop button, which easily fastens.

The Prana rock climbing pants have a double zippered security pocket on the left leg. This feature gives you access from the top and side of the cargo pocket.

To guarantee a good fit around the waist, the Prana pants come with a built-in belt. You can easily adjust it by pulling the tab or releasing the buckle.

Pros

  • Built-in belt
  • Ventilated crotch gusset
  • Designed to be rolled up

Cons

  • Small pocket depth

2. Columbia Men’s Pants Silver Ridge Convertible

Columbia Men's Pants Silver Ridge Convertible
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)

Much like the Saturday Trail Convertible Pants, the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants can switch between full-length cargo pants and shorts in a matter of minutes. They are a development of the Silver Ridge Cargo Pants, with all of the same features as their slightly less adjustable brother. Those in search of a specialized hiking garment will prefer the convertible version as this allows for more customizability while on the trail. Those who are looking for a versatile product that can also be used in everyday situations will probably prefer the regular cargo pants version, as it looks more minimalist and aesthetically pleasing.

Pros

  • Can be converted into shorts for warm weather hiking. Omni-wick technology keeps skin dry.
  • UPF 50 protection

Cons

  • The zip above the knee may be aesthetically undesirable in everyday situations

3. Prana Brion Men’s Pant Inseam Pants

Prana Brion Men's Pant Inseam Pants
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)

You get a stylish straight leg pant with enough flexibility to get your legs where they shouldn’t be. The high rise legs also mean you don’t need to roll up the pants when climbing.

Prana’s rock climbing pants also have five mesh pockets, which stop them from filling with water. The downside is the pockets are pretty small and don’t have any security protection. If you’re climbing with valuables, you need to be careful they don’t slip out.

Although the mesh pockets helped with the breathability, they often pulled out and felt slightly flimsy.

The material repled dirt easily, great for long weekends camping. They also looked like regular pants, which gave an added versatility.

Pros

  • Mesh pockets
  • Straight leg cut
  • Snug fit

Cons

  • Small pockets
  • No breathable gusset

4. Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Pants

Columbia Men's Silver Ridge Cargo Pants
Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)

The Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Pants are a fantastic casual hiking garment that is comfortable to wear all day on the trail in moderate climates. The Omni-Wick fabric keeps your skin dry by wicking off excess moisture, and the Omni-Shade technology keeps your skin safe from harmful UV rays.

The Columbia pants are a classic straight leg design but come with articulated knees to increase mobility while hiking, although not enough for advanced bouldering as most users will still feel restricted. The waist is elasticized and comes with an adjustable belt to fit comfortably to the user. They are made of a ripstop fabric to ensure durability and some protection against thorns and rocks that you may brush up against on the trail.

The Silver Ridge pants are a budget-friendly, all-around strong choice for three-season hiking, and minimalist, and stylish enough to use as comfortable everyday pants, making them a truly versatile product.

Pros

  • Available in a large range of colors. Complete with Omni-Wick technology to keep moisture off the skin.
  • UV-protective. Gusseted for comfort and mobility

Cons

  • Not flexible enough for climbing or bouldering

5. Prana Helly Hansen Men’s Pants

Prana Helly Hansen Men’s Pants
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)

Prana’s Helly Hansen pants for men have a stylish “chino” style. The built-in adjustable belt brings a better fit without a traditional belt. They can also roll up and snap shut at the bottom to stop them from getting caught on your shoe.

The pants were flexible and gave extra room around the crotch. The downside is they can be a bit tight around the thigh.

They have ventilated gussets for added breathability, which makes them great in high humidity.

Unfortunately, the pockets are pretty small at the side, but it makes up for it with a zip-up side pocket.

Pros

  • Built-in belt
  • Roll-up snaps
  • Ventilated gusset

Cons

  • Tight around the thigh

6. Prana Women’s Halle Pants

Prana Women's Halle Pants
Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Material: Nylon and Spandex Fabric
Sun Protection: UPF 50+ Sun Protection
Variations of Colors: 10 Colours
Purpose and Usage: Climbing, Hiking, Everyday Use,

The prAna Women’s Halle Pants are a flattering and durable pair of pants that will give you the right amount of stretch and flex for climbing in. They are made of water-resistant fabric that will dry quickly and wick sweat away, keeping you cool. The material is also UPF 50, which means not only will your legs be safe from the sun, but these pants will work to keep you cool by acting as a barrier to the sun’s heat. Further, the Halle pants can be easily converted into capri pants by rolling up the bottom of the trouser legs for even more relief on hot days. These are great pants, but we found the sizing a bit odd, and even after trying on a few pairs we still couldn’t get a pair that fit like a dream. Hopefully you will have better luck!

Pros

  • Water repellent fabric UPF fabric to keep your skin safe and regulate your temperature Stretchy and soft fabric Can be converted into capri pants

Cons

  • Sizing not as accurate as other models

7. Columbia Women’s Saturday Trail II Convertible Pants and Shorts

Columbia Women's Saturday Trail II Convertible Pants and Shorts
Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Material: Nylon and Elastane Fabric
Sun Protection: UPF 50+ Sun Protection
Variations of Colors: 4 Colours
Purpose and Usage: Hiking, Everyday use

The Columbia Women’s Saturday Trail pants are primarily hiking trousers, but perform well as climbing trousers. They are great for climbing in hotter climates as they can easily be converted into shorts by zipping the bottom part of the trouser leg off. They are lightweight and wick moisture quickly, and the material is designed to be extra resistant to stains such as mud. We love the neutral tones these climbing pants are available in, but they’re not the stretchiest trousers and might be a little restrictive for some climbers.

Pros

  • Can be converted to shorts Available in a wide range of pleasant neutral tones Made of water and stain-resistant fabric

Cons

  • Material is not so stretchable

8. Lululemon Wunder Under Hi-Rise Tights

Lululemon Wunder Under Hi-Rise Tights
Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Material: Lycra
Sun Protection: No mentioned sun protection
Variations of Colors: 6 Colours
Purpose and Usage: Yoga, Pilates, Workouts, Climbing

These are wonderfully soft and flexible leggings that will allow a full range of movement. Lululemon’s very own Luxtreme fabric is ultra-soft to the touch, wicks moisture incredibly well, and will keep you cool on even the hottest days. The fabric is thick enough that you feel supported, but we don’t know how well these would hold up if they were exposed to sharp rock such as limestone. On the other hand, they look fabulous, so are perfect for looking great in the climbing gym (and beyond!).

Pros

  • Incredibly soft, silky texture Super flexible and lightweight Trendy – you could wear these away from the crag! Luxtreme fabric is moisture-wicking

Cons

  • Material not as durable as other brands

9. Alo Yoga Women’s High Waist Airbrush Legging

Alo Yoga Women's High Waist Airbrush Legging
Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Material: Nylon and Spandex Fabric
Sun Protection: No mentioned sun protection
Variations of Colors: 4 Colours
Purpose and Usage: Yoga, Workouts, Every Day Use

Designed with climbers in mind, the Alo Yoga Women’s High Waist Airbrush leggings seamlessly combine style, comfort, and functionality. Crafted from a silky blend of nylon and spandex, these leggings provide a perfect balance between flexibility and compression – suiting your most strenuous climbing sessions.

The Alo Yoga leggings are renowned for a blissfully soft, smooth texture, and a tantalizing gloss that accentuates its sleek silhouette. The absence of side-seams ensures extra comfort while the high-waisted fit serves to flatter your physique. Rest assured, these leggings render the feeling of a second skin, freeing you from intrusive distractions that could impact your performance.

However, they might prove to be less efficient in moisture wicking. Depending on your selected shade, sweat might show up visibly, making these leggings more suitable for cooler climates or less intense workout sessions.

Each Pro and Con mentioned is based on test findings and user feedback. Although it has a few downsides, the Alo Yoga Women’s High Waist Airbrush Legging excels where it matters, offering comfort, style and flexibility needed for your rock climbing adventures. Note:

Your performance might vary depending on your workout intensity and climate. It’s crucial to consider these factors before deciding on a climbing legging perfect for your needs. Hold on tight, adding these leggings to your gear list might level up your climbing experience. Enjoy the ascent!

Pros

  • Crafted from thick, flexible nylon/spandex blend, Side-seams eliminated for enhanced comfort,
  • High-waisted fit for a flattering silhouette, Soft and smooth texture with an appealing gloss

Cons

  • Might show visible sweat stains,
  • Less than ideal for higher-intensity workouts

Verdict

Based on all of our experience with bouldering pants for boulderers, we found that Prana Men’s Stretch Zion is the best bouldering pant available today.

Our Premium Option is Prana Helly Hansen Men’s Pants with all the best features and high-quality materials, but that’s only if you have more money to spend.

However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Cargo Pants as an affordable alternative.

Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:

What You Should Know Before Buying bouldering pants

Most Important Features

As we mentioned before, there is a huge number of outdoor pants available from Columbia, and it can be a little difficult to know where to begin when trying to find the right pair for you. Before buying, you should think about how you want to use your pants, what conditions you will subject them to, and the amount of money you are willing to spend on them. Here are a few pointers to help you think about what is important to you. The most important features of your pants should depend on which activities you will be using them for. If you want a good pair of Columbia hiking pants, ideally weather resistance, comfort, and breathability should be prioritized. Pockets may also be important for storing items you require the quickest access to. If you are looking to go into alpine conditions in your Columbia snow pants, ensure they are tough, completely waterproof, and warm enough to keep you comfortable in such difficult conditions. For climbing, consider flexibility and mobility of the pants, particularly around the crotch and knee areas, as well as breathability so that you do not get distracted by unnecessary sweating. If you would also like a product that can be worn in everyday situations, you may also want to consider how they look, although many people like to have a dedicated pair of pants for outdoor activities, which would make this less important.

How to choose the best rock climbing pants

When it comes to choosing the best rock climbing pants, there are a number of considerations that it is important to keep in mind. To begin with, your number one priority is fit. The last thing that you want to be thinking about as you are trying to send your project is that your clothing, in particular pants are uncomfortable, so well-fitting pants are crucial.

You should also keep in mind the type of weather conditions you plan on climbing in when it comes to selecting the length and material of climbing pants. Finally, you want to look for something durable. Climbing tends to put a lot of wear and tear on our clothing, so you want to make sure your pants will stay intact pitch after pitch.

One possible option to counter humidity is to get climbing pants that are also convertible hiking pants. It helps in cooling you down as well as offer that option to wear it casually as climbing shorts. These are some of the key benefits of rock climbing pants you need to look out for.

Advantages and benefits of rock climbing pants

You may be asking why it’s necessary to buy special pants just for climbing. Couldn’t you wear any athletic pants? Though the downside of climbing pants is that they tend to be a little bit more expensive, that extra cost pays off in the end. Both male and female rock climbing pants have a number of attributes that differentiate them from average pants. They are often stretchier than normal pants, allowing for the flexibility and mobility needed on certain climbs. They are often more durable than other pants, meaning that rough rock won’t cause them to rip.

Additionally, depending on the pants that you choose, they may have certain features, such as cinchable or roll-up ankles, that may not be necessary for everyday life but really come in handy when it comes to climbing. Climbing shorts are also very popular for those who like further breathability and do not mind the risk of getting scratches or bites while climbing.

Climbing Pants VS Leggings

The climbing scene is becoming more hipster and trendy with time, with people coming here for climbing dates and really dressing up well for climbing. You may see people climbing with leggings often, and at the end of the day it’s a personal choice. Though leggings may add more flexibility and stretchiness, they tend to be less durable than climbing pants and more susceptible to rips or tears.

Whether you choose to climb in pants, good looking yoga shorts with pockets or leggings also depends on the fit of your harness. If your harness sits on the tighter side, leggings might be the more comfortable option, while if you have a looser fitting harness, pants may be the better choice. Another important consideration is zippered pockets, which you can find in climbing pants but leggings almost always lack.

Precautions to Note

Everyone has their own personal preferences when it comes to climbing pants, so this is just a list of guidelines when it comes to purchasing the best pair.

Know yourself and your preferences before deciding to purchase, as you may prioritize comfort over durability or breathability over storage. Pay attention to what you appreciate and what you wish you had in your climbing pants the next time you’re out at the crag. This could help guide your decisions the next time you decide to buy a new pair of climbing pants.

Questions and Answers About bouldering pants

How should climbing pants fit?

Unlike popular belief, climbing pants don’t need to be loose-fitting. But they do need to have stretch to them to do the big moves like sitting in and high set ups. Climbing pants without any movement can make it tough to climb.

Is wearing jeans for rock climbing advisable?

Some people will turn up to the crag or the gym in normal ‘high street’ jeans. If they are stretchy and don’t inhibit movement, this is fine. But most jeans will be too tight and restrictive to be suitable. Further, denim is notoriously bad for holding moisture rather than wicking it away. It’s not a hard-no, but there are so many great climbing pants on the market that are more suitable!

Why is stretchy jeans or pants helpful in climbing?

The stretch and flex of a pair of pants or leggings is probably the most important feature that determines how suitable they are for climbing in. Rock climbing requires a lot of suppleness and flexibility, and pants that inhibit this will actively work to make climbing more difficult. If you can’t execute moves like a high-step, then you have to find an alternative beta that may be more difficult.

Should I wear shorts to rock climb?

We generally find that longer shorts are suitable for climbing, while shorter shorts that don’t cover the leg skin under your harness will be pretty uncomfortable – the harness leg loops will bite into the skin. We generally think knee-length shorts are the best option for this reason.

Lydia Y

Lydia Y

Lydia is an avid outdoor lover and wildlife enthusiast. She loves all kinds of nature escapades and enjoys immersing in the mountains and landscapes, hence the name Lydiascapes was born from there. She embarks on outdoor adventures like camping, hiking to skiing and water sports. She has travelled to 49 over countries to date and is waiting to conquer Norway in 2024.

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