Climb Equipment Reviews Rock Climb

Ultimate Guide to the Best Rock Climbing Pants

As climbers, we all know the importance of a good harness, sturdy quickdraws, and a durable rope. However, it can be easy to overlook the importance of your attire when it comes to performing your best as a climber. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to the best climbing pants for women and men, so that you can look your best and feel your best at the crag and on the wall.

Yangshuo China | High Above the ground rock climbing

How to choose the best rock climbing pants

In a hurry? If you want to find out what the best climbing pants is, then I’d recommend the Marmot Scree Hiking Trousers as the best one.

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.

rock climbing pushes you physically and tests your endurance | Rock Climbing pants and shorts

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.

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. 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.

Best climbing pants for men and women

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

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.

Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur Rock Climbing Travel Adventure | convertible hiking pants

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.

topping out from the top of a outdoor rock climbing route | best climbing pants

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.


Best Rock Climbing Pants 2020

Prana Halle Roll-up, Water-Repellent Stretch Pants

best climbing leggings and pants

The Prana Halle Roll-Up Pants are a water-resistant and functional pant that you can easily take from city to crag. The casual design isn’t too sporty, so should you choose to wear them for drinks after climbing or heading out to run errands, you’ll fit right in.

Pros

  • They are true to their water resistance, so if you find yourself in inclement weather, they’ve got you covered.
  • These pants are certainly stretchy, so your mobility won’t be limited.
  • They are durable, meaning that they’ll hold up climb after climb.

Cons

  • These pants are too hot for warmer weather, so if you’re looking for a pair to wear in the summer, they may not be your best bet.
  • They run big, so it’s a good idea to size down if you’re between sizes.
  • They tend to stretch out, so if they’re a little loose when you buy them, they’ll likely just get bigger with wear.

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Columbia Saturday Trail Pant, Water and Stain Resistant

rock climbing shorts pants

The Columbia Saturday Train Pant is another versatile and sturdy item. They feature a size zip pocket for if you need to bring a phone or headlamp up the wall with you, along with roll-up legs that can convert the pants to capris in hot weather. There are some other models that are convertible to shorts with zippers, but this model is a more seamless design and does not have that feature.

Pros

  • Elastic waistband ensures a snug, personalised fit.
  • The fit is as expected, so you won’t have any trouble deciding on sizes when ordering.
  • These pants dry very quickly, so no worries if you get them a little wet.

Cons

  • They may pill after extensive wear, something to keep in mind if you plan on wearing and washing them frequently.
  • They aren’t as stretchy as other climbing pants, so the fit might not be as forgiving for certain body types.
  • These pants are very much an outdoor pant, so trying to dress them up could be difficult.

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MIER Women’s Outdoor Hiking Travel Pants

top rock climbing pants for men

Our most affordable option, these lightweight MIER pants have a number of exciting features. They offer breathability and plenty of storage, along with plenty of durability. Reinforced knees and a two-year manufacturers warranty ensure that you can wear them climb after climb.

Pros

  • Lightweight and breathable, so great for warmer climates.
  • Four deep zip pockets add plenty of secure storage space.
  • Extremely comfortable and affordable.

Cons

  • These pants lack a roll-up option at the ankles, which could be annoying when climbing.
  • If you’re hoping to wear them in colder weather, they offer very little insulation and warmth.
  • The sizing is a bit off, especially if you’re tall or plus-sized.

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Marmot Scree Hiking Trousers

best rock climbing pants and shorts

The Marmot Scree Hiking Trousers are a durable, soft shell option for climbers who are looking for a high-waisted pants, often the most comfortable option for women when wearing a harness. Both breathable and water resistant, they are ideal for multiple weather conditions.

Pros

  • Various zipped pockets offer plenty of secure storage.
  • These pants are stretchy and breathable, so comfort is definitely one of their best assets.
  • Their durability is one of their greatest strengths. Rough use and frequent washing won’t wear them down. Various zipped pockets offer plenty of secure storage.
  • These pants are stretchy and breathable, so comfort is definitely one of their best assets.
  • Their durability is one of their greatest strengths. Rough use and frequent washing won’t wear them down.

Cons

  • They may run a little big on sizing, so beware when ordering.
  • They aren’t the most affordable option.
  • These pants are quite sporty, so their stylistic versatility is lacking.

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KAILAS 9A Onsight Rock Climbing Hiking Pants

rock climbing pants

The KAILAS 9A Onsight pant is our only climbing-specific pants, meaning that it has certain features that are especially useful for climbers. However, they are the most expensive option, so it depends on how much money you are willing to shell out.

Pros

  • Their flat ankle seam will allow you to roll up the legs without bulkiness.
  • They offer a durable, stretchy, and breathable fabric, perfect for those long climbing days.
  • They come in plenty of fun and funky colours.

Cons

  • Price–they cost over $100, so they are certainly an investment.
  • They lack pockets with zippered closure, so storage could be an issue.
  • Another very sporty pant, they will likely only serve you for climbing.

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We have a few other brands that are also well regarded by fellow climbers like the Black Diamond Notion pants or the Salomon range that has great stretchability and the best fit for petite asian size ladies like me.
But all in all, our favourite option is the Marmot Scree Hiking Trousers. This durable, breathable, water-resistant pant is perfect for the climber who is looking for a long-lasting, comfortable pant. The multiple zippered pockets are an important consideration for climbers, along with the high-waisted design, which is a very comfortable design when wearing a harness.

These pants are neither the cheapest nor the most expensive option in our roundup, so you’re getting a high-quality product without breaking the bank. It offers a more stretchability and durability than other options, and the quality of these pants is certainly their primary strong point.

All in all, I hope you enjoyed our review of the top 5 climbing pants this season!

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