Best Men’s Climbing Shorts

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 Men's Climbing Shorts

What are the Best Men’s Climbing Shorts?

Below you’ll find the list of the top 9 Best Men’s Climbing Shorts. We compiled this list from men’s climbing shorts we have used, asked others about, and researched further to give you the best possible roundup. With many years of experience with climbing shorts for men 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. Columbia Men’s Pants Silver Ridge Convertible

Columbia Men's Pants Silver Ridge Convertible
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.


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


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

2. Kefitevd Men’s Hiking Quick Dry Shorts

Kefitevd Men's Hiking Quick Dry Shorts
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Material: 87% nylon, 13% spandex
Sun Protection: No
Variations of Colors: 6
Purpose and Usage: Hiking, biking, travel, climbing

This affordable pair of pants from Kefitevd fastens on with an included belt and buckle. 4 zippered pockets provide plenty of room to store keys, wallets and phones while you’re playing outside. Thin and lightweight, these pants are suitable for hot summer days. The fabric is not very breathable and doesn’t wick moisture away, making for a less-than-comfortable experience during the hottest days.

The quality feels cheaper than higher-end hiking pants but fits well and is decently comfortable. Overall, it makes for a cheap pair of pants to wear about town but the lack of breathability in the fabric makes outdoor activities tricky. In addition, the buckle seems to come undone frequently.


  • Highly affordable
  • 4 zippered pockets
  • Extremely thin and lightweight


  • Feels like low-quality pants
  • Adjustable belt keeps unclipping
  • Not breathable

3. Mountain Hardwear Men’s Basin Pull-on Hiking Shorts

Mountain Hardwear Men's Basin Pull-on Hiking Shorts
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Material: 94% nylon, 6% elastane
Sun Protection: No
Variations of Colors: 2
Purpose and Usage: Climbing, hiking, running, gym

The Basin Men’s Shorts by Mountain Hardwear is a versatile, stretchy pair that allows for greater freedom of movement. It’s lightweight, durable material is breathable and keeps you cool on warmer days. The waist is fully elastic with an attached drawstring that won’t get in the way of your harness.

The fabric is finished with PFC-free DWR (Durable Water Repellent) which protects you against moisture and stains. Our only beef was that out of two hand pockets, two side pockets and a rear pocket, only the rear pocket was zippered. In addition, only black and black spruce colors are available. Overall, this reasonably priced pair of shorts will hold up on all your climbing adventures.


  • Stretchy and allows great movement
  • Sizing is accurate
  • Breathable and quick-dry


  • Limited colors
  • Only one zippered pocket

4. Prana Mens Mojo Climbing Shorts

Prana Mens Mojo Climbing Shorts
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Material: 100% recycled polyester
Sun Protection: UPF 50+
Variations of Colors: 5
Purpose and Usage: Climbing, hiking, running, travel

The Mojo climbing shorts by prAna is well-suited for most outdoor activities or casual days out at the beach. The UPF 50+ recycled polyester makes it a sustainable product for the eco-conscious. The elastic waistband makes it comfortable to wear it under a harness with no belt loops or hooks to snag onto the harness.

The fit is looser than previous prAna models and the fabric is reported to trap more moisture than other materials. The stretch could be better, motion was slightly limited during dynamic movements. Since prAna shifted its manufacturing operations from the US to China, its sizes have changed slightly compared to previous models made in the US.


  • Affordable
  • Full inseam gusset for optimal movement
  • Pull-on closure


  • Not very stretchy
  • Not very breathable

5. Arcteryx Palisade Short Mens

Arcteryx Palisade Short Mens
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Material: TerraTex Nylon
Sun Protection: None
Purpose and Usage: 4
Type: Hiking, trail running, climbing

The Palisade Men’s Shorts is designed for rough use in the backcountry. The patented TerraTex nylon material is thin and durable, holding up well under repeated abuse. The breathable material makes these shorts perfect for hot days and its moisture-wicking properties will keep even the heaviest sweaters comfortable.

The belt can clunk around in a washing machine or dryer, but this is easily fixed by tucking it into a zippered pocket when doing laundry. The fly is short and these shorts have a snug fit around the hips and crotch area. If you are thicker around the hips, sizing up might be a good idea.


  • Mesh lined pockets for maximum breathability
  • Thin, breathable material good for hot days
  • Gusseted crotch for optimal stretch and comfort


  • Short in the crotch area
  • Belt can get in the way of a harness

6. Prana Mens Stretch Zion Short

Prana Mens Stretch Zion Short
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Material: 97% nylon, 3% spandex
Sun Protection: SPF 50+
Variations of Colors: 7
Purpose and Usage: Travel, hiking, running, biking, climbing

Apparel manufacturer prAna once again scored with this pair of durable shorts. The Zion is made with the stretch Zion performance fabric that keeps moisture out, is quick-drying and durable even after years of rough use. UPF 50+ resistant, all pockets are mesh-lined to improve breathability. It’s a shame those pockets can’t be zipped shut!

These shorts are fitted slightly longer, so those with shorter bodies might have a problem with them hanging too low and impeding leg motion. Despite that, they are one of the most versatile and durable pairs of shorts for all things outdoors and will deliver fantastic performance even after years of use.


  • Abrasion resistant
  • Ventilated gusset allows optimal movement
  • Moisture-wicking and quick-drying


  • Made longer than most, might prove a problem for short folks
  • Pockets have no zips

7. Mountain Hardwear Mens Cargo Shorts

Mountain Hardwear Mens Cargo Shorts
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Material: Nylon
Sun Protection: No
Purpose and Usage: Travel, hiking, running

The Castil line of shorts by Mountain Hardwear was designed for all-day casual use in hot climates. Two cargo pockets can be closed with velcro and there’s a convenient pull tab above each side pocket for easy access. The 100% nylon fabric is finished with DWR, making it water resistant and breathable.

These shorts dry quickly and are durable enough to stand up to the roughest use. The pockets are large and deep and can hold phones and wallets comfortably. They are slightly slim fitting so bumping up a size might be a good idea, especially if you like a looser fit.


  • Lightweight
  • Quick-dry
  • Well-fitted for optimal comfort


  • Limited sizes and colors available
  • The model has since discontinued

8. Columbia Anytime Outdoor Long Shorts

Columbia Anytime Outdoor Long Shorts
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Material: 96% nylon, 4% elastane
Sun Protection: UPF 50
Variations of Colors: 5
Purpose and Usage: Hiking, beach days, travel, climbing

Made of Summiteer Lite fabric, these shorts are designed for optimal comfort and maximum mobility. They fit snugly against the hips and waist with a low profile. The Omni-Shield makes them water repellent and easy to keep clean, while the Omni-Shade offers sun protection for those blazing days.

WIth 2-way stretch comfort, they will be great for any outdoor activity that requires some dynamic movement. The integrated drawstring ensures optimal fit and can be removed if not needed. A small downside is that they get fuzzy after several washes and loses a bit of its original texture. They are also slightly on the tighter side so size up if you like pants that are slightly baggy.


  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Sun and splash repellent


  • Low-waist might not be for everyone
  • Fits snug and might need to be sized up

9. Black Diamond M Credo Shorts

Black Diamond M Credo Shorts
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Material: 98% organic cotton, 2% elastane
Sun Protection: No
Variations of Colors: 11
Purpose and Usage: Climbing, hiking, travel, running

The Credo shorts by Black Diamond are built for all-day wear at the crag or simply around town. These lightweight shorts weigh in at a mere 213g and are easily packed for travel. The adjustable waist belt assures optimal fit while two front pockets and a secure side pocket keeps your stuff close.

Everyone will be happy choosing from a large range of sizes and the fit is true to the sizing. These shorts are slightly longer and folks with shorter torsos might find them draping over the knees. The integrated belt also has a tendency to wear through the waistband and has been known to tear out.


  • Light
  • Stretchy
  • Breathable


  • No cargo pockets, just one side pocket
  • Belt not as long lasting


Based on all of our experience with climbing shorts for men, we found that Columbia Men’s Pants Silver Ridge Convertible is the best pair of men’s climbing shorts available today.

Our Premium Option is Prana Mens Stretch Zion Short 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 Mountain Hardwear Men’s Basin Pull-on Hiking Shorts as an affordable alternative.

Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:

What You Should Know Before Buying men’s climbing shorts

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.

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 men’s climbing shorts

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.

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.

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.

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!

You Might Also Like

No Comments

    Leave a Reply

    As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from a link you click on the site that lead to a qualifying purchase. It will not cost you anything additional, but it does help us in supporting this site to keep creating great content for you. All our recommendations and reviews included in the site are purely unbiased.