Best Climbing Pants

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Prana Stretch Zion
Test Winner: Prana Stretch Zion
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Climbing can take a heavy toll on the body and it is smart to be equipped with all the climbing equipment that you can when performing this adrenaline rush sport. You want to make sure when your climbing that your body is protected from the elements, and that you can maintain your mobility and flexibility while climbing and looking to reach the top. One of the most important accessories that can ensure you are protected and give you this mobility and flexibility is climbing pants. The climbing pants protect your entire lower body, as when you are climbing you will be brushing up against rocks and other material that could cause cuts and scrapes, the best climbing pants prevent this and ensure you have a safe and comfortable climb with minimal interruptions.

Standout Picks

Prana Stretch Zion
If you’re looking for a pair of climbing pants that offer a great balance between comfort and performance, you really can’t go wrong with the Stretch Zion Climbing Pants from Prana. Not only are they tough overall, but the stretch fabric is designed to perfectly move with your body as you climb.
La Sportiva Arco Rock
These climbing pants from La Sportiva are one of the most popular in the climbing world and with good reason. Designed to stretch comfortably with nearly anybody, they’re a great choice if you want comfort on the rock face.
Outdoor Research Cirque
If you’re looking for a pair of climbing pants that can be used in an alpine setting, this example from Outdoor Research may just be what you need. Featuring the ability to easily accept equipment suspenders, and a low-profile waist, these pants are a great choice for both mountaineering and climbing the rock face.
The North Face Paramount
If you desire a pair of climbing pants that provide the option to be used as shorts during the climb, one of the best choices available are these pants from The North Face. Not only can they easily be converted from long pants to shorts with a pull of the zipper, but they also provide a great amount of protection from the elements. While they have traditionally been used for hiking, they really do climbing with ease. The big pro of these trousers is their versatility.
Nonwe  Mountain Fleece
Sometimes you need a pair of comfortable pants that are great for functioning in colder weather, and these, Nonwe Warm Windproof Mountain Fleece pants are the way to go.
Amazon Link
Black Diamond Notion
If style and comfort are important considerations for you, this is a great pant. They are made from Organic Cotton and offer moderate durability and ultimate flexibility. Many reviewers found themselves wearing the pants for much more than climbs and they praise the four pockets.
Prana Halle
For ladies in love with the rock, the Prana Halle pants are an ideal option for many. These pants are a mid-rise pant that is a comfortable relaxed fit. The Halle is comfortable, lightweight, and dry quickly.
Ucraft Xlite Rock
Do you ever have the urge to climb in a pair of pants that are comfortable enough to sleep in? Then these pants from Ucraft may just be what you’re looking for. They feature the stretch and strength of normal climbing pants with the overall comfort of a great pair of yoga pants.
Amazon Link
$67.00
Arc'teryx Gamma Rock
This entry from Arc’teryx on our list is a great overall choice for a pair of durable climbing pants that work great both on the rock face and at the nightclub. If you’re looking for a good marriage between fashion and function, these pants may be it.
Fjallraven Barents Pro Trousers
Our top ten lists for the best climbing pants is nearing the end with this entry, and we have to say, this one is a strong way to end a list. The Fjallraven Men's Barents Pro Trousers are a well-fitting pant that is known for durability.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Durability

Let’s face it; chances are you’re going to put your pants for climbing – even the best ones – through the wringer each and every time you use them. It’s just the nature of climbing. Therefore, having a pair of pants that is not only strong and tough but also flexible enough to withstand the onslaught is important.

By their very nature, a quality pair of pants for climbing is designed not only to allow for a great range of motion but to also withstand the possibilities of tears, scrapes, hang-ups, and holes that are always a possibility while climbing. So it’s important to look for pants that are tear-resistant, have quality seams, and fabric that is good at adapting to whatever you choose to throw at it.

Breathability

When you’re climbing, the last thing you need to be worrying about is being restricted by your clothing. After all, being able to stretch your leg to reach the next crack or foothold can mean the difference between a successful climb and your belay partner lowering you down to the ground.

There are really two different ways that you can make sure that your pants for climbing allow the range of motion that you need for a successful climb. The first is to use a material that is designed to stretch and move with you as you climb. For this reason, many climbers choose pants like yoga pants or “stretchy pants” as their climbing choices. While they may not be as durable as true climbing pants should be, they are a place to start.

The other factor to consider when thinking about the range of motion is the “bagginess” of the pants, or how loose they fit overall. Often pants for climbing that offer more room for your legs also allow your legs to stretch out, twist and turn in the ways that they need to do so to get the job done. While some people prefer to have climbing pants that are a little more form-fitting, most prefer a little breathing room, especially in the groin area.

Fit

And finally, how the pants fit can influence not only their overall comfort but also how they perform. Remember, you’ll want a wide range of movement in the pant legs, including the groin, thigh, and calf area. Therefore, having pants that can easily stretch and are relatively loose fitting is important. The two areas where you don’t want your pants to fit loosely are at the waist and at the cuff. The waist needs to fit comfortably snug so that it doesn’t interfere with your harness or equipment. The cuffs need to fit close against your legs so that when you look down your legs for the next foothold – and you will do that sooner or later – you’ll be able to see what you’re doing.

Materials

Of course, another thing to consider when buying a pair of climbing pants is the material used to create them. After all, the fabrics that make up the pants will go a long way to determining the other factors on this list. For the most part, synthetic fabric and fabric blends rule the day when it comes to pants for climbing. Simply put, natural fabrics, while extremely comfortable don’t often have the strength and flexibility that is needed while climbing.

When you are climbing, chances are you’re going to sweat a lot. The area of your legs and lower body is no exception to this. So, having a pair of pants for climbing that can help pull the moisture away from your skin and evaporate it into the air can help make the climb a lot more comfortable. For the most part, a pair of quality pants for climbing will either be made from materials that promote good moisture control or be fashioned in such a way as to promote it, such as having mesh panels or the ability to convert to a shorter length overall.

Top 10 Picks

1. Prana Stretch Zion

Prana Stretch Zion
Amazon Link

If you’re looking for a pair of climbing pants that offer a great balance between comfort and performance, you really can’t go wrong with the Stretch Zion Climbing Pants from Prana. Not only are they tough overall, but the stretch fabric is designed to perfectly move with your body as you climb.

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Durability
These climbing pants from Prana are specifically designed to withstand abrasions, tears, and punctures. It is also designed through the use of synthetic fabric to resist water as well.

Breathability
One of the nice things about these pants is that they are both water-resistant and provide for moisture wicking away from the body. They can easily help to keep your lower half relatively cool and dry while you climb.

Fit
These pants err on the side of bagginess and allow a fairly wide range of motion in the hips, knees, and ankles. Some found that the more open cuff area was a bit of a problem while climbing, but the use of the cuff snaps often kept the bottom of the pants from becoming a significant problem.

Perhaps the one area of potential downfall for these climbing pants from Prana was in the overall fit. While most people found them extremely comfortable, others found that they ran a bit on the small size, especially if a larger, roomier pair was needed.

Materials
The fabrics used to create these pants are all synthetic in nature, which allows for increased durability and ability to flex and move in ways that a climber needs to do so. In addition, the materials used are highly breathable, making them very comfortable and lightweight.

Summary
Generally speaking, if you’re looking for a great overall pair of climbing pants, and you’re not too worried about a few minor sizing issues, these pants from Prana are hard to beat. Designed with the climber in mind, they offer a lightweight, flexible and breathable option for your next ascent to the summit.

2. La Sportiva Arco Rock

Where to buy
La Sportiva Arco Rock
Amazon Link

These climbing pants from La Sportiva are one of the most popular in the climbing world and with good reason. Designed to stretch comfortably with nearly anybody, they’re a great choice if you want comfort on the rock face.

Read more

Durability
Overall, these pants provide a lightweight yet durable blend of both natural and synthetic fabrics that marry the best of both kinds.

Breathability
Although the material is quick-drying, it doesn’t really have any moisture-wicking capability, so you’ll have to deal with the perspiration you might encounter until the pants dry. Thankfully, this happens rather quickly, especially while climbing in the hot sun.

Fit
These pants tend to lean more towards the stretchy end of the spectrum, but still have enough overall room to not feel restrictive. Climbers, hips, knees, and ankles are given enough room to move and breathe as needed, but the main flexibility comes from the spandex material allowing for an extra stretch in the fabric.

About 63% of the people found these pants to be a comfortable fit overall, with the remaining percentage finding them slightly larger than needed. Also, most men found that there was plenty of room in the crotch area and that the articulated knees made moving in the pants relatively easy. One specific complaint we found was that the 31.8-inch inseam was a bit too long for some wearers.

Materials
These pants feature a cotton and spandex blend of material that is designed to be strong, flexible and lightweight.

Summary
The La Sportiva Men’s Arco Rock Climbing pants offer a blend of both natural and synthetic fabrics that are designed to be lightweight and provide a full range of comfortable motion. While they do tend to run a bit large, and the cotton-spandex blend doesn’t offer any moisture-wicking capabilities, these pants are a comfortable climbing choice.

3. Outdoor Research Cirque

Outdoor Research Cirque
Amazon Link

If you’re looking for a pair of climbing pants that can be used in an alpine setting, this example from Outdoor Research may just be what you need. Featuring the ability to easily accept equipment suspenders, and a low-profile waist, these pants are a great choice for both mountaineering and climbing the rock face.

Read more

Durability
Overall, most people found the actual climbing pants to be top-notch when it came to toughness, especially in the colder or cooler environments. There were a few complaints about the zippers getting stuck or being unusable, and the boot hooks becoming torn. However, for the most part, these pants held up quick well to multiple climbing environments and terrains.

Breathability
These pants from Outdoor Research don’t offer any moisture-wicking capabilities, but they are both highly breathable and resistant to wind and weather.

Fit
These pants are designed to fit relatively close to the body and provide most of their flexibility through the blend of synthetic fabrics.

For the most part, the people who used these pants for climbing found them to be a comfortable fit, with the gusseted crotch area and articulated knees increasing the overall comfort levels quite a bit. However, it should be noted that the small through extra-large sizing was sometimes not a great choice for those with unusual sized waists or inseams.

Materials
These pants consist of a blend of nylon, polyester, and spandex material.

Summary
The Cirque Pants by Outdoor Research provides a great, double weave yet lightweight pants that can be used in cool or colder environments with ease. Their weather-resistant nature and soft shell design make them a great choice for both mountaineering and climbing over rougher terrain. The only real drawback we found was some minor issues with the zippers and the fact that the sizing choices of small through extra-large may not be exacting enough for some.

4. The North Face Paramount

The North Face Paramount
Amazon Link

If you desire a pair of climbing pants that provide the option to be used as shorts during the climb, one of the best choices available are these pants from The North Face. Not only can they easily be converted from long pants to shorts with a pull of the zipper, but they also provide a great amount of protection from the elements. While they have traditionally been used for hiking, they really do climbing with ease. The big pro of these trousers is their versatility.

Read more

Durability
Most people found these pants to be very tough and resistant to abrasions, tears, and rips. The tear-resistant nylon material was found to be quite durable overall, with only a few minor instances where it didn’t hold up under very strenuous use.

Breathability
While highly water repellant, these pants don’t offer much in the way of moisture-wicking or control capabilities. They are fantastic at keeping rain and inclement weather away from your skin overall but don’t provide a good way for perspiration to evaporate from your skin.

Fit
These pants tend to lean slightly towards the bagginess end of the spectrum for climbing pants. While they are not specifically designed for climbing, more for general outdoor use, many found that the roominess made them more than adequate for most climbing and bouldering uses.

About 61% of the people who used these pants found them to be a relatively comfortable fit, with the remaining people finding them to be a bit on the larger side of things.

Materials
These pants are made primarily from tough nylon material.

Summary
While not our top choice for climbing pants, if you want something that allows for true versatility and toughness, you really can’t go too far wrong with these convertible pants from The North Face. Whether you prefer to climb in a pair of traditional tough pants or comfortable long shorts, these pants are a great overall option.

5. Nonwe Mountain Fleece

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Nonwe  Mountain Fleece
Amazon Link

Sometimes you need a pair of comfortable pants that are great for functioning in colder weather, and these, Nonwe Warm Windproof Mountain Fleece pants are the way to go.

Read more

Durability
These pants are built to last. They are designed for camping, climbing, hiking, skiing, or cycling in colder weather, and the polyester is reinforced with the stretch of spandex.

Breathability
The synthetic nature of these pants don't necessarily offer full wicking capabilities, but they will keep the cold out and the fleece insides allow sweat to breathe out.

Fit
These pants tend to fall more or less in the middle on the stretchiness versus bagginess spectrum. This makes them a great choice for life outside of climbing (yes that part of life does exist).

Most people found these pants to be a great fit that is true to size. However, a small percentage found them to fit a little bit on the small size, so they ordered a size up and that seemed to do the trick.

Materials
These pants are created with a blend of polyester, spandex, and fleece.

Summary
For some climbers, having a pair of pants that can be used both for cooler climbing conditions or a colder camping trip is a great addition to their climbing gear. These pants have stood the test of time with many reviewers as they consistently offer warmth, durability, flexibility, and comfort.

Amazon Link

6. Black Diamond Notion

Where to buy
Black Diamond Notion
Amazon Link

If style and comfort are important considerations for you, this is a great pant. They are made from Organic Cotton and offer moderate durability and ultimate flexibility. Many reviewers found themselves wearing the pants for much more than climbs and they praise the four pockets.

Read more

Durability
The Notion pant is great for just about anything from lounging, to gardening, to climbing. However, there have been some doubts about how well they would hold up in intensely rugged situations. To make them tougher and more durable than other pants, they feature reinforced knees and a comfortable seat gusset that provides great mobility.

Breathability
While most cotton items provide a great amount of airflow, this material is produced slightly differently and doesn’t offer optimum airflow. With that being said, there is still some breathability present. These pants are also great for absorbing and evaporating wetness as well.

Fit
These pants offer a comfortable and relaxed fit. The drawstring at the waist allows you to control the tightness and positioning upon your hips. There are elastic cuffs at the bottom of each leg, giving the pants a bit of a Harem Pant look. As an added bonus, these pants have great pockets. There are two front hand pockets and two rear pockets as well.

If there is one thing we can gather from the customer reviews, it is the fact that these pants run big. Almost every single buyer recommends going a size down. They seem to be built for average heights and are not available in tall or petite lengths.

Materials
These pants are made from 98% Organic Cotton with 2% Elastane. At a super comfortable weight, their GSM rating is 195.

Summary
There’s no doubt that these pants are a great investment. They are versatile and stylish and can be worn in almost any situation. For a hardcore climber in treacherous terrains, they might not be the number one choice, but they are comfortable and light enough to throw in your bag as a backup. If you aren’t convinced yet, Black Diamond offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. These pants can be returned without any ifs, ands, or buts.

7. Prana Halle

Prana Halle
Amazon Link

For ladies in love with the rock, the Prana Halle pants are an ideal option for many. These pants are a mid-rise pant that is a comfortable relaxed fit. The Halle is comfortable, lightweight, and dry quickly.

Read more

Durability
Overall, most people found these pants to be fairly tough and durable with the synthetic material providing good protection from rips and tears and water as well. While it’s not the toughest on this list, it is certainly more than durable enough to handle a regular climbing routine.

Breathability
These pants from Prana are definitely water-resistant and relatively breathable, but the material doesn’t actively wick sweat away from the skin. So if you sweat a lot during your climb, you may want to consider other options.

Fit
These climbing pants have a “relaxed” feel to them and offer a roomy fit in the waist, which a tester has said was very helpful during her climb.

The Halle Pant is made from a four-way stretch fabric, which allows for maximum movement, but still keeps the pants in good shape, so they don't lose their shape. Overall, the Halle is a relaxed fit pant that is a straight leg design. According to testers, they fit true to size but can be a little big in the hip area. However, there is a drawstring available for adjustment.

Materials
These pants are made from a combination of Prana’s Zion fabric and other synthetic materials for a soft, comfortable feel that is both relatively durable and easy to move around in.

Summary
These climbing pants are a fantastic choice for someone who wants great flexibility and overall comfort while they climb.

8. Ucraft Xlite Rock

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$67.00
Ucraft Xlite Rock
Amazon Link

Do you ever have the urge to climb in a pair of pants that are comfortable enough to sleep in? Then these pants from Ucraft may just be what you’re looking for. They feature the stretch and strength of normal climbing pants with the overall comfort of a great pair of yoga pants.

Read more

Durability
These pants are made from a lightweight yet relatively durable material that is specifically designed to withstand most if not all of the dangers encountered while climbing. In fact, the only area that showed any significant signs of wear was at the seams, and then only after a significant amount of use.

Breathability
These pants are quick-drying and breathable, but they don’t offer much in the way of pulling perspiration from your skin. However, they do dry fairly quickly, so the likelihood of being uncomfortable for long is small indeed.

Fit
These climbing pants will comfortably hug your legs but still provide a fantastic range of motion because of their stretchy nature. The best way to think of it is that they have the flexibility and stretch of a pair of high-quality yoga pants.

The majority of the people who used these pants found them to be extremely comfortable and a great fit. A small minority found them to be slightly looser than expected, or conversely entirely too small to be used. However, most people were fond of the easy to use drawstrings at the cuff of the pants and the elastic waist. Also, the articulated knees allowed for a great range of motion overall.

Materials
These climbing pants are created with a combination of nylon and spandex material for a maximum amount of stretchiness with lightweight protection overall.

Summary
Despite the minor sizing issues, these pants have proven to be a good contender when it comes to the contest of finding the most comfortable climbing pants on the market today. While we certainly would have liked to see more moisture control, overall these pants are a great choice.

Amazon Link
$67.00

9. Arc'teryx Gamma Rock

Arc'teryx Gamma Rock
Amazon Link

This entry from Arc’teryx on our list is a great overall choice for a pair of durable climbing pants that work great both on the rock face and at the nightclub. If you’re looking for a good marriage between fashion and function, these pants may be it.

Read more

Durability
Overall, these pants were found to be very tough, with reinforcement in the seat and knees, which are two areas that need it the most when it comes to climbing. Also, the tear and water-resistant fabric make it easy to withstand even the harshest of climbing terrains. It should be noted, however, that there were reports of quality issues with the seams and zippered pockets.

Breathability
These pants are highly breathable and offer great water resistance overall, so both sweat and weather won’t be too much of a concern for very long.

Fit
While these climbing pants do rely on their stretchy nature to provide for a great amount of mobility, they are still roomy enough to fit comfortably. Most people mistake them for a pair of very comfortable street pants, not a pair of climbing ones.

These pants come in a wide range of sizes, including both short and regular lengths, so finding a size that fits both your waist and inseam shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Also, the gusseted crotch and articulated patterns make for a more precise fit and increased the amount of movement compared with other climbing pants.

Materials
These pants are created with a combination of mesh, nylon, polyester and spandex material that is designed to maximize strength and flexibility overall.

Summary
The Gamma Ray Rock Pants are a good overall choice when it comes to rounding out your climbing gear. They are fairly comfortable, and although we would certainly have liked to see stronger zippers and seams, overall these climbing pants easily belong within the top ten.

10. Fjallraven Barents Pro Trousers

Where to buy
Fjallraven Barents Pro Trousers
Amazon Link

Our top ten lists for the best climbing pants is nearing the end with this entry, and we have to say, this one is a strong way to end a list. The Fjallraven Men's Barents Pro Trousers are a well-fitting pant that is known for durability.

Read more

Durability
These climbing pants are created using G 1000 fabric that is durable, water and wind-resistant. For added strength, there is a double layer over the rear and knees of these pants.

Breathability
These pants are water-resistant, which is always a bonus, and when it comes to wicking sweat away, they are made partially of cotton, so they offer breathability and airflow.

Fit
These pants offer a fair amount of freedom of movement without becoming baggy. They are made from a stretchier fabric that gives a climber the needed bend and stretch for almost any situation.

The majority of people found these climbing pants to be well-fitting and comfortable. These pants come with raw edges at the bottom so that they can be hemmed to suit your specific height needs.

Materials
These climbing pants are made of 65% Polyester and 35% Cotton.

Summary
If you are looking for a durable pant that has withstood the stand of time with customers, these pants are a great option for scaling rocks. They come with a map and multi-tool pocket. The G 1000 fabric is made to last, so these pants should definitely kick around for quite a few seasons on the rocks. It seems that many people love to wear them as a regular pant, too, because they look so good.

Sources

  1. Derek Cheng, Top 7 best climbing pants of 2018, Article
  2. Willis Kuelthau, Best Climbing Pants: The Top 7 of 2019, Climbing Blog
  3. Jakob Straub, The 5 Best Climbing Pants – [Reviews & Guide 2019], Outdoors Site