The 13 Finest Climbing Pants for Snag-Free Climbs 2022: Patagonia, Prana, Arc’Teryx


The rock where I learned to climb instilled in me a personal, never-ending mission to find the best climbing pants money can buy. Much of the rock near me is pebbly, rough and sharp– it’s great for catching, but not so nice on flimsy leggings or, even worse, bare legs. I figured out pretty quickly that I needed some sturdy pants (or several) if I wanted to fully enjoy the outdoors and not come home with a bunch of scratches and holes in my ass. Luckily, there’s a whole world of climbing pants to explore, with options that are tough and protective, yet stretchy and comfortable enough to wear all day.

What kind of pants are best for climbing?

Anywhere you like to climb, rocks are, you know, rocks – they’re hard and abrasive, and they can rip through pants made of thin material. So generally speaking, you should look for pants that are either on the thicker side or have abrasion resistant ripstop fabric. Items marketed as « hiking pants » almost fit the bill, but they’re generally not as protective as those explicitly labeled as « climbing pants. »

While your pants of choice should avoid scuffs and tears, they should also allow for a full range of motion. Some climbers like to climb in jeans and other denim pants because they’re on the harder side, but I’ve found doing high steps and other flexible movements quite difficult in pants like that, so I tend to gravitate down with more give (read « more spandex »).

Finally, how and where you climb both play a role: if you enjoy sport climbing, you need pants that you can wear comfortably with a climbing harness. In the meantime, you don’t have to worry about it if you’re bouldering. Those who live in colder climates might like something with insulation, while those climbing in milder temperatures probably want to prioritize breathability.

Are climbing pants worth it?

If you plan to climb mostly indoors, your clothes should be comfortable and move with you (and you shouldn’t mind if they get a little chalky), but they don’t need to be ultra-protective . If you spend a lot of time climbing outdoors, on the other hand, a pair or two of outdoor-specific pants, with the kind of protective features mentioned above, could give you some welcome peace of mind. And, when they do eventually spare your knees a few bumps and nicks, you might love your climbing pants as much as your favorite climbing shoes, your trusty backpack, and the rest of your trail-tested climbing gear. .

Even after years of outdoor climbing, I’m still trying new pairs from beloved outdoor brands like Prana, Patagonia, and The North Face, as well as budget retailers like Amazon and Old Navy. While I’ve found several that I love and wear all the time, there are plenty that still interest me, thanks to their rave reviews from other climbers. Here I’ve highlighted both, in hopes you can find the best climbing pants for your outdoor adventures. Read on to find my favorites and the pants at the top of my list of things to try.

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