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The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2023

Climbing Harness for Women (Photo/Eric Phillips)
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After serious testing in a range of conditions and climbing disciplines, we found the best women’s climbing pants for every style and budget.

Finding the best climbing pants can be a pain . Women’s climbing pants need to allow full movement, keep you covered, endure heavy use, and let’s be honest — look good, too!

After spending months researching, testing, analyzing, and geeking out on everything from the seams to the range of motion, we finally narrowed down the best women’s climbing pants of 2023.

Whether you’re planning an epic climbing trip in the backcountry or working on a project at your local climbing gym, we have the pant for you.

For those wondering if climbing-specific pants are warranted, check out our Buyer’s Guide and FAQ for the lowdown on why these pants are specially constructed for the vertical world. Also, take a look at our comparison chart to help steer your decision-making.

Feel free to scroll through to see all of our recommended buys, or jump to the category you’re looking for:

The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2023

Best Overall: Patagonia Caliza Rock Pant

Patagonia Caliza Rock Pant

The Patagonia Caliza Rock pants ($99) are the answer to the female climber’s prayers. There are so many reasons why these were deemed our best overall climbing pants. For starters, we were immediately impressed by how well they molded to the body.

Unlike other climbing pants that are either too baggy or too tight in the wrong areas, these seem to have the perfect amount of stretch in all the right places. Plus, these organic cotton-blend pants earn high marks for durability.

We also found the wide elastic waistband to be comfortable and perfectly placed for your harness to fit over. And let’s not forget the snaps on the bottom cuffs that can be adjusted to fit your ankle.

The pockets — both in the front and the back — are so flat and low-key that we didn’t even know they were there until we looked in the mirror. With that said, open shallow pockets like these don’t hold much or keep items from falling out. We wouldn’t use them while climbing to ensure the safety of others below.

Overall, the Patagonia Caliza Rock pants are remarkably versatile for all types of climbing and are comfortable enough for all-day leisurewear. And with five colors to choose from, you might not want to wear anything else. We’re quite confident they’re the best women’s climbing pants available today.

For more, check out our full review of the Patagonia Caliza Rock Pant here .

  • Weight: 12 oz.
  • Material: 93% cotton, 7% spandex
  • Number of pockets: Four
  • Special features: Large, comfortable waistband
  • Impressive stretch
  • High durability for long-lasting use
  • Snap ankle closures for zero interference
  • Comfortable enough to wear all day
  • Front pockets don’t close
  • Pockets are too shallow

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Patagonia Caliza Rock Pants

Patagonia Caliza: First Look at a Go-To Crag Pant

The Patagonia Caliza Rock Pants for women release in spring 2020. They're comfortable, technical, and could soon become your go-to crag pant. Read more…

Best Style: The North Face Women’s Aphrodite 2.0 Capris

The North Face Women's Aphrodite 2.0 Capris

The North Face Women’s Aphrodite 2.0 Capris ($50) are perfect for those who don’t want to wear leggings but also don’t want to wear run-of-the-mill climbing pants. With the name Aphrodite 2.0, we couldn’t help but deem these pants the best for style, and for good reason too, due to their slimming profile, stylistic shirring on the legs, and a flattering 2-inch mid-rise waistband.

In addition to being fashionable, these pants function admirably at a climbing gym because of their remarkable lightness, comfort, and range of motion. And for outdoor climbing, they have added benefits, including FlashDry technology, durable water resistance (DWR), and a UPF 50 rating.

However, there are a few things we noticed after testing these pants. First, we weren’t impressed by its triple-stitched band that impedes its range of stretch, making it particularly challenging to don over our widest part — our hips and butt. Second, after only a few tests out in the field, these pants became prone to snagging and pilling. And last, despite having a DWR finish, we weren’t impressed with its mild ability to repel even the lightest amount of precipitation.

So while these are definitely our favorite in style, we don’t hold them to the highest standard for long-lasting durability, especially in rough terrain. But even with that said, The North Face Women’s Aphrodite 2.0 Capris are still a great addition to an active wardrobe for when you want to make a statement at your indoor climbing gym, running errands, or doing light outdoor activities.

  • Weight: Unavailable
  • Material: 95% nylon, 5% elastane
  • Number of pockets: Three
  • Special features: Invisible-zip inside drop-in front pocket
  • Invisible inside zip pocket
  • Deep front pockets
  • UPF 50
  • Flattering design
  • Drawstring cord
  • Restrictive waistband
  • Inadequate water resistance
  • Prone to snagging and pilling

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Best Comfort: Mountain Hardwear Women’s Dynama/2 Ankle

Mountain Hardwear Women's Dynama2 Ankle

The Women’s Dynama/2 Ankle pants ($79) from Mountain Hardwear are arguably the most comfortable climbing pants we’ve tested. These pants are incredibly lightweight, breathable, and provided the kind of outstanding stretch we needed to accomplish our climbing objectives.

The Dynama/2 Ankle pants are not only so comfortable that we found ourselves wearing them multiple days in a row (without odor thanks to their odor-resistant technology), but they also proved plenty durable for bushwacking to the crag. And if comfort and durability weren’t enough, we couldn’t help but delight in the sleek, attractive feel and look of these pants in action — they fit perfectly underneath a harness.

We liked how light these pants were, weighing only 8.46 ounces. However, we didn’t love how the pockets felt almost useless due to the thin material; items like a cellphone were too heavy and caused them to sag. Unless we needed instant access to minor items like chapstick, cards, or a key, we frequently neglected our pockets altogether.

These Mountain Hardwear Women’s Dynama/2 Ankle pants are the perfect option for anyone looking for a pair of pants that are suitable for everything, including grabbing drinks post-climb, traveling, hiking, and most definitely bouldering or topping out at your local climbing gym.

They balance supreme comfort with exceptional performance without sacrificing style, making them one of the best women’s climbing pants around. You’ll want them in every color available.

  • Weight: 8.46 oz.
  • Material: 94% nylon, 6% elastane
  • Number of pockets: Four
  • Special features: Secure zip pocket on the left thigh
  • Pocket that zipped for added security
  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Feminine look
  • UPF 50
  • Pockets unable to carry heavy items

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Best Gym Tights: Mammut Crashiano Tight

Mammut Crashiano Tight

The Crashiano tights ($89) from Mammut are perfect for any climber who loves the snug and secure feeling of a seamless pair of tights. These pants have been through hours and hours of gym sessions over the last few months, and are proving to be a top choice.

Thanks to the open zones and moisture-wicking finish on the polyester material, they’ve shown no embarrassing wet zones despite dripping sweat — all part of why we deemed them the best gym tights.

Beyond the gym, the super-wide elastic waistband seems like it was made for a harness, and the nonexistent seams make them the most comfortable and flattering pair of tights I own right now.

Despite testing these for over a few months inside, we can’t yet say anything about their durability for outdoor climbing. They may not have the same holding pattern as some of the more durable tights. It’s also worth mentioning that these tights don’t have any pockets.

For anyone looking for a crush-worthy pair of tights for indoor projects or ultralight outdoor sends, check out the Crashianos .

  • Weight: 8.11 oz.
  • Material: 86% polyester, 14% spandex
  • Number of pockets: None
  • Special features: Absorbent fabric that conceals sweat zones
  • Conceals sweat zones
  • Wide waistband perfect for a harness
  • Non-irritating seams
  • Back pocket for a cellphone
  • Unknown outdoor durability
  • No pockets

Check Price at Backcountry Check Price at Amazon

Best Technical: Patagonia Altvia Pants

Patagonia Altvia Pants

Patagonia’s Altvia Alpine Pants ($149) have everything you would ever need for technical climbing and scrambling above the treeline. We labeled these the best technical pant for several reasons.

Their lightweight recycled polyester and spandex blend enables climbers to be ultramobile. And the reinforced paneling on the knees, butt, and inside the calves gives an added dose of protection in all the right areas.

After taking a closer look, we appreciated all the little details like the adjustable cuffs keeping pants out of the way. And the zippered flat pockets do not interfere with a harness. Plus, a low-profile waistband with an integrated adjustable belt makes these our top choice for big pursuits.

Aside from the hefty price tag, the other issue with these pants is with their inseam — those needing a shorter inseam may need to utilize the pant’s adjustable cord lock on the cuff. This is a slight downside considering all the other bells and whistles these pants offer.

There’s little to complain about because these pants have a lot to offer. When planning your big alpine missions this summer, consider the Altvia Alpine as your go-to climbing pants — they’ll undoubtedly live up to their name.

  • Weight: 11.4 oz.
  • Material: [body] 86% recycled polyester, 14% spandex dobby [panel], 85% recycled nylon, 15% recycled spandex
  • Number of pockets: Four
  • Special features: Reinforced paneling in high-stressed areas for added durability
  • Has a built-in belt
  • Great amount of stretch for mobility
  • Cuffs adjust with shock cord and cord lock
  • Secure, functional pockets that lie flat.
  • The inseam may be too long for shorter legs
  • Expensive

Check Price at Patagonia

Best Travel and Hot-Weather Climbing Pants: Cotopaxi Baja Pants

Cotopaxi Baja Pants

We found the Baja pants ($100) by Cotopaxi great for multipitch climbing, cragging, bouldering, and hanging out. These pants are super comfortable in a variety of climbing conditions.

But they really stood out when the temps started rising, which is why we ranked them the best travel and hot-weather climbing pants. For our weeklong climbing trip to Joshua Tree, I brought these as my sole pair of pants for both climbing and hanging out, and I couldn’t have been happier.

The four-way stretch fabric finished with DWR coating and a twill backer makes these not only super comfortable but also very durable. The spandex waistband fits under a harness nicely, and the incognito stash pocket is great for money or a passport.

Because these are on the lighter side of the fabric, we would not recommend these for colder climates. However, these breathed well under mild and warm conditions and kept me comfortable.

The Baja climbing pants fit the bill for those climbing, traveling, or simply socializing outdoors in hotter temperatures and who need a cool pair of pants (literally and figuratively).

  • Weight: Unavailable
  • Material: 90% nylon, 10% spandex
  • Number of pockets: Four
  • Special features: Hidden pocket for concealing valuables while traveling
  • Incredible comfort and softness
  • DWR coating
  • Highly versatile
  • Not ideal for cold temperatures

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Best of the Rest

prAna Halle Straight Pant II

prAna Halle Straight Pant II

If you want a pant that can go wherever you go, then look no further than the prAna Halle Straight Pant II ($95). Though not a winner in any specific category, they’re highly versatile thanks to their abrasion resistance, superb stretch, UPF 50 protection, and water-repellent finish.

These pants are highly durable against rugged terrain and unpredictable weather. We also liked the ample pockets, including a thigh-high zipping pocket to secure our phones. Moreover, this pant’s versatility extends beyond just functionality, with its everyday look designed to be worn to the office and then straight to the crag without missing a beat.

Unfortunately, we were disappointed to find that there were no drawstring ankle ties or snaps to roll pant legs up on hot days. And while we found it easy to simply roll them up due to their straight-leg design, they didn’t stay put. Another thing we noticed was that after wearing them all day, they tended to bunch around the crotch, which made them appear unflattering at times.

But despite a couple of minor shortcomings, the prAna Halle Straight Pant II is a phenomenal choice when you need a cross-functional climbing pant for adventures that may entail a mix of various disciplines and conditions.

  • Weight: Unavailable
  • Material: 95% recycled nylon, 5% elastane
  • Number of pockets: Five
  • Special features: Gusseted crotch for ventilation
  • Phone pocket on mid-thigh
  • Cross-functional design for various activities
  • Durable water repellent
  • UPF 50
  • No drawstring ankle ties or snaps
  • Tendency to bunch up in the front
  • Pricey

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prAna Mariel Jegging

prAna Mariel Jegging

What happens when prAna combines its bestselling stretch Zion fabric with the flattering and functional design of a classic legging look? The Mariel Jegging ($89), of course. Not only do they work great as an outdoor/indoor climbing pant, but they also can double (or triple) as an all-around adventure and travel pant.

The skinny jean with tapered cuffs makes these pants great for scrambling to get to the climb. And the high-stretch Zion fabric is durable for bumping up against the rocks. It also lets you move in all the ways you need to for climbing.

Last but certainly not least, when the day is done and your muscles and fingertips can’t take it anymore, they clean up easily with a wet rag for heading out to get a meal in town.

The pocket design was not made to fit the needs of climbers, hence they are hard to make use of while climbing, so we didn’t bother. However, they do not get in the way of performance, and the high flat waist makes wearing a harness comfortable.

Climbers and active explorers alike will appreciate the charming body-hugging silhouette of prAna’s Mariel Jeggings. They’re built with functionality that will withstand all your venturesome activities.

  • Weight: Unavailable
  • Material: 97% nylon, 3% elastane
  • Number of pockets: Six
  • S pecial features: Provides UPF 50+ sun protection
  • More durable than most typical leggings
  • Sleek appearance
  • All-around performance pant
  • Features lots of pockets
  • Pockets difficult to use while climbing

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Mammut Camie Pants

Mammut Camie Pants

Love the relaxed look and feel of joggers but need a little more durability? The Camie Pants ($109) from Mammut may be the best climbing pants for you. The gusseted crotch and pre-shaped knees, coupled with four-way stretch material, make these pants my go-to when comfort and a wide range of movement are in order for the day.

From yoga to wrestling with the kids to climbing, these pants have seen a lot of constant use these past few months. The elastic waistband with a drawcord and elastic cuffs adds some fun, functional style and looks great with just about any cute tank.

Despite the high percentage of natural fibers, the cotton in these pants makes them prone to wrinkling and doesn’t provide the same water-resistant functionality compared to others. However, they do make up for it by being lightweight and breathable.

For those always on the move keeping up with their kids, running errands, hiking, or sending their next climbing project — the comfort and versatility of the Camie Pants might make them the best climbing pants for you.

  • Weight: 12 oz.
  • Material: 95% cotton, 5% spandex
  • Number of pockets: Three
  • Special features: Crotch gusset allows for extra mobility
  • Drawcord waist and elastic cuffs
  • Relaxed fit for comfort
  • Everyday look
  • Prone to wrinkling
  • Lack moisture-wicking properties

Check Price at Amazon Check Price at Backcountry

Cotopaxi Cerro Travel Tight

Cotopaxi Cerro Tight

The Cotopaxi Cerro Travel Tight ($90) pants are practically second-skin. These ultra-comfortable leggings weren’t originally designed with climbing in mind. Rather, they were made as a “do-everything tight.”

However, if you’re like most female climbers, your do-everything tight includes climbing, stretching, running, errands, lounging around, and more. Ever since I put on these leggings, it has been hard to justify taking them off.

These tights work great as my climbing gym and warm outdoor cragging leggings. The five stash pockets, flat seams, and wide waistband make them my first pick for exploratory days and warm indoor or outdoor climbing sessions.

However, the spandex and recycled polyester material don’t lend themselves to be great for cold outdoor climbing days. And the lack of abrasion-resistant material won’t withstand chafing against rock, but again, they weren’t designed to do that.

For warm-weather adventures, climbs, and gym workouts — the Cerro Travel Tight will do the job. Those who aren’t fans of feeling encumbered while relaxing (but still want to look cute) will love them.

  • Weight: 7.94 oz.
  • Material: 79% recycled polyester, 21% spandex
  • Number of pockets: Five
  • Special features: Offers Polygiene to prevent odor
  • Insanely comfortable
  • Flattering design and pattern
  • Plenty of stash pockets
  • A go-to pant for everyday errands and activities
  • Lower end of durability
  • Not ideal for cold weather

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Patagonia Chambeau Rock Pants

Patagonia Chambeau Rock Pants

These Patagonia Chambeau Rock Pants ($99) are perfect for long days on multipitch climbs. Their fast-drying, stretchy material coupled with a comfortable waistband make them one tester’s first pick for all outdoor climbing excursions.

The recycled polyester-spandex blend is light and breathable for hot summer days. And the DWR coating repels light moisture. The cuffs adjust with a pull cord, so you can guarantee proper foot placement without baggy pants getting in the way.

These pants aren’t loaded with features, which failed to tick all of our boxes at this higher price point. We also weren’t impressed with the drop-in front pockets that can’t hold a lot beyond small essentials. Yet, we still appreciate the addition of the zippered leg pockets — all of which lie flat and don’t cause any discomfort under the harness.

If you want something incredibly lightweight and stretchy to get you to the top of your multipitch climb on a blazing day while protecting your legs from unwarranted abrasions, then check out the Chambeau Rock Pant .

  • Weight: 7.9 oz.
  • Material: 87% recycled polyester, 13% elastane
  • Number of pockets: Five
  • Special features: DWR coating to shed light precipitation.
  • Contoured waistband that adds comfort and functionality
  • Perfect for staying cool while climbing
  • Adjustable cuffs
  • Pricier than others
  • Drop-in pockets not useful

Check Price at REI Check Price at Backcountry

prAna Kanab Pant

prAna Kanab Pant

The prAna Kanab Pants ($89) have everything we look for in the best climbing pants — they’re durable, comfortable, and stretchy. The organic cotton canvas blend holds up to abrasions, and the double-walled knees give an added dose of protection.

And while built for heavy use, they manage to also be incredibly breathable. Cuffed bottoms and the midrise waistband also make them quite stylish and comfortable.

We also appreciate the deep, usable pockets. We’re easily able to stash a phone or snacks comfortably.

To make these pants ideal, we would have valued a hidden drawstring in the waist for more security and to ensure that they fit different waist sizes — a feature these pants are currently lacking.

Overall, we included the Kanab Pants in our best of the rest because of their practical use for climbing and everything that follows. They’re ideal for camping, hiking, and Sunday morning hangouts.

  • Weight: Unavailable
  • Material: 62% organic cotton, 36% nylon, 2% elastane
  • Number of pockets: Five
  • Special features: Reinforced fabric at knees adds extra protection and durability
  • Abrasion resistance for durability
  • Cuffed legs that are flattering and won’t get in the way
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Lacks waist drawstring for staying power

Check Price at REI Check Price at Amazon

Black Diamond Notion

Black Diamond Notion

These Black Diamond Notion pants ($79) warranted our attention due to their comfort while belaying and overall awesomeness for single-pitch sport climbing. Reinforced knees make them withstand tough routes, while the stretchy fabric allows the mobility that’s required to assist you to the top.

The drawstring waistband has an easy fit for ladies who don’t like hugging on the midsection. Two hand pockets and two back pockets also make them useful for carrying extra items to the crag.

“If you’re sensitive to heat and humidity, and have a tendency to sweat a ton, this fabric — which is mostly cotton — isn’t really breathable for super long or sun-bearing days on the wall,” said one tester. But they’re a go-to climbing pant for moderate temps and mild weather conditions.

Super comfortable on the wall, but also while camping, hiking, bouldering at the gym, and traveling, the Notion pant will keep up with all your activities.

  • Weight: 11.4 oz.
  • Material: 98% organic cotton, 2% elastane
  • Number of pockets: Four
  • Special features: Go-to pant beyond climbing.
  • Elastic waistband and cuffs
  • All-around comfort
  • Perfect for multiple activities
  • Material isn’t breathable

Check Price at Amazon Check Price at Backcountry

Women’s Climbing Pant Comparison Chart

Climbing Pant Price Weight Material Pockets
Patagonia Caliza Rock Pant $99 12 oz. 93% cotton, 7% spandex 4
The North Face Women’s Aphrodite 2.0 Capris $49 N/A 95% nylon, 5% elastane 3
Mountain Hardwear Women’s Dynama/2 Ankle $79 8.46 oz. 94% nylon, 6% elastane 4
Mammut Crashiano Tight $85 8.11 oz. 86% polyester, 14% spandex 0
Patagonia Altvia Pants $149 11.4 oz. [body] 86% recycled polyester, 14% spandex dobby – [panel] 85% recycled nylon, 15% recycled spandex 4
Cotopaxi Baja Pants $100 N/A 90% nylon, 10% spandex 4
prAna Halle Straight Pant II $95 N/A 95% recycled nylon, 5% elastane 5
prAna Mariel Jegging $89 N/A 97% nylon, 3% elastane 6
Mammut Camie Pants $109 12 oz. 95% cotton, 5% spandex 3
Cotopaxi Cerro Tight $90 7.94 oz. 79% recycled polyester, 21% spandex 5
Patagonia Chambeau Rock Pants $99 7.9 oz. 87% recycled polyester, 13% elastane 5
prAna Kanab Pant $89 N/A 62% organic cotton, 36% nylon, 2% elastane 5
Black Diamond Notion
$79 11.4 oz. 98% organic cotton, 2% elastane 4

Why You Should Trust Us

The team at GearJunkie are outdoor experts and enthusiasts. Our ranks include alpinists, mountaineers, crag rats, purely indoor climbers, and everything in between. Over several months, we put these pants to the test, specifically looking at functionality, durability, and comfort to narrow down the best climbing pants available today.

Contributor Rebecca Ross knows what makes a great climbing pant. As a trained mountaineer, rock climber, and alpinist, she’s climbed peaks in the Pacific Northwest and led international climbing expeditions above 15,000 feet.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Climbing Pants

First, take a few moments to imagine your climbing habits. Do you plan to mostly use these pants climbing indoors or in the elements? If outside, will it normally be hot and muggy or cool and breezy? Do you prefer body-hugging clothing or a bit more room?

There’s no right or wrong answer, but having a clear idea of how you’ll use these pants will help determine the best option. For more guidance on choosing the best climbing pants for your needs, keep reading to understand the functions that differentiate them from non-climbing pants.

Climbing Pant Materials

Climbing pants are often a blend of synthetics, sometimes cotton, and typically elastane (sometimes called spandex). The higher percentage of elastane, the more stretch the pants will have.

The added stretch will also result in a more skintight feel, much like the Cotopaxi Cerro Tight with its impressive stretch capabilities (21% elastane).

It’s not only the amount of elastane that makes climbing pants outperform regular pants. Other essential factors include breathability, reinforced areas that add durability, and design that allows fluid mobility, like the Patagonia Altvia Pants . A decent amount of stretch allows climbers to high-step, stem, and heel hook without restriction.

Other factors, like moisture-wicking properties, sun protection, and the ability to dry quickly, are not vital for indoor climbing. However, they are necessary for long, strenuous alpine or multi-pitch climbs.


There are a few things to consider when finding the right fit for climbing pants. A loose-fitting pant provides a comfortable, relaxed feel designed for maximum movement. However, the material often tends to be heavier.

If the pants are too loose and flowy, they can obscure your vision for when you need to hone in on technical footwork. On the other hand, tight-fitting pants like leggings and tights allow total freedom without feeling weighed down.

The downside to a tight fit is less durability against abrasions. Tight, thin leggings don’t provide as much buffer between your skin and the rock.


Insufficient pockets, or the complete lack thereof, tend to make it on our cons list more than other features on climbing pants. The pockets that tend to work the best are ones that don’t interfere with a harness, are deep enough to be useful, and provide a zipper to ensure that your stuff stays in place while you’re climbing.

A standout in our line of pants is the Patagonia Altvia Pants . These pants offer zipped flat pockets that don’t interfere with a harness. If you find yourself climbing indoors or at a local single-pitch crag, you’ll be able to get away with climbing pants that offer a more basic pocket design.


Generally speaking, the more technical the pant, the more they will weigh because of features that allow them to withstand various elements and terrain. The Patagonia Caliza Rock Pant , for instance, weighs 12 ounces and has several features that make it a durable pant for everyday climbing.

The known lightest on our list is the Patagonia Chambeau Rock Pants , weighing only 7.9 ounces. This pant is breathable and lightweight — perfect for warm-weather excursions.

Weather Protection

Some climbing pants are treated with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating. This water-resistant coating helps you stay dry by preventing light precipitation from saturating the fabric. While the DWR won’t protect you from a heavy downpour, it will keep light rain beading off the pants and allow them to dry quickly.

Several pants in our lineup have a DWR finish, including the Cotopaxi Baja Pants and the Patagonia Chambeau Rock Pants . This feature is specifically helpful for those conducting long alpine ascents and who may find themselves in unpredictable weather.

It’s important to note special instructions to care for your DWR-treated pants to make the coating last longer. Dirt and oils can impede the coating’s moisture-repelling ability, and frequent washing can help maintain its water-repellency.

Thickness and Durability

Beyond choosing a silhouette that complements one’s ergonomics, an important component of a pair of pants is that they are durable. They’ll need to withstand walks through abrasive brush, scrambles up and down steep spur trails, grinding against granite, and rubbing against rough sandstone.

For long-lasting pants, look for thicker fabric, an anti-abrasive or abrasive-resistant overlay or material, and reinforced high-wear areas like the knees.

Climbing pants that received our high praise for durability are the Patagonia Caliza Rock Pants . They withstood beatings against rock and off-trail travel. Although pants designed for rugged use tend to be warmer, so keep that in mind if you climb in hot temperatures.

Articulated Knees and Gussets

A climbing pant’s ability to stretch extensively makes them different from slacks and most everyday jeans. Beyond elastane material, climbing pants are designed to extend the range of motion by having articulated knees and gussets.

Pants with articulated knees will provide the same natural range of motion as a knee while walking and bending. These features are helpful, especially on pants with less elastane that need a boost in flexibility. As for gussets, the diamond-shaped piece of extra fabric sewn in the crotch area make pants more breathable and allows more freedom to move.

Patagonia Caliza Climbing Pants Review
Testing the Caliza Rock Pant at the local gym; (photo/Jason Cornell)


What Are the Best Climbing Pants?

The best climbing pants are the ones that make you feel comfortable and allow you to move freely. Our best overall pant is the Patagonia Caliza Pant because they are not overly loose or too tight. They also have a wide elastic waist that’s perfect for a harness and adjustable ankles that can go higher or lower based on preference. Comfort, style, and practicality make these pants excellent for climbing.

Do I Need Climbing Pants?

It depends. If you are brand new to climbing and testing the sport out for the first time, consider using what you already own — attire you would typically wear to work out. Once you have established that climbing is something you wish to pursue, investing in climbing pants can provide you with unique benefits.

Pant attributes like wide elastic waistbands designed for harnesses, pockets placed for easy access, cuffs that cinch, and extra stretch for movement are great assets when climbing regularly.

Can I Wear Climbing Pants for Hiking?

Most climbing pants offer a range of features that make them multipurpose pants — ideal for walking, hiking, and backpacking. Elements of climbing pants that can apply to hiking are sun protection, DWR, abrasion-resistant material, and functional pockets.

A favorite of ours is the prAna Mariel Jegging if you prefer legging-style pants. You’ll find us wearing most of the pants on this list beyond rock climbing at the gym and crag.

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