Whether you're a seasoned climber or are just embarking on your personal climbing journey, it's a good idea to invest in a solid pair of climbing pants. The best climbing pants are made from flexible, durable, water-resistant fabrics that offer protection from the sun. Climbing pants should also be lightweight and allow for maximum leg movement, so be on the lookout for articulated knees as well as adjustable leg openings to keep the hem of your pants from inhibiting your movement.
Beyond that, there are a few additional design elements to look for. A flat waistband that can slip easily under a harness and zippered or cargo-style pockets that let you stash a few small essentials are particularly great for rope climbing. If you're getting pants specifically for bouldering, you'll also want to consider features like a loop where you can clip your chalk bag or a pocket that will fit a small holds brush.
From after-work gym sessions to climbing-focused vacations, the best climbing pants are functional and stylish enough to take you from crag to cocktails and wherever else your adventure might lead.
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The Zion pants from prAna have just about everything you want in a pair of climbing pants, from a flat, adjustable waistband and ventilated gusset to quick-dry, water-repellent fabric that offers UPF 50+ sun protection for long days out at the crag. The leg openings have snaps to hold rolled cuffs in place, and the cargo pocket makes it easy to stash your essentials.
"My favorite pants to climb in," wrote one Amazon reviewer. "Durable and comfortable material. Buttons to hold the cuffs if you roll them up. The integrated waist strap lets you keep them up without the additional bulk of a belt, which is great if you are going to be putting on a climbing harness."
- Available colors: 15
- Available sizes: 28 - 42 (with 28 - 36 inch inseams)
These Halle pants from prAna are versatile enough to take you from work to crag and have all the functionality of a great pair of climbing pants. Water-repellent and quick-drying, they're made from the same stretchy, UPF 50+ sun protective fabric as the men's Zion style, with snaps to roll up the leg openings, articulated knees, and a zippered stash pocket. They come in both short and tall inseams, as well, so climbers of all heights can find the right length. They also have a low-profile waistband that fits well under a harness.
"These are, hands down, the best climbing pants I have ever owned," wrote one reviewer. "I now own six pairs, and just wear them throughout the week. They can be paired with a dressy-ish top for business casual work environments, or worn to climb the toughest routes out there. Versatile, durable, and comfortable."
- Available colors: 17
- Available sizes: 0 - 18 (short, regular, and tall inseams)
The budget pants
For $20, you can't do much better than these YSENTO lightweight pants, which have a number of climber-friendly features at one of the lowest price points you'll find anywhere. They're made from a polyester-spandex blend that provides flexibility, so you can show off your new heel hook skills.
The fabric also offers UPF 50+ sun protection and is quick-drying and moisture-wicking (though it isn't specifically water-resistant). The adjustable drawstring elastic waistband eliminates the need for a belt and fits easily under a harness, while two zippered size pockets provide a safe space to stash your cell phone. The leg openings don't have snaps, so if you plan on rolling them up, it's something to be aware of. These also come in only one length.
- Available colors: 7
- Available sizes: Small - XX-Large
Made from a quick-drying and water-resistant nylon-spandex blend with built-in UPF 50+ protection, these lightweight hiking pants from BALEAF are perfect for indoor and outdoor climbing. They feature four zippered pockets that can hold everything from chalk brushes and lip balm to a smartphone, and the drawstring elastic waistband fits easily under a harness.
The adjustable leg openings have drawstring cords to keep them in place, and four-way stretch fabric makes it easy to move around. One Amazon reviewer loved the pockets in particular, noting: "The pockets are deep enough to hold a phone and not be in the climbing harnesses' way. It's easy to access the phone when climbing so you can easily do a route check when doing longer climbs." Plus, they come in both a full and a capri length if you prefer a cropped style. However, each style only comes in one inseam.
- Available colors: 10
- Available sizes: X-Small - 3X-Large
The investment pair
These unisex Ucraft pants were designed by climbers, for climbers, so they have clever features you'd be hard-pressed to find together elsewhere, like reinforced articulated knees, brush pockets, a chalk bag loop, and drawstring ankle closures — all of which makes them ideal for bouldering. They're made from an ultra-stretchy, lightweight, water- and tear-resistant fabric blend, so you won't destroy them on even the gnarliest of problems. The drawstring elastic waistband helps them fit nicely under a harness if you're going to climb on ropes, too.
Amazon reviewers noted the durability of these pants, with one writing: "I love these things! I climb in them, do yoga in them, I also use them for softball and kickball. All around great pair of pants and so far with the $h%& I put them through they still haven't shown any signs of wear." However, take note that these only come in one length.
- Available colors: 2
- Available sizes: X-Small - Large