Best Climbing Pants: The Top 5 of 2018

Click here for the best women’s climbing pants.

Climbing PantRetail Price
Top Pick: prAna Stretch Zion Pant$$
Budget Buy: Carhartt Duck Pant$
Best Climbing Jean: prAna Axiom Jean$$
Most Versatile: The North Face Paramount Peak II Convertible Pant$$
Most Durable: Arc’teryx Gamma Rock Pant$$$
The days will soon start to grow shorter and colder as fall approaches. Climbing and bouldering weather is around the corner.

If you’re looking to stock up on some new gear for the upcoming season, a good pair of climbing pants will help you keep warm, stay protected, and retain full range of motion in your hips and legs whether you’re training indoors at your gym or projecting outside at your favorite crag.

For that reason, here’s a list of the best climbing pants available today. These options are great for climbing and bouldering, and we’ve also included a list of the best women’s climbing pants near the bottom of this article.

Top Pick: prAna Stretch Zion Pant

The prAna Stretch Zion PantAs far as rock climbing pants go, the Stretch Zion Pant is the best you can find. It offers superb functionality while retailing for an acceptable price. The pants are great for climbing, bouldering, hiking, travel, yoga, and even casual wear. They are made of a stretchy material that doesn’t restrict movement and they keep you cool when it’s warm and warm when it’s cool.

The Stretch Zion Pants are durable, stylish, and well-designed for climbing, bouldering, and any outdoor activities. They come with a built-in adjustable waist belt which is lightweight and great for tightly securing the pants before attempting your project.

They also have a zippered pocket for storing valuables such as your phone while climbing or approaching the crag. Lastly, they have buttons on the bottoms of the legs for holding up your rolled-up pant legs.

But don’t just take my word for it when I say these are the best pants for climbing and bouldering. Take everyone else’s word, like all the reviewers who gave the pants five stars. Click on the link in the table above to read some of them.

As for sizing, these pants fit true to size. Get them your regular pant size and they’ll fit right.

There is also a convertible version of the pants called the prAna Stretch Zion Convertible Pant. Lastly, for those who want to know even more about these pants, check out our super in-depth review of the prAna Stretch Zion Pants.

Budget Buy: Carhartt Duck Pant

Carhartt Duck Pant Is our Top Pick too pricey? Then try out the tried and true budget climbing pant option: good ol’ Carhartts.

Carhartt pants are relatively cheap and durable. They might be stiff and slightly awkward to climb in in the beginning, but once they break in they won’t restrict your movement too much and will protect your legs from the rock.

Of course, they aren’t the highest-performing pants for climbing or bouldering you can find, those would be the above option. Yet, they are the best option in terms of how budget-friendly they are. They also have a certain amount of dirtball cred to them, and are fondly spoken of on climbing forums.

Best Climbing Jean: prAna Axiom Jean

The prAna Axiom JeanIf you’re the type who likes to crush your projects in a pair of jeans, then oh my gosh has prAna made the perfect climbing pants for you. The Axiom Jean has the pure-denim look of your favorite pair of jeans with the stretchiness and range of movement you need for climbing or bouldering.

The pants are durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of the rock, and the look of the pants makes them versatile enough to wear around town or when going out. And, like any good pair of jeans, they are also comfortable.

These have to be the most stylish climbing pants on the list. Rather than a pair of dedicated outdoor pants, these look and feel more like a pair of jeans that can be worn anywhere.

Most Versatile: The North Face Paramount Peak II Convertible Pant

The North Face Paramount Peak II Convertible PantWhile actually designed with hiking foremost in mind, the Paramount Peak pants can really do it all. They are some of the most versatile outdoor pants on the market.

Not only can you do plenty of different outdoor activities in them — such as climb, boulder, hike, backpack, fish, and bike — you can do these activities in a range of temperatures. The pants are convertible so they easily turn into shorts if things get too hot.

The Paramount Peak pants have spacious pockets and are made out of a lightweight and quick-drying material, making them highly functional as well as comfortable.

Most Durable: Arc’teryx Gamma Rock Pant

Arc'teryx Gamma Rock Pant These pants have been described as “perfect”, “bomb-proof” and as “the best climbing pants ever”. To me, they are a plethora of seeming contradictions.

They are lightweight and stretchy yet also durable and warm. Despite being slim-fitting they are comfortable and don’t restrict movement. They are highly functional (including boot lace hooks and a built-in loop for your chalk bag) yet also stylish.

Seemingly the only downside of the Gamma Rock Pant it its price. These pants cost as much as a pair of top climbing shoes.

It can be hard to dish out that kind of dough for a pair of climbing or bouldering pants, even if they are the best ever, but know that they will last you an incredibly long time. Their longevity and performance will eventually make up for their price tag.

Best Women’s Climbing Pants

The above options are all men’s climbing pants. For those female climbers out there, here is a list of the best women’s climbing pants.

Some of these options are the female counterparts of the above pants, and some are strictly women’s pants that work well for climbing and bouldering. Regardless, all of them meet the criteria for being top rock climbing pants:

How to Choose the Best Climbing Pants for You


You’ll need climbing and bouldering pants that can protect your legs from the rock and from the cold. All of the above pants are designed to do just that with materials that keep your legs warm and protect your skin.


Climbing pants will undergo years of stress. While wearing them you’ll be scraping your legs against rock and gym wall, sitting on rocks and tree stumps, and hiking or scrambling through all kinds of terrain. They need to be durable enough to withstand the wear and tear that goes along with the sport. The above options are some of the best climbing pants available because they are so durable and are designed specifically to last you years of climbing or bouldering.


Ease of movement is crucial when climbing or bouldering. You need to have full range of motion, especially in your hips and legs for when you’re high-stepping, heel hooking, or pulling any other tricky maneuver. The pants you climb in need to stretch and adapt to your movement or else they will be cumbersome and restrictive and it will be hard to get your feet where they need to be.

Questions & Answers

What are the best bouldering pants? All of the above pants work equally well for bouldering as they do for climbing. If you’re a boulderer who likes rolling up your pant legs when bouldering, check out the prAna Stretch Zion Pants — they comes with buttons that can snap close to hold up your rolled pant legs. They are the best pants for climbing and bouldering.

Photo Credit: Amazon

About the Author:

Alex is the owner of 99Boulders and has been testing and reviewing outdoor gear since 2015. He was once an avid boulderer but has been sidelined indefinitely by a chronic wrist injury. To fill the gaping hole in his heart he's recently gotten into ultralight backpacking.