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Climbing Pants – Five Plus One

Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.

Climbing pants are designed to comfortable, durable, and stretchy while remaining tight-fitting to remain secure while scaling a rock face. These characteristics have resulted in a range of pants made from synthetic materials with a built-in belt, and a short enough inseam to not get caught around your ankle. While my climbing credentials expired many years ago, I hope the picks I’ve selected this week align well with the climbing pant style even if they’re not all pairs you’d wear to the crags.

1) Gramicci: The Original 1982 Gramicci Pants


No article on climbing pants would be completed without Gramicci, perhaps best know for their Original 1982 Pants. Made from breathable cotton twill with a gusseted crotch, built-in adjustable belt and relaxed fit, these pants offer great freedom of movement and durability while still looking great. Available in a wide range of colors, these pants are easy to work into a bunch of wardrobes: whether casual or athletic.

Available for $88 from Gramicci.

2) L.L. Bean x Todd Snyder: Climbing Pants


L.L. Bean makes great clothing in their own right, but their latest collaborations with Todd Snyder are on another level. These Climbing Pants are made from a 53%/37%/10% blend of recycled polyester, polyester, and Sorona Doubleweave fabric to ensure durability without heft. They’re designed with zip hand pockets, snapped cargo pockets, elasticated cuffs, and reinforced knees, ensuring these pants are as functional as they are attractive.

Available for $149 from L.L. Bean.

3) And Wander: Climbing Pants


If you are willing to spend a little bit more, then And Wander’s Climbing Pants are an excellent option. They feature a polyester ripstop exterior with a mesh lining, zippered front and back pockets, reflective stitching, and elasticated/belted waistband, ensuring a comfortable fit all day long. Just realize that if you buy these for climbing you’ll likely find yourself wearing them as part of your everyday wardrobe.

Available for $285 from Blue Owl.

4) Manastash: Flex Climber Pant


Manastash’s Flex Climber Pant is another great entry level option for those who haven’t worn climbing pants before. While you aren’t getting all the fancy, designer fabrics and construction details that exist on more expensive pairs, it’s surprising just how much you do get: cotton twill fabric, gusseted crotch, and belted waste. Just don’t blame us if these pants pressure you into collecting a new style of garment.

Available for $95 from Manastash.

5) Battenwear: Stretch Climbing Pants


Battenwear’s Stretch Climbing Pants is as solid for climbing as it is for everyday wear, and it’s easy to see why. Their 64%/31%/5% cotton/polyester/polyurethane fabric and gusseted crotch result in a comfortable and strong pant, while the simple design and neutral colors make these pants easy to  blend into most wardrobes. While not the cheapest climbing pants on this list, you shouldn’t be surprised if you quickly find yourself buying a second pair after getting yours hands on  your first.

Available for $230 from Battenwear.

Plus One – Mountain Research: Mt Climber


With a name like Mountain Research, is should come as no surprise that they offer a great pair of climbing pants: the Mt Climber. Featuring corduroy fabric, a “detachable bum flap”, and a loose fit, these aren’t the pants I’d probably reach for if I was making a trip to the mountains but I can’t help but appreciate this variation on the style. All that said, if you’re looking for a unique pair of cords to wear around town these are an excellent option.

Available for $430 from Mountain Research.

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