Rock Climbing can be fun and adventurous but choosing the clothes can be a bit troublesome. We have to choose clothing properly, so what to wear on rock climbing? Well, it can be tricky, and beginners have constant questions when they see other people wearing jeans at the climbing gym.
So, the first question that pops into your mind is “Can you rock climb in jeans?”, because we tend to wear jeans a lot. Well, traditional jeans are way too stiff to give you the mobility, which is very much needed for rock climbing, but stretchable jeans are perfectly fine to rock climb in.
But to be honest with you, if someone asks us “Can you Rock Climb in Jeans?” the answer to this question would be ‘it depends’. Your straight-cut Levi’s, which you wear regularly, won’t work for rock climbing as they are way too stiff and heavy and they absolutely don’t even give you the flexibility you need in your legs to effectively climb. Therefore, today we have decided to discuss on the most important question that will come in everyone’s mind and that is ” Can You Rock Climb in Jeans?”
Is It Okay To Rock Climb In Jeans?
As we have already said you initially, that the answer to this question would be ‘it depends’. Yes it is definitely possible to wear jeans for climbing, but they are definitely not the perfect climbing pant as we can’t do stretching properly.
Therefore we have decided to put up a list of pros and cons of rock climbing wearing jeans. First we gonna talk about the pros, they are as follows:
- Durability: Rock climbing can be really hard on your pants, especially when you start venturing into the outdoors. Denim is quite a tough material that can resist the all types of snags and scrapes that come with the adventurous sport. Apart from increasing the life of your pants, jeans can also protect you from getting any injury.
- Cost: Climbing-specific pants can run you more than $150 for a good pair so in these cases a jeans can come really handy as is quite cheaper than climbing specified pants.
- Style: Yes, we do that it is not the main concern but no one wants to feel like a clown when they go climbing, so Jeans are a common and non-offensive choice that won’t make you look like a odd one out.
As we all know a coin has two sides similarly, there are also some significant downsides of climbing wearing jeans:
- Stretch: Even the stretchiest jeans won’t be as flexible as a pair of climbing-specific pants. You can search for stretchy jeans for rock climbing but it won’t be as efficient as climbing specified pants.
- Breathability: The downside of denim’s toughness is that it doesn’t breathe well, so when you are doing a strenuous activity like rock climbing, this means more sweating and discomfort, especially if you are wearing a harness, so in this cases you need pants which can breathe well.
- Slow drying: Denim also holds onto moisture for a long time which means that if you get your jeans wet, they are going to stay wet for almost eternity.
- Lack of features: Jeans just aren’t exactly designed for climbing, and so they don’t come with any climbing-specific features that more specialized pants will have, which include things like drawstring waists, zippered pockets and harness-specific belts to make your climbing more comfortable.
If, however, you have a pair of stretchy jeans that you want to wear while rock climbing, there’s absolutely nothing preventing you from doing so as we have seen lots of people you have spent years rock climbing in jeans. Though it can be sweaty at times but it really won’t harm. One thing for sure is that jeans are probably better for indoor climbing than they are for outdoor. Indoors which includes bouldering, where you don’t need to wear a harness so in these cases their drawbacks are quite less noticeable. Though once you go outside and especially if you are on long, multi-pitch routes you will want something that’s more comfortable and breathable and they are also a lot less comfortable to wear in cases where you might have to be walking uphill for significant amounts of time.
So, we are not discouraging you from wearing jeans to your local gym, but you know that they probably won’t be the best choice for a challenging rock climbing expedition.
What Kind Of Pants Are Good For Rock Climbing?
Your next probable question would be “What Kind Of Pants Are Good For Rock Climbing?”. From the above list, you can probably tell what features are important but it would be good to summarize them here.
Flexibility, breathability, and durability are the most important feature that should be there in a climbing pants and you will need something that will move with you, not trap too much heat, and not tear or wear off easily.
Now, obviously, it is really hard to find a pair of pants that will be having all of these features, and outdoor companies spend a lot of money trying to fit them all into one package and these pants are really great , but they also tend to be decently expensive.
As we have already stated, jeans don’t always tick all of these above mentioned features but, you don’t necessarily need a pant to do all the above mentioned features. You could have one pair of super duper flexible, breathable pants that you can wear when you are crushing boulders in the indoor climbing gym, and another, more durable but less breathable pair that you use outdoors when you have to worry about cuts and tears .
Best Jeans for Rock Climbing
So, to make things a bit easier for you, we have decided to bring out the best jeans for rock climbing. Here, below, is a list where we have highlighted three of them.
Black Diamond Forged Denim
Black Diamond is internationally famous for making topmost gear aimed at rock climbers. They are a spinoff company of Chouinard Equipment which has eventually became Patagonia, and now they currently sponsor the best rock climber in the world in Adam Ondra and for this reason this is absolutely no surprised that their Forged Denim jeans, while looking like a normal jean on the surface, is tailor-made for actual rock climbing. Black Diamond Forged Denim is built out of a surprisingly stretchy material, therefore it gives you all of the mobility you might need while still retaining the look and feel of traditional jeans.
These are great if you want a catch-all pair of pants for a vacation, then Forged Denim will work fine. It can also be the best jeans in the climbing gym and when you’re out for dinner and also in most business-casual settings.
Well we do have a minor drawback of the Forged Denim is that they’re not a super slim fit, so the cuffs can get in the way while you are ascending up the rock.
Here is the link to the Black Diamond Forged Denim: https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_CA/search/forged%20denim/
Patagonia Performance Fit Jeans
The Patagonia Performance Fit jeans are a bit less technical than the Black Diamond Forged Jeans, but they still do just absolutely fine for rock climbing.
In addition to that, you will also get the lifetime guarantee that Patagonia provides and along with all the ethical benefits that come with buying their gear.
Here is the link to Patagonia Performance Fit Jeans : https://www.patagonia.ca/product/mens-performance-straight-fit-jeans-regular/56025.html
Bonobos Stretch Lightweight
If you are willing to venture away from the outdoor companies, Bonobos Stretch Lightweight jeans are reported to be impressively flexible for a denim pant and we can assure you that it will never get worn that easily, they’re a good option if you are looking for something that is a bit more neutral.
Here is the link to Bonobos Stretch Lightweight: https://bonobos.com/products/summer-weight-jeans
What Are The Best Climbing Pants?
So you have decided that you don’t want to wear jeans? No worries, we have a list of the best climbing pants, have a look at them.
PrAna Stretch Zion
Visit any website or forum in the rock-climbing world, and you will be hearing the same thing everywhere that the Prana Stretch Zion is the best climbing pant currently on the market. They simply tick all the boxes, which means they are absolutely flexible, tough, breathable, and low-key enough to wear around town. They come with a secure side pocket and a belt-less waist, which is great for when you find yourself wearing a harness and you can get them at $89.
Now you absolutely need to buy one pair of rock climbing pants of the Stretch Zion.
Link to PrAna Stretch Zion is : https://www.prana.com/p/stretch-zion-pant/M4ST99116.html
Black Diamond Notion
The Black Diamond Notions are an excellent jogger-style pant which will serve best for all of your indoor-climbing needs. Some of the climbers don’t trust them enough to wear outdoors, they serve perfectly for the indoor climbing gym.
With a relaxed fit, elastic cuffs, and a drawstring waist, the Black Diamond Notions are for daily wear pants and as well as rock climbing pants and their hybrid material is flexible yet tough, and they allow you all the mobility and they you need to go for rock climbing.
Here is the link to Black Diamond Notion : https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/search/diamond%20notion/?common_color=Black
Mountain Hardware AP Pants
These pants are absolutely tough, flexible, and built for a variety of activities, these are another great pair of ‘everything’ pants and wherever you travel, they will be the first thing to reach for.
They do have a couple of drawbacks which are mostly, their loose cuffs and belted waist. However, for a casual pair of gym pants, they will surely serve you fine at an affordable price point.
Link to Mountain Hardware AP Pants :https://www.mountainhardwear.ca/en/p/mens-hardwear-ap-pant-1648971.html
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you hike in climbing pants?
Climbing pants are actually more durable and soft shelled than hiking pants and they do a better job of blocking wind and rain. Therefore, on a warm approach hike, you will wear soft-shell climbing pants over just your underwear. Higher on the mountain, when it cools off, you can layer these climbing pants over long underwear or under some rain pants.
Why do people climb in pants?
People climb in pants as they get an insane amount freedom of movement and in addition to that it gives the benefits of climbing pants include stretchy material, breathable materials, they evaporates sweat really easily without becoming damp and soaked, and they are really durable too.
How tight should climbing pants be?
It is always better to go one size bigger than usual, as it is better to err on the larger size as it is not too tight to restrict movement, but can be tight enough to make climbing feel fluent and streamlined.
How do mountain climbers stay warm?
To stay warm mountain climbers uses a polypropylene or wool hat or ski cap, to keep your neck warm use a wool scarf or neck gaiter. As for clothes go for a fleece zipper jacket that goes up to your neck, and a lightweight down jacket which should not be puffy and has a drawstring waist.
Are Dickies good for climbing?
Dickies are good for climbing as these pants or shorts are cheap, durable, and work really well and you can even roll or cut the pant legs to fit however you would like.
Where can I find Botw climbing pants?
Botw climbing pants can be found in Chaas Qeta Shrine, which is shrine is on a small island off the far South-Eastern shore of Hyrule. You have to look for an area of the land that curves into a tip and follow that tip up there, is the shrine you need.
What is inseam?
Carefully measure the length from the crotch seam to the bottom of the leg, this number is known as inseam. This number helps you to choose your next pair of great-fitting pants.
What is the quickest climbing pant?
Every pant which is suitable for rock climbing is also the quickest climbing pant.