Have you been wondering whether there is such a thing as bouldering-specific pants? If pebble-wrestling is settling in as your climbing discipline of choice, it is time to step up your wardrobe to meet the needs of your sport. But with so many climbing apparel companies out there, how do you know which ones are making the best bouldering pants?

We at The Adventure Junkies have done the hard searching and are ready to help out as your personal bouldering stylist. In this guide, we’ll cover what makes a pair of bouldering pants unique and offer a selection of the 10 best bouldering pants on the market this year.

 

QUICK ANSWER: THE BEST BOULDERING PANTS 

1. PRANA CONTINUUM

2. LA SPORTIVA SOLUTION

3. BOULDER DENIM

4. E9 RONDO STORY

5. UCRAFT XLITE

6. BLACK DIAMOND NOTION

7. OCUN JAWS

8. STONEWEAR DESIGNS LIBERTY TIGHT

9. RAB OBLIQUE

10. PATAGONIA VENGA ROCK

 

 

 

FREE BONUS! Click here to download the AJ Quick Starter Guide To Climbing

 

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FIND THE BEST BOULDERING PANTS

PICTURE
PANTS
BEST USE
MATERIALS
INSEAM
ANKLE CINCH
PRICE
RATING
PICTURE
PANTS
BEST USE
MATERIALS
INSEAM
ANKLE CINCH
PRICE
RATING
Prana Continuum
Overall
Stretch Cotton
32.5 in
Yes
$$
4.5
La Sportiva Solution
Overall
Stretch Cordura
31.8 in
Yes
$$$
4.5
Boulder Denim
Overall
Stretch Denim
34.0 in
No
$$$
5.0
E9 Rondo Story
Overall
97% Cotton, 3% Elastane
Unk
Yes
$$
4.5
Ucraft Xlite
Budget
92% Polyester, 8% Elastane
Unk
Yes
$
4.5
Black Diamond Notion
Budget
Stretch Cotton Twill
32.0 in
Yes
$
4.5
Ocun Jaws
Budget
95% Cotton, 5% Elastane
Unk
Yes
$
4.5
Stonewear Designs Liberty Tight
Lightweight
88% Polyester, 12% Spandex
Unk
No
$$
4.5
Rab Oblique
Lightweight
Stretch Cotton
32.0 in
Yes
$$
4.5
PATAGONIA VENGA ROCK
Lightweight
98% Cotton, 2% Spandex
32.0 in
No
$$
4.5

 

 

BOULDERING PANTS 101

 

5 THINGS TO CONSIDER TO FIND THE BEST BOULDERING PANTS

 

1. BOULDERING VS ROPE CLIMBING

How does bouldering differ from the rest of climbing? Do I really need clothes specific to bouldering?

Bouldering is a condensed – often referred to as “pure” – form of climbing movement. Many requirements for roped climbing, such as equipment, protection on the wall, learning to belay and finding safe belay partners, are unnecessary for bouldering.

All you need to go bouldering is a pair of climbing shoes. However, chalk, crash pads and friends to support and spot are definitely a plus.

Since boulderers focus the entirety of their sport on movement, boulder problems tend to have more interesting, three-dimensional, full-body-contortionist-type moves. Heel hooking above one’s head or stemming a broad corner leads boulderers to demand pants with extreme flexibility.

A gusseted crotch often helps. Since there is no harness to go over your pants, there are no restrictions on bagginess or requirements for a cushioned waist.

Finally, boulderers often have a special kind of swagger. A sub-discipline of climbing as a whole, bouldering lends itself to a unique kind of style. Take that into consideration when choosing the best pants to meet your bouldering needs.

 

2. BREATHABILITY

Bouldering is one of the least aerobic forms of climbing. Typically, boulderers execute short sequences of very powerful and strength intensive moves, interspersed with lots of resting and hanging out.

Are you likely to build up a sweat in this kind of work-out? Probably not.

Still, what happens when your body runs hot while you’re bouldering on a 90-degree day in the desert, in a poorly ventilated gym in the summer or you’re banging off a 100 v-point circuit? In these cases, a pair of breathable pants could be a life-saver. Look for cotton or cotton/polyester/spandex blends to help you get the air flowing.

 

3. FLEXIBLE MATERIAL

Boulderers end up doing the most three-dimensional, contortionist moves in climbing. Due to the nature of bouldering movement, the pants you choose must be nonrestrictive.

Most boulderers opt for either loose-fitting pants that enable their freedom of movement, or tights that move with their bodies.

To enhance flexibility, many bouldering pants contain spandex (also known as elastane) in a cotton or polyester blend. A higher percentage of this stretchy fiber will give you more stretch in your pants.

Materials, such as Stretch Cordura, can be a great option for thickness and resistance to abrasion without restricting movement.

 

4. COLOR

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Color pops! If you are comfortable expressing your style with the colors of the rainbow, choosing something loud and bright will make you stand out on the rock.

Color is an especially great option if you are psyched on capturing the send of your latest project with photos. Color on your bottom half is more unique than color in a t-shirt.

 

5. MEN’S VS WOMEN’S

Men and women have different body structure and thus often end up choosing completely different pairs of pants. The best bouldering pants for men are not necessarily the best bouldering pants for women.

Fortunately, many of the companies featured in this article have designed a women’s-specific alternative to their top bouldering pants. As tights are a popular choice for women out bouldering, we have also featured one brand that produces climbing pants and tights for women.

 

perfect bouldering pants to wear for climbing

Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/jasonjiron

 

BOULDERING PANTS REVIEWS

 

1. BEST OVERALL BOULDERING PANTS

PRANA CONTINUUM

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST FOR: Bouldering and outdoor activities

WOMEN’S VERSION: Prana Avril

MATERIALS: Stretch cotton

INSEAM: 32.5 in

ANKLE CINCH: Yes

COLORS: Blue, Gold, Turquoise, Rust, Brown, Dark Green, Gray

PROS: Great color selection, cinch elastic waist, articulated knees, gusseted crotch, good durability

CONS: Pants run a little long

 

 

 

LA SPORTIVA SOLUTION

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST FOR: Bouldering, climbing and alpine adventures

WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A

MATERIALS: Stretch Cordura

INSEAM: 31.8 in

ANKLE CINCH: Yes

COLORS: Gray, Mustard Yellow, Deep Red

PROS: Technical and durable, elastic waist, integrated knees, gusseted crotch

CONS: Pants run a little warm, expensive

 

 

 

BOULDER DENIM

Check out the latest price on:
Boulder Denim

BEST FOR: Bouldering and city life

WOMEN’S VERSION: Women’s Skinny Fit 

MATERIALS: Stretch denim

INSEAM: 34.0 in

ANKLE CINCH: No

COLORS: Dark blue (denim)

PROS: Designed for comfort in the outdoors and personal life, environmentally friendly, weather-proofed, very stretchy and does not deform, hydrophobic wash, reinforced stitching

CONS: Expensive

 

 

 

E9 RONDO STORY

Check out the latest price on:
Shop E9

BEST FOR: Bouldering

WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A

MATERIALS: 97% Cotton, 3% Elastane

INSEAM: Unknown

ANKLE CINCH: Yes

COLORS: Olive, Blue

PROS: Contrasting color pockets and stitches, loose fitting and flexible, articulated knees

CONS: European brand, more difficult to acquire in USA

 

 

 

2. BEST BUDGET BOULDERING PANTS

OCUN JAWS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Bouldering and climbing

WOMEN’S VERSION: Ocun Pantera 

MATERIALS: 95% Cotton, 5% Elastane

INSEAM: Unknown

ANKLE CINCH: Yes

COLORS: Slate Blue, Blue, Golden Yellow

PROS: Elastic waist, anatomical knee shape, technical cut for unrestricted movement

CONS: European brand, more difficult to acquire in USA

 

 

 

UCRAFT XLITE

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Bouldering, yoga and outdoor activities

WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A

MATERIALS: 92% Polyester, 8% Elastane

INSEAM: Unknown

ANKLE CINCH: Yes

COLORS: Gray

PROS: Elastic waist, articulated knees, hidden side pocket, lightweight and breathable

CONS: Fabric is quite thin with reduced durability, no color selection

 

 

 

BLACK DIAMOND NOTION

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry

BEST FOR: Bouldering and Indoor Training

WOMEN’S VERSION: Black Diamond Notion 

MATERIALS: Stretch cotton twill

INSEAM: 32.0 in

ANKLE CINCH: Yes

COLORS: Burnt Olive, Nickel, Dark Gray

PROS: Loose, comfortable design, soft elastic waist, reinforced knees, breathable and airy

CONS: Poor color selection for 2017, not suitable for cold days

 

 

 

 

3. BEST LIGHTWEIGHT BOULDERING PANTS

STONEWEAR DESIGNS LIBERTY TIGHTS

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Bouldering, yoga and outdoor activities

WOMEN’S VERSION: These tights are designed for women

MATERIALS: 88% Polyester, 12% Spandex

INSEAM: Unknown

ANKLE CINCH: No

COLORS: Multiple color patterns available

PROS: High rise, wide compression waistband, stretch fabric, gusseted crotch, supersoft and durable fabric, quick-drying, sewn in USA

CONS: Apparel is for women only

 

 

 

RAB OBLIQUE

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

BEST FOR: Bouldering and indoor training

WOMEN’S VERSION: RAB Valkyrie 

MATERIALS: Stretch cotton

INSEAM: 32.0 in

ANKLE CINCH: Yes

COLORS: Dark Gray, Mustard Yellow, Turquoise

PROS: Lightweight and stretchy, great colors available, part elasticized waist, articulated knees, gusseted crotch, drawcord ankle hem

CONS: European brand, more difficult to acquire in USA

 

 

 

PATAGONIA VENGA ROCK

Check out the latest price on:
Backcountry

BEST FOR: Bouldering and climbing

WOMEN’S VERSION: Patagonia Venga Rock 

MATERIALS: 98% Cotton, 2% Spandex

INSEAM: 32.0 in

ANKLE CINCH: No

COLORS: Dark Blue, Dark Turquoise, Olive, Gray, Copper

PROS: Great mobility, unrestricted movement, articulated knees and reinforced pockets, regular fit

CONS: Sizing runs large

Best Bouldering Pants - Best Rock Climbing Clothes for Men and Women – Rock Climbing Outfits for Summer and Winter – What to Wear When Climbing Indoors
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