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When you’re trying to send your bouldering project, you want your pants to help make it possible to top out, not get in your way. The ideal bouldering pants should be stretchy enough for high steps and durable enough to stand up to rough rock or those scratchy gym walls. You probably want them to look good if you’re going out to grab a few beers after climbing, too. Here at The Adventure Junkies, we will help you pick the best bouldering pants to send in style.

For more of our top climbing gear recommendations, check out the Best Bouldering Shoes.

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Quick Answer - The Best Bouldering Pants

  1. Prana Stretch Zion Pants
  2. Prana Halle
  3. La Sportiva Arete
  4. La Sportiva Mantra
  5. Boulder Denim
  6. Topo Designs
  7. REI Co-op Craglands
  8. Patagonia Venga Rock
  9. Black Diamond Forged Denim
  10. The North Face North Dome

 

Comparison Table - Best Bouldering Pants

PictureNameFabricInseamClosureGenderPriceRating
Prana Stretch Zion Pants97% Nylon / 3% Spandex28 in, 30 in, 32 in, 34 in, 36 inZipper, Snap, & Adjustable WaistbeltMen's$$4.7
Prana Halle97% Nylon / 3% Spandex30 in, 32 in, 36 inZipper & ButtonsWomen's$4.6
La Sportiva Arete98% Polyester/2% Spandex31 inDrawstring & ZipperMen’s$$$4.5
La Sportiva Mantra96% Nylon / 4% Spandex31 inElastic w/ DrawstringWomen’s$5.0
Boulder DenimMemory-Shape Denim32 inZipper & ButtonMen's & Women's$$4.7
Topo Designs98% Cotton / 2% Lycra32 inQuick-release BeltMen's$4.1
REI Co-op Craglands85% Nylon / 15% SpandexMen’s 29 in, Women’s 29.25 inElastic & DrawstringMen's & Women's$4.8
Patagonia Venga Rock73% Organic Cotton / 24% Polyester / 3% Spandex32 inZipper & WaistbeltMen's$4.4
Black Diamond Forged Denim75% Cotton / 10% Nylon30 in, 32 in, 34 inZipper & ButtonMen's & Women's$$$4.6
The North Face North Dome98% Organic Cotton / 2% ElastaneMen’s 32 in, Women’s 31 inZipper & Button with DrawcordMen's & Women's$4.3
PictureNameFabricInseamClosureGenderPriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Pants for Bouldering

Prana Stretch Zion Pants

Specs
  • Closure: Zipper, Snap, & Adjustable Waistbelt
  • Fabric: 97% Nylon / 3% Spandex
  • Gender: Men's
  • Inseam: 28 in, 30 in, 32 in, 34 in, 36 in
Features
  • Snap Buttons on the Legs to Roll Them Up
  • Low Profile Yet Easily Adjustable Waistbelt
  • Cargo Pocket with Dual Zippers for Easy Access

BEST FOR: ALL-AROUND PERFORMANCE

The prAna Stretch Zion pants could be called a cult favorite of climbing pants, except their popularity has grown way beyond that. The Zion pants are perfect for bouldering, but are also great for hiking, scrambling, climbing, and simply hanging out at camp or the bar. The proprietary Zion fabric has the perfect amount of stretch and is treated to be water repellent, so you don’t have to worry about getting wet.

The integrated waistbelt is easily adjustable and low profile, and the Zion features plenty of pockets, including a cargo pocket with zippers on both sides. Also, the pants have snap buttons on the legs so you can simply roll up the fabric to get it out of your way when you’re bouldering.

Prana Halle

Specs
  • Closure: Zipper & Buttons
  • Fabric: 97% Nylon / 3% Spandex
  • Gender: Women's
  • Inseam: 30 in, 32 in, 36 in
Features
  • Legs Roll Up & Snap in Place
  • Water Repellent Finish to Resist Moisture
  • Durable Knees Reinforced with Stitching

BEST FOR: ADJUSTABLE LENGTH

The prAna Halle pants are made from the proprietary Zion fabric that is incredibly stretchy and durable for all your bouldering needs. They come in three different inseam lengths to cater to a variety of heights, and they can convert into capris by rolling up the legs and keeping them in place with the integrated snaps.

The knees are reinforced with stitching, so if you tend to scum your knees across the rock when you’re bouldering, these will hold up. The fabric is also water and wrinkle resistant, so these transition easily to town to celebrate with a beer once you send your project.

La Sportiva Arete

Specs
  • Closure: Drawstring & Zipper
  • Fabric: 98% Polyester/2% Spandex
  • Gender: Men’s
  • Inseam: 31 in
Features
  • Elastic Ankle Cuffs
  • Contrast Stitching Exudes Sporty Style
  • Elastic Waist Inserts Don’t Restrict Movement

BEST FOR: COMFORT

The contrast stitching, pocket panels, and belt loops on the La Sportiva Arete pants give a sense of style to these pants, yet they feel as comfy as sweatpants. This makes them perfect for a long gym bouldering session or a day lounging around on a crashpad between burns on your project.

Elastic waist inserts provide stretch when you need it as you’re working moves, and elastic ankle cuffs keep fabric from blocking your feet when you’re searching for that next foothold. The Arete pants will also keep you warm when you’re resting for your next go, thanks to the thick sweatpant-like fabric.

La Sportiva Mantra

Specs
  • Closure: Elastic w/ Drawstring
  • Fabric: 96% Nylon / 4% Spandex
  • Gender: Women’s
  • Inseam: 31 in
Features
  • Gusseted Crotch for Freedom of Movement
  • Articulated Knees Allow for High Steps
  • Brush Holder Pocket

BEST FOR: WOMEN’S ALL-AROUND PERFORMANCE

The La Sportiva Mantra pant is a pretty amazing pant for female boulderers. The fabric is thick and durable enough to stand up to gritty rock, yet flexible and stretchy enough to never hold you back during a tough sequence of moves. The gusset crotch and articulated knees make it easy to high step – or even do the splits, if that’s what’s necessary to send.

The elastic waist of the Mantra is incredibly comfortable, and the drawstring allows you to cinch it up as tight as you need it. The elastic bottom cuffs also make it easy to keep your eye on your feet and on your next foothold. As an added touch for boulderers, the Mantra has an integrated brush holder for when those holds get chalky.

Boulder Denim


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Closure: Zipper & Button
  • Fabric: Memory-Shape Denim
  • Gender: Men's & Women's
  • Inseam: 32 in
Features
  • Hidden Zipper Pocket
  • Reinforced Stitching
  • Water Resistant Treatment

BEST FOR: APRES-CLIMBING STYLE

If you’re looking for a pair of stylish jeans that you can also boulder in, Boulder Denim is what dreams are made of. The super stretchy memory-shape denim fits a variety of body types and never restricts movement, no matter what position you need to contort yourself into during a boulder problem. The reinforced stitching also gives you certainty that they won’t come apart at the seams.

Boulder Denim is treated with a proprietary water and stain resistant formula called nanosphere, which means your jeans will stay clean even while you get dirty getting the send. They also have a hidden zipper pocket to hold your valuables so you’ll be ready to hit the town as soon as you hit the ground after your last burn.

Topo Designs

Specs
  • Closure: Quick-release Belt
  • Fabric: 98% Cotton / 2% Lycra
  • Gender: Men's
  • Inseam: 32 in
Features
  • Built-In Belt Has Chalk Bag Loop
  • Gusseted Crotch for Ease of Movement
  • Zippered Back Pocket

BEST FOR: WORK TO CLIMBING TRANSITION

The Topo Designs Climb Pant look at home in an office environment, while providing plenty of thoughtful features that you’ll appreciate while bouldering, so you can wear these pants straight from work to working on your boulder project. The integrated quick-release belt is easily adjustable, and, even more important, it has a chalk bag loop so you’re prepared for those long traverses.

The cotton fabric has a touch of lycra to provide stretch, and the gusseted crotch allows for freedom of movement. A zippered back pocket keeps your essentials secure while you’re trying hard, and a snap back pocket holds the extras.

REI Co-op Craglands


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Closure: Elastic & Drawstring
  • Fabric: 85% Nylon / 15% Spandex
  • Gender: Men's & Women's
  • Inseam: Men’s 29 in, Women’s 29.25 in
Features
  • Moisture-Wicking & Water Repellent Fabric to Keep You Dry
  • Back of Ankles Cuffs Have Elastic to Stay in Place
  • Abrasion Resistant Panels Provide Durability

BEST FOR: WARM WEATHER

The REI Co-Op Craglands Pant are lightweight yet durable to help you send all your projects during the summer months. The fabric of the Craglands is moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and has a DWR durable water repellent) finish, so they will keep you dry whether you’re sweating from trying hard or the rain catches you off-guard. The fabric is also extremely abrasion-resistant, so you don’t need to worry about ripping these pants on the rock.

An elastic waist with a drawstring makes these pants comfortable and easy to adjust, while elastic at the back of the ankle cuffs keeps them in place as you move. The 4-way stretch fabric also lets you make moves, from high steps to full extension, without limiting your range of motion.

Patagonia Venga Rock

Specs
  • Closure: Zipper & Waistbelt
  • Fabric: 73% Organic Cotton / 24% Polyester / 3% Spandex
  • Gender: Men's
  • Inseam: 32 in
Features
  • Customizable & Adjustable Waistband
  • Articulated Knees for Natural Movement
  • Zippered Thigh Patch Pocket

BEST FOR: COOL WEATHER

The Patagonia Venga Rock Pants are made to move on the rock with a gusseted crotch, articulated knees, and durable fabric with just enough stretch. These pants are great for climbing in the fall and spring when temps might be a little chilly but then warm up, and they are water repellent if a storm rolls in.

The Venga Rock Pants have plenty of pockets, including rear pockets that also serve as reinforcement for the seat when you’re sitting on boulders. A zippered thigh pocket is the perfect place to keep important items secure. Also, the unique OppoSet waistband is quickly and easily adjustable to customize the fit.

Black Diamond Forged Denim


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Closure: Zipper & Button
  • Fabric: 75% Cotton / 10% Nylon
  • Gender: Men's & Women's
  • Inseam: 30 in, 32 in, 34 in
Features
  • Durable Cordura Denim Fabric
  • Low Profile Hardwear
  • Integrated Climbing Brush Pocket

BEST FOR: LIFESTYLE

The Black Diamond Forged Denim pants look like a nice pair of jeans, but they were designed completely with climbing in mind. The Cordura fabric resists abrasion, even when you’re working your bouldering project over and over again, and has lots of stretch so you can get that heel hook. The Forged Denim also has a special pocket for your climbing brush.

But these are great jeans that will take you beyond bouldering. The slim, tapered fit helps you perform well on the rock and look good off it. The Forged Denim pants are lightweight and breathable, so you can wear them all day, whether you’re climbing or hanging out around town.

The North Face North Dome


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Closure: Zipper & Button with Drawcord
  • Fabric: 98% Organic Cotton / 2% Elastane
  • Gender: Men's & Women's
  • Inseam: Men’s 32 in, Women’s 31 in
Features
  • Drawcord Waist Also Works as a Chalk Bag Loop
  • Rear Pocket Has Hidden Brush Compartment
  • Cinch System on Ankle Cuffs to Adjust Length

BEST FOR: GYM BOULDERING

The North Face North Dome pants will keep you comfy and stylish throughout your gym sessions. Your movement on the boulder problems won’t be restricted, thanks to a gusseted crotch and articulated knees. Plus, the waist drawcord doubles as a chalk bag loop in the rear, so you can keep your chalk handy during an endurance session. One of the back pockets also includes a hidden brush compartment.

The ankle cuffs cinch up to keep extra fabric out of your way and adjust the length. The cotton fabric might not be the most durable for outdoor bouldering, but it works great in the gym and looks good wherever you’re headed after you’re done training.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING BOULDERING PANTS

You want to have full freedom of movement in your bouldering pants, so they don’t inhibit you on any hard moves. They should also be comfortable enough that you pretty much forget about them when you’re working your project or lounging on the crashpad. Some bouldering pants have features like large, zippered pockets or brush holders that might be useful, depending on your needs, but really, the most important thing is that your bouldering pants stay out of your way. EMS offers a few suggestions for choosing clothing to wear while climbing, and Outside Online spoke to an expert at Patagonia about why technical pants can be a better choice for climbing than generic leggings.

FIT

Whenever you’re buying a pair of pants, fit is always a key factor influencing comfort and performance. For bouldering pants, you want to be sure you have freedom of movement, so the pants shouldn’t fit too tight, unless they have plenty of stretch. Also, you should check the inseam to be sure they aren’t too long and won’t get in the way of your footwork. In fact, lots of bouldering pants cinch at the ankle with either elastic or a drawstring to keep the fabric out of your way.

 

STRETCH

No matter how flexible you are, your pants should never limit you from making a tough move. Bouldering pants should have at least some give to the fabric, and many stretch thanks to a small percentage of spandex in the fabric.

 

DURABILITY

When you’re bouldering, especially outside, you want pants that will last and not abrade on the rock. Plus, you’ll often find yourself taking a seat on various natural surfaces, so you don’t want your seat to snag. Thicker fabric is usually more durable to stand up to approach hikes as well.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

GUSSET CROTCH

The seam in the crotch is created in a diamond shape to provide freedom of movement and comfort.

ARTICULATED KNEES

The fabric at the knees contains sewn darts which help the leg bend in a natural way.

WATER REPELLENT

The fabric is given a treatment of a durable water repellent (DWR) so liquid beads up rather than soaking in.

READ MORE

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About The Author

Kate is a climber, creator, and community builder. After falling head over heel hooks for climbing in a gym in Boston, she moved to Golden, Colorado because “the mountains were calling.” Now Kate spends as much time as possible exploring the crags of the Front Range and beyond, usually with her camera in hand. She’ll climb just about anything, from leading fun sport to projecting boulders to following multi-pitch trad (as long as it’s not slab).

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