Best Climbing Pants I’ve Ever Worn

Stretch denim climbing pants won't hold you back but do hold up to the rock.

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“They” say a rope is your most critical piece of climbing equipment—if it fails, all is lost. I’ll argue that, yes, a rope is important (unless you’re Alex), but the bit of gear you really can’t do without is the one that covers your nether regions: pants.

Doubt it? Then try climbing without them.

That settled, the best pants I’ve ever worn are the Black Diamond Crag Denim Pants. These are jeans, but they stretch. I only own two pairs of pants, so for me versatility is paramount. I need pants I can work in, climb in, and spit and stack firewood in before the snow flies. The Crag Denims are only one of two pants that check all the boxes. On the rock, the Crag Denims have several attributes of note. They are trim fitting, especially on the lower leg, so the fabric doesn’t billow out and obscure  your feet during critical moves, and unless you’re Rubber Boy the contortionists or you really overdo it at supper time, you’ll find that the Crag Denims stretch better than you.

Durability? I’ve had a pair for over two years and wear them essentially every other day. For the curious, Crag Denims use 10.5 ounce denim, while Levi 501s use 12.5 ounce denim, and the BD pants do feel lighter, but that’s a good thing. While I have nearly worn out the seat (a sad indictment of my activity level these days), the rest of the Crag Denims look nearly new. Maybe it’s time for a third pair of trousers..

Want to hear more? Check out the Crag Denims in the new Outside Shop, where Outside+ members get a $50 credit on qualified purchases.


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