After months of testing, we found the best women’s climbing pants for every style and budget. Suit up and climb on.
Whether you’re planning an epic climbing trip or working on a project at your local climbing gym, these women’s climbing pants will have you ready to get on belay.
Finding the best climbing pants can be a pain. They need to allow full movement, keep you covered, and endure heavy use. And it doesn’t hurt if they look good while doing it.
We’ve spent months researching, testing, analyzing, and geeking out on everything from the feeling of the seams to range of motion to find the best women’s climbing pants. The pants we’ve chosen move with you, are long-lasting, and even bring a bit of style to the local crag.
Feel free to scroll through to see all of our recommended buys, or jump to the category you’re looking for:
- Best Overall
- Best Leggings for Climbing
- Best for Cool Weather
- Best Gym Tights
- Best Technical
- Best Travel and Hot-Weather Climbing Pants
- Best Climbing Jeans
- Best of the Rest
For more help choosing women’s climbing pants, check out our buyer’s guide at the end of this article.
The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2021
Best Overall: Patagonia Caliza Pant
The Patagonia Caliza pants ($89) are the answer to the female climber’s prayers. The wide elastic waistband is comfortable and perfectly placed for your harness to fit over.
Snaps on the bottom cuffs can be adjusted to fit your ankle. And the pockets — both in the front and the back — are so flat and low-key that we didn’t even know they were there until we looked in the mirror.
We were immediately impressed by how well they molded to the body. Unlike other climbing pants that are either too baggy or too tight in the wrong areas, these seem to have the perfect amount of stretch in all the right places. Plus, these organic cotton-blend pants earn high marks for durability.
For more, check out our full review of the Patagonia Caliza Rock Pant here.
Best Leggings for Climbing: Arc’teryx Oriel Leggings
These Oriel Leggings ($89) are the answer for every woman who prefers the body-hugging feeling of tights and loves to send — or jam, scrape, scramble, and hang — in super-streamlined attire. These Arc’teryx pants withstood beatings against granite on rain-tossed multipitch granite face and a variety of cracks in Squamish, British Columbia.
They showed zero pilling, tears, or visible wear following a gutsy seven-pitch (1,000-foot, 7.5-hour) send up 5.9-5.10 routes in the reputable Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The fabric also survived wedged slides on trad climbs up sandstone.
The seams, which are narrow and made with tough thread, show no signs of failure after regular use. The Powernet Stretch Mesh waistband is the perfect height to protect against the harness. And the fabric — a highly abrasion-resistant, stretchy blend of nylon and elastane — dries fast.
The pockets aren’t ideal, and we wouldn’t trust a stretch opening for our phone, camera, or wallet, especially when hundreds of feet off the ground. But anyone looking for a bomber pair of climbing leggings should consider the Oriel.
Best Leggings for Cool Weather: prAna Rockland Matchstick Leggings
For the legging-lovers who are sick of their climbing tights not holding up to the rock, prAna’s Rockland Leggings ($89) are your answer. Reinforced in all the right places with a double “chakra” fabric overlay means you can bushwack to the crag and climb all day without worry.
The wide waistband stays in place even on big moves. And the side pocket has a zip enclosure to keep essentials on hand. We wanted to use it for our phone but found it dug in a bit too much. Plan to use it for smaller items like chapstick.
While not the best for hot days, as the fabric is quite thick and durable, these are a top pick for crisp fall climbing days.
Best Gym Tights: Mammut Crashiano Tight
The Crashiano tights ($89) from Mammut are perfect for anyone who loves the snug and secure feeling of a seamless pair of tights for their sweaty gym sessions. These pants have been through hours and hours of gym sessions over the last few months.
They have shown no embarrassing wet zones despite my dripping sweat thanks to the open zones and moisture-wicking finish on the polyester material. The super-wide elastic waistband seems like it was made for a harness, and the nonexistent seams make them the most comfortable and flattering pair of tights I own right now.
Despite testing these for over a few months inside, we can’t yet say anything about the durability of them for outdoor climbing. But for anyone looking for a crush-worthy pair of leggings for some indoor projects, check out the Crashinos.
Best Technical: Patagonia Altvia Pants
These have everything you would ever need for technical climbing and scrambling above treeline. The Altiva Pants ($149) from Patagonia are sure to be seen on many big alpine missions this summer.
The lightweight recycled polyester and spandex blend enables the climber to be ultramobile. And the reinforced paneling on the knees, butt, and inside the calves gives an added dose of protection in all the right areas.
We also appreciate all the little details. The adjustable cuffs keep pants out of the way. And the zippered flat pockets do not interfere with a harness. Plus a low-profile waistband with an integrated adjustable belt makes these our number one choice for big pursuits.
Best Travel and Hot-Weather Climbing Pants: Cotopaxi Baja Pants
These pants are super comfortable in a variety of climbing conditions. But they really stood out when the temps started rising. We found the Baja pants ($100) great for multipitch climbing, cragging, bouldering, and hanging out.
For our week-long climbing trip to Joshua Tree, I brought these as my sole pair of pants for both climbing and hanging out in and I couldn’t have been happier.
The four-way stretch fabric finished with DWR and a twill backer makes these not only super comfortable but also very durable. The spandex waistband fits under a harness nicely, and the incognito stash pocket is great for money or a passport.
Because these are on the lighter side for fabric, we would not recommend these for colder climates. However, for mild and warm conditions, these breathed well and kept me cool and comfortable.
Best Climbing Jeans: Maloja Chokham
For those who love the feel of denim when they are working on a problem, look no further than the Maloja Chokhams ($149). These pants are made out of boulder denim, which was specifically designed for climbers in mind. They have a great range of movement. And the fabric is great at wicking moisture, keeping you cool and calm on the hardest of climbs.
Not only are they extremely comfortable and perform great on the wall, but they also work great as everyday pants as well. The large back pockets, preshaped knees, and partially elastic cuffs make them my new favorite go-to pants for everything from hanging out to sending hard climbs at the local crag.
Best of the Rest
What happens when prAna combines their best-selling stretch Zion fabric with the flattering and functional design of a classic legging look? The Mariel Jegging ($89), of course. And not only do they work great as an outdoor/indoor climbing pant, but they also can double (or triple) as an all-around adventure and travel pant.
The skinny jean with tapered cuffs makes these pants great for scrambling to get to the climb. The high-stretch Zion fabric is durable for bumping up against the rocks. It also lets you move in all the ways you need to for climbing.
And when the day is done and your muscles and fingertips can’t take it anymore, they clean right up with a wet rag for heading out to get a meal in town.
The pocket design was not made to fit the needs of climbers, hence they are hard to make use of while climbing. However, they do not get in the way of performance and the high flat waist makes wearing a harness comfortable.
Love the relaxed look and feel of joggers but need a little more durability? The Camie Pants ($99) from Mammut may be the perfect fit.
The gusseted crotch and pre-shaped knees coupled with four-way-stretch material make these pants my go-to when comfort and a wide range of movement are in order for the day. From yoga to wrestling with the kids to climbing, these pants have seen a lot of constant use these past few months.
The elastic waistband with a drawcord and elastic cuffs adds some fun functional style and looks great with just about any cute tank.
These second-skin, ultra-comfortable leggings weren’t originally designed with climbing in mind. Rather, they were made as a “do-everything tight.” However, if you’re like most female climbers, your do-everything tight includes climbing, stretching, running, errands, lounging around, and much more!
Ever since I put on these leggings ($90), it has been hard to justify taking them off. They work great as my climbing gym and warm outdoor cragging leggings. The spandex and recycled polyester material don’t lend themselves to be great for cold outdoor climbing days.
But the five stash pockets, flat seams, and wide waistband make them my first pick for exploratory days and warm indoor or outdoor climbing sessions.
Not too loose, not too tight, and great stretch — these pants ($110) really impressed us in initial testing.
The fit is comfortable (not restrictive), and you will quickly notice how they move and stretch with you. And they look great. We also liked the cropped ankles and slight cuffs — tailored in a way that makes these pants work for not only climbing and bouldering but mountain biking too.
The wide, adjustable waist also rivals that of our best overall pick. The wider band works seamlessly when climbing with a harness and has flat elastic cords to adjust fit.
We found the fabric to accurately live up to the brand’s claims: it’s fairly quick-drying, offers UV sun protection, and is durable enough for repeat days at the crag.
These pants ($99) are perfect for long days on multipitch climbs. Their fast-drying, stretchy material coupled with a comfortable waistband make them one tester’s first pick for all outdoor climbing excursions.
The recycled polyester-spandex blend is light and breathable for hot summer days. And the DWR coating repels light moisture. The cuffs adjust with a pull cord, so you can guarantee proper foot placement without baggy pants getting in the way.
Drop-in front pockets can hold small essentials, and we appreciate the addition of the zippered leg pocket. Best of all, the pockets all lay flat and don’t cause any discomfort under the harness.
These pants ($79) are everything that a climbing pant should be — durable, comfortable, and stretchy. The canvas material holds up to abrasion, and the reinforced knees give an added dose of protection. And while built for heavy use, they manage to also be incredibly breathable and stylish.
We also appreciate the deep, usable pockets. We’re easily able to stash a phone or snacks comfortably.
The organic cotton canvas blend coupled with a wide, comfortable waistband, cuffed bottoms, and double-walled knees make them great for everything from climbing indoors and out to camping, hiking, and Sunday morning hangouts.
These pants ($79) are super comfortable on the wall, but also while camping, hiking, bouldering at the gym, and traveling. We found the Notion Pants comfortable while belaying and awesome for single-pitch sport climb laps.
“If you’re sensitive to heat and humidity, and have a tendency to sweat a ton, this fabric — which is mostly cotton — isn’t really breathable for super long or sun-bearing days on the wall,” said one tester.
But they’re a go-to comfortable pant for moderate temps and mild weather conditions. The drawstring waistband has an easy fit for ladies who don’t like hugging on the midsection.
Looking for a climbing pant that works hard on rock but looks like an everyday pant? Then you need to meet the Escala ($99). It’s that functional, attractive everyday pant you love — but way more durable.
The organic cotton-polyester-spandex blend is comfortable and stretchy. And the streamlined pant legs taper and properly shield the ankles. In blazing summer sun, the pants absorbed sweat well but weren’t top-notch at fast wicking and drying.
What’s not to love about a pair of pants that are made from 20 recycled plastic bottles? Along with feeling good about your carbon footprint, these pants ($78) are some of the lightest, most breathable, UPF-protected, and water-resistant pants we have ever worn.
They are perfect for those hot days at the crag where you want to be covered but don’t want a lot of material on you. The Flex4 fabric has just enough stretch for big moves, and the drop-in pockets keep personal items handy.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Climbing Pants
First, take a few moments to imagine your climbing habits. Do you plan to mostly use these pants climbing indoors or out? Will it normally be hot and muggy or cool and breezy? Do you prefer body-hugging clothing or a bit more room?
There’s no right or wrong answer, but having a clear idea of how you’ll use these pants will help determine the best option.
Fit, Style, and Features
All body types and climbing styles are unique, so climbing pants are a personal choice that can make each approach-to-anchor experience more comfortable. As you consider your needs, the biggest differences between pairs are the rise, waistband design, pockets, fabric, closures, and overall fit.
Repellencies are applied to some fabrics, which adds barriers against water, stains, and UV radiation. And a handful of products weave in sustainable fibers too.
Beyond choosing a silhouette that complements one’s ergonomics, the No. 1 most important component of a pair of pants is that they are durable. They’ll need to withstand walks through abrasive brush, scrambles up and down steep spur trails, grinds against granite, and rubs against sandstone. At some point, they may need to shield rain or sleet.