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The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2024

After serious testing in a range of conditions and climbing disciplines, we found the best women’s climbing pants for every style and budget.

A Climber Considers Her Next Move Wearing the Outdoor Research Women's Ferrosi Pants(Photo/Greg Petliski)
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Finding the best climbing pants can be a pain. Climbing demands a lot, and your clothing can make or break the experience. Women’s climbing pants need to allow full range of motion, endure heavy use, provide protection from the elements, and, let’s be honest, look good, too! 

Since 2020, we’ve put 28 pairs of pants through the wringer, completing extensive field testing on each and every one. Our testing methods represent the diverse ways to participate in the sport. We have worn these pants on multi-pitch adventures in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Squamish, BC. We’ve been humbled by the mind-boggling boulder problems of Joshua Tree, and we’ve even layered a couple of pairs over long johns to swing ice tools in Ouray. 

On each day out, we’re always looking for the perfect pair of pants for the conditions. On a blustery day in the mountains, we need fabric that cuts the wind and sheds precipitation. When we’re giving our max effort on a project, we demand fit and design that allows for unencumbered movement. And if efficiency is our goal on a big route, special features like side zip pockets for quick access come in handy.  

Whether you’re planning an epic climbing trip in the backcountry or working on a project at your local climbing gym, we have the pants for you. After spending months researching, testing, and geeking out on everything from the seams to the fabric stretch, we finally narrowed down the best women’s climbing pants of 2024.

For those wondering if climbing-specific pants are warranted, check out our Buyer’s Guide and FAQ for the lowdown on why these pants are specially constructed for the vertical world. Also, take a look at our comparison chart to help steer your decision-making.

Editor’s Note: We updated our Women’s Climbing Pants guide on March 15, 2024, to add the Wondery Isabel 3.0 Pants — our new best ‘Fit and Sizing’ award winner — as well as the Outdoor Voices RecTrek and e9 Onda Story Pants.

The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2024

Best Overall Women's Climbing Pants

Patagonia Caliza Rock Pant


  • Weight 12 oz.
  • Material 93% cotton, 7% spandex
  • Number of pockets Four
  • Special features Large, comfortable waistband
  • Fit Standard
Product Badge The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2024


  • Impressive stretch
  • High durability for long-lasting use
  • Snap ankle closures for zero interference
  • Comfortable enough to wear all day


  • Front pockets don’t close
  • Pockets are too shallow
Best Budget Women's Climbing Pants

The North Face Women’s Aphrodite 2.0 Capris


  • Weight Unavailable
  • Material 95% nylon, 5% elastane
  • Number of pockets Three
  • Special features Invisible-zip inside drop-in front pocket
  • Fit Standard; straight leg
The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2024


  • Invisible inside zip pocket
  • Deep front pockets
  • UPF 40+
  • Flattering design
  • Drawstring cord


  • Restrictive waistband
  • Inadequate water resistance
  • Prone to snagging and pilling
Best Style Women's Climbing Pants

Topo Designs Mountain Boulder Pants


  • Weight 12 oz.
  • Material 90% nylon, 10% spandex
  • Number of pockets Four
  • Special features DWR finish, ankle drawcord
  • Fit Relaxed
The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2024


  • Four-way stretch nylon provides great mobility
  • Good weather resistance
  • Bold colors and cute style
  • Comfortable elastic waistband


  • Only one zip pocket in the back
Best Comfort Women's Climbing Pants

Mountain Hardwear Women’s Dynama/2 Ankle


  • Weight 8.4 oz.
  • Material 94% nylon, 6% elastane
  • Number of pockets Four
  • Special features Secure zip pocket on the left thigh
  • Fit Standard; tapered leg
The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2024


  • Pocket that zipped for added security
  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Feminine look
  • UPF 50


  • Pockets unable to carry heavy items
Best Technical Women's Climbing Pants

Patagonia Terravia Alpine Pants


  • Weight 11.4 oz.
  • Material 86% recycled polyester in body, 14% spandex panels
  • Number of pockets Four
  • Special features Reinforced paneling in high-stressed areas for added durability
  • Fit Slim
The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2024


  • Has a built-in belt
  • Great amount of stretch for mobility
  • Cuffs adjust with shock cord and cord lock
  • Secure, functional pockets that lie flat.


  • The inseam may be too long for shorter legs
  • Expensive
Best Weather-Resistant Women's Climbing Pants

Arc’teryx Gamma Pants


  • Weight 10.4 oz.
  • Material 88% nylon, 12% elastane
  • Number of pockets Three
  • Special features All-zip pockets, gusseted crotch, DWR finish
  • Fit Slim; straight leg
The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2024


  • Excellent weather resistance
  • Highly durable
  • Great stretch
  • Three zip pockets


  • High price tag
Best Fit and Sizing Options

Wondery Isabel 3.0 Pants


  • Weight Not available
  • Material 35% recycled cotton, 62% cotton, 3% spandex
  • Number of pockets 6
  • Special features 3 length options
  • Fit High-rise jogger
The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2024


  • Available in extended sizing (XXS-6XL)
  • A variety of color options
  • Plenty of pockets to store your snacks


  • Lacking full range of motion
  • Minimal weather resistance
Best of the Rest

Patagonia Chambeau Rock Pants


  • Weight 7.9 oz.
  • Material 87% recycled polyester, 13% spandex
  • Number of pockets Five
  • Special features DWR coating to shed light precipitation
  • Fit Slim; tapered leg
The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2024


  • Contoured waistband that adds comfort and functionality
  • Perfect for staying cool while climbing
  • Adjustable cuffs


  • Pricier than others
  • Drop-in pockets not useful

Outdoor Research Ad-Vantage Leggings


  • Weight 8.3 oz.
  • Material 74% nylon, 16% Lycra
  • Number of pockets Two
  • Special features DuraPrint technology for abrasion resistance in high-use areas
  • Fit Form-fitting
The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2024


  • Waistband stays in place during activity
  • High range of motion
  • UPF 30


  • Some pilling on seams after climbing on coarse rock

prAna Halle Straight Pant II


  • Weight Unavailable
  • Material 95% recycled nylon, 5% elastane
  • Number of pockets Five
  • Special features Gusseted crotch for ventilation
  • Fit Standard; straight leg
The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2024


  • Phone pocket on mid-thigh
  • Cross-functional design for various activities
  • Durable water repellent
  • UPF 50


  • No drawstring ankle ties or snaps
  • Tendency to bunch up in the front
  • Pricey

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants


  • Weight 8.9 oz.
  • Material 86% nylon, 14% spandex
  • Number of pockets Five
  • Special features UPF 50+ rating
  • Fit Standard; straight leg
The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2024


  • Bluesign approved fabric
  • Great mobility and stretch
  • Highly breathable
  • UPF 50+


  • Less durable than other softshell pants

Outdoor Voices RecTrek Pants


  • Weight Not available
  • Material 90% nylon, 10% elastane
  • Number of pockets 3
  • Special features Zippered hand pockets
  • Fit Roomy, mid-rise
The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2024


  • Super comfy
  • Highly stretchy fabric allows for full range of motion
  • Zip pockets to secure chapstick or snacks


  • Fabric may be a bit heavy during warm weather

E9 Onda Story Pants


  • Weight Not available
  • Material 98% cotton, 2% elastane
  • Number of pockets 3
  • Special features Elastic brush loops on each pocket
  • Fit Regular
The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2024


  • Fun color combinations
  • Good stretch
  • Comfortable elastic waistband


  • Minimal weather resistance

prAna Kanab Ripstop Pants


  • Weight Unavailable
  • Material 58% organic cotton, 39% recycled polyester, 3% elastane
  • Number of pockets Five
  • Special features Reinforced fabric at knees adds extra protection and durability
  • Fit Standard; jogger
The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2024


  • Abrasion resistance for durability
  • Cuffed legs that are flattering and won’t get in the way
  • Plenty of pockets


  • Lacks waist drawstring for staying power

Black Diamond Notion


  • Weight 11.4 oz.
  • Material 98% organic cotton, 2% elastane
  • Number of pockets Four
  • Special features Go-to pant beyond climbing.
  • Fit Standard; jogger
The Best Women’s Climbing Pants of 2024


  • Elastic waistband and cuffs
  • All-around comfort
  • Perfect for multiple activities


  • Material isn’t breathable

Women’s Climbing Pants Comparison Chart

Women’s Climbing PantsPriceWeightMaterialPocketsSpecial FeaturesFit
Patagonia Caliza Rock Pant$10912 oz.93% cotton, 7% spandexFourLarge, comfortable waistbandStandard
The North Face Women’s
Aphrodite 2.0 Capris
$60Unavailable95% nylon, 5% elastaneThreeInvisible-zip inside drop-in front pocketStandard; straight leg
Topo Designs Mountain Boulder Pants$10912 oz.90% nylon, 10% spandexFourDWR Finish, ankle drawcordRelaxed
Mountain Hardwear 
Women’s Dynama/2 Ankle
$858.4 oz.94% nylon, 6% elastaneFourSecure zip pocket on the left thighStandard; tapered leg
Patagonia Terravia
Alpine Pants
$14911.4 oz.86% polyester, 14% spandexFourReinforced paneling in high-stressed areas for added durabilitySlim
Arc’teryx Gamma Pants$20010.4 oz.88% nylon, 12% elastaneThreeAll-zip pockets, gusseted crotch, DWR finishSlim; straight leg
Wondery Isabel 3.0 Pants$110Unavailable35% recycled cotton, 62% cotton, 3% spandexSix3 length optionsHigh-rise jogger
Patagonia Chambeau
Rock Pants
$1297.9 oz.87% polyester, 13% spandexFiveDWR coating to shed light precipitationSlim; tapered leg
Outdoor Research Ad-Vantage Leggings
$998.3 oz.74% nylon, 16% LycraTwoDuraPrint technology for abrasion resistance in high-use areasForm-fitting
prAna Halle Straight Pant II$95Unavailable95% nylon, 5% elastaneFiveGusseted crotch for ventilationStandard; straight leg
Outdoor Research
Ferrosi Pants
$998.9 oz.86% nylon, 14% spandexFiveUPF 50+ ratingStandard; straight leg
Outdoor Voices RecTrek Pants$98Unavailable90% nylon, 10% elastaneThreeZippered hand pocketsRoomy, mid-rise
E9 Onda Story Pants$118Unavailable98% cotton, 2% elastaneThreeElastic brush loops on each pocketRegular
prAna Kanab Ripstop Pants$95Unavailable58% organic cotton, 39% recycled polyester, 3% elastaneFiveReinforced fabric at knees adds extra protection and durabilityStandard; jogger
Black Diamond Notion$9511.4 oz.98% cotton, 2% elastaneFourGo to pant for beyond climbingStandard; jogger
A Climber Scrambles in Joshua Tree National Park Wearing the Topo Designs Women's Boulder Pants
The course monzogranite of Joshua Tree National Park makes the perfect testing grounds for climbing pants; (photo/Greg Petliski)

How We Tested Women’s Climbing Pants

The team at GearJunkie are outdoor experts and enthusiasts. Our ranks include alpinists, mountaineers, crag rats, purely indoor climbers, and everything in between. On a rolling basis, we put climbing pants to the test, specifically looking at functionality, durability, and comfort to narrow down the best climbing pants available today.

Contributor Katie Griffith goes through climbing pants like it’s her job, and it is. As a professional rock climbing guide, she is always searching for the perfect gear to make up her daily uniform. Katie regularly spends over 110 days a year guiding in the field, and that’s not counting any of her personal climbing days or training. She is pursuing the Rock Guide certification through the AMGA and recently passed her Aspirant Exam to become an AMGA Assistant Rock Guide. 

Her guiding and personal climbing is varied, and she looks for different features to accommodate the diverse disciplines of the sport. She spends most of the fall, winter, and spring in the desert, guiding in Joshua Tree. During the summer she travels north to work as an alpine climbing guide in the Cascades. Throughout the seasons she dabbles in bouldering and ice climbing, in addition to pursuing personal trad and alpine goals. 

The coarse granite and spiky plants of Joshua Tree quickly shred clothing, so her kit needs to include highly durable fabrics. When heading into the mountains, weather-resistant, soft shells to cut wind and precipitation are key. If she’s bouldering or sport climbing, comfort and range of motion are top priorities, so pants with high-stretch materials are her go-to. Depending on the activity features like zip pockets may come in handy too. 

From desert cragging to alpine climbing to garage-wall bouldering, Katie pursues all types of climbing, all year round. She’s tested these pants in diverse climbing disciplines to give you her best recommendations for your style.

A Climber on Lead in Joshua Tree National Park Wearing the Arc'teryx Women's Gamma LT Pants
When it comes to testing climbing pants, we’ve put in the pitches; (photo/Katie Griffith)

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 in the elements? If outside, 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. For more guidance on choosing the best climbing pants for your needs, keep reading to understand the functions that differentiate them from non-climbing pants.

Identify Your Climbing Style

Bouldering? Sport pitches? Alpine epics? All require a different pair of pants; (photo/Katie Griffith)

One of our favorite things about climbing is that there are so many ways to participate. Maybe you dig getting deep in the mountains, climbing remote peaks in the backcountry. Or perhaps you prefer staying closer to the ground, puzzling out cryptic sequences with your crew. Depending on your style, the demands you put on your clothing will vary, requiring different features. 

When weather conditions are a factor, you’ll want materials that shed moisture and cut the wind. Softshell pants, like the Arc’teryx Gamma, typically provide weather protection for alpine climbing, ice climbing, and mountaineering. Some come with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating, which causes moisture to bead and run off of the fabric. Softshells are also available with different levels of insulation, so you can further fine-tune your kit for the conditions. 

Your pants will take a beating when trad and crack climbing on coarse rock. In crack climbing areas like Joshua Tree, Vedavoo, or Moab, durability is essential. Not only will your pants last longer, but heavier-weight fabrics can also protect your skin from abrasion while you shove your knees into offwidth cracks or scum your hips against the sides of chimneys. 

If your goal is to try hard on your project, range of motion and comfort are key, whether you’re clipping bolts or pebble-wrestling. We look for high-stretch materials and a fine-tuned fit, so we can move with ease. When the weather is toasty, breathable, lightweight options, like the Mountain Hardwear Dynama/2 Ankle pants, can also increase comfort and improve performance. 

Any comfortable pants can work for indoor climbing and casual cragging. If you’re just getting into climbing and are overwhelmed by mounting gear costs, there’s no need to shell out for highly technical pants. Leggings, hiking pants, and other multi-purpose pants like the Aphrodite 2.0 Capris from The North Face will all work great. 

Climbing Pant Materials

Climbing pants are often a blend of synthetics, sometimes cotton, and typically elastane (sometimes called spandex). The higher percentage of elastane, the more stretch the pants will have.

The added stretch will also result in a more skintight feel, much like the Outdoor Research Ad-Vantage Leggings with their impressive stretch capabilities (16% Lycra).

It’s not only the amount of elastane that makes climbing pants outperform regular pants. Other essential factors include breathability, reinforced areas that add durability, and design that allows fluid mobility, like the Patagonia Terravia Alpine Pants. A decent amount of stretch allows climbers to high-step, stem, and heel hook without restriction.

Other factors, like moisture-wicking properties, sun protection, and the ability to dry quickly, are not vital for indoor climbing. However, they are necessary for long, strenuous alpine or multi-pitch climbs.

A Climber Pulls Rope on Route in Joshua Tree National Park While Wearing the Outdoor Research Women's Ferrosi Pants
The integrated elastane in the weave of the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants gives them an impressive stretch; (photo/Greg Petliski)


There are a few things to consider when finding the right fit for climbing pants. A loose-fitting pant provides a comfortable, relaxed feel designed for maximum movement. However, the material often tends to be heavier.

If the pants are too loose and flowy, they can obscure your vision for when you need to hone in on technical footwork. On the other hand, tight-fitting pants like leggings and tights allow total freedom without feeling weighed down.

The downside to a tight fit is less durability against abrasions. Tight, thin leggings don’t provide as much buffer between your skin and the rock.

A Climber Stretches in Joshua Tree National Park Wearing the Topo Designs Women's Boulder Pants
With a high-waisted and modern fit, the Topo Designs Mountain Boulder Pants are amenable to everything from climbing to yoga; (photo/Greg Petliski)


Insufficient pockets, or the complete lack thereof, tend to make it on our cons list more than other features on climbing pants. The pockets that tend to work the best are ones that don’t interfere with a harness, are deep enough to be useful, and provide a zipper to ensure that your stuff stays in place while you’re climbing.

A standout in our line of pants is the Patagonia Terravia Alpine Pants. These pants offer zipped flat pockets that don’t interfere with a harness. We also love that the Arc’teryx Gamma Pants only feature zip pockets, ideal for getting high off the ground. If you find yourself climbing indoors or at a local single-pitch crag, you’ll be able to get away with climbing pants that offer a more basic pocket design.

(Photo/Katie Griffith)


Generally speaking, the more technical the pant, the more they will weigh because of features that allow them to withstand various elements and terrain. The Patagonia Caliza Rock Pant, for instance, weighs 12 ounces and has several features that make it a durable pant for everyday climbing.

The known lightest on our list is the Patagonia Chambeau Rock Pants, weighing only 7.9 ounces. These pants are breathable and lightweight — perfect for warm-weather excursions. Don’t count out tights for climbing, either, as the Outdoor Research Ad-Vantage Leggings bring supreme flexibility to the table, and sport a tough enough weave to keep going without snags.

OR Ad-Vantage Tights at Index
The durable printed overlays on the Outdoor Research Ad-Vantage Tights up the durability, while keeping weight down; (photo/Katie Griffith)

Weather Protection

Some climbing pants are treated with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating. This water-resistant coating helps you stay dry by preventing light precipitation from saturating the fabric. While the DWR won’t protect you from a heavy downpour, it will keep light rain beading off the pants and allow them to dry quickly.

Several pants in our lineup have a DWR finish, including the Topo Designs Mountain Boulder Pants and the Arc’teryx Gamma Pants. This feature is specifically helpful for those conducting long alpine ascents and who may find themselves in unpredictable weather. 

It’s important to note special instructions to care for your DWR-treated pants to make the coating last longer. Dirt and oils can impede the coating’s moisture-repelling ability, and frequent washing can help maintain its water-repellency.

A Climber Adjusts Her Climbing Protection in Joshua Tree National Park While Wearing the Arc'teryx Women's Gamma LT Pants Detail
Awarded for its weather resistance, we found the Arc’teryx Gamma pants to turn a stiff breeze like none other; (photo/Greg Petliski)

Thickness and Durability

Beyond choosing a silhouette that complements one’s ergonomics, an important component of a pair of pants are that they are durable. They’ll need to withstand walks through abrasive brush, scrambles up and down steep spur trails, grinding against granite, and rubbing against rough sandstone.

For long-lasting pants, look for thicker fabric, an anti-abrasive or abrasive-resistant overlay or material, and reinforced high-wear areas like the knees.

Climbing pants that received our high praise for durability are the Patagonia Caliza Rock Pants and the Arc’teryx Gamma Pants. They withstood beatings against rock and off-trail travel. Although pants designed for rugged use tend to be warmer, so keep that in mind if you climb in hot temperatures.

Articulated Knees and Gussets

A climbing pant’s ability to stretch extensively makes them different from slacks and most everyday jeans. Beyond elastane material, climbing pants are designed to extend the range of motion by having articulated knees and gussets. The gusseted crotch and four-way stretch of the Topo Designs Mountain Boulder Pants makes high stepping a breeze. 

Pants with articulated knees will provide the same natural range of motion as a knee while walking and bending. These features are helpful, especially on pants with less elastane that need a boost in flexibility. As for gussets, the diamond-shaped piece of extra fabric sewn in the crotch area make pants more breathable and allows more freedom to move.

Patagonia Caliza Climbing Pants Review
Testing the Caliza Rock Pant at the local gym; (photo/Jason Cornell)


What are the best climbing pants?

The best climbing pants are the ones that make you feel comfortable and allow you to move freely. Our best overall pant is the Patagonia Caliza Pant because they are not overly loose or too tight. They also have a wide elastic waist that’s perfect for a harness and adjustable ankles that can go higher or lower based on preference. Comfort, style, and practicality make these pants excellent for climbing.

Do I need climbing pants?

It depends. If you are brand new to climbing and testing the sport out for the first time, consider using what you already own — attire you would typically wear to work out. Once you have established that climbing is something you wish to pursue, investing in climbing pants can provide you with unique benefits.

Pant attributes like wide elastic waistbands designed for harnesses, pockets placed for easy access, cuffs that cinch above climbing shoes, and extra material stretch for movement are great assets when climbing regularly.

Can I wear climbing pants for hiking?

Most climbing pants offer a range of features that make them multipurpose pants — ideal for walking, hiking, and backpacking. Elements of climbing pants that can apply to hiking are sun protection, DWR, abrasion-resistant material, and functional pockets.

A favorite of ours is the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants; their breathable fabric and high UPF rating makes them a great option for hiking. You’ll find us wearing most of the pants on this list beyond rock climbing at the gym and crag.

Is it better to climb in pants or shorts?

This can depend on the style of climbing and rock type. When climbing on coarse granite, like the rock found in Joshua Tree or Vedavoo, many climbers prefer to wear pants over shorts, even when it’s hot out. If the style of climbing requires sticking your legs in wide cracks or chimney moves, pants will protect you from scraping your knees. 

For sport climbing or bouldering that requires less full-body contact with the rock, shorts can be fine in hot weather. Ultimately this is a personal preference, and you’ll figure out what you like the more you climb in different areas and conditions.

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