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.
Quick Answer - The Best Bouldering Pants
- Prana Stretch Zion Pants
- Prana Halle
- La Sportiva Mantra
- Topo Designs
- Patagonia Venga Rock
- Black Diamond Forged Denim
- The North Face North Dome
Comparison Table - Best Bouldering PantsFor the best experience turn your device horizontally
|Prana Stretch Zion Pants||97% Nylon / 3% Spandex||28 in, 30 in, 32 in, 34 in, 36 in||Zipper, Snap, & Adjustable Waistbelt||Men's||$$||4.7||Read Review|
|Prana Halle||97% Nylon / 3% Spandex||30 in, 32 in, 36 in||Zipper & Buttons||Women's||$||4.6||Read Review|
|La Sportiva Mantra||96% Nylon / 4% Spandex||31 in||Elastic w/ Drawstring||Women’s||$||5.0||Read Review|
|Topo Designs||98% Cotton / 2% Lycra||32 in||Quick-release Belt||Men's||$||4.1||Read Review|
|Patagonia Venga Rock||73% Organic Cotton / 24% Polyester / 3% Spandex||32 in||Zipper & Waistbelt||Men's||$||4.4||Read Review|
|Black Diamond Forged Denim||75% Cotton / 10% Nylon||30 in, 32 in, 34 in||Zipper & Button||Men's & Women's||$$$||4.6||Read Review|
|The North Face North Dome||98% Organic Cotton / 2% Elastane||Men’s 32 in, Women’s 31 in||Zipper & Button with Drawcord||Men's & Women's||$||4.3||Read Review|
Reviews - The Best Pants for Bouldering
Prana Stretch Zion Pants
- Closure: Zipper, Snap, & Adjustable Waistbelt
- Fabric: 97% Nylon / 3% Spandex
- Gender: Men's
- Inseam: 28 in, 30 in, 32 in, 34 in, 36 in
- 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.
- Closure: Zipper & Buttons
- Fabric: 97% Nylon / 3% Spandex
- Gender: Women's
- Inseam: 30 in, 32 in, 36 in
- 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 Mantra
- Closure: Elastic w/ Drawstring
- Fabric: 96% Nylon / 4% Spandex
- Gender: Women’s
- Inseam: 31 in
- 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.
- Closure: Quick-release Belt
- Fabric: 98% Cotton / 2% Lycra
- Gender: Men's
- Inseam: 32 in
- 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.
Patagonia Venga Rock
- Closure: Zipper & Waistbelt
- Fabric: 73% Organic Cotton / 24% Polyester / 3% Spandex
- Gender: Men's
- Inseam: 32 in
- 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
- Closure: Zipper & Button
- Fabric: 75% Cotton / 10% Nylon
- Gender: Men's & Women's
- Inseam: 30 in, 32 in, 34 in
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
The seam in the crotch is created in a diamond shape to provide freedom of movement and comfort.
The fabric at the knees contains sewn darts which help the leg bend in a natural way.
The fabric is given a treatment of a durable water repellent (DWR) so liquid beads up rather than soaking in.
For more of our top climbing gear recommendations, check out these popular buyer's guides: