Women’s Climbing Pants from Patagonia
- Monday 5th October 2020
Ros Beveridge reviews two of Patagonia’s women-specific climbing pants – The Hampi Pants and Escala Rock Pants:
Patagonia Women’s Hampi Pants
- Soft high-stretch waistband
- Right pocket has an internal mesh pocket for valuables
- Half-elastic cuffs
- Lay-flat drawstring
- Articulated pattern
Patagonia pride themselves on producing great quality clothing using sustainable fabrics. The Hampi Pants embody this, a blend of hemp, recycled polyester and elastane creating a pair of trousers perfect for warm, sunny days at the crag.
The most striking feature of the Hampi Pant is how lightweight these trousers are. They feel soft against the skin and you can tell they are designed to keep you cool. The main body of the trousers is very loose with an articulated pattern design combined with stretch in the fabric giving the wearer a huge range of movement while climbing. Couple this with the breathability of hemp and you have yourself a pair of cool and comfortable climbing trousers. Just as important, hemp's ability to deter the growth of mould and mildew helps keep the pants odourless, an essential if you plan on taking them travelling.
With it being such a light (and quite thin) fabric, the question of durability has to be asked. The pants held up well to washing and at no point during the reviewing process did they lose their integrity or shape. If anything they became more comfortable as the fabric settled. They also stood up well to friction with very little wear observed.
An elasticated waistband provides a comfortable fit and the addition of a lay-flat drawstring means that you can tighten the trousers if you need to. Sadly, the stitching to keep the drawstring in place does not stretch as far as you would hope so it can cause issues when pulling the trousers up around the hips. At the base of the trousers you will find the standard feature seen across many climbing trousers of an elasticated bottom hemline and this is where the Hampi pants really excel. The cuffs are only half elastic to give the most comfortable feel against the ankle while giving the wearer full view of their feet when climbing. It also allows you to pull them up for additional venting if required.
With such loose-fitting items of clothing, there is always a fear of the pockets being too loose or sometimes there being no pockets at all. Thankfully, Patagonia has included good-sized, mesh-lined pockets that help keep you cool. There is also a great addition of an internal mesh pocket within the right pocket to allow for safe storage of valuables, with it also being elasticated it is great for storing today's larger smartphones safely.
Patagonia has once again excelled in their design process, giving us a near-perfect pair of comfortable climbing trousers that really do keep you cool in the hot summer months.
Patagonia Women’s Escala Rock Pants
- 58% organic cotton, 40% polyester, 2% elastane twill with COOLMAX CORE technology
- OppoSet adjustable waist system
- Tapered fit
- Snap side pocket
Patagonia is well-known for combining technical outdoor wear with a casual look and the Escala Rock Pants certainly hit the brief. Appearing very similar to a pair of jeans straight off the High Street, you need to look closely to see that these trousers are designed with climbers in mind.
Visually, these trousers are very streamlined, with no outstanding features and low profile pockets you wouldn’t think there is much about them. That is until you wear them. It is instantly obvious that these are more than just your usual pair of jeans. The fit and feel of the fabric is made with comfort and movement in mind. The organic cotton, polyester and elastane twill (58% organic cotton, 40% polyester, 2% elastane) means that this is a very stretchy but robust fabric. The stretch of the fabric makes splits possible (though very difficult for this reviewer) and the pre-formed knees allow extra movement when required.
What is even more striking is how breathable the trousers are. In the winter, they will undoubtedly keep you warm and, in the summer, they will keep you cool thanks to the COOLMAX CORE technology. This allows moisture to be wicked away to keep the wearer cool and dry on hot days. Ideal for days at the crag and evenings in the pub, no matter the time of year. The fabric is very robust and there is no fear of tearing on rock while climbing or scrambling and they provide great protection for your legs against thorny walk-ins or kneebars. The durability doesn’t stop there with them recovering well after washing with no shrinkage or stretching.
The OppoSet waist adjustment system allows the wearer to marginally tighten the waist if required without needing a belt giving a lower profile around the waist. Combine this with the lay-flat construction of the pockets means that harnesses will sit comfortably over these trousers. Another pocket on the right thigh provides a great place to store valuables with a stiff popper to keep items in place.
The tapered fit of these trousers allows the wearer to view their feet with ease while being a good length. The ability to roll up the bottom hemline allows a great option for those with a short inseam and allows better ventilation on warmer days if needed.
The price of these may deter some climbers and £90 for a pair of trousers may seem excessive, that is until you realise that these are trousers are perfect for any occasion, climbing or otherwise and will last many years. The quality of these pants are second to none and in essence, the Escala Rock Pants are the perfect all-day, everyday trousers.