There are so many different forms of climbing, and it can get confusing to distinguish between these disciplines. Some types of climbing are so different from each other that they may as well be entirely different activities. However, there is one broad similarity between every type of rock climbing: equipment is always necessary.
While the equipment that you will need can change based on the climbing that you will be doing, it is sure that you will need to be geared up if you want to climb safely. Climbing without the use of gear is theoretically possible, but it is not recommended. The equipment that we will be looking at today consists of the best climbing clothes.
When climbers consider the gear that they will need while climbing, many forget to account for the clothes that they will be wearing. While you can wear regular clothes while climbing, they may end up resulting in a climb that was subpar. The right clothes can make a climb so much smoother.
The best climbing clothes will be necessary for so many different reasons. For example, the best climbing shorts can help you manage your body heat much more efficiently over the course of a particularly grueling climb. On the other hand, the best climbing helmet may end up saving your life.
We will be comparing various types of climbing clothing. The three categories that our reviews will be focusing on are the following: the best rock climbing helmet, the best climbing pants, and the best shorts for rock climbing. Each of these pieces of gear can end up being crucial.
Our rock climbing helmet reviews, for example, will be crucial for any climbers who want to ensure that they will be as safe as possible over the course of their ascent. A rock climbing helmet can help protect you from falls, but it can also provide head protection from falling rocks that can also cause injuries.
We will review five different pieces of equipment so we can provide a good selection for our readers. A broader choice of products means that you will be more likely to find a product that matches your needs. We have reviewed two pairs of climbing pants, one pair of shorts, and we have a climbing helmet review for each of our two helmet models.
Since different customers will have different needs, we want to make it as likely as possible for you to find your ideal climbing clothing. Now that we have covered the basics, we can move on to our reviews of the best climbing clothing available.
Best Climbing Pants
Best Climbing Helmet
Best Climbing Shorts
Best Climbing Pants
Winner - Ucraft "Xlite" Rock Climbing, Bouldering and Yoga Knickers
For anyone that needs the best climbing clothing, the Xlite pants from Ucraft are an excellent option. While these pants are made for rock climbing, that does not mean that you have to use them exclusively for the activity. In fact, these are highly versatile sports pants that have rock climbing features.
The inclusion of loops that are meant for the attachment of your chalk bag and brush is the only outward hint that these pants are made specifically for rock climbers, and that is not a bad thing. Would you rather invest in rock climbing pants that you can use in a variety of situations or pants that you can only climb in?
Since these pants are so versatile, it is much easier to consider paying 55 dollars for them. While they may be pricey, these climbing pants will provide superior performance to almost any other model.
There are many reasons why it becomes so much easier to climb while wearing these pants.
The combination of nylon and spandex used in the construction of these climbing pants ensures that they will be durable enough to withstand extended use, but they can still stretch.
You will want your climbing pants to be able to stretch to a certain extent so that you will have a better range of movement while climbing.
These climbing pants are ideal for use in hotter climates since they feature a knicker design. Some climbers prefer knickers since they allow for more freedom around your feet and ankles. If you climb in colder climates, there is also a variant of these pants with legs that extend the full length.
There are four pockets on these climbing pants, and two of the pockets have zippers, so you can store objects that may fall out during your climb. These pants are also likely to last far longer than other climbing pants thanks to their durable nylon construction coupled with the excellent build quality.
Runner Up - Nonwe Water-Resistant Women’s Fleece Climbing Pants
If you need the best climbing pants for women, few products can compete with these climbing pants from Nonwe. These pants are made for use by ice climbers since they are so warm, but you can also use them for rock climbing in cold environment, or even during the fall when there is a chill in the air.
These pants are made to be as convenient as possible, so they are equipped with a range of features that make them easy to use.
For example, the closure is a simple combination of a zipper and push button. The waistband of these pants is elasticized on the sides, so they will typically fit a specific range of waist sizes.
We had at least four different people try on the medium version of these pants, and they were typically snug enough for comfortable climbing regardless of who wore them.
If you are looking for pants that are guaranteed to fit well, you will probably be interested in this model from Nonwe.
These pants can be machine washed, so you don't have to worry about spending time hand cleaning them after a long climbing expedition. You can get these pants in a range of colors, though most of them are dark. Color choices include black, grey, dark blue, green, and deep gray.
The inclusion of five zipper pockets (two on the front, two on the sides, and one on the back) ensures that you will be able to bring small objects with you on your climb without losing them. These pants are also lined with fleece, so they will be quite comfortable and warm enough for winter climbs.
In fact, the material used in the construction of these pants is top-notch. We have seen few climbing pants that provide such an excellent combination of flexibility and durability. If you are looking for climbing pants that are relatively affordable as well as excellent for cold weather use, there are few better options than these.
Best Climbing Helmet
Winner - Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet
Our favorite climbing helmet is the Half Dome model from Black Diamond, one of the best makers of climbing gear. This helmet is a little more affordable than the other option on this list, but the main difference doesn’t lie in price. If you are looking for a versatile climbing helmet, this is it.
Let’s start with some of the basics, however. This helmet features an interior that is made out of EPS foam to help absorb the energy on impact and ensure the minimum amount is transferred to your head. The outer shell of the helmet is made out of hard plastic, like most other climbing helmets.
While the materials used to help absorb the energy of a fall or an impact are relatively standard, you will find that this helmet contains some novel features. For example, there are large vents on the sides and the back of this helmet which help encourage air flow to keep your head cool during the summer.
The Half Dome uses a relatively simple closure system with an adjustable clasp, though the sizing system is rather innovative. As with most climbing helmets, you can adjust the fit of this model by using the dial that is positioned near the nape of your neck. This dial can even be used one-handed while climbing!
Unlike other climbing helmets, the sizing headband is relatively comfortable, provided that you don’t tighten it too far. This helmet is also relatively durable. The hard plastic exterior of this helmet can withstand quite a bit of damage, and it survived most of the torture tests that we put it through.
This helmet also features clips that are meant to mount your headlamp in case you want to go climbing in the darkness. If you are looking for a reliable helmet that is not too expensive, few options can match the Half Dome helmet from Black Diamond.
Runner Up - Petzl Elios Climbing Helmet
If you want the best climbing helmet for every possible set of conditions, you will find few products that can compete with the Petzl Elios. While the Half Dome was a great summer climbing helmet, the Elios has a few features that make it more suitable for use during the winter and other adverse conditions.
For example, this helmet features vents that can be opened or closed depending on the weather. The last thing you want is for melting snow to infiltrate your helmet through your open vents. Aside from the discomfort that results from ice water on your head, this can also give you a chill.
Other than the sliding vents, there are a few other features that make this helmet ideally suited for use during the winter. This helmet is compatible with Petzl’s face shield in case you will be climbing somewhere where there is a risk of falling ice and other hazards that would necessitate it.
You can even use the four mounting points to attack a face lamp to this helmet to deal with harsh conditions and night climbs. This helmet is meant to function in the toughest of scenarios. The outer shell of this helmet is made of injection molded ABS plastic for optimal durability, and we can guarantee that it is tough to break.
This helmet lasted far longer than many comparable models over the course of our torture tests. Other than the durability, this helmet also has an advantage when it comes to comfort. The foam that is used for this helmet’s interior is soft and will not irritate your head, and it can even be removed and washed.
If you are looking for a helmet with a perfect fit, few choices can match the Elios. You can adjust the nape height, chin strap length, and headband tightness of this helmet with ease. The headband folds into the interior of the outer shell so that it can stay out of the way while climbing.
Best Climbing Shorts
Winner - Singbring Men's Outdoor Quick Dry Hiking Shorts
These shorts from Singbring have precisely what you want out of the best climbing clothing: a low price, comfort, durability, and much more. For example, these shorts are ideal for climbing in hot weather since they are made of a breathable material that is designed to keep your legs cool.
While shorts are naturally cool thanks to their open design, some shorts will make your sweat stick to you and can get quite uncomfortable halfway through a climb; thankfully, that is not the case here. These shorts are comfortable as well as highly adjustable, so you can be sure that they will always fit.
The drawstring, mounted on the interior of these shorts, allows you to size them correctly and it can even be adjusted with one hand with relative ease. The last thing you want happening halfway through a climb is for your shorts to start falling off. These shorts also offer many options when it comes to aesthetics.
For customers who are looking for shorts that combine form and function, they are an excellent choice. You can choose between four different colors, and most of these colors can also be found in a camo print pattern if you are not a fan of the plain design. While there is no practical benefit, it is always enjoyable to look good.
These shorts can also be used for far more than rock climbing. If you want a pair of shorts that is versatile enough to use in all of your outdoor activities, you will love these. The inclusion of zipper pockets means that it will be far easier for you to bring things along without having to worry about losing them.
The price of these shorts is another aspect that makes them much more appealing than many other options. You can typically find these shoes available for 15 to 20 dollars, and their build quality means that they will last. If you prize value for money in your climbing clothes, you will love these shorts.
Why You Should Choose Your Climbing Clothing Carefully
There are many reasons why you would want to put extra effort into your purchase of the best climbing clothing. When it comes to helmets, you will want to invest in a model that you can trust because it may be the only thing between you and an unfortunate head injury that can potentially disable you.
Besides your helmet, you will also want to ensure that you invest in the best climbing clothing because it will make you far more comfortable over the course of your climb.
The right climbing clothes can end up making the difference between a climb that you enjoyed the whole way up and one that was nearly unbearable. Would you rather be comfortable and warm while climbing through the biting wind or would you rather make it to the top of your ascent chilled to the bone?
On What To Pay Attention When Choosing Your Climbing Clothing
Is It Waterproof?
One of the first things that you will want to ask yourself before buying your climbing clothing is whether or not it is waterproof. If you are going to be climbing outdoors, it is inevitable that you will eventually encounter rain, and you would be better off being prepared for rain than otherwise.
The weight of your climbing clothes is another critical consideration to make. Every extra ounce of clothing that you have on your body is an extra ounce that you will have to haul up your chosen route. You will always want your climbing clothes to be as light as possible to ease your ascent.
The material that is used to make your climbing clothes is another thing that you will want to consider since it will influence a lot of your clothing’s other characteristics. Most climbing clothes tend to be made out of resilient synthetic materials like nylon and spandex.
Of course, you will also want your climbing clothes to feature sufficient build quality. Climbing clothes that are made to a certain standard will often be more comfortable and less likely to irritate your skin. Quality clothing also tends to last longer, giving you more use for your money.
Thank you for taking the time to read our review guide for the best climbing clothing. We hope that you have been able to find at least one article of clothing that will make your climbing go by more smoothly. Feel free to let us know your thoughts down in the comments section below.