Jeans are the popular choice of pants for the dirtbag climber as they are relatively cheap, tough against the rock, and you can wear them for days on end without really noticing the dirt. After all, you aren't supposed to wash jeans every time you wear them, right? Outdoor brands are trying to add some performance characteristics to the classic cotton denim jean through the use of new fabrics and climb specific features, perhaps to justify the higher price.
Stretch Cordura Denim fabric is a key ingredient in the new Crag Denim Pant and Crag Denim Capri from French company Millet. The climbing jeans, available in Spring 2013, will feature stretch Cordura Denim fabric made with Lycra fiber for extreme durability and excellent freedom of movement.
To meet the unique demands of climbers, Millet has added some small design details to ensure the pants are more functional than your standard Levi's. The Crag Denim Pant and Capri have a flat waistband with gear loops including a chalk bag holder, are harness compatible, gusseted crotch, pre-formed knees, two hand warmer pockets, two back pockets, and even a brush pocket.
For Spring 2013, The North Face adds the Rockchuck Denim ($85) pant for men, a rugged, stretch climbing jean with classic style.
Pennsylvania based Organic Climbing hand makes all of their bouldering gear, with each piece sewn to order. For the upcoming fall season, founder Josh Helke has created an urban style climbing jean ($84) made from denim sourced from a sustainable Texas cotton cooperative. The climbing jeans feature stretchy seams for better flexibility when working that bouldering problem.
Current season climbing jeans include the Five Ten Yosemite Jeans, Prana Axiom, Thunderbolt Softshell Jeans, as well as a variety of pants from Arborwear and Patagonia. Do you prefer purpose built climbing jeans from outdoor brands or would you rather throw on your favorite pair of classic denims?