La Sportiva Climbing Pants Review- Crimper Pants, Talus Pants & Kendo Climbing Jean

La Sportiva Climbing Pants Review

Having worn La Sportiva climbing pants exclusively for most of the last two seasons, I have a lot of days in them by now and feel ready to write a review. They have all held up well and are perfect for the specific application they are each designed for. In general, they all have the just the right amount of stretch and come with all the features you’d expect from a good climbing pant – gusseted crotch, articulated knees, ankle cuff draw-strings, etc. I’ve worn three so far: Kendo climbing jeans, Talus Pant, and the Crimper Pant.

Crimper Pant: I use these for everything in the warmer months and have found that they are the perfect summer climbing pant. The design of the waistband/drawstring and rear stretch panel keeps them from falling down while hiking w/ no belt and allows them to sit very comfortably under a harness. Other great features are the ankle cuff draw-strings, which make it really easy to pull the pants up into shorts mode and the lightweight, fast-drying cotton-blend fabric that breathes well enough during sweaty summer approach hikes to not give you swamp-ass. Plus, you look cooler when you climb with cinched ankle cuff draw-strings

Pros:

-          Gusseted crotch, articulated knees, elastic waist band/drawstring and rear stretch panel, ankle cuff drawstrings, 4 pockets + brush pocket

 Rear stretch panel allows totally uninhibited movement and feels very nice under a heavy pack. The light blue panels make for an attractive accent.

Rear stretch panel allows totally uninhibited movement and feels very nice under a heavy pack. The light blue panels make for an attractive accent.

-          Cotton blend is very comfortable/breathable. The fabric itself isn’t very stretchy, but the rear stretch panel allows the pants to move with you. Never need to hike these up before doing any high steps/heelhooks/etc.

-          Fit is better than any other climbing pant I’ve ever worn. On the baggy side, but not super baggy like E9 or Verve pants. At a 30-31 waist and 30 in-seam, just under 5’8” and 165lb the EU M-48 / US M fits perfectly.

-          The inseam in the pants is more like 31/32, but I just keep the ankle cuffs tightened all the time.

-          Color selection: These pants pretty much only come in neon or very bright pastel colors (like all of La Sportiva’s apparel) which makes them pop beautifully in any photographs they appear in. This is definitely a plus for me, especially on highlines when the depth of field is so large. For some people it’s a con, depends on your taste.

Cons:

-          Pricey. All LaSpo pants are on the higher end of the price scale, for sure. They’re a good investment, though.

-          Only hip pockets. Has no thigh pocket for stashing phone, bars, etc. Makes it a bit less convenient to do multi-pitch w/ no followers pack if that’s your thing.

-          Durability – the thinner fabric is very breathable but can definitely be ripped if you do things like scooch on your butt in talus fields or highline a lot. I’ve done a few highlines in them and could tell that the webbing would chew them up before too long. I wear different pants on highlines, usually. I would also be weary of climbing too many off-widths in these.

-          Design: I have had someone tell me that it looks like I’m wearing scrubs (mine are the “Lake” color). Personally, I like the design but some people aren’t psyched on the “Euro” look. These pants are very “Euro”. If you fancy a sporty ensemble you will like these pants.


Talus Pant:
These have become my go-to three season alpine rock climbing pant. Heavy duty stretch softshell fabric blocks wind well, is water resistant and fast-drying, and holds up to abrasive alpine granite and highline webbing. All the same design features as the Crimper, minus the ankle cuff draw strings and rear stretch panel.

Pros:

-          Durability: The softshell fabric is pretty thick and very stretchy, making it super resistant to tearing. For their weight, the pants are breathable. Not as breathable/light as the Crimper, but better for the cool temps of alpine environments.

 Instead of snapping, the button slides into place like a good nut placement. I find this easier to do under a harness. The stretchy shoelace drawstring keeps the pants up with minimal bulk, and the waist band is wide, low profile, and lined on the top with a padded fuzzy material, making the pants supremely comfortable under a pack or harness. The Crimpers have all 4 of these design elements, as well. Fine design features typical of LaSpo like the inner waistband pattern and “La Sportiva” inset on the waistband liner can be seen here.

Instead of snapping, the button slides into place like a good nut placement. I find this easier to do under a harness. The stretchy shoelace drawstring keeps the pants up with minimal bulk, and the waist band is wide, low profile, and lined on the top with a padded fuzzy material, making the pants supremely comfortable under a pack or harness. The Crimpers have all 4 of these design elements, as well. Fine design features typical of LaSpo like the inner waistband pattern and “La Sportiva” inset on the waistband liner can be seen here.

-          Comfort: Both these and the Crimper have the top of the waist band lined with a chamois type material that makes them super comfy when squished underneath a heavy pack.

-          Gusseted crotch, articulated knees, elastic waist band/drawstring, 4 pockets + brush pocket, tapered legs that hold a roll up well

-          Fit: Same size as the Crimper, EU M/48 fits me like a glove. These have a less baggy, more snug fit than the Crimper. The in-seam of these pants is 32, however, so I have to roll them up a couple times. This works out when wearing a harness though, because the harness pulls the pants up an inch or two and then they fit perfectly with no rolling.

-          Horizontal pockets – the pockets open at the top rather than the back/side like most pants, makes them more secure to put stuff in while climbing.

Cons:

-          No thigh pockets for stashing bars or phone, harder to do a multi-pitch without a pack because of this.

-          Price: Also expensive.

-          A little too flashy to wear as an everyday pant for my taste. I like my clothing to do double duty between everyday outfits and climbing outfits. These are too neon for town.

 Kendo Climbing Jean: These are my absolute favorite cragging/bouldering pants for the cooler temps of the spring and fall. The thick denim, reinforced with Cordura, is warm, stretchy and super durable. I’ve dragged the knees and thighs of these pants across many hundreds of feet of basalt, granite, andesite and bushes and they are showing very few signs of wear after two seasons.

Pros:

-          Super durable. The denim/Cordura combo is practically indestructible. Thick enough to provide the right amount of warmth for cool spring/fall temps. I wear some leggings underneath for late fall/winter rock climbing and they are good to go.

-          Stetchy – They are the stretchiest jeans I’ve ever worn and have never limited my movement in any way.

-          Semi-casual style. The seam pattern is not like your standard jeans and is pretty Euro, but they look normal enough to wear around. They’re pretty baggy, just barely not too much.

-          Thigh pocket + brush pocket. There is a zipper thigh pocket on the right side big enough for a bar or two. Stays out of the way of leg loops.

Cons:

-          Sizing: There is no drawstring in the waist and the EU 48 seems to be about a 33 waist, quite a bit too big for me and definitely bigger than the same size of the other two pants in this review. Pretty inconsistent. I have to wear a belt with these pants, which is annoying under a harness. Not a big deal, but is a drawback. The inseam is also about 32, which means I have to roll them up a couple times unless I’m wearing a harness.


Overall the LaSpo climbing pants are wonderful and I’m excited to try more. What sets them apart is the attention to detail – from the inner waist patterns and high quality La Sportiva labels/insets, to the brush pockets and stylish designs, these will quickly become your favorite climbing pants.