Days are short, the air becomes colder, as winter is nearing. Many people in norther Europe and America want to keep climbing outside. But if you want to keep climbing outdoors, you need some warm pants. We recently reviewed the best climbing and bouldering pants for 2020, look here for more info, and now we will extract the best winter pants from that list. Winter climbing pants need to be water proof, resilient and offer some insulation. This is different from normal climbing pants, and we’ve found that mostly alpine climbing pants are suitable to use in winter climbing and bouldering conditions.
Keep reading to find out how these pants work exceptionally well for winter climbing and bouldering, we included only insulated and water resistant pants for this list! And as water resistance is so important in winter, we recommend to stay away from mainly cotton pants. Cotton is just transferring too much heat when wet, and in snow and rain cotton is a bad choice!
Mountain Hardwear Yumalino Pant: The Warmest Pant for Winter Climbing
This is the perfect pant for any winter climbing or bouldering. Among the tested pants, these were the warmest. They even have a comfortable fleece lining inside, and they are water repellent. Thanks to the gusseted crotch they don’t sacrifice mobility, and they have extra protection on the knee to make them more durabe.
They are our Nr.1 cold weather winter climbing and bouldering pant!
Outdoor Research Men’s Ferrosi Pant / Outdoor Research Women’s Ferrosi Pant – A Good Allround Winter Climbing & Bouldering Pant
These pants are already reviewed in our big review, but here are some reasons why they work so good in winter conditions. They are super comfortable to wear, are made of thin and light fabric but do offer a lot of insulation. Since they are also very breathable, you won’t need to worry about sweating when you wear them. And the fabric is water repellent, making them perfect for shitty weather and climbing in rain or snowy conditions.
They are also very reasonably priced!
Arcteryx Gamma Rock Pant: Heavy and Expensive But Worth The Money!
Almost number one: Mountain Hardwear Men’s AP Pant / Mountain Hardwear Women’s AP Skinny Pant
Mountain Hardwear makes the AP pant, and it is a good choice for winter climbing. They are very warm and water resistant. They even look good too, so you can wear them for Christmas presents shopping if you like!
They do have some nice extras like reflective stripes and velcro pockets. The mobility is a little limited, as they are pretty stiff!
Materials for the Perfect Winter Climbing Pants
If you want to climb or boulder in winter conditions, your pants need to be synthetic. As of today, most cotton based pants are just not cutting it for wet and cold conditions. Cotton becomes a huge heat transferrer when wet, and if you combine this with cold temperatures you have the best recipe for hypothermia. That’s why Nylon and Polyester blends work best in winter.
1. Flexibility of Winter Climbing Pants
Since winter climbing pants carry more material, it’s very important to check for flexibility when buying a winter climbing pant. Many models are very stiff. A perfect winter climbing pant will work even when you wear under garmins like leggings.
2. Breathability of Winter Climbing Pants
Sweating in winter is very bad. But when you exercise and climb, you will sweat. It’s super vital to buy pants that transport heat away while also insulating.
3. Durability of Winter Climbing Pants
Especially in cold conditions you will need pants that are easy to withstand abrasion and abuse. Ice and snow are harsh on your pants too!
4. Insulation & Water Resistance
Having a good amount of insulation is the most important difference from a winter to a non winter climbing pants. They also need to keep you dry. Staying warm and dry is more important than flexibility in winter, at least if you goal is to stay outside and climb the whole day.
If you go crag climbing and bouldering, it’s ok to opt for thinner pants, but for alpine climbers, we recommend fleece-lined pants, unless you climb somewhere really hot. Mountain weather can change quickly!