Our Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐🗆 – 4/5
Cons: No good insulation when wet, ventilation sub-par, no closable pocket, sizing off
The Verdict from Us
Let’s make it brief, the Axiom Jean are probably the best looking climbing pants we ever tested. Is it a good pant for traditional climbing, outdoor expeditions or long days of sport climbing at the crag? No, we cannot say that. But if you plan of walking from work to bouldering or climbing directly and spend 2 hours doing some easy climbing, the Axiom are your fest friend. Besides looking good, they have a good amount of stretch, an inseam gusset and the cut is really athletic. Which means they won’t get in your way as much as normal jeans will when you go outside cycling, hiking, climbing or bouldering.
While you can get any pair of jeans at Walmart or Target for less than $30, we would still recommend getting these if you are outdoor inclined. The Axiom is very durable, and get take a beating, no matter if rocks or trees are involved. And where normal jeans have no flexibility and lack range of motion these are good performers.
If you want to go on longer climbs or traditional climbing routes outdoors, you should go for another pair of pants, read our review for the best climbing pants 2020.
Analysis and Results from Our Review
What we liked
As a pair of jeans, the Prana Axiom Jean sits comfortable, is durable and just looks nice and sharp. Prana told that they are their best selling pair of jeas, and there are several professional pro climbers swearing on them. Their verdict: You can probably not find a better pair of jeans to go climbing in. Why would you do that? Well, of course, because of the looks. But it’s also comfortable to not have to change after work and directly hit the boulders or crags. And once you’re finished you can keep the pants on and go to a restaurant.
Materials used and the Weight
Axiom jeans are made of 98% cotton and a tiny amount of elastic material, 2% spandex. The spandex is the trick, making them nice and stretchy. If you know about jeans with stretch, you know that it comes down to how much spandex you weave in. Too much and the jeans doesn’t look and feel like jeans anymore, while not enough means they are just too stiff. Prana hit the right amount, the Axiom jean feels like any pair of casual jeans but gives you the full range of motion thanks to the spandex and the relaxed fit.
These jeans are not waterproof, so if you’re looking for hardcore outside climbing pants, don’t buy the Axiom. But if you compare it to regular storebought jeans, they will dry faster and easier. Thanks to the thick material, Pranas Axiom jean does a good job of protecting your leg skin from abrasions and cuts on the rock. That becomes very handy if you climb on granite boulders. Even when we wore them day after day, our test couldn’t notice visible signs of damage on the pants.
Fit: Casual and relaxed at the hips
These are no skinny jeans. They are more on the relaxed side, and have some widening going to the cuff. We wouldn’t call it boot cut, but it’s noticeable. Inseam lengths are accurate and precise to the sizing. We found the pants really comfortable, and you can wear them on any occasion where you can wear jeans. Note that they won’t fit your style if you are into hardcore skinny jeans.
With this said, we have to give them our award for the best looking and fashionable bouldering and climbing pant.
Features, Goodies and Pockets
These pants have a couple of noteworthy features, ranging from climbing and bouldering focused or focused on the fashion sense of the wearer. They come with a gusseted crotch area, which is pretty much standard for climbing pants, as the extra material adds a nice freedom of movement. Combine this with the stretchy material and you will get a pair of climbing and bouldering pants that won’t hold you back even if you need to do high steps and heel hooks.
In terms of fashion features you can find rivets with styling on the pockets and some sweet zig-zag stitching on the area of your thighs. The Axiom jean also sports a fake-leather trim sitting on the back pockets. Axiom jean comes with 4 pockets, 2 in the front and 2 in the rear, which is pretty much standard for a pair of jeans.
While the pockets are large and functional, and also sit well on the pant, you won’t find any closable pocket on this pants – a trade off Prana did for fashionability. This is a problem if you have overhanging boulders etc., as things in your pocket might fall out. While we didn’t have this particular problem while testing, as the front pockets are deep and snug, keep in mind it might happen. Outdoor climbing pants usually have this feature, and it’s one of the things that could be improved with an inline closable pouch pocket in the future, while still maintaining fashionability.
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Smuggler’s Notch this past weekend was a blast! Got some new ticks and worked a few new projects with @andrew.orde This climb is the first ascent of the direct sit start into “The Fingertip Lockdown”! . Thanks to @andrew.orde for the videos, edit and for the support! . . . #hardbody #9bigones #smugglersnotchbouldering #vermont #endlessscrub #keepclimbing #nikon #evolv #organicclimbing #pranaaxiomjean
Prana Axiom in Action
What we didn’t like
The material blend with 98% cotton is definitely not the material blend of choice for bad weather. If you plan to spend hours outside in humid and cold weather, these pants will be like a big wet rock dragging you down. And they won’t insulate at all in this case, as cotton becomes really cold when wet. The material is also not good in terms of ventilation, which makes Prana Axiom jeans not suited for long approaches in autumn or winter conditions. Consider it a good weather bouldering and sport climbing pant.
When it came to durability, they were good and protected. Some people however reported that after only some months stitching began to peel of on the outside seam and the inside seam above hemlines. Prana has a very good reputation for replacing these faulty pants, so we wouldn’t worry too much about it.
The waist fit is definitely large. If you normally wear a 33 waist size, the 33 sized Prana Axiom is probably to wide. From what we observed, they are one size larger than normal pants, so either get a belt or order them a size smaller than you would normally do. It’s not a big problem, but can be annoying if you order only one pair online from amazon and have to send it back due to the off sizing.
A Value Hit?
The price of $89.00 is justified in our opinion. Yes, they cost more than double what Walmart jeans cost, but they offer a lot more value too. Try climbing in Walmart jeans, and you will see what we mean. Prana Axiom comes with features like gusseted crotch and a good stretchy material, that worked for years on climbing pants. And if you compare the price to some Levis or Replay jeans, they are even cheaper.
Other Colors & Sizes
Pranas Axiom jean can be found in Antique Stone Wash or Dark wash. You can get them in sizes from 28 – 38 and even odd sizes like size 33. We recommend to try them on, due to the off sizing. Other option would to order two sizes and return the one that doesn’t fit if your retailer allows for it.