/ Call for some UKC feedback on climbing/outdoor trousers

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Jen 'Banksy' Banks - on 02 Jun 2014
Hello all,

I'm a textile design student/climber and next year will be starting my final yea. I am unsatisfied specifically with the outdoor clothing market's offering for women's trousers and would like to develop a range of casual/semi-technical trouser fabrics in response to this. I'd be really grateful if I could have some feedback from you ukc lot about what you buy and what you would like to see on the market. OPEN to MALE and FEMALE feedback to get a general overview!

I've just created a super short 10 question survey and if you'd complete it for me that'd be great and a good launchpad for my research.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7Y9DF38

Hope you're all enjoying the increasingly sunny weather!

Jen x
alasdair19 on 02 Jun 2014
In reply to Jen 'Banksy' Banks:

I buy most of the trousers in our house and my wife has so far been really pleased with what I've bought her. What do u see as short comings?

for the girls I think things have got much much better in last ten years.
sebflynn - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Jen 'Banksy' Banks:

As a guy i guess i cant really comment but for me when looking at a some climbing trousers i all ways look at cut things like articulated knees and gusseted crotch are essential if im going to buy them as it shows a certain standard of quality it also shows that it's not just a fashion piece. Also for rock climbing bungee cords at the hems seem to be pretty popular but, a more versatile fit would be a nice trim fit somthing that can be worn with rock shoes or with big mountain boots(providing the fabric can stretch over the boot).
rgold - on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to Jen 'Banksy' Banks:

I too am the wrong gender for your survey. But I have to say that with all the advances in equipment we've seen, it is astonishing to me that no one seems to be able to get climbing trousers right. Gusseted crotches and articulated knees may be part of the solution, but I don't think they are the complete answer.

Here is a simple test. Put on the pants and do a high-step. If this drags the pant material across the knee and thigh, then the pants are going to impede climbing motion. This is especially true if they are worn over long underwear. Just about every pair of pants I own fail this test, some worse than others.

The issue is cut and I'm not sure why it seems to be such a mystery. We all know that you can grab the pant leg at the upper thigh and hitch it up so that the fabric doesn't have to run over the knee for high steps. Why doesn't anyone produce "pre-hitched" pants?
Curlyhelen - on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to Jen 'Banksy' Banks:

This is so true. I have three pairs of calf length 'proper' climbing trousers and still reach for a pair of leggings or Ron hills.
The 'climbing' trousers don't seem to be able to get an elasticated, comfy waist essential for under a harness without resulting in a baggy bum which is irritating. Also true is the high step test, all seem to have a little knee drag whereas the jersey material slips nicely over your knee but gets wrecked more quickly.
Done the survey :)
angry pirate - on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to Jen 'Banksy' Banks:

Done the survey too. Echoing the above comments really.
girlymonkey - on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to Jen 'Banksy' Banks:

I find that woman's outdoor clothing generally doesn't give space for muscles to move! So if I try to buy trousers I often find that if they fit over my thighs, they are too big at the waist. I find the same with tops and forearm space, the top will fit everywhere except my arms. Surely they should expect the wearer of outdoor kit to have muscle, but not a huge waist to go with it?!
girlymonkey - on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to Jen 'Banksy' Banks:

Oh, and its a pain when there are ankle zips as I can't then take the hem up. (There's never any short enough for me and I have long accepted that they will never make them my length.)
Prof. Outdoors on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to Jen 'Banksy' Banks:
Survey done. Male respondent

The high step test is essential.
Fit is probably personal.
Patagonia seem to fit me the best although I baulk at the price.
Have a pair of Patagonia which are excellent fit, gusset crotch, quick drying stretch material, look good.
Montane are usually very good.
I prefer zip offs as it gives flexibility as temperature change.
Tried a pair of Montane Terra stretch, they had gusset crotch but they dragged on the thigh on the high step test.

Good fit is essential - for cheaper pair I have a pair of Craghoppers Kiwi Active stretch trousers. - usual Cragghoppers cut as their fit could always do with more dance hall. (Not enough ballroom)

Good luck with the studies/project.
Post edited at 08:39
peebles boy - on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to Jen 'Banksy' Banks:

The material, cut, design and general hard wearing nature of the Craghopper kiwi stretch trousers is a hands down winner for me when you consider the price compared to the "bigger" outdoor names.
wintertree - on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to Jen 'Banksy' Banks:
Would "made to measure" be a key to good fitting climbing trousers - for both genders? This could accommodate the unusual degres of freedom needed for climbing combined with the wide range of calf muscle development and human form.

Something like asuitthatfits.com? You have a CAD patten than is adjusted to the pertinent measurements on a per-person basis. Printed paper templates or a CNC cloth cutter (do these exist?) let you make a bespoke fitted pair almost as easily as a stock pair.

Chuck in a choice of materials and you're going to make some very happy climbers with bright red/yellow/purple knee pads...
Post edited at 10:04
The Ex-Engineer - on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to Jen 'Banksy' Banks: From my perspective the problem isn't just with outdoor trousers, it is ALL trousers; it is almost completely impossible to find any men's trousers in a 28" LONG.

Other than a poor range of sizes (which seems to be a perennial complaint from many others of varying body shapes) my main complaint is that even when I find a pair of general outdoor trousers in a really good rip-stop fabric (e.g. TNF Paramount Peak) which don't really fit, they end up with both the stitching in the back pockets and then the fabric on the seat failing within months.

Another minor gripe is that various soft-shell trousers flair a bit too much round the ankles to be ideal for climbing.

That said, at the moment I'd just settle for having a choice of slightly more than zero from most outdoor shops and manufacturers.
Robert Durran - on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to Jen 'Banksy' Banks:
I think the problem with what climbers (of both genders) wear on their legs is that they (and therefore the manufacturers) are, in fact, prepared to sacrifice functionality for fashion (ie people want to wear them in the pub afterwards without feeling they look a bit of a pratt). So they get what the deserve. The perfect solution has been out there all along in the form of stretchy leggings. Powerstretch when its chilly, something thinner when its warmer.

Survey done.
Post edited at 11:34
deepsoup - on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to girlymonkey:
> So if I try to buy trousers I often find that if they fit over my thighs, they are too big at the waist.

A more common problem for muscular women I'm sure, but that's not only a problem with women's clothing.

I took a little gamble and chipped in for a pair of fancy jeans here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/barbellapparel/barbell-denim-functional-denim-has-arrived
Should be arriving in a couple of months or so, quite exciting. (Fingers crossed they'll fit.) :O)
deepsoup - on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to rgold:
> I too am the wrong gender for your survey.

OP says "OPEN to MALE and FEMALE feedback to get a general overview!"

I just did the survey, it's only a single page of sensible questions (with just a couple of questions marked "girls only"). Took about 5mins. :o)

climbingpixie - on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to rgold:

> Here is a simple test. Put on the pants and do a high-step. If this drags the pant material across the knee and thigh, then the pants are going to impede climbing motion.

^^ This, exactly. Virtually every pair of climbing trousers I've tried has this failing. If I can't do a high step in them then I'm not buying them for climbing. Also, elasticated waists ftw. An obvious choice for trousers you are wearing under a harness.

Thankfully I have found the holy grail of climbing trousers and have a pair of elasticated waist, drawstring cuffed, totally stretchy and comfortable ones from E9. And they're purple velvet!! Only downside is they're winter weight so a bit warm now so I'm on the lookout for a summer weight version.



iccle_bully - on 08 Jun 2014
Not a great survey, you have already made up your mind and the questions are biased to back that up. Personally I don't have a problem getting trousers, I particularly love the E9 cord ones. What I do struggle with is tops, all women apparently have slim shoulders and no lats.
girlymonkey - on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to iccle_bully:

Yep, this problem with tops for me too!
marsbar - on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to Jen 'Banksy' Banks:

I think fit is more an issue than fabric. However if you could come up with a fabric that drapes and slides for movement like a soft light jersey but with increased durability that fine knits don't have then you could be on to a winner.

I wear dance trousers fantastic for movement but they are not durable.
purplemonkeyelephant - on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to Jen 'Banksy' Banks:

Bump, will do later :)
rgold - on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to deepsoup:
> (In reply to rgold)
> [...]
>
> OP says "OPEN to MALE and FEMALE feedback to get a general overview!"
>
Oh...ok...I filled it out.




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