Rab Torque Capri Review

© Nathan 'please don't make me take this photograph' Lee

Rab Torque Capri  © Rab
For the past 10 years I have been immersed within the outdoor industry; I have I have worked in retail, ‘trade’, advertising and even the legendary cafe - Pete's Eats. Throughout all those years I have seen a LOT of products and looking back on it I think this could have damaged me in some way, because at this year’s ISPO trade-show - in and amongst thousands of show-stopping products - there was one that stood out: the Rab Torque Capri.

It is said that you can’t buy style, but here – for the sum of £50 – I would say that you very much can. Some say that contrast paneling is out, but I would beg to differ: jet red is where the real action is and the grey must simply have been added to cater for a more conservative audience, unwilling to commit fully to…well…whatever it is they’re about to commit to…. Either way, they’ve got that sense of balance - too much red would have been a mistake (see below), too much grey would have been boring - such is the tightrope walk of fashion. 

Unnamed British climber committing fashion crimes abroad  © Katy Whittaker
Unnamed British climber committing fashion crimes abroad
© Katy Whittaker
The author exuding style on Macedonia, 7c+ at Oliana  © Ally Smith
The author exuding style on Macedonia, 7c+ at Oliana
© Ally Smith

In addition to this you’re not just getting style, you’re purchasing ability. Whilst no scientific research has ever been done, the 80’s alone prove that spandex helped drive standards forward here in the UK; Moon, Moffatt, Dawes: they knew... There’s nothing quite like looking down, high above your last runner, when there’s not a hope left in the world or a jug in sight and you think to yourself “that is a fantastic pair of legs I’ve got…”. All of a sudden that doubt disappears and is replaced by a strange, egotistical warmth. Whilst the Torque Capri doen't necessarily contain spandex, the Matrix SWS™ fabric definitely provides a suitably fitted garment to mimic the effect.

Ben Moon and Ben Masterson on Caviar - Rubicon  © Keith Sharples
Ben wearing lycra

Jerry climbing his route Liquid Ambar (F8c/+)  at Lower Pen Trwyn in 1990. Photo credit: Kurt Albert.   © Vertebrate Publishing/Jerry Moffatt
Jerry also wearing lyra...
Martin Atkinson,Andy Pollitt,Steve Coates  © John Kirk
A pattern emerges: Basher and Politt in lycra too...


Another benefit to the high spandex content is from a photographic point of view. Having read Andy Kirkpatrick’s article on Bum Shots and Shaky Vids I knew the challenges that faced any photographer that was, like myself, inherently lazy. I just want to go climbing. However, don these trousers and even the poorest bum shot is transformed into something magnificent. For the doubters out there, I think you’ll find the following image as proof…


Possibly the worst climbing photograph ever taken  © Nathan 'please don't make me take this photograph' Lee
Possibly the worst climbing photograph ever taken
© Nathan 'please don't make me take this photograph' Lee


A lightweight, stretchy, not to mention timeless pair of capris that exude style and probably add a grade to your climbing ability. If there is to be a downside, it is simply that Rab are only running them for a single season.

Rab Torque Capri  © Rab
What Rab say about the Torque Capri:


The Torque Capris are light-weight, stretch fit Matrix™ capris, offering great freedom of movement for rock climbing in warm, dry conditions.

The Matrix SWS™ fabric offers a high level of wind resistance and breathability, whilst maintaining durability and minimal weight, ideal for use on tough rock routes.

With cord loops for chalk bag and brush attachment, 2 open hand pockets and 1 YKK CONCEAL™ zipped security pocket, the Torque Capris is ideal for those long summer climbing days.

Weight: 200g (34"regular) /  Matrix SWS™ fabrics / Wicking elasticated waistband / YKK CONCEAL™ zip fly / 2 open hand pockets / 1 YKK CONCEAL™ zipped security pocket on thigh / Cord loops for chalk bag/brush attachment / Articulated knees / Fit: Slim /

For more information visit Rab

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1 Apr, 2015
Very good. I almost want a pair. Jet red is very much the couleur du jour.
1 Apr, 2015
Nice one Rob. You took me in on the first reading. It was only the second time I twigged.
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