Mountain Equipment Hope Pant Review

© Rob Greenwood - UKC

Mountain Equipment Hope Pants  © Mountain Equipment

Having gone a bit soft in recent years (i.e. I’ve become a fair weather sport climber) reviewing waterproof/insulated jackets is no longer within my repertoire. So, when Mountain Equipment launched their new rock climbing range I saw an opportunity to re-kindle the gear review flame without the danger of getting cold/wet…or so I thought…

I’ve probably said it before, in fact I know I have, but Britain is a pretty unpredictable nation weather-wise (and we’re proud of it). As a result, irrespective of the time of year, it’s always worth packing clothing to accommodate this: quick drying materials and wind proof fabrics are de-rigueur.

Warming up at Oliana, despite the blue sky it was a very cold/windy day!!  © Rob Greenwood - UKC
Warming up at Oliana, despite the blue sky it was a very cold/windy day!!
© Rob Greenwood - UKC

Furthermore, due to the fact that the majority of our nation’s climbing is of a somewhat involved nature we need something that is hard wearing too – surely that's not too much to ask for?? So, with that impossible request in mind I put the Hope Pant and Squall Hooded Jacket (see next week's review) to the test.

Hope Pants

I know this might not make much sense, but when people think of ‘outdoor clothing’ they infrequently think of the lower half first. The upper half (i.e. jackets, fleeces, t-shirts and base layers) seem to be where most people focus their attention and where the priority lies – I suppose it’s the most glam half. However, as a result the bottom half tends to be forgotten and despite the market being filled with ‘technical trousers’ (whatever that means) I would say that good ones are in very short supply.

Previously I’ve used everything from stretchy jeans to lightweight synthetics, but each has a very significant drawback: the jeans are too warm in spring/summer and the lightweight synthetics are good while they last, but fall apart quite quickly. As a result, a middle ground needs to be found: something hard wearing, breathable, stretchy, light and - upon preference - smart enough to wear down the pub.

Rob Greenwood crimping his way to glory on Toadal Recall (8a) at Malham Cove  © Penelope Orr
Rob Greenwood crimping his way to glory on Toadal Recall (8a) at Malham Cove
© Penelope Orr
Ok so they need a wash, but other than that they're in mint condition  © Rob Greenwood - UKC
Ok so they need a wash, but other than that they're in mint condition
© Rob Greenwood - UKC

After receiving the Hope Pants back in February I have worn them for around 90% of the climbing I have done both indoors and out – boulder, sport and trad – the lot (n.b. the other 10% is accounted for when they were in the wash and when I was wearing tasteless ¾ length capris). As a result they have been worn a lot and tested in a variety of styles and conditions.

Despite this constant use they have shown remarkably little sign of wear, even after the crozzle of Pembrokeshire Limestone and a good trashing on Peak Grit. What is good is that their durability doesn’t seem to come at the cost weight either, coming in at 460g in comparison to the aforementioned jeans (670g) and synthetics (320g). This middle ground is the real attraction of the Hope Pant, something you can put on in all conditions – rain or shine, hot or cold – and expect to perform, last and keep going.

The Hope Pants in action at Monte Cuccu in Finale, Italy  © Chris Prescott Photography
The Hope Pants in action at Monte Cuccu in Finale, Italy
© Chris Prescott Photography

In terms of fit it's worth mentioning that there are three leg lengths available – short, regular and long – meaning a good fit can be found by everyone. Having fell run for years my legs are of a somewhat larger than average nature (thus I acquired the name ‘Bobby Big Leg’s from friend, alpinist and coincidentally Mountain Equipment sponsored climber - Nick Bullock), as a result though I tend to find that if the cut of trousers isn’t quite right then they can begin to feel very restrictive – far from ideal when your trying to place your foot accurately onto a small foothold in the middle of a crux sequence! The interesting thing is that the cut doesn’t simply come through additional material, or making them baggier: it’s the paneling and stretchy material that makes them so good.


In terms of freedom of movement, durability and general comfort the Hope Pant receives top marks. As an all-round climber’s pant they are spot on and - probably the greatest accolade a reviewer could offer - I undoubtedly see myself buying another pair as/when/if (?!) my current pair wears out. 

What Mountain Equipment say:

Mountain Equipment Hope Pants  © Mountain Equipment
Tough, practical climbing pants that excel on gritstone test pieces, granite big walls and crumbling sea cliffs.

Hard wearing stretch fabric and an ideal fit make Hope Pants crucial for almost any style of climbing. With exceptional movement for hard redpoints or bold onsights they remain sufficiently rugged for day after day of aiding, cleaning and hauling.

For more information visit the Mountain Equipment Website.

Weight: 495g
RRP: £80

Rob Greenwood - UKC's advertising manager, eater of fried eggs and climber of 8a routes.  © Rob Greenwood collection
Rob Greenwood - UKC Advertising Manager, eater of fried eggs and climber of 8a routes
About the Author:

Rob Greenwood is the Advertising Manager at

He's a passionate climber, hot yoga addict and eater of vegetarian food. He has done more UK trad routes than he's had roast dinners (and that's got nothing to do with the vegetarianism).

Aside from UK trad, he's dabbled with alpine climbing, Scottish winter, Himalayan climbing and more recently Peak limestone sport climbing.

For more information visit Mountain Equipment

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6 Jun, 2015
Think you pretty much get it spot on in the review. Bought a pair of these a couple of months back, at the risk of sounding like I work for M.E., they are the best all round trousers I've found. Reckon they're perfect for all but 'shorts days'. Being tall I particularly like the long fit option which is often hard to find in outdoor trousers. The main problem is they effectively make all the other trousers I've bought over the years obsolete as it's hard to see the point of wearing anything else.
I'm glad it's not just me! Funnily enough, I wore a pair of brand new synthetic trousers over the weekend (must have fancied a change) and ripped them first go. Bit disappointing, especially because I paid >£50 for them. Switched back to the Hope Pants after, not sure why I ever changed in the first place now.
8 Jun, 2015
I'm sure I'll end up doing something similar eventually. Keeps the retailers in business.
10 Jun, 2015
Good review. I totally agree with this. I haven't seen a pair of bottoms designed specifically for rock climbing for many years. I still wear Verve pants which I've had for many years and were designed by hard core rock climber Christian Griffith. These have not been available in this country for a long time and there is nothing remotely similar in the shops. The only drawback with the Verve stuff is the price, currently around £50 - £60 per pair, which is perhaps seen as too high for lycra pants and maybe why they don't sell here. There is definitely a huge gap in the market here waiting to be filled. The M.E. idea of clothing for cold/windy days is definitely a good one though I think I'd certainly think twice before spending £80 on a pair of bottoms. I'd just be thinking why do they cost so much more than ordinary trousers?
10 Jun, 2015
Try some Prana Bronsons. 25% cheaper than these and probably broadly similar. You can often get them for less from GoOutdoors etc.
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