Rock Climbing Shorts, Pants, and Capris for Women

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Bleh, don’t you just hate it when your bulky pants and unfortunately placed pockets bunch up under your rock climbing harness, constricting your mobility and chafing your skin? I do too.

So I’ve rounded up some of my favorite choices for women’s shorts, capris, and pants that are specifically designed for rock climbing comfort and functionality. In this category, the main features I focus on are flexibility, durability, and harness compatibility, in a women’s specific design.

Women’s Rock Climbing Shorts – Arc’teryx Mischief Long Short for Women

The Arc’teryx Mischief Long Short has low profile pockets and an interior snap closure to leave nothing for your harness to catch on. The articulated fit with offset seams, and the stretchy, abrasion resistant fabric combine to make these women’s rock climbing shorts very comfortable and non-restrictive to climb in. With the hem hitting just above my kneecap, I find these long shorts to be a pleasant combination of short enough to let a breeze flow around my knees during hot climbs and long enough to protect my thighs from chafing against my harness leg loops and to keep me modest while high stepping.

The Mischief Long Shorts also happen to be very versatile. They’re designed to look nice as non-wrinkle travel wear, wear comfortably for long hikes, and to drain easily and dry quickly for water sports.

Women’s Rock Climbing Capri Pants – Arc’teryx Kaslo Capri for Women

A wide, flat waistband and flat seams make the Arc’teryx Kaslo Capri feel perfectly comfortable under a rock climbing harness, and the hidden pocket lays flat when empty. The Extenda material of these women’s rock climbing capris provides good durability and generous stretch for easy mobility and resilience against rock faces. I love how the taper at the knee gives the Arc’teryx Kalso a unique style and also keeps them from catching on rocks.

Women’s Rock Climbing Pants – Marmot Scree Pants for Women

With a high waist and pockets that lay flat, the Marmot Scree Pants fit nicely under a rock climbing harness. The M3 soft shell material is super tough but also quite flexible, plus highly breathable and water resistant.

I’ve worn these climbing pants for a fair amount of bouldering, and I thoroughly appreciate the serious durability of the fabric. It has been great for numerous seal impressions that I’ve done while topping out boulder problems, and it has also survived many slippy slidey down climbs without any evidence of my slips and slides.
Sure you could wear your jeans or your running shorts, but in the end, you’re going to feel a lot more comfortable when you climb in rock climbing specific clothing. And let’s admit: when you’re appropriately dressed for rock climbing, you’re also going to feel a lot more like a legitimate climber – which can boost your confidence and therefore boost your rock climbing performance – just saying.

If you’re in Park City, Utah, come on in to White Pine Touring, and the experts there are always happy to help you find the women’s rock climbing clothing you’re looking for. If you’re not in Park City, that’s ok, we can’t all live in Outside Magazine’s 2013 “Best Town Ever”. And that’s why we have an online store; check out for more climbing specific clothing.

Kendall Fischer, Content Writer