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Most durable pants/pant material, best repair options


Original Post
Forrest Carver · · Edgecomb, ME · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

I have a problem with destroying pants even in regular, everyday conditions. I have tried a lot of different brands, including Arborwear, with no success. Three issues in order of frequency:

1.) Crotch rips during squat type movements

2.) Button pops off when I get up

3.) Walk into something sharp, causing triangular rip

What are the strongest, most rugged pants you own? What do you think is the strongest material or blend for pants? How have you successfully repaired/reinforced your pants?

I realize there are behavioral solutions to this (get up carefully, wear a belt, don't be clumsy) but that's a different subject.

Max Rausch · · Monterey, California · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 125

My longest lasting have been the Pattagucci Quandary pants. I also have the Black Diamond Dogma pants which are a similar construction to Carhartt pants with the extra knee fabric. They are cotton and on the heavier side, but they have held up great to some offwidth thrashing. 

One of my buddies has like 5 pairs of the Outdoor Research Ferossi pants and swears they're the best. I've had a pair of the prana stretch zions, but never really liked the fit. 

DRusso · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2014 · Points: 380

OR Ferossi pants if they made the leg slightly more regular I could get away with wearing them to work and for everything else.

Sunny-D · · SLC, Utah · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 700

The OR deadpoint pant is the most durable pant I have found.  I have a couple of pair that are going on 4 years of heavy use and are still working for me. ( I wear them Climbing but also to work every day, mountain building using chainsaws and bushwhacking). They are tough pants. They are a mix of cotton and nylon.  I wouldn’t use them in wet conditions but for heavy use in rough dry conditions they are great. 

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290

1. You need some stetch, Lycra or spandex in the mix. Also, is that where they get thin first (bike riding, say)? Reinforce from the inside.

2. Button, sew on with quilting thread. Maybe the waist is too tight?

3. Find matching thread and sew the rip back together, then put an iron on patch on the inside. If it's not a weird place, patch on the outside with something cool. If I had my extremely patched and embroidered Levi 501's from the 1970's, I could auction them for a fortune!

Best, Helen

Barry M · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 0

Prana Continuum pants so far seem to be pretty bullet proof. 

The crotch construction is not a seam from front to back. It’s got a strip that runs up your inseam from one side to the next. 

Buttons popping off I’ve got nothing for that. Never been there unless the pants I was had on where ultra old. 

waldo · · Knoxville, TN · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 30

I have heard good things about duluth firehose pants for durability work pants. I don’t think they would be great for climbing. For climbing I would go with OR. I have had good luck with OR. I even have some prana pants that have held up well.  

Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 98

Since you didn’t specify that it had to be an outdoor company I’m going to say that Ben Davis makes a solid pant. Stronger than dickies and lasts way longer. And you won’t lose stuff out your pockets every time you sit down. 

  My next suggestion is anything made with Duck Cloth. Such as Carhart or Duluth. Not going to be the lightest but may be the strongest. Great stuff for car camping but I wouldn’t backpack with it. I own a carhart insulated jacket and coveralls. Had them for almost 20 years and they’re still in great shape. 

Ģnöfudør Ðrænk · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 0

Try baseball pants.  These things are bomb proof and cheap (very low cost).

Gage Holbert · · Knoxville, TN · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 0

OR ferrosi by far is the best pant I’ve owned 

Forrest Carver · · Edgecomb, ME · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

Thank you all very much for the responses. I'm definitely going to buy a pair of OR pants based on these recommendations, although I should have mentioned that they don't need to be outdoor- or climbing-specific. I actually considered buying a pair of Nomex pants as I've found them to be indestructible, but I can't get over having flame resistant pants without needing that feature.

The baseball pants idea is actually genius, never would have thought of that. I'll bet they're super comfy, too.

Thanks OLH for the repair tips. Have you or anyone had luck with Bituthene (sp?) patches or kevlar thread?

Ar Py · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 2,082

I have three pairs of Organic Climbing Jeans and I love them. Great for approaches through brambles and designed well for climbing. 

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530

I've destroyed ever pair of pants from every brand except one- the Prana Stretch Zion. They're so durable, my original pair is probably 5 years old now, and i've since bought several more pairs. I wouldn't even consider another pant for climbing.

nkane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 90

I was disappointed with the durability of La Sportiva Solution pants, which use a stretchy version of Cordura.

I blew through the knees in less than a year of weekend warrior valley trips, and the stitching in the pocket bags started to go as well. I patched them with nylon cut from an old stuff sack and that's preserving their life a little bit but their aesthetics are taking a real hit.

Aaron Liebling · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 435
That surprises me. I have a pair that have been up two multi day walls and are my go-to for climbing. Two years on and nary a scratch (other than the pocket liner which I replaced with something burlier).
nkane wrote:

I was disappointed with the durability of La Sportiva Solution pants, which use a stretchy version of Cordura.

I blew through the knees in less than a year of weekend warrior valley trips, and the stitching in the pocket bags started to go as well. I patched them with nylon cut from an old stuff sack and that's preserving their life a little bit but their aesthetics are taking a real hit.

Benjamin Mitchell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0

I'll add my anecdote... I got a pair of Patagonia Venga rock pants and they completed disintegrated within about 40 days of climbing, they were sun bleached and torn badly in several places. 

Philip Martin · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 0

Outlier Dungarees. Made from Schoeller Dryskin softshell fabric.

I also recommend prana zion pants. Love 'em.

Mike McKinnon · · Golden, CO · Joined Aug 2003 · Points: 65
John Wilder wrote:

I've destroyed ever pair of pants from every brand except one- the Prana Stretch Zion. They're so durable, my original pair is probably 5 years old now, and i've since bought several more pairs. I wouldn't even consider another pant for climbing.

+1 for these. I own 2 pair now.

Alex Lombardo · · Davis, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 105

I really like Kuhls. I've had the same pair for about three years now, and they've held up well in pretty much any situation (bouldering, multi-pitch, geological field work, etc.). I also third the Prana Zion suggestion--solid pants.

Jack C. · · Calgary, AB · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 325

OR pants are not great in general IMO.  I've had five pairs now: first gen. jeans and deadpoints both got rips all over the place, fit is a bit odd (too short with a huge butt), and I've had zipper pulls just fall right off.  I wouldn't recommend them aside from their amazing return policy which lets me put up with their pants falling apart around me over and over...their Cirque pants on the other hands are absolutely amazing in almost every way (but those aren't the pants you're looking for...).

Jordan Angus Gay · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 60

I have a 5-6 year old pair of Prana Zions, other than a couple of tiny wear holes in the knees and a bit of ripped stitching on a back pocket, they are 100% bomber. I will say however that subsequent pairs I've bought seem to be slightly less durable and slimmer fit, but they are still great pants.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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