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The best climbing jeans for the ultimate active lifestyle.

A showery spring has sprung in the French Alps, with warmer weather requiring multi-functional garments that look good, wear well and allow for varying outdoor activities, such as hiking, climbing and mountain biking. But dressing for the inter-season is a somewhat considered affair of layering, style and functionality, which is lacking in much sportswear.

So, to look cool and be able to go anywhere, be active and feel relaxed, you need to invest in a great pair of climbing jeans: dynamic denims that are good fitting, stretchy and somewhat reinforced – indeed, so flexible, you can do pretty much anything in them! Jeans designed for climbers are soft and comfortable, while hard wearing, with supple waist, crotch and knees. And, they are usually cut well enough to be worn from boulder to bistro to bar.

quechua-x-light-jacket

The best value versatile sportswear piece.

But, as with buying all jeans, you need to research several styles and try on loads before finding the perfect fit, not forgetting that they must sit right within a harness. Wear them with a technical support vest under a relaxed fit tank, then top a sweater with a lightweight down jacket and you’ll look good and move fluidly, while being able to temperature regulate easily.

I must admit that the X-Light ladies’ down jacket, £29.99 from www.quechua.co.uk is possibly the most intelligent and versatile sportswear garment in girl’s gear quiver, being warm and wearable for anything. Combined with climbing jeans it becomes a tad Chamonix uniform, but styled under a hip street jacket (biker, cowboy, military or reefer) will stand you out from the mountain crowd and it packs small enough to go in a handbag. Accessorize your urban climbing ensemble with cute mountaineering inspired jewellery from www.alpine-butterfly.com to prove that valley girls can strut it on the street.

Scandi brilliance - an all action over-skirt.

Scandi brilliance – an all-action over-skirt.

While the ultimate mountain chic accessory to sport over climbing pants is a down padded skirt that keeps your nether region warm when thrown on over jeans or thermal leggings. This brilliant idea was conceived by Swedish company Skhoop, as an insulated wrap-around skirt with side zips designed for outdoor inclement weather activities, but now many brands including high-end Moncler, Bogner and Canada Goose make them. www.skhoop.co.uk

So, to the jeans – here are my top picks:

prana-kara-jean

PrAna Kana skinny jeans.

The PrAna Kana jeans have an excellent slim cut with plenty of stretch to make them close fitting and flexible enough to climb in, as well coming in an array of colours at a great price, £55 from www.bananafingers.co.uk

prana-boyfriend-jean

PrAna cosy lined Boyfriend jeans.

The PrAna Lined Boyfriend jeans are loose cut straight legs that incorporate stretch and a cosy flannel lining to keep you warm while active in the Great Outdoors, £65 from www.bananafingers.co.uk

simond-jeans

Simond’s jeans – a Chamonix classic.

Simond, the classic Chamonix climbing brand, has a practical pair of women’s climbing jeans in a soft, yet robust, abrasion-resistant denim, with pre-shaped knees, comfortably smooth inside seams and a flat waistband perfectly shaped for wearing under a climbing harness, €39.95 from www.simond.com

moon-faraday-jean

Moon’s fabulous Faraday ladies’ denims.

Moon’s Faraday jeans are durable and stretchy with a discreet diamond gusset that make them supremely lithe for climbing, but they look great off the rock face, too, due to their contemporary skinny styling. £60 from www.moonclimbing.com

marmot-rock-spring-jean

Figure hugging rock hoppers by Marmot.

Marmot’s Rock Spring jeans feature a classic slim cut and denim mixed with Coolmax to give them a mountaineering-technical spin; they also have plenty of stretch for hiking and scrambling, £62.95 from www.bergfreunde.co.uk

gentic-magic-wood-jean

Billowing bouldering jean-loons by Gentic.

 

Gentic’s Magic Wood women’s bouldering pants come loose in a soft stretchy denim with gathered ankles so you won’t catch or drag the hems and cute edelweiss buttons and rivets, £88.95 from www.bergfreunde.co.uk

patagonia-boyfriend-crop-jean

Patagonia’s appropriately PC jeans.

Patagonia’s cropped Boyfriend jeans are extremely politically correct, being cut from fairly traded and environmentally friendly dyed organic cotton denim. They also feature stretch and Coolmax for maximum clambering comfort and outdoor technical specifications, £70 from www.patagonia.com

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