review by Tony Lourens
For quite some time I have seen climbers at crags climbing in jeans. My thoughts were always, looks cool, but must be quite uncomfortable and restrictive, surely. I mean, from the super slinky and highly functional lycras of the ’80s and ’90s, which allowed absolute fluid movement with no impingement of any kind, to bulky denim trousers, which were made for city street life?! Made no sense to me.
Of course, over the last decade or more, climbing pants have come a long way. They are highly spec’d garments that have gone through stringent R & D and are tailored to perform on rock – well-cut, semi-stretch material with crotch gusset, etc. But are also stylish enough to wear during everyday life.
BD have been in the climbing apparel game for a few years now and have produced some excellent climbing trousers (which I practically live in), and have now released their new Forged Denim jeans.
BDs jeans look exactly like a top of the range high street brand of jeans, but with quite a few differences, which become apparent the minute you slip into them. Stylish yet functionally cut and optimised for climbing, they are super comfy – not tight and not loose, and the stretch in the material allows for total freedom of movement. The beauty about these jeans as well, is that when you have them on they feel so light, cool and easy to wear, but at the same time they are super durable, due to the Cordura fibre content in the fabric, giving them a high strength to weight ratio.
Besides general wear, I gave my pair of BD denims the ‘full day multi-functional’ test in Montagu a few weeks ago: Took the dogs for a short walk in the morning through some Cape fynbos, hung some pictures up on the wall, went to meet friends down town for breakfast, then went out for a few hours of sport climbing. Came home in the late afternoon, packed a small cooler and then popped over to mates for a braai! Yip, you guessed it. All in the same trousers. All that was needed was a quick pat down to get rid of some chalk marks.
BD calls their new Forged Denim jeans the world’s best climbing denim, and although it is a brave statement, I don’t see any other denims that come close. It certainly does the job extremely well, on the crag and down town.
Cordura Stretch Denim
(75% Cotton, 10% Nylon, 13% Polyester, 2% Elastane, 339 gsm)