Review by Tony Lourens
There is little better than a well cut, good fitting pair of climbing pants. Of course, back in the day, tights were the in thing and were actually very comfortable to climb in, and although there are still a few retro die-hards out there, most of us have moved with fashion.
Today, climbing pants, and indeed all top brand climbing garments are made to very high specifications, use only the best textiles and materials, and come with a price tag that would feel more at home in an Armani store. But for good reason . . . as you will know if you have ever fitted on an Armani suit. As much as a well cut suit makes you feel like George Clooney, good fitting climbing pants can make you feel like Chris Sharma! No? Okay, well maybe not Sharma, but you get my drift.
Wild Country’s Balance are the quintessential climbing pants – made from light but tough stretch cotton, which works well in warm or cool conditions. Athletically and stylishly cut with a gusseted crotch and pleated knees, it gives you freedom of movement and great flexibility.
What I really like about the pants is the broad, flat and elasticated waist band, which fits perfectly under your harness with no discomfort to talk about. It also has a hidden draw-cord if you need to cinch it even tighter. Other great features are the two large flat thigh pockets and a back pocket for stashing route descriptions, small phone and the like. And the ankle hem adjuster means you can hoick the hem above your boots if needed.
One thing to watch out for is the sizing, the Balance seems to have been downsized one full size, so if you normally take a medium, you would need to try on a large for a similar fit.
To sum it up, the Balance are well manufactured and designed specifically for climbers. They are awesome in the hills and they are way stylish enough to wear around town or to a Chris Sharma benefit evening!
• Stretch cotton twill: 98% cotton 2% Elastane
• Elasticated flat waist hem
• Loose fit
• ‘Y cut’ crotch
• Ergonomic pre-shaped knees
• Wind resistant
• Rear flap pockets
• Leg hem adjuster