REVIEW: NIHIL Incubator Pant by Kevin Avery

Described as “a sturdy bouldering pant,” Kevin Avery tests the Incubator Pants from Dutch company, NIHIL…

Rating (out of 5)

Performance: *****

Quality: *****

Value For Money: *****

Price: £60.00

NIHIL Incubator Pant

NIHIL are a Dutch clothing company (NEWS: NIHIL in the UK) who’s philosophy is built around producing fashionable climbing clothing with optimal performance characteristics. The Men’s Incubator Pant certainly fits in well with this.

So what are they?

The Incubator pant is a trouser aimed at the bouldering market. It is made from a sturdy midweight cotton with a 3% Elastane content to add stretch and ease of movement. The fabric looks and feels tough without feeling too heavy when they’re on.

The Incubator Pants are simply designed but have some nice features which give them a sense of individuality. They are also incredibly practical and look good to boot.

They feature a zip fly with popper, two front pockets and one on the rear (none of which feature a closure) and a straight cut that is loose but not too baggy. Both pocket and fly areas are reinforced at key wear points with contrast double stitching, which is a nice touch.

The waistband is fitted with belt loops so a standard belt is the option if you fail to find the perfect fit.

The Incubator Pants from NIHIL negotiating a tricky topout at Apremont, Fonatinbleau (PHOTO: Jennifer Adair)

The hem of the Incubator Pants features a concealed drawcord. This allows you to cinch the hems in to stop them flapping around and obscuring your boots but at the same time they are hidden so you actually just see a standard trouser hem. Fashion and function indeed! I found this quite useful as the trousers only come in one leg length for each size and my pair were a little long (I’m usually a regular inside leg length). Obviously you can still roll them up if this is more to your liking.

The crotch is what I’d describe as standard. It doesn’t sit too low and it hasn’t got a diamond insert for extra mobility. To be honest though, the stretch fabric allows more than enough mobility.

What have I used them for and how did they perform?

Okay, so NIHIL describe these as a bouldering pant, so that’s what I did first! The sandstone playground of Fontainebleau to be precise! I found the Incubator Pants to be very comfortable to climb in. They gave great mobility on tricky high steps and the cut is such that they don’t flap around and obscure your feet. The drawcords on the hem help with this as well.

I like the fact that the crotch isn’t too low as this is a gripe I have with many other “trendy” cragging pants I’ve tried in the past, particularly if I’ve worn them with a harness. The stretchy fabric provides more than enough mobility on those eye-watering bridging problems!

Attempting the classic Noir Desir at Cuvier Rempart in a pair of Incubator pants from NIHIL (PHOTO: Jennifer Adair)

So all in all this is a stylish, functional and durable pair of trousers easily capable of withstanding Font sandstone, Yorkshire grit and Swiss granite. But what are they like for climbing routes?

Well to be honest, the Incubators get along just as well. And this is primarily down to the cut, particularly in the upper leg and crotch area. As they are not “low crotch” or “low slung” on the waist, the trousers are not hauled up your legs to sit uncomfortably ruffled, as soon as you step into a harness. In fact they hang pretty much the same as when you don’t have a harness on at all. This I like!

Okay, they do have their failings. They are not waterproof or windproof or particularly quick drying, but it’s not the point of them either and they are still perfect for 99% of UK cragging situations.

In Conclusion

All in all the Incubator Pants are a well designed and stylish pair of climbing trousers. They are durable, comfortable, well cut and stretchy. They also look the part. Buy these if you want a top notch pair of trousers for cragging and bouldering. They are quickly becoming my cragging pants of choice!

  • Read more about the Incubator Pants and purchase them from the NIHIL online shop and website
  • For details of UK stockists or to stock NIHIL in your retail outlet contact:

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