Marmot Hueco Pant – a top notch functional cragging pant that looks good too.
Value for money *****
Over the years I’ve developed a certain affinity with a couple of models of rock climbing trousers and struggled to deviate away from them. Don’t get me wrong, I have tried others, but I’ve never quite found anything that is as comfortable, well cut (even wearing a harness) and looks the part (vain I know!). So does the Hueco Pant from Marmot change this?
The Hueco Pant is Marmot’s latest addition to their cragging legwear range. With a name alluding to Texan bouldering mecca, Hueco Tanks they are certainly thinking in the right direction. Although don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a pant solely for boulderers. Marmot say that the trouser was developed using feedback from their own rock climbing athletes in an attempt to create a trouser that, “is ideal for climbers wanting a pant they can climb in all day without affecting performance.”
And this really is a great pair of trousers for all aspects of rock climbing, from bouldering on the grit to multi pitch classics on Cloggy. They even fit in nicely down the pub afterwards. So what makes them so good?
Well, I have worn my Hueco Pants for bouldering on gritstone in the Yorkshire Dales and on Swiss granite. I’ve had them out sport climbing in Provence and tradding on Lakeland mountain crags. They’ve even fitted in nicely in trendy Chamonix bars (even if I didn’t!). As Marmot say, they really are an “all day pant.”
The first thing that struck me about them was the fit. I am a 30 inch waist and regular inside leg and my test pair of pants is size small. They fit perfectly. The elasticated waist is comfortable, even whilst wearing a harness and this is aided by the soft lining on the inside of the waistband. The waist does also feature a drawcord for tweaking the fit but I’ve not really found this necessary.The cut is loose but not ‘MC Hammer’ loose, so you can move freely on those high steps or heel hooks but they don’t obscure your feet either. The diamond gusseted crotch provides extra freedom of movement on those high steps and bridging moves too, as do the articulated knees. Another thing I noticed about the crotch on the Hueco Pant is that it isn’t too low. Some other trousers I have tried recently have had a low crotch similar to what you would see on the jeans of some 13 year old youth with a skateboard. The problem with this is that as soon as you put a harness on the trousers are pulled up by about 2 inches and the fabric bunches up in all the wrong places.
“And this really is a great pair of trousers for all aspects of rock climbing, from bouldering on the grit to multi pitch classics on Cloggy. They even fit in nicely down the pub afterwards.”
I found that the leg length was pretty much spot on. The trousers didn’t look half mast whilst wearing trainers etc and they weren’t dragging along the floor either. When climbing there is a velcro cuff feature which allows you to cinch the hems in a little, but I actually prefer to turn them up a turn or two. This isn’t due to problems with the length though, it just seems to be a ritual I partake in with all my rock climbing pants! The fabric seems to tolerate this without you having to re-roll them every two minutes as well.
Speaking of the fabric, Marmot use a 65/35% polyester and cotton mix on the Huecos. This woven fabric appears to be very durable in the time that I have used them. It is super comfortable against the skin and very breathable which is a real bonus in warmer weather. They also dry very quickly if they do get wet. The downside is that they are not the most wind resistant pair of pants out there so you might be better going for a lightweight soft-shell style if you are looking for something for prolonged use on UK mountain crags and definitely for Alpine rock routes. One final note about the fabric is that it is rated to sun protection factor (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) 30. This is definitely handy for the fair skinned amongst us!
So there you go, the Hueco Pants from Marmot have been officially accepted into my cragging legwear of choice! An excellent cut, high quality workmanship and durable and comfortable fabric. Perfect for bouldering, sport climbing and trad stuff too, although those spending lots of time on mountain routes may want something a little more windproof. They even look great in the pub afterwards. Top job Marmot!