The North Face Gentle Stretch Cami and Krank Pants – Climbing Gear Review

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TNF Grentle Stretch CamiTNF Krank Pants

CGR reviewer Katie takes a  look at the new summer wear from The North Face.

(top)Value for money *****

(pant)Value for money ****

(both)Performance *****

(both)Quality *****

Rains pouring down outside, there’s a cold wind blowing and I have just opened a parcel that contains the brightest things I’ve seen in about 7 months!

I’ve been given the new season The North Face Krank pants and Gentle Stretch Cami to try out.  Obviously I’ve had to wait a few weeks to try them out without catching pneumonia, but the time finally came, and I was straight out in them.

The North Face Krank pants- gave great freedom to climb in.
The North Face Krank pants- gave great freedom to climb in.

I’ll start with the Gentle Stretch Cami.    The cami is as it says, lovely and soft, made from cotton with a dab of elastane for stretch.  It comes in five colours, with mine being Fuschia, a really nice vibrant colour that hasn’t faded after a number of washes.  Washing wise, I’ve had it on a purely normal wash with other things and it’s stayed the same, no bobbling or stretching.

The back has cross over straps which look pretty and are a nice change, but it does dig in a bit on the cross over.  When wearing the cami without other items on top there is no issue with pressure on the spine, but under a couple of layers I could feel it pressing in a bit.  When worn with a cross back bra it’s pretty uncomfortable.

The North Face Gentle Stretch Cami - comes in 5 colours
The North Face Gentle Stretch Cami – comes in 5 colours

But this cami is part of the collection based on Kalymnos climbing, so bearing this in mind, you’d probably be wearing a bikini top, or nothing underneath.  It has a built in shelf bra support so this may be enough for you; and it hasn’t ruined the top for me at all, I just modify what I wear with it.

The Gentle Stretch Cami is £24.00, a pretty standard price for a nice top.  It’s good quality and fits well.  I’m a size 6-8 top and I got an XS, this fitted me perfectly.

The second item was the Krank pant.  A climbing specific pant that caters for boulderers too big wall climbers.

They come in two colours, I received the Flamenco blue but they also come in a more subdued purple grey (grand purple).  They are definitely eye catching and coordinate surprisingly well with most things.

The trousers are made from VapourWick stretch Nylon, and they are great; you wouldn’t have better movement if you only had underpants on!  They have a diamond crotch and elasticated waist.  The waist band is probably the only minor negative; it’s quite thick and pulls the trousers up higher round your waist as you climb.  I have the XS size and I’m a 8-10 in trousers.  I think they fit well, but maybe if I’d gone up a size the waist wouldn’t be an issue at all.  They have articulated knees which add to the free movement, and UPF 50 sun protection, maybe not as necessary here but in a hotter climate well needed.

Nicely placed pockets on front and back, and draw cords on the ankles for anti snagging finish off a well thought out pair of climbing pants.

The VapourWick Nylon is meant to draw excess moisture to regulate body temperature, I can’t really say if it works or not but I’ll take TNF’s word for it.

Obviously I was pretty keen to try the Krank pants out, so I was a little gung-ho at times with the weather.  I went out a couple of times in them when it turned out it wasn’t quite as sunny as I’d hoped; but I was really surprised as to how much they kept out the wind!

I’ve enjoyed wearing them a lot and because they’re so light and take up so little space, I take them with me everywhere, just in case it turns out to be a sunny day.

TNF Krank pants - light and compressible.
TNF Krank pants – light and compressible.

These are the things that make a good item of climbing clothing; durability, flexibility, light weight and comfortable; the Krank pants are all of the above.

The cost of The North Face Krank Pants is £70.00, a bit more than the average climbing pant, but around the same as some of the more designery brands.  I think if you spent £70.00 on them you wouldn’t be disappointed.  They do everything they say they do, which is refreshing, and they won’t go unnoticed by others! I wore the cami and pants together and was asked if I’d come straight from the 70’s -I take that as a compliment ; )

RRP Gentle Stretch Cami £24.00, Krank Pants £70.00


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