Kev has been out in the Alps for much of the summer where he has been putting the very jazzy looking Corona Climbing Pants from The North Face, through their paces. So what was the verdict?
The North Face say: “The Men’s Corona Climbing Pant by THE NORTH FACE is a Summit Series™ pant in TNF™ Apex Universal fabric with a tapered lower leg for unrestricted footwork.“
I have worn The North Face Corona Climbing Pants all summer for rock and alpine climbing. In short I have been super impressed with these pants. They are comfortable and durable. They have attracted a fair bit of attention from others too, although I expect that a lot of this is down to the garish ‘Salsa Red’ colour way! I was told numerous times that I “looked pretty Euro” or “would fit in well in Italy”, whatever that was meant to mean! Joking aside, these pants are fantastic for technical climbing and if the bright red colour way is not your thing, then TNF also do them in two slightly more conservative colours; grey and black.
The Apex Universal fabric that The North Face use to produce the Corona Climbing Pant, is stretchy, breathable and fairly wind and water resistant. In terms of fit, the trousers are reasonably tight (not in a restrictive way, far from it in fact) or maybe narrow in the leg is a better description. They are designed to offer freedom of movement without having any extra fabric flapping in the way, which can potentially snag on rocks and crampon spikes. They do this perfectly, aided by the articulated knees and tapered legs. In fact the Corona climbing pants are slightly boot cut so that they sit perfectly over the top of mountaineering boots. Not so much as to get in the way when wearing rock shoes though. They also have tie down loops on the hems so you can add bungy elastics to stop them riding up which pretty much negates the need for gaiters. This is an essential feature on an alpine pant as far as I’m concerned.
In terms of other features the Corona Climbing Pants are quite minimalist, which is one of the reasons I like them so much. They have two zippered pockets, a reversed fly zipper which is easier to access when wearing a harness (although it could do with the addition of a zipper tab) an awesome flat waist band which is super comfy and doesn’t interfere with a harness, and finally a simple webbing waist band to keep them in place.
On the rock I found the Corona Climbing Pants to be amazing, the excellent fit meant no restriction of movement, even on harder pitches and the neat fit meant there was no danger of snagging or catching on crampons whilst ice and mixed climbing. They’ve also been incredibly durable, surviving a whole summer of alpine granite, limestone, snow, ice and rubble without so much as a nick or tear.
So to conclude, the Corona Climbing Pants from The North Face are awesome. They have the best cut of any technical softshell climbing pant I have worn. They have all the features you need and do the job perfectly.