Eddie Bauer First Ascent seems to quietly go about their business making gear and clothing for climber without getting a lot of press. But, their product line probably deserves more attention from avid climbers.
We’ve been testing the Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Pro Pants this Summer on various trad climbs that are guaranteed to test the limits of man made fabrics. Read on to see what we thought of them.
The Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Pro Pants are made of 94% Nylon/6% Spandex, and woven to give great 2-way stretch. This allows the pants to stretch and give where and when you need them too, but they don’t get baggy and weird after shaped after a day of climbing in them. The knees have a small amount of articulation pre-sewn in them to help with the natural flex in that area. The entire pants are coated in Stormrepel® DWR finish. I’m not sure how well that DWR finish is going to work after spending a day groveling through offwidths and chimneys, but it’s there. It’s been a rather dry summer so we haven’t had a chance to try out their ability to shed rain. The waistband has built in odor control technology. We couldn’t find any details on this, but the sniff test indicated that whatever it is, it must be working because no stink. Even if it’s done with black magic voodoo, I’ll take it. There are two zipper cargo pockets, one on each thigh. Along with standard hip and back pockets that are not zippered. There is no built in belt, like we would have liked to see, but there are belt loops so you can supply your own belt.
While the Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Pro Pants are designed well, they are look and sound just like regular pants so I’ll just tell you that I was REALLY pleased with how well they performed in testing. I wore these pants on a number of trad routes, but it was the groveling in the calcite slickness of Castleton Tower’s North Chimney that really won me over on these pants. After working through the 2nd pitch offwidth and a number of other un-graceful moves I was sure that there would be some cuts and at the very least some pretty bad abrasions that would soon tear open. I can report back that aside from a little red-rock staining on the cuffs, there is zero indication that these pants have even been worn. Nothing. If that doesn’t say quality climbing pants, I don’t know what does. For those that don’t like to wear pants because they are hot I can also report that the very light fabric that these are made of breathes very well and I stayed cool in them. It wasn’t until the hike down in the 105F sun that I got hot, and frankly I was glad to have the pants on because every other inch of my exposed skin got burned crisp. The pants have built in 50+ SPF so you can protect your legs from scrapes and cuts as well as harmful rays of the sun.
My final say is Awesome Pants! Okay, more professionally, the Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Pro Pants are really well thought out, really well made pants. The fabric and stiching hold strong through abusive climbs. The weight is just perfect for most climbing days. In cold weather I might want a slightly heavier fabric to block wind better, but these are solid 3-season climbing pants. Really the only thing we would change is a built in belt to keep the waist band a little less bulky with a harness. Even then, it’s not bad with a slim belt. Our light tan colored pants, as previously mentioned, did get a little stained by the red rock of the desert. We don’t really mind, but if you want to be able wash and wear the pants in casual settings outside of climbing and have them look clean you may want to get a darker color, or not wear them on the red rocks.
More info at – eddiebauer.com