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I can climb 5.10 wearing 5.10 climbing shoes.  So maybe I can climb 9a if I wear climbing pants called 9a, just maybe, ok probably not. 

In the past 5 weeks I have put in over 20 days of climbing in the Kailas 9a pants.  In these pants I’ve finessed (or so I’d like to think) my way up splitter sandstone hand cracks, groveled on off-widths, thrutched in chimneys, and balanced up prickly limestone slabs.  Overall, these pants have not disappointed.   

First Impression

Yellow!  Really yellow!  These are the pants to be wearing for those Facebook profile pictures or Instagram selfies.  There is no way you will be missed in the shot against the backdrop of red sandstone or grey granite.  The vibrant colour is eye catching and may not be to everyone’s taste, but for some this is exactly what they will be looking for.  The pants also have embroidered Kailas logos and other graphics -- this was a nice detail to see on a pair of climbing pants.

The initial fit felt great.  Elasticized waist with velcro and button closure ensured that waist was snug without being tight.  Belt loops are in place so you can cinch down in the event you start to prioritize buying more cams over groceries during a climbing trip.  The 4-way stretch fabric and articulated knees should allow your legs to have freedom of movement without being baggy.  The legs taper down which makes it easier to see your feet when doing delicate foot matches on tiny edges.  There are also buttons on the side that allow you to roll up the pants, although I wished they had another set of buttons higher up to allow you to roll them up more if needed.

One thing I did notice was the stitching on the waist button was loose.  Although not a deal breaker, this is a bit surprising to see on a brand new pair of pants.


First impressions, proved to be true.  The fit allowed me to climb unhindered –high steps were never an issue – I always felt that the pants moved with me.  As for sizing, I would say that the pants fit true to the sizing chart.  


I would consider the pants to be mid-weight, beefier than Outdoor Research Ferossi pants, but lighter than soft shell pants such as the Arc’teryx Gamma LT.  I wore them during the Spring in Indian Creek and the Canadian Rockies.  The pants feel a bit warm when climbing in the full sun or doing long approaches, but not to the point they are uncomfortable.  I see these pants being equally comfortable in the Fall.  However, for mid-summer climbing, a lighter pair of pants or the Kailas 9a shorts are probably much better options.  


This is where I have been most impressed with the pants.  On a recent trip to Indian Creek I basically lived in these pants.  I wore them up some off-widths, chimneys, and wore them around camp most evenings.  I’ve now been using them on sharp limestone.  So far, no abrasion, no holes, no fraying, and no blown stitches!  On top of the durability, I’m convinced (but I could be wrong) Kailas has some sort of stain guard treatment on these.  The pants have yet to see the inside of a washing machine after 20+ days of use (feel free to judge) so they are dirty, but not filthy, yet still presentable to a non-climbing public.     


If there are things I could change about these pants I would want harness friendly pockets and a small zippered pocket somewhere that can hold a car key, Clif Bar, or topo.  A different system to adjust the cuffs to allow them to roll up higher would also be an improvement in my opinion.


The Kailas 9a is a great pair of climbing pants perfect for cool weather climbing.  I’ve used them all season so far and I look forward to continue using them for the remainder of the season.  They climb well, breath well, and have proven to be very durable.  These pants would be a good addition to any climber’s wardrobe.

Review by Khrisna Nacua

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