We’ve all been there.  Maybe yours happened stepping over a deadfall; maybe it was scrambling over some talas; maybe you were climbing a tree as a kid.  No matter what you were doing when your pants blew their seams, that’s not the type of exposure alpinists are looking for.  Rab’s Vertex pants are a lightweight mountain pant with unbelievable stretch that will move with all of your activities.

Rab Vertex Pant Features:

  • Double snap waist closure
  • Belt loops
  • 2 YKK zipped hand warmer pockets
  • 1 YKK zipped thigh pocket
  • Knee articulation
  • Hem drawcord
  • 35+ UPF
  • Fit: Regular
  • MSRP: $90

Thanksgiving Shoot-35

Rab Vertex Stretches Your Limits

The Vertex pants are really built around one thing – range of motion.  That’s the name of the game for these stellar, stretchy senders and I’ve climbed, hiked, backpacked, bouldered and even swam in the flexible Vertex pants.  We’ve had plenty of testing time during this peculiarly mild PNW and the Vertexes have suffered plenty of abuse.

As we’ve come to expect, Rab‘s design know-how manifests itself in a plethora of thoughtful touches that help the Vertex excel on the mountain.  The fabric itself is stretchy and quite light, making these pants ideal for warmer days.  Oddly, Rab didn’t cut a gusset into the crotch of the pants, presumably because the fabric is too stretchy to tear.  Range of motion doesn’t suffer one bit, and even the fiddliest bouldering problems saw my legs failing before the fabric did; additionally, the Vertexes have articulated knees so there’s very little resistance throughout the pant.  Rab also included a double snap-button closure for extra security on the waist band.

photo 1

Rab chose to include three zippered pockets, only one of which is convenient to access when you’re in a harness.  There are two normal hand pockets and then one further down the right leg; these pockets are all deep and the zips are very light weight which helps them pull easily.  I suppose bigger zipper pulls would be nice when you have gloves on, but I was usually either climbing or in fairly warm weather with these pants.

One of my favorite features are the drawcords on the hem of the pant legs.  These make it a cinch to reduce the volume around your ankles and the shock cord easily tucks away inside of the pants .  This was especially useful when climbing since I like to wear cutoffs or 3/4 pants for mobility, but it’s also a great way to seal out ticks once Spring rolls around.

photo 2

My only real gripe is that Rab did nothing to treat the fabric against water or odor.  As a result, rain cuts right through the fabric and these definitely aren’t good multi-day pants because they work up a stink even when paired with tech underwear.  I don’t mind the lack of DWR too much, but an anti-microbial seems like it should have been a given.


The Good

  • Phenomenal range of motion
  • Zippers are all very light and pull easily
  • Hem drawcords add a great deal of versatility
  • Overall construction is top-notch, with lots of wear and no hint of failure yet

The Bad

  • No DWR or anti-microbial – smack on forehead
  • Failed to magically help me send a 5.12

The Bottom Line

The Vertex is a great climbing pant that’s versatile enough for all of your fair-weather activities.  Sadly, the lack of anti-microbial treatment means that the Vertex pants work up an impressive stink, making for unhappy tentmates on multi-days.  Odor aside, every other aspect of the Vertex is top-notch and worthy of any rock face.

Buy now: Available from Moosejaw.com

About Author

Kevin Glover is an outdoorsman living, climbing and biking in Spokane, WA. Originally from the Nevada high desert, he moved to the PNW for its mild winters and allergen-free summers. He has guided throughout the Cascades and Enchantments for Peak 7 Adventures.

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