Founded by climbers in 1989, Arc’teryx has been continuously developing highly technical and durable outdoor gear for a range of adventures. Their climbing range is designed to enable and encourage climbers to reach their full potential out on the crag. One of the new additions to their climbing range this season is the Oriel legging. Being comprised of super strong and durable, yet highly flexible and stretchy fabric means that they move with you and are comfy enough for all day wear, no matter what the indoor or outdoor adventure. Sarah, one of our adventurous staff members who loves to climb, tested out the new Oriel leggings and shares with us her thoughts on them.

Oriel Climbing legging being but to the test on the crag

Arc’teryx produces some of the best outdoor gear on the market. Over the last three decades, the Canadian company’s focus on innovation has largely contributed to the improvement of climbing, skiing and alpine technologies. Arc’teryx is well known for its high quality, lightweight and durability.  

The Oriel leggings are the first leggings designed by Arc’teryx tailored specifically for climbing. They complement the range of loose and lightweight climbing pants, such as the Arc’teryx Sylvite. Leggings offer an alternative to climbing pants, which some climbers prefer.

In the climbing scene, leggings have been making their way onto the global climbing runway for quite sometime now. In the 1980’s lycra leggings brightened the crag scene, boasting eye-catching colours and busy patterns, which to some extent symbolised the freedom of the new sport and the fun climbers had in the outdoors. German climbing legend, Wolfgang Güllich, was known for his red and white striped leggings, which Alexander Megos wore when he climbed ‘Action Directe’ (which was the world’s first 9a, first ascended by Wolfgang Güllich in 1991) in Germany’s Frankenjura.

The lycra leggings from the 80’s have come a long way as bouldering and sport climbing evolved into more established sports and are now seen as a multi-purpose garment, often used for yoga and running as well. The re-invention of leggings in the outdoor clothing sector is inspired by the growing popularity of rock climbing among women.

Historically, my preference has always been to wear loose pants for climbing and yoga, and shorts for running. My previous experience with leggings has been mixed, often they have been too tight around the waist and cut into the skin, or they have been too loose and fell down while exercising.

The Arc’teryx Oriel leggings really surprised me. They are sport leggings designed for women who are looking for a one-stop-shop pair of tights, suitable for a variety of activities, and (this is a huge plus!) they are fashionable as they make a great match combined with casual wear, such as a dress, denim jacket, or jumper for post-climbing beers or bites!


Climbers on a wall in an Indoor climbing gym


The fit is great! Plain and simple – they fit true to size. As mentioned above, I have struggled previously with the fit of leggings. The Arc’teryx Oriel leggings come in sizes XS to XL; I am generally a medium in pants and the size medium fit me perfectly. The wide waistband is very comfortable and the mesh lining keeps the leggings in place without cutting into the skin. The gusseted crotch allows for great flexibility and mobility, which is as important during yoga as it is during rock climbing and bouldering. The tight fit around the waist and the legs was really beneficial while wearing a climbing harness. Also the placement of the pockets on both sides of the leggings suits the harness perfectly and adds to the functionality of the garment. The pockets are large enough to fit a mid-size mobile phone and the pockets are designed so that it’s barely noticeable, so much so that I caught myself several times looking for my phone!    



I’ve worn the Oriel leggings during yoga sessions, ultimate frisbee games, jogging along the beach, I’ve climbed and bouldered in them both indoors and outdoors, and cycled in them all over Sydney, including one of my favourite places, the Royal National Park. They’ve been very comfortable and have held up to the test during all activities. No bunching, falling down, or digging in! I’ve also worn them under a dress to go out for dinner in the city in after my session of climbing at Sydney Indoor Climbing Gym. The plain black colour and the placement of the logo (hip-high) suits most clothing really well, making them suitable for casual wear and high output physical activity. So they are a real all-rounder!

Climbing in an indoor climbing gym in the Arc'teryx Oriel leggings


The material is lightweight and highly breathable, which makes the tights comfortable during higher intensity exercise. Or, for anyone adventuring in Australia who still likes to wear longer pants during the hotter months. The leggings weigh only 155 grams, which makes them easy to carry aroundthey even fit in a small bag. Regardless of how light they are, the material is dense and the show-through is minimal. For all the adventurers who have fallen victim to the see-through bottoms, you won’t have to worry here! With the cold climate in Canada, Arc’teryx designers are well versed in the need for functional pant-style bottoms that do more than offer casual wear.

When I wore the leggings while sport-climbing outdoors in the Upper Shippley/Blackheath area in the Blue Mountains, they did not show any signs of wearing against sandstone. This was less of a surprise to me, as I’ve experienced the exceptional durability of Arc’teryx garments before. For example, my Gamma AR pants got caught on both rocks while climbing and in my bike chain while I was cycling, but did not tear. That has to be one of the better garment tests I have accidentally put my gear through – happy it passed!

I’ve also washed the Oriel leggings several times and they did not change their shape, begin to pill, or negatively impact the soft feeling of the material.



Overall, the Arc’teryx Oriel leggings are a step up from other sport leggings! Their fit, functionality and durability as well as their capacity to be versatile make these leggings an exceptional product. The Oriel leggings are a must for everyone who has experienced the quality and innovation of Arc’teryx gear, which is unique! For all the climbers out there who also love to run, stretch and play, the Oriel leggings will surprise you and become your to-go pair!


We would love to know if you have tried the new Oriel legging? Let us know your thoughts below? 

#ExperienceIsEverything | #PaddyPallin 


About The Author

Sarah Niklas

Sarah brings her adventurous spirit backed by her European roots along with her climbing, hiking and travel experience to our Parrammatta store. As an avid climber, cyclist, all-round outdoor adventurer, Sarah is well versed in a wide range of gear as well as travel and activity advice. She has recently completed her PhD, and exemplifies day-in, day-out the benefits of balancing an outdoor-based, active lifestyle with a busy, goal smashing lifestyle. Drop in to our Parramatta store and say “hi!”.

One Response

  1. Ricki Caden

    It?s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you?re talking about! Thanks


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