This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Assessing Functional Needs of Rock Climbing Pants




Michaelson, Dawn

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Consumer Affairs


The objective of this exploratory study was to assess the functional needs of outdoor rock climber pants by looking at fit, mobility, comfort, protection, and donning/doffing, based on the functional category of the Functional, Expressive, Aesthetic (FEA) Consumer Needs Model. Data from 185 active rock climbers was collected by questionnaire at two rock climbing events. The study utilized a mixed methods approach with open-ended questions being analyzed with grounded theory, and quantitative data analyzed by descriptive statistics and repeated measure ANOVA. Participants reported mild satisfaction with pant fit. Pant mobility was only slightly satisfying and was affected by the type of climbing technique performed. Climbers rated pants as uncomfortable after climbing and only somewhat protective and durable in knees, seat, and crotch. Based on these results improvements in climbing pant fit, design, and fabric performance would improve the functional pant needs for rock climbers.