Blue jeans? Seriously?
Just a few years ago high tech stretch fabrics changed how everyone climbed. And those same fabrics made climbing easier. Some times much, much easier. Winter climbing was a sport that the newest stretch fabrics had a big impact for me.
Funny because the equestrian world hasn't really changed a lot in the last 300+ years. Lots of leather, wax coated cotton, wool and silk still used there.
As the weather turned this fall this year I suited up myself and a couple of my riding friends with several versions of the Gamma line of soft shell climbing pants from Arcteryx. All three versions are a huge hit in nasty weather on a horse. Weight and insulation required is determined by the temperatures and moisture coming down that one chooses to ride in. Kinda like skiing and climbing there.
The upper layers commonly seen around our barn now are as often as not Patagonia or Arcteryx as they are Carhart or a bright yellow rain slicker.
Either way, the newest stretch fabrics are really appreciated on the lower body, just like they are in climbing. Hard too believe for many I suspect but one might easily compare riding a horse to skiing or climbing when you look at what is required for mobility and from your garments.
So I was an eye opener to me to use a pair of Gamma ARs riding a horse on a chilly day. Just as much an eye opener is to find the Wrangler "Advanced Comfort" jeans something that I would be willing to rock climb in. Not Lycra by any means. Heavier, more durable and none of the pretty colors :) Just good old shades of blue denim with a tiny bit of Spandex added (1%). 1% doesn't sound like much. But this time around they have the feel of a decent pair of well worn, button front, 501s and enough stretch (seriously) as to NOT get your attention on a moderately BIG move. BTW, denim jeans are way more retro than Lycra for the fashion conscious out there :)
And the Wrangler version beats the retail price of another jean option, the Prana Axion by a good bit of coin.
But retro aint everything :)
Patagonia and Arcteryx @ 25 degrees mid December. Awesome combo in a saddle.