3rd Rock Clothing Review

3rd Rock are a Derbyshire based climbing apparel company that design practical and fashionable clothing using organic cotton and recycled fabrics. A few weeks ago Ola Stępień reviewed a selection of 3rd Rock's women's clothing (see here); now it's my turn to look at some of the men's range. Over the summer and into autumn I've been wearing their NOVA climbing trousers and ROCKET shorts.

Men's NOVA trousers £65

Cut and features

NOVA trousers have a loose, baggy fit with an unusual cut that allows maximum movement with only a very small amount of stitching. In terms of construction, they rather remind me of the Levi Twist jeans from back in the day, with a seam that spirals around the leg. As per most cragging legwear they have the standard diamond shaped crotch to facilitate wide bridging and high stepping, and an elasticated waist with an internal drawstring to get the fit a bit more snug.

There is no fly, but 3rd Rock have provided a cosmetic fly flap. There are two front pockets and one velcro-secured pocket at the back for loose change etc.

The leg cuffs have elastic drawstrings with a one-pull securing mechanism. This is handy for keeping the bottoms of the trousers out of the way of your feet when climbing. They come in two different leg lengths: short, at 31.5" and regular at 33.5" which are a tad longer than standard leg lengths.

There is a small embroidered logo on the front right pocket and a large printed one back of the right calf that looks pretty cool.


The NOVA trousers are made from 97.5% super soft organic cotton, which feels great, with the addition of 2.5% elastane for a subtle bit of stretch. The result is a lot comfier, and more eco friendly, than my usual polyester/cotton climbing trousers. Perhaps it's not quite as quick drying as poly-cotton, but if it's raining then you won't be climbing anyway, right?

They come in a wide array of bright colours too. I think I've got away with 'amber' pictured here.


At first I found the main seam going down across the knee a little unusual. As soon as I started climbing however, I could appreciate the enhanced ease of movement that the cut allowed for. In addition, the flat seams in crucial places make the stitching almost unnoticeable, and the NOVAs feel fine under a harness.

The soft cotton feels great next to the skin. It is pretty warm in colder weather, yet it doesn't feel too hot when working hard. The fabric is very durable, making them perfect for climbing on abrasive rock.

The only possible downside I can think of is the lack of a zipped fly, but I can imagine it might compromise the tracksuit-bottom-level of comfort, so I can live without it.

It's fair to say that I've been living in these trousers since I got them. They are so comfy and free moving for climbing, but of course also around the house or even down the local boozer. After several months of near-constant use there are a few frayed stitches on the knees, but only if you look really close. On the whole I love 'em!

What 3rd Rock say:

The NOVA are possibly the most spectacular men's climbing trouser of all time. This is an all round versatile trouser for any type of climbing, equipped with a movement-cut and super comfortable feel. Bonus –ultra visible colour on the rocks for your fantastic photos.

  • Fabric: 97.5% Organic Cotton / 2.5% Elastane - Twill
  • Fit: Baggy, comfortable and cool.
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Leg length: RL - Regular Leg 85cm/33.5". SL - Short Leg - 80cm/31.5"
  • Extra-stretchy movement-enhanced fabric for any unplanned dance moves.
  • Curved Leg Seam for extra knee room. Show us that unrestricted movement.
  • Diamond cut crotch so you can spread 'em to your heart's content.
  • Elastic Waistband equipped with adjustable Puller Cord.
  • Ankle Elastic with One-Handed cord lock system. Brush holds at the same time.
  • Velcro Bum Pockets, never worry about items falling out.
  • Subtle logo on the back calf.
  • Colours: Amber (pictured), Baltic (baby blue), Tibet (plum), Frog (turquoise), Night (dark blue)

For more info see

Men's ROCKET shorts £39.99

Cut and features

ROCKET shorts are pretty much a cut-down version of the NOVA pants, sporting the same lovely soft fabric and the same casual styling. The only visible difference is that the crotch is a separate panel with flat seams instead of a diamond. This makes no difference to how well you can climb in them - freedom of movement is just as good.

The shorts are knee length, which to my mind is a good practical length since it gives you a little more sun protection and pairs well with a harness. Cosmetic-wise, there's a small logo patch on the left leg.


Just like the trousers, the ROCKET shorts fit and feel great with or without a harness. Fundamentally they are like a summer version of the NOVA pants, with minor differences, so if you get on well with one then you'll probably like the other.

The only thing that I didn't like about the shorts that I received to review were that the waist drawstring fitted on the outside rather than inside of the waistband, making it prone to snag. In the more recent version of the ROCKET though, 3rd Rock have made it internal.

What 3rd Rock say:

Take off with the ROCKET, the most comfortable and durable organic climbing shorts. We've paid extra attention and bias cut the crotch of these babies so that you'll never have a problem placing those feet anywhere they want to go. Lazy close velcro pockets in the back make life simple, sit down, and they're shut. Massive front pockets allow you to go to the crag, less bag, more full pockets.

  • Fabric: 97.5% Organic Cotton / 2.5% Elastane Durable Stretchy Twill
  • Fit: Medium to Baggy
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Cut for loads of movement
  • Bias Cut Crotch Panel - spread 'em to your heart's content.
  • Puller cord to keep them sturdy if you lose a few pounds from all that climbing
  • Soft, easy open and close Velcro Back Pockets
  • Deep front pockets for extra storage
  • Elasticated waistband, no fuss to get on and off. All day comfort.
  • Colours: Vemon (purple), Fire (dark red), Sea (aqua blue), Amber (yellow), Sky (light blue), Baltic (pictured), Forest (dark green), Tibet (plum), Nut (brown)

For more info see

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18 Nov, 2016
Quite a claim!
18 Nov, 2016
Except obviously Decathlon's stretch climbing 'jeans' at less than 1/2 the price are probably better. Do you mean the local circus, Paul? Only in S7 would you get away with wearing bright yellow, baggy trousers in the pub :).
18 Nov, 2016
18 Nov, 2016
And IMHO if you drink beer trousers without a fly aren't that great a choice for 'down the boozer'. Seems like climbing trousers these days are all super-expensive tracky-bottoms. Surely a fly and a zip pocket to put stuff like car keys in you don't want to leave in your bag aren't too much to ask for.
18 Nov, 2016
What a disappointment, I was hoping to attire myself like either Harry or Dick Solomon!
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