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Gramicci Original G-Pants

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
photo: Gramicci Original G-Pants climbing pant

A stylish and versatile product, when introduced. How has the passage of time impacted that reputation?

They're still pretty good...but what is their primary function?


  • Tough fabric
  • Well constructed
  • Simple design
  • Comfortable
  • All-cotton, is a good eco choice


  • Lack of a zipper (remedied, in subsequent updates)
  • Not the lightest
  • Not the best, in hot weather
  • Not quick drying

I bought my first pair of Gramiccis from REI, in Fremont, around 2005. They still made them, without a zipper, in Oxnard, Calf. The gusseted crotch was innovative and allowed climbers room to bend and stretch, in ways that slimmer fitting cotton pants couldn't provide. Waist adjustment was via a partially concealed webbing belt: maximum simplicity, with little to break or degrade.

In the intervening years, Gramicci have outsourced their sewing operations, added a zipper, and now offer two further fashion options, for those who value a figure flattering silhouette, over scrambling utility. The original G's are quite baggy in the leg, by comparison with the modified versions. I am not reviewing either of them.

The cotton twill is mid weight—much thinner and softer than denim but much tougher than the ubiquitous poly-cottons, which dominate the outdoor leg wear market, at the moment. There are two roomy hand pockets, in the side seams (reminiscent of a pair of chinos) and a Velcro tabbed rear pocket (modern variants have two of these). If you wanted to roll up the legs of these pants, the relatively narrow ankle width would be the determining factor—along with the size of your calves. I've worn mine rolled up, to just below the knee- but I appreciate that some folks would find that impossible.

My G-Pants have survived very well- but they've lived a pampered life. They aren't first choice for walking, nor were they my go-to climbing apparel (when both shoulders worked). There were- and are- other products on the market, which are stretchy and even more comfortable, with the added benefit of drying more easily after rain, or out of the laundry. They aren't quite formal enough, for many workplaces and stain too easily, for some manual tasks.  They're too heavy and bulky for a backpacking trip and the extra fabric feels...inefficient, on the trail—too baggy and flappy, in the wind, too heavy and uncomfortable, when wet..

Gramiccis remain a comfy, casual pair of pants, for three-season wear. Rather expensive, in the UK, currently- but probably more acceptable, as a fashion statement, or as work wear, than when they were first designed and manufactured. Younger, non-sporty folks, seem to recognise the brand (and don't associate it with greybeards like me!).

The pants are much...much tougher than they look and reassuringly simple-especially the old ones- with nothing to break, or go wrong. If I'm driving to see friends, going shopping, or to conduct some informal business and the weather isn't too hot, I might wear them, in preference to blue jeans. On very rare occasions, I might go for a walk in them, but this no longer seems to be their purpose.

When Mike Graham launched the company, in 1982 and took his gusseted pants to Yosemite, they must have been the talk of the climbers' campsite.   Thirty-nine years later, I can't imagine anyone climbing anything difficult, in something so baggy and relatively heavy. Time—and fabric technology—moves on.


I have two pairs and a pair of G-shorts (reviewed here

The pair under review are sixteen years old.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $40

These pants are functionally great. They are very comfortable and provide a great range of motion. Good for hiking and any related outdoor activities.

Unfortunately, the two pairs I purchased developed tears and holes relatively quickly. They were pretty much destroyed within a couple of years.

I contacted Gramicci to ask about their thoughts on my situation, and they didn't provide any support to speak of. Transcript of e-mail exchange with Gramicci below. I've removed the names of myself and the Gramicci person.



Love your products. Had some pants give out on me in the seams the recently, which was a surprise. Basically, they're falling apart. Anything you can do for me?


Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2007 8:46 AM
Subject: Re: product

I guess not...thanks anyway!



Sorry, sometimes it can take me up to a week to respond.

(NOTE: Gramicci response was 2 weeks after first inquiry)

When and where did you purchase your pants?



Director of Key Account Relations
880 Hampshire Rd suite B
Westlake Village, Ca 91361

Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2007 10:46 AM1
Subject: RE: product

Oh, hello!

Bought them a couple of years ago at the REI in Concord, CA...

They've been great for hiking, but I was hoping they might last longer. What's the life expectancy of the product?


Humm..That's hard to say...just depend on the wear and tear...washing etc.


Director of Key Account Relations
880 Hampshire Rd suite B
Westlake Village, Ca 91361


Ok...well, thanks anyway! (?)

Fabric: Cotton
Price Paid: $60

I've owned 5 pairs of these pants and all of them have lasted for several years. I still have the second pair I bought back in the mid '90s, though they're only good for yardwork now.

I don't know how they'd hold up for say, rock climbing or sports with lots of grinding ground contact, but they're great for hiking, kung fu, and tai chi, as well as casual wear.

Price Paid: @40+

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Price MSRP: $88.00
Historic Range: $12.65-$87.95
Reviewers Paid: $40.00-$60.00
Material 100% breathable Cotton Twill fabric
Inseam 32 in
Leg opening 8 in
Fit Loose relaxed fit and low rise / wide around hip with a slight taper to hem
Price MSRP: $88.00
Historic Range: $1.00-$55.95
Material 100% breathable Cotton Twill fabric
Inseam 29 in
Fit Loose silhouette around waist and thighs / tapered from knee to bottom
Product Details from Gramicci »

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