There are plenty of altruistic reasons to buy climbing apparel made by the small upstart British climbing company 3rd Rock: they rely on recycled materials—namely Italian carpets and plastic bottles—to make their clothing; they are all about “traceability” and transparency in the manufacturing process, so you know where the garments’ materials come from and that they were made by ethically treated workers; they only use organic cotton; and, for certain items, they donate a fraction of every sale to organizations supporting “our planet and its inhabitants.”
But forget all that for just a second. Let’s say you’re a climate-change-denying Trumpian luddite who doesn’t care for all of the above. Well, honestly, there’s still a really good reason to buy 3rd Rock’s clothes: they are super-duper durable—at least that’s been our experience thus far with 3rd Rock’s Mercury Jeans. (The official name is the “Organic Max Movement Reinforced Jeans,” but we figured “Mercury Jeans” would suffice.)
The Mercury Jeans are the latest entry into the quickly growing climbing jean category. (Face it: Climbing Jeans are a thing, and they’re not going away.) Made with a soft organic cotton, they still hold up to the rocks remarkably well. Like many work pants, the Mercury jeans have extra material on the knees. This design also gives the pants a bit of a more unique look than that of your normal jeans, as there are several horizontal seams on the front. The jeans have a gusseted crotch so you can throw your highest high step or widest stem without worry. Similar to other climbing jeans we’ve tried, the Mercury pants are still flexible despite their “jeans” label, due to a small amount of stretchy material (elastane twill) incorporated into the design.
The pocket set-up is pretty standard—two front pockets, two back pockets.
One note: the fit was definitely a bit tighter than we anticipated, so going up a size from your normal pants might be smart.
Our favorite little not-at-all-functionality-related feature? An embroidered phrase on the inside of the fly: “Nature Calls!”
Thankfully, we here at Rock and Ice do care about all those thing that 3rd Rock cares about—protecting our home planet, fighting climate change, treating works well and fairly. Just so happens 3rd Rock makes damn good climbing clothes, too. It’s a win-win.
Rock and Ice vigorously tests all gear it reviews for either 50 days or 50 pitches. This is a time-consuming process and limits the amount of new equipment we can present to our readers. Every year hundreds of new products hit store shelves, and most of these aren’t reviewed due to our stringent selection and review process. To better keep you more up to date on what is new, we present First Look. Gear in First Look has not always been field tested, but is gear our expert testers think you’d like to know about as soon as it is available. Some of the gear will be reviewed using our 50 days/50 pitches criteria, in future print and online editions of Rock and Ice. We have opted to use affiliate links in our gear reviews. Every time you buy something after clicking on links in our gear articles you’re helping support our magazine.