Arc’teryx Oriel Leggings Review

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Arc'teryx Oriel Leggings Review

For Spring 2019, Arc’teryx introduced the climbing-specific Oriel Leggings into their line. They traveled with me to the limestone and schist crags of New Zealand, red desert sandstone in Utah, and the polished granite of Yosemite. Here’s how they fared.

Available through REI or Arc’teryx

I’m pretty darn particular about my leggings. I struggle to find a pair that I’m absolutely in love with. I carry most of my fat around my stomach. Leggings everyone else loves give me muffin top or squeeze me in all sorts of funny, unflattering ways.

Lululemons are generally my go-to. They fit perfectly, hold in all the cookies, and make your butt look amazing. But I balk at the price, in addition to the ethics of Lululemon’s founder. The Arc’teryx Oriel Leggings dethroned Lululemon as my go-to leggings.

Arc'teryx Oriel Leggings Review

The Arc’teryx Oriel Legging specs

Fabricabrasion resistant stretch interlock of nylon and elastane (71% nylon, 29% elastane) with Powernet Stretch Mesh waistband
Weight5.5 oz
LengthAnkle length
Pockets2 slip pockets

The $89 price tag is steep on the Arc’teryx Oriel Leggings. I’m trying to advocate less for buying stuff, so when I recommend something, it’s because it is quality and will last. Arc’teryx also has a great warranty policy. (You can mail it in, or drop off at any of their locations.)

Arc'teryx Oriel Leggings Review
Available through REI or Arc’teryx

I’m 5’ tall with a 29” inseam. I generally wear an XS or a 2 in Arc’teryx bottoms. The Oriel Leggings in XS are ankle-length (or 7/8 when using Lululemon-jargon). I have a short torso, so the Powernet Stretch Mesh waistband ends up being high-rise for me.

Arc'teryx Oriel Leggings Review

There’s a slip pocket on each leg, which comes in quite handy for cell phones and camera lens caps. It fit my iPhone XS with a case with no problems. I received a ton of comments on the slip pockets. Many women were jealous. (Note: the Arc’teryx Sunara Tights also has a slip pocket, but it barely fits my iPhone XS with a case.) Each pocket is accessible even while you’re wearing a harness.

Arc'teryx Oriel Leggings Review
Available through REI or Arc’teryx

Construction of the Leggings

The fabric is constructed from 6.5oz stretch nylon interlock – 71% nylon, 29% elastane. This allows for a dynamic range of movement for high steps, dyno-ing, any movement you may encounter on the wall. The gusseted crotch increases comfort and durability by allowing a full range of unrestricted motion. It also ensures that you don’t get the dreaded camel toe.

Arc'teryx Oriel Leggings Review
Available through REI or Arc’teryx

What I like

The leggings seem thin, but I’ve climbed on limestone, schist, sandstone, and granite with them. I’m scared of down climbing, so sometimes I slide down boulders on my butt. I have yet to scrape my first real hole in them. I’ve worn the Oriel Leggings non-stop for 2 weeks straight without washing. They still retain their shape.

I split a hole in the butt of my leggings. I dropped them off for a warranty repair at Stanford Center, and received a patched pair in the mail several weeks later.

Arc'teryx Oriel Leggings Review
Available through REI or Arc’teryx

These aren’t just for climbing. They are perfect for hiking, backpacking, and wandering around town, too.

What I don’t like about the Oriel Leggings

The lighter colors tend to show liquid stains. Did you spill water on yourself? There’s a water mark. Accidentally peed your pants (I do this all the time)? There’s a water mark. Very sweaty? Yep, there’s a sweat stain. They come out in the wash, but it’s something to keep in mind.

I take spin classes frequently. The waistband will occasionally roll down when I’m huffing and puffing over the bike. I’m most self-conscious about my stomach, so I don’t like tugging the waistband back up in the middle of a session.

Arcteryx Oriel Leggings Review
Available through REI or Arc’teryx

I suppose this isn’t really a con, but the side pockets on the Oriel Leggings ruined other leggings for me. I use them so much that when a pair do not have pockets, I’m confused. Where am I supposed to put my phone, or wallet, or keys? The pockets don’t quite lay flush with extended use, but it’s not something I notice, or mind.

The Arc’teryx Oriel Leggings are my favorite leggings. I practically live in them–I wore them every day in New Zealand–because they are just that good. I own them in all three spring 2019 colors. They replaced nearly all of my leggings.

Buy the Arc’teryx Oriel Leggings through Arc’teryx, REI or Amazon for $89.

Not a leggings person? Try the Arc’teryx Sabria Pants or my favorite hiking pants, the Norrøna bitihorn lightweight pants.

The Oriel Leggings were sent to me for review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Last updated on August 14, 2020.


  1. I haven’t bought anything yet from the Arc’teryx brand (and I dislike now that their jackets have become a popular fashion trend around here in the Bay Area at least…like the Patagonia jackets) — that’s besides the point. Love that you tested these out for 3+mths before giving an awesome detailed review. That’s rad. Also…I too have a bit of belly chubbers and want to cover it, and the only 2 that make me look wicked are some $$$ highrise Lululemon’s and a pair of prAna leggings that surprised me. I’m going to have to make a trip back to the Standford shopping center and see if I can find me those arcteryx leggings you speak of. And i need to get back into climbing :(

    1. They are definitely very popular, and I think that’s a byproduct having the Stanford store and being able to afford the Best Product there is. I know the Stanford store definitely has them in stock. If you let them know that I sent ya, they will be able to help you extra well :) Also if you want, I can ask them to put a few sizes/colors for you. Just let me know!

  2. How did they fare odor-wise in your no-wash waring?

    1. They don’t get too stinky! I, um, tend to kinda pee myself sometimes because I’m like nah, I don’t need to pee, and then five minutes later, I’m like OH GOD I NEED TO PEE. But that’s more… user error?

  3. Thanks for the review! Just got myself a pair based on this review. I’m a bit of an Arc’ nut… have been for like the past decade (oof!). New to the whole ‘legging’ thing as I hate my butt (and tummy), so we’ll see how this go. Sounds like they are pretty stinkin’ durable which will help me not only hiking (sick of ‘boring’ hiking pants), but also because I’m probably right between sizes (I think the next size up will potentially be a bit loose and/or sag). Looks like we have a similar mindset too – when I’m not at my desk, I’m running around the Sierra. :)

    1. Me too! Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m definitely new to the whole leggings thing as well, this is my first foray into actually wearing them for outside things. I hate my tummy. I always feel like leggings don’t hold the jiggle in well enough. Hope to see you in the Sierra sometime!

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