World Cup athlete Billy Ridal talks to us about his favorite climbing jean
Photo: Andy Day @kiellgram
Since 3RD ROCK first reintroduced the Mercury jean in late 2017 it has become a staple of my climbing wardrobe and since that is pretty much my only wardrobe the stylish design has made them a regular away from the crags and gyms as well!
A durable cotton jean material and a slim fit isn’t usually what people associate with comfort and flexibility for climbing but once I had worn my first pair I couldn’t feel more at home climbing in them. They are remarkably unrestrictive and not having any loose material to distract from your focus is really nice.
Competing on the world cup circuit means I spend a lot of time jumping around in the gym in order to be the most rounded climber I can possibly be. The Mercury’s thrive in this environment not limiting me at all when doing my best hop skip and jump across a coordination slab or throwing my legs above my head on some 3D volume wrestling
For me, the Mercury really come into their own on the coarse rock and full body style of climbing on my local Peak gritstone and the Fontainebleau sandstone. Utilising cool temperatures for ultimate friction these jeans keep me warm and are a life saver on those cold crisp days spent outdoors.
They are reinforced in all the high wear areas you’d hope for and are super abrasion resistant so you’ll find yourself with far less cuts and scrapes when whaling over a classically sketchy Font top out or mauling over a slappy gritstone prow! They will even provide you with an impressive amount of friction when employing that all important technical knee to make it over the top of your project! After 2 years of intense wear training, travelling, competing and living, I have finally worn down my original pair in a couple of places, though given the abuse I’ve put them through that is a commendable effort!
Paddy 7c+, Petit Bois, Fontainebleau Photo: Orrin Coley
Paddy 7c+ - The ultimate in Font top outs: when the feet are just too bad it’s time to bring out the knees and thighs and start swimming! The thick cotton and reinforced knees of the Mercury came into their own when doing battle with this beast!
The Autumn of 2018 brought a 2nd generation of new Mercury with some refinement based on feedback from from those of us who wear them day in day out, a new firmer waistband had been introduced for even more comfort and security and a whole new spread of colours to choose from and I can’t wait for even more choice from the 3rd generation this winter. As someone who generally prefers more understated colours, the browns, greys, blues and blacks available are a perfect stylish choice that will match with any outfit for any scenario. But don’t worry if you like them bright, the Russet Red colour available should be enough to satisfy all of you rainbow clad “Euro” climbers!
Using all available friction on La Balance 7c+, Cuvier in the Taupe Mercury
Photo: Rachel Carr
You can get your new Mercury jeans here