An ideal climbing pant would include a few essential features: zipped pockets to keep items from falling out while dangling inside a steep cave. The knees and seat would be durable enough to outlast being dragged across granite. The pant would be fitted, yet unrestrictive. It would be made with enclosed belt loops and quick dry material, to keep it comfortable to wear. Rolling up the cuffs for climbing would be easy, and there would be a loop in the back to clip a chalk bag to.
This is the Washakie pant, dreamt up and designed by Hailey DeMarois and Hans Howell, who couldn’t find a pair of climbing pants they loved. In 2008 they founded Roscoe Outdoor, a Montana clothing company based in Red Lodge. Hailey and Hans built their business from the ground up, starting with the Washakie pant in both a men’s and women’s fit.
The pant, while designed with climbing in mind, can be used for all kinds of outdoor activities, especially hiking and backpacking.
The design also features reflectors and a cuff that will cinch around your calves, incidentally making it the ideal pant for biking.
Hailey studied fashion design in college and worked as a pattern maker and technical designer when she finished her degree. She uses her background in textiles to create the patterns for Roscoe’s clothing.
Hans studied finance and economics. Their different backgrounds made navigating the new world of clothing production and business easier, Hailey said. Living a block apart from each other, they keep their inventory at Hans’ house, and the sewing room at Hailey’s.
Since they started Roscoe Outdoor, they’ve tweaked the pant a little each season, like changing the colors, or most recently, adding a loop for a chalk bag. They also added a pair of lighter pants, called the Hellroaring. They are quick drying, perfect for summer backpacking or activities near water. The Washakie is made with a thicker fabric, best used for high alpine adventures or during the shoulder season.
The brand now offers men’s and women's shorts as well, ideal for backpacking or lounging at camp. Next year they are adding a curvy fit in the Washakie pant that features more room in the hips, butt and thighs, but with the same waist.
Hailey and Hans said they would like to incorporate shirts and tops into their lineup, including one that is made entirely in the U.S. This is something their customers have requested, and they are considering launching a Kickstarter campaign to help with the production costs.
Hailey said she is always looking for feedback from customers regarding design ideas, but the most important thing for her is making clothes she and Hans personally want to wear.