So here's the skinny on this jean! The Axiom jean is one of the best looking, most fashionable pants we tested. But is it a hiking pant? No, not really. But it has does some substance beneath its sleek exterior; the stretch properties, inseam gusset, and athletic cut of the jean combine to make it a solid performer for hiking, biking and climbing.
Yes you can get jeans from Costco or Target for WAY less. These are a great choice for those who really put a real hurt on their gear. But the Axiom jean is plenty tough for day to day abuse, and is going to have such an improved fit and range of motion over the Costco/Target type pant that we think that it's worth ponying up the extra money.
If you are looking for a hiking specific pant for longer climbs, then we recommend you consider one of the lighter weight synthetic pants in the review, particularly the Prana Stretch Zion.
The most applicable comparison to this category of crossover jean/climbing pant is the Patagonia), which is also a blend of cotton and spandex.