The Mountain Hardwear Dynama pants are made with a 96% nylon / 4% elastane blend. The cut is very basic, with a flat waistband and no drawstring. The sizes are XS to XL, with Short (30"), Regular (32"), or Long (34") inseam lengths available.
Our Top Pick for Comfort is a casual pair of hiking pants that work well on the trail but are also great for climbing, around town wear, or even just lounging at home.
Comfort & Mobility
We gave the Mountain Hardwear Dynama a perfect 10 for comfort and mobility (and our Top Pick for Comfort Award). A lot of the pants in our test group were comfortable enough for hiking, but this pair is comfortable enough for doing yoga in or even wearing to bed!
We were surprised by how comfortable these pants were considering the material blend. Most of the more traditional feeling nylon pants that we tested also have a 96% nylon / 4% elastane or spandex mix, but felt nothing like this. The softer pants in this review usually have a higher percentage of stretchy material (up to 14%), and we've come to look for that when seeking out a comfortable pair. We're not material engineers, so we can't say how Mountain Hardwear got this material so soft and stretchy, but we are now big fans of the Dynama fabric.
Big strides and high steps were no problem in these pants. The fit is not too tight and the material is very stretchy, giving this pair excellent mobility.
The material is both lightweight and stretchy so that it moves with you in every way, and the cut is loose and not tight at all through the thighs. Some pants, like the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible fit on the slim side, which, while great for looks, doesn't always help you when you are trying to make a giant step. We wore the Dynama hiking, as well as rock climbing and bouldering, and they felt great in every activity. We also loved the similarly soft and cozy The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 pant, but it has some durability issues.
We loved to wear these pants climbing. They are thin and fit well under a harness, and the stretchy fabric let us high-step or drop-knee with ease.
While these pants are comfortable, we can't say that they are very versatile. For this metric, the Dynama hits the middle of the pack.
While it's true that you can do a lot of activities in these pants, they are just that, pants. They don't convert to capris or shorts, and there's no roll-up-and-snap option either. You can cinch up the bottoms a bit with the drawcord, but that doesn't make them much shorter, and because the material is so soft it doesn't like to stay rolled up for very long.
What you see is what you get - a pair of pants! With so many convertible options out there, this pair is nice in it's simplicity, but won't fit the bill if you're looking for multi-functional pants.
We couldn't wear every pair of pants for weeks on end to gauge their durability hands-on — we'd never finish this review if that were the case! So, we had to rely on a variety of factors to gauge this metric, including other online user reviews, personal pairs in our testers' closets, and close-up inspections of the quality of construction and durability of materials used.
While we didn't experience any pilling issues with the Dynama during our initial testing, after hanging on to them and wearing them regularly for several months the pills did appear. That didn't surprise us, because the material is so soft, and pills can form faster on softer nylon than a smooth ripstop pair. High friction spots, like between the legs or on the lower back where a pack sits (and rubs), are typical locations where pilling might occur on any pair. Online user reviews also confirm that pilling is an issue with this model. They did look better for longer than The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 pant though, which started to snag and pill within a few weeks. If you're scrambling around a lot and butt-sliding your way down terrain, a thicker pair of pants is likely to last longer.
Scrambling around in the Dynama. This pair held up well in our testing, but the thin material might not last very long in abrasive terrain.
The weather resistance of this pant leaves a little to be desired. When it comes to wind, the material is so thin that even a light breeze rips right through it. That's nice from a breathability perspective, but these are not the pair to wear in cold weather. As for rain, we sprayed water on all the pants to see how they would resist light rain. On this pair, the water immediately soaked right into the material with no beading up. That means that you'll get pretty soaked with even a drizzle.
We timed how long they took to dry after getting thoroughly soaked, and these pants took almost two hours to dry completely (the waistband was damp even once the legs were dry). This amount of time was a lot longer than some of the quick-drying pants that we tested like the REI Sahara
and Columbia Saturday Trail Stretch
. So, if you're looking for a backpacking pair that you'll want to wash on the trail or that might get wet while hiking, the Dynama
is not the best choice. On a final note, they do have a UPF 50 rating.
Water resistant, these pants are not. A couple sprays of the water bottle and the material soaked right through. They also were not the fastest to dry.
There aren't a lot of features on these pants, though we did like the few things that are there.
The hand pockets are deep enough to accommodate your whole hand or a phone. So many pairs that we tested have shallow and rather useless hand pockets, so it's nice to get a pair with good ones. There are two open pockets on the rear, though we're not sure how best to use them. If anything, they provide an extra layer of protection in a high wear area. Better to put a hole through the pocket when butt-sliding down sharp rocks than in the rear of the pant.
Yes! A hand pocket that we can actually fit our hands into! You'd be surprised how many pants do not have functional hand pockets.
We do appreciate the flat waistband when wearing a hip belt or climbing harness. There's nothing to get in the way or irritate you. However, there's no drawstring or way to tighten the waist of these pants either, which is a serious drawback if you don't have a perfect fit. We sized up in this pair because reviews said they ran a little small, and we're glad that we did; however, the pant did seem to get a bit looser by the end of the day, and it started to sag. The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 pants have a drawstring and are on par for comfort, so check that pair out if this is an essential feature for you.
The flat waistband is great for under a backpack or climbing harness, but there is zero adjustability, so if you can't get a good fit in the sizing, or it stretches out on you during the day, your pants might be sagging a little.
This pair felt highly breathable to us, and we gave it a high score in this category as well.
It weighs 7.5 ounces in the small size, making it one of the lightest pairs in this review. They are so thin that the air circulates well, and they are an excellent choice for warmer days when you still want full leg coverage.
Hiking in the Dynama pants on a hot day. We didn't get overheated in these pants even in "shorts" weather.
The Mountain Hardwear Dynama pant is a lightweight pair that's great for a variety of uses, including day hikes in hot weather, climbing, or just for lounging around. We don't recommend them for backcountry trips though due to the lack of water resistance and long drying time.
These pants were great for hikes at elevation on a moderate temp day. We didn't overheat, they provided great sun protection for our legs, and we stayed comfortable all day long.
These pants retail for $70, which is about the middle of the price range for hiking pants. They aren't as expensive as some pairs that have a lot of features, like removable legs, and considering how you'll want to wear these pants every single day, you'll probably get a lot of use out of them.
We love many aspects of the Mountain Hardwear Dynama pant, particularly the soft and stretchy material and the comfortable waistband. You'll want to live in this pair every day, though it's not the best heavy-duty hiking pant.