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Mountain Hardwear Dynama Review

The most comfortable pair that we tested
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Price:  $70 List | $54.75 at Amazon
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Pros:  Material is soft and stretchy, lightweight, deep front pockets
Cons:  Limited features, not water resistant, slow to dry
Manufacturer:   Mountain Hardwear
By Cam McKenzie Ring ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 6, 2020
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69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 14
  • Comfort and Mobility - 35% 9
  • Venting And Breathability - 20% 9
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 2
  • Features - 15% 5
  • Versatility - 15% 6

Our Verdict

We're not sure what to call the Mountain Hardwear Dynama. They are much softer and more comfortable than your average hiking pants but have more structure than say, a pair of yoga pants. They are stretchy, breathable, and super comfortable, with a casual look that makes them suitable for travel or regular wear. They are not water-resistant and are slow to dry, so these are not a tremendous thru-hiking option. They work for a variety of uses, including day hikes in hot weather and climbing. If we have to pick one from the group that we'd want to lay on the couch in, the Dynama is it.

Love the Dynama fabric and want to outfit your entire wardrobe with it?
We do! Luckily for us, Mountain Hardwear makes a range of bottoms in this super soft fabric, including a skirt, short, Capri, and the Mountain Hardwear Ankle Dynama pant, which has a 28" inseam and a tapered leg.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Mountain Hardwear Dynama pants are made with a 96% nylon / 4% elastane blend. They have a basic cut with a flat waistband and no drawstring. Sizes range from XS to XL, with Short (30"), Regular (32"), or Long (34") inseam lengths available.

Performance Comparison


These are 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.
These are 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 and Mobility


The Mountain Hardwear Dynama earns top marks for comfort and mobility. 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're surprised by how comfortable these pants are 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 are no problem in these pants. The fit is not too tight and the material is very stretchy  giving this pair excellent mobility.
Big strides and high steps are 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 it moves with you in every way. The cut is loose and not tight at all through the thighs. Some pants, fit on the slim side. While great for looks, that doesn't always help when you're trying to take a giant step. We wore the Dynama hiking, as well as rock climbing and bouldering, and they felt great in every activity.

Hiking in the Dynama pants on a hot day. We didn't get overheated in these pants even in "shorts" weather.
Hiking in the Dynama pants on a hot day. We didn't get overheated in these pants even in "shorts" weather.

Venting and Breathability


This pair feels highly breathable to us, earning it a high score in this category as well. They weigh 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.

Water resistant  these pants are not. A couple sprays of the water bottle and the material soaked right through. They also are not the fastest to dry.
Water resistant, these pants are not. A couple sprays of the water bottle and the material soaked right through. They also are not the fastest to dry.

Weather Resistance


The weather resistance of this model leaves something 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 in. That means that you'll get pretty wet in 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 after the legs dried out). This amount of time is a lot longer than some of the quick-drying pants we tested. 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, which is excellent.

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.
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.

Features


There aren't a lot of features on these pants, though we do like the few things that are there. The hand pockets are deep enough to accommodate your whole hand or a smartphone. So many pairs that we tested have shallow, 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 pants!

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.
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.

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 pants do loosen up as you wear them and may start to sag.

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.
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.

Versatility


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.

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.
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.

Value


These pants fall in 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. Considering that they're comfortable enough to wear every day, you'll probably get a lot of use out of them.

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.
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.

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 doesn't surprise us, because the material is so soft, and pills can form faster on more delicate nylon than a smooth ripstop pair. Online user reviews confirm that pilling is a frequent issue with these pants. If you scramble around a lot or butt-slide your way down rock faces, go for a thicker pair of pants.

These pants are great for hikes at elevation on a moderate temp day. We didn't overheat  they provide great sun protection while keeping us comfortable all day long.
These pants are great for hikes at elevation on a moderate temp day. We didn't overheat, they provide great sun protection while keeping us comfortable all day long.

Conclusion


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, but they aren't the best heavy-duty hiking pant.

Cam McKenzie Ring