The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Mountain Hardwear Dynama Review

The most comfortable pair that we tested.
Top Pick Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $70 List | $69.00 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
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  ⋅  Oct 27, 2017
  • Share this article:
75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 13
  • Comfort/Mobility - 30% 10
  • Versatility - 15% 7
  • Durability - 15% 6
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 5
  • Features/Conveniences - 15% 5
  • Breathability - 10% 10

The Skinny

We're not sure what to call the Mountain Hardwear Dynama. They are much softer and more comfortable than your average hiking pant but have more structure than say, a pair of yoga pants. They are stretchy, breathable, and super comfortable, but have a nice casual look that makes them suitable for travel or regular wear. They are not at all water resistant and are also slow to dry, so these are not a good thru-hiking pair. But, if we have to pick one from the group that we'd want to lay on the couch in, the Dynama is it. As such, we've given this pair our Top Pick for Comfort award. For a more traditional pair of hiking pants, check out our Editors' choice winner, the Marmot Lobo's Convertible pants.

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. 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. Current color options include Black, Graphite, Blue Spruce and Dark Tannin.

Performance Comparison


Our Top Pick for Comfort is a casual pair of hiking pants that work well of the trail but are also great for climbing  around town wear  or even just lounging at home.
Our Top Pick for Comfort is a casual pair of hiking pants that work well of 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.
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 are cut on the slim side, which, while great for looks, doesn't help you when you are trying to make a high step. We wore the Dynamas 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.
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, and we gave it a 7/10 for this category.


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.
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.

Breathability


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

Durability


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. After all of that, we gave this pair a 6/10 for durability.


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 spots where pilling might occur on any pair. Online user reviews also confirm that pilling is an issue with this model. The did look nicer 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, like the Kuhl Splash Roll Up Pant, is sure to last longer in rough terrain.

Scrambling around in the Dynamas. This pair held up well in our testing  but the thin material might not last very long in abrasive terrain.
Scrambling around in the Dynamas. This pair held up well in our testing, but the thin material might not last very long in abrasive terrain.

Weather Resistance


The weather resistance of this pant leaves a little to be desired, and we gave it a 5/10 for this category.


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 a 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 in a drizzle. We then 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 was a lot longer than some of the quick-drying pants that we tested like the Marmot Lobo's and TNF Paramount. 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.
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.

Features


There aren't a lot of features on this pant, 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 what you'd use them for. 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.
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 hipbelt 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 important 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.
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.

Best Applications


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 in. 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 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.

Value


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.

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, though it's not actually the best heavy-duty hiking pant.


Cam McKenzie Ring