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Mountain Hardwear Dynama 2 Review

Incredibly soft, flowy, and stretchy, these pants are comfortable, except for the low rise, which can make the crotch feel tight
Mountain Hardwear Dynama 2
Credit: Mountain Hardwear
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Price:  $75 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Incredibly light, soft with endless stretch, breathable, DWR finish
Cons:  Not the most flattering, low rise can be uncomfortable
Manufacturer:   Mountain Hardwear
By Clark Tate ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 19, 2021
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 15
  • Comfort and Mobility - 35% 8.0
  • Venting And Breathability - 20% 9.0
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 6.0
  • Features - 15% 6.0
  • Versatility - 15% 6.0

Our Verdict

The soft, supple, and incredibly light Mountain Hardwear Dynama 2 pants combine the elastic, pull-on waistband of a yoga pant with the loose cut of a hiking pant. The stretch fabric moves with you, and the easily cinched ankles help you move unencumbered along the trail or up a rock face. The elastic waistband works well under a backpack or a harness. What doesn't work as well are the low rise fit and non-gusseted crotch. Both feel uncomfortable for some of our testers and often looked a bit awkward. The elastic in the waistband is narrow and doesn't distribute pressure as much as we'd like. Their lightweight makes them a dream to wear or pack, but makes us worry that they'll wear through faster than most. If you're kind to your clothes, don't mind a shorter inseam, and okay with the look of these pants, you'll revel in their comfort.

Love the Dynama fabric and want to outfit your entire wardrobe with it?
We do! 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

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price Check Price at REI
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$88.95 at Backcountry
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Check Price at Backcountry
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$80 List
$79.95 at REI
$44.99 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Incredibly light, soft with endless stretch, breathable, DWR finishVery comfortable, versatile, wind and water resilientIncredible fit, soft and flexible fabric that doesn’t sag, dries quicklyMobile, wide range of fit options, vents and breaths wonderfully, good pocketsLightweight, easy to move in, breathable
Cons Not the most flattering, low rise can be uncomfortableFit can be hard to perfect, not as breathable as the previous versionDoes not block wind, no secure smartphone pocketDoesn't block the wind, not a great style around townMaterial pills, front pockets are small, sizing is off
Bottom Line Incredibly soft, flowy, and stretchy, these pants are comfortable, except for the low rise, which can make the crotch feel tightWith their endless mobility, comfortable details, and technical abilities, these are our favorite overall women's hiking pantsThese comfortable and thoughtfully constructed pants fit and feel like a dream and work wonderfully on and off-trailThese 2-in-1 convertible hiking pants work wonderfully, providing great breathability and excellent valueA lightweight, breathable, and weather resistant pair of pants that perform adequately to get you out on the trails without spending a ton
Rating Categories Mountain Hardwear D... Outdoor Research Fe... Kuhl Freeflex Roll-Up REI Co-op Sahara Co... Columbia Saturday T...
Comfort and Mobility (35%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
Venting And Breathability (20%)
9.0
8.0
6.0
9.0
9.0
Weather Resistance (15%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Features (15%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
9.0
4.0
Versatility (15%)
6.0
7.0
8.0
5.0
4.0
Specs Mountain Hardwear D... Outdoor Research Fe... Kuhl Freeflex Roll-Up REI Co-op Sahara Co... Columbia Saturday T...
Measured Weight, Size Regular 4.1 oz 9.5 oz 11.9 oz 12 oz 9.2 oz
Size options and versions XS - XL 0 to 14 0 to 16, Plus 0 to 26w, Petitie, Regular, Plus, Tall 2 to 24w Short, Regular, Plus, Long
Fabric 94% Nylon, 6% Elastane 86% bluesign nylon (46% recylce), 14% spandex 90D stretch woven ripstop 50% polyester/50% new polyester 96% recycled nylon/4% spandex Omni-Shield Summiteer Lite 96% Nylon, 4% Elastane
Fabric Features Ultralight Quick-dry FreeFlex Quick dry Omni-Shield advanced repellency
DWR Finish? Yes No Yes Yes No
UPF? No rating UPF 50+ UPF 50+ UPF 50+ UPF 50
Pockets 2 side, 1 rear, 1 zippered thigh 2 hip, 2 back, 1 cargo 2 hand, 2 back (snap), 2 thigh (snap) 2 hand, 2 back, 2 cargo 2 hand, 1 side (zip), 2 back (Velcro)
Zip-Off or Roll-Up? Roll-up Roll-up cinch cuffs Roll-Up Zip-off Roll-up
Integrated Belt? No Yes Yes, internal drawcord Yes, internal drawcord No
Fit Features Three inseam length options, elastic waist, stretch fabric Gusseted crotch, articulated knees, drawstring at waist, stretch fabric, harness-compatible waist Wide waistband with internal drawcord, mid rise, relaxed fit, straight leg Mid rise, convert to shorts, relaxed fit, straight leg, 2 inseam lengths Gusseted crotch, mid rise, straight leg, convertible to capris
Social or Environmental Certifications 86% is bluesign approved nylon (46% is recycled) None known Contains materials that meet the bluesign® criteria
Contains recycled materials

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Mountain Hardwear Dynama 2 hiking pants women - loose-fitting and stretchy, these pants let you move any way you...
Loose-fitting and stretchy, these pants let you move any way you want. The only aspect that feels the least bit restrictive is the lower rise.
Credit: Clark Tate

Comfort and Mobility


Com-for-ta-ble indeed. These pants move like a flowy second skin. From yoga to jogs to trail romps, we found ourselves pulling these on for a wide range of adventures. The 94% nylon and 6% elastane fabric is paper-thin, holds its shape, and seriously won't stop stretching. Mountain Hardwear offers them in three different inseam lengths to help customize your fit. We love this since tripping on our hems decreases comfort and mobility quite a bit.

It surprised us how often we reached for the Dynama 2 pants, given our less-than-thrilled first impression. Most of the testing team doesn't love the look of these pants. They were just so effortless to wear that we decided not to care.

Mountain Hardwear Dynama 2 hiking pants women - we found ourselves wearing the dynama 2 pants more often than not...
We found ourselves wearing the Dynama 2 pants more often than not. It's hard to find pants this soft.
Credit: Clark Tate

That isn't to say they feel flawless. The wide waistband is stretchy but doesn't distribute pressure evenly. It's actually held up by a thin elastic band sewn into the very top of the pants. It can dig in a bit. Not all of our testers found the pant's low rise design comfortable either, especially since the pants lack a gusset (that triangle patch of fabric that keeps all four pant seams from joining unforgivingly beneath you). The result is a tighter and more restrictive feel in the crotch than you'd expect from the extremely stretchy fabric. Most of the testers found that the awkward feel faded after a few minutes. You've got to find the right fit for you though.

Mountain Hardwear Dynama 2 hiking pants women - these pants breathe well and roll up easily.
These pants breathe well and roll up easily.
Credit: Ryan Reed

Venting and Breathability


The loose, stretchy fabric folds easily up to your knees, giving you quite a bit of airflow. The hems also cinch quickly over your ankles with drawcords with a clever little lightweight stopper. It's incredible what a difference a little airflow makes.

Mountain Hardwear Dynama 2 hiking pants women - cinches at the ankles make it easy to tuck the hems out of your way.
Cinches at the ankles make it easy to tuck the hems out of your way.
Credit: Ryan Reed

We also found the Dynama 2 to be quite breathable. From warm, sunny hikes up exposed granite slabs to runs in muggy late spring weather, we never felt like they trapped in excess heat or sweat. Between that and the lightweight fabric, these are great pants for summer.

Mountain Hardwear Dynama 2 hiking pants women - a durable water repellant finish helps the pants shed water for a...
A durable water repellant finish helps the pants shed water for a bit longer than untreated fabrics.
Credit: Clark Tate

Weather Resistance


The durable water repellent (DWR) finish does a pretty good job of shrugging water off, but a hard rain or prolonged drizzle will soak through. They do dry fairly quickly though and the wind doesn't just rip through them. Though they are thin enough to transfer cold quickly if the breeze is a brisk one.

Mountain Hardwear Dynama 2 hiking pants women - the thin fabric quickly transfers the cold to your skin, but they...
The thin fabric quickly transfers the cold to your skin, but they don't let the wind blow right in, a fact we really appreciated on this blustery day.
Credit: Clark Tate

All fabric helps block some of the sun's damaging rays, but an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF), helps you understand how much. The Dynama 2 doesn't have a UPF rating to our knowledge. At least they keep our legs a little cooler in the blazing sun.

Mountain Hardwear Dynama 2 hiking pants women - that little gate does a great job of quickly snugging down or...
That little gate does a great job of quickly snugging down or releasing the hems around your ankle.
Credit: Ryan Reed

Features


The most remarkable aspects of the Dynama 2 pants are their comfort and their incredible lightweight, about half of what most options in this review weigh. They also have that pullup elastic band, cinchable hems, and four pockets.

Mountain Hardwear Dynama 2 hiking pants women - the dynama's pockets are mostly good for your hands, though the...
The Dynama's pockets are mostly good for your hands, though the zippered side pocket can secure a card or two or your phone if you don't need to zip it in.
Credit: Ryan Reed

The front hand pockets are soft, reasonably sized, and open to the side, making them easy to slip your hand into. The back pocket is somewhat hidden, with a flap sewn over the opening. It's not totally secure, but it does do a little to keep your valuables in place. The thigh pocket on the left side zips, though it's not quite big enough to zip in a cell phone. Though light, the fabric has enough strength to make it reasonably comfortable to carry your phone, wallet, or keys in any of them.

Mountain Hardwear Dynama 2 hiking pants women - these pants have an awkward rise and wrinkle too easily for us to...
These pants have an awkward rise and wrinkle too easily for us to wear socially.
Credit: Clark Tate

Versatility


Unfortunately, the Dynama 2 aren't the most flattering pants we tried. The blank, flat waistband transitions awkwardly to a loose-fitting pant and combines with the low rise and less than stretchy, non-gusseted crotch for an unflattering look. They just aren't elegant. Though one of our testers really appreciated the aesthetic, most did not. We wear them anyway, because they're comfy.

Mountain Hardwear Dynama 2 hiking pants women - we worry about how long these pants will last because they are so...
We worry about how long these pants will last because they are so light and thin. Still, they stood up to our granite abrasion tests and an unruly puppy's paws during testing.
Credit: Clark Tate

We don't think these pants transfer easily to the office or social events, preferring to pull them on post-surf, for a lounge-day, a yoga class, casual walks, rigorous hikes, and even runs. Their breathability, mobility, and DWR finish work make them appropriate for a large array of outdoor sports.

Their major limitation is how thin they are. While they held up very well in our day-to-day use and abrasion testing, there is just less fabric there to wear though. We hesitate to take them on high-abrasion adventures, like climbing or bushwacking. They also offer less skin protection in rough circumstances.

Mountain Hardwear Dynama 2 hiking pants women - if your favorite activities don't involved a lot of abrasion and you...
If your favorite activities don't involved a lot of abrasion and you don't seek the most fashionable hiking pants available, you'll likely get a lot of use out of these.
Credit: Clark Tate

Value


You usually pay more for ultralight gear. The Dynama 2's price tag rings in around the average point for this hiking pant review, making them a reasonable value. Again though, they are so light we worry they'll wear through faster, particularly when granite is involved. (Though they did stand up well to our abrasion testing.)

Mountain Hardwear doesn't claim that these pants meet any labor ethic or environmental standards. They do have broader sustainability efforts that may align with your values, thus improving the value of their products in general.

Mountain Hardwear Dynama 2 hiking pants women - we never feel elegant while wearing the dynama 2 pants, but they are...
We never feel elegant while wearing the Dynama 2 pants, but they are so soft and comfy that we rarely care.
Credit: Clark Tate

Conclusion


We like these super stretchy, ultralight, and comfortable pants for a variety of low friction activities from rigorous hiking days in the heat to runs. The low rise makes for a finicky fit that doesn't work for everyone. If you like low-rise pants and aren't planning to use them solely for crack climbing, they could be a great option for you.

Clark Tate
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