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.
Gusseted crotch, mid rise, straight leg, convertible to capris
Social or Environmental Certifications
86% is bluesign approved nylon (46% is recycled)
Contains materials that meet the bluesign® criteria
Contains recycled materials
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Our Analysis and Test Results
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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