Flylow Donna 2.1 Review
Cons: Thin material not everyone's choice for the resort
Our Analysis and Test Results
This softshell pant, constructed of 3L Stretch Stormshell Intuitive fabric, has a waterproof rating of 20,000mm and a breathability rating of 20,000 g/m2. It's surprising that this comes in a softshell material. Pretty outstanding, really! That, combined with its YKK waterproof zippers and fully taped seams, means that it is set for success in the elements. It also has a DWR coating.
We put those ratings to the test in our 2-minute shower test. Focusing on seams zippers, and the outer material. Throughout the test, the pants remained dry. We noticed that the outer fabric of the Donna 2.1 actually repelled water better than the Foxy Bib, also from Flylow. We found no leaking during the shower test, remaining dry. DWR coatings often wear out over time, so if you have these pants for a couple of seasons or longer, they may need to be treated (this is to be expected from any model, is fairly easy, and increases the lifespan of the pant).
Comfort & Fit
The Donna 2.1 excels in comfort and offers a unique fit compared to many other women's ski pants. From the first touch, we noticed that the Donna has one of the softest outer materials of the pants we tested. This can be expected, as it is a softshell pant.
The material moves with you incredibly well, and has a baggier fit than other pants tested. Not everyone may want this, but we liked it. We found this to be a great option that can be hard to find—any woman who skis with a brace or likes to have thick layers on can attest that most women's pants have a skinnier fit. If you prefer a baggier look with plenty of room to move and layer, you should check these out.
Finally, its adjustable side tabs offer a more customizable fit, allowing you to tighten them at the waist as needed.
If you plan on frequently ski touring or run hot, you will appreciate the ventilation on these pants. With inner thigh vents that run from just below the crotch to just above the knee, paired with outer thigh vents, these pants provide maximum ventilation for those who need it. Max airflow!
Warmth is this pants lowest scoring metric, and for good reason. Its thin, softshell material has no insulation and is meant to simply protect you from the elements, not to provide added warmth. However, if you are in the market for a shell pant, you will enjoy the room beneath these pants to add layers to adjust to the day's temperature swings.
The Donna 2.1 has fairly basic features, but they all perform well. The two thigh pockets are roomy and can hold your basics comfortably. The baggy fit of the pant is useful here, as your belongings are not being held tightly against your leg. We found it interesting that the hanging pockets were constructed from a mesh material. You'll want to stay away from sharper materials that may cut the mesh, but other than that idea, we did not notice any problems with this. Finally, the pant has snaps to attach to a Flylow Jacket, should you want to.
If you like a looser, more freeride-focused fit, you will appreciate the relaxed style of the Flylow Donna. They wouldn't pass as streetwear, but if comfort is your style, you can certainly get away with wearing them aprés. We would like to see more color options in the future, but do like the colors currently offered.
For the price, you get a technically sound, multipurpose pant that is ready for whatever you'd like to throw at it. The thin material has us questioning if this pant will be the most durable over time, but its reinforced cuff guards will help protect potential problem zones near your boots and ski edges.
A solid pant for those who want a relaxed fit while requiring high performance from a pant in multiple conditions. Despite scoring lower than many pants due to its low warmth and lack of features, if you're looking for a great pair of ski pants for touring, the "lower" scores in these metrics might be exactly what you're seeking. Seize the backcountry in this lightweight, comfortable, breathable, and well-ventilated pair.
— Sarah Sherman
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