STONEWEAR DESIGNS DYNAMIC PANT
TEST SERIES BY KATHLEEN WATERS
INITIAL REPORT - June 07, 2017
FIELD REPORT - August 03, 2017
LONG TERM REPORT - October 01, 2017
kathy at backpackgeartest dot com
Canon City, Colorado, USA
5' 4" (1.60 m)
125 lb (56.70 kg)
Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado.
Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley.
My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
|Manufacturer: Stonewear Designs|
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.stoneweardesigns.com
MSRP: US $95.00
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 13 oz (369 g)
Colors Available: Cargo and Granite
Color Tested: Granite
Sizes Available: XS to XL
Size Tested: Medium
Material: 89% Nylon, 11% Spandex
Made in the United States of Ameria from imported fabrics
|Photo Copyright Stonewear Designs|
DESCRIPTION AND INITIAL IMPRESSIONS
My first impressions of the Dynamic Pant (hereafter referred to as "pants") are good ones! The main body of the pants fabric has a sturdy feel to it though it is still lightweight. The material is slightly stretchy as well. While Stonewear Designs dubbed the color "granite", I feel it can accurately be called (simply) dark gray!
A contrasting black approximately 2.5 in (6 cm) waistband nicely accents the dark gray. The waistband "covers" similarly sized (2.5 in/6 cm) elastic so the pants pull up and down without having a zipper closure. Additionally, there is a flat fabric draw string hidden on the inside of the waistband for a closer fit if need be. In the middle of the back of the waistband is a small Stonewear Designs stamped logo.
There are two good-sized open-top hand-pockets at the top of the pants just below the waistband, one diagonally-placed zippered pocket on the left leg and one zippered square pocket on the right rear of the pants. My Samsung Galaxy S4 phone (5 x 3 in/13 x 7 cm) will easily fit in the open-top front pockets as well as barely fitting in the front left leg pocket. But it will not fit in the rear pocket. The rear pocket has a small reflective Stonewear Designs logo.
|Non-functional but decorative fly front|| |
|Rear zippered pocket|
There is a mystery 5 in (12.5 cm) long by almost 1 in (2.5 cm) wide "sleeve" on the right leg seam. Not sure what its purpose is quite yet, but I'll find some use for it!
A decorative "fly" is outlined where one would normally be found in pants that utilize a zipper opening. Since the waistband is elastic, the "fly" is strictly decorative.
|Mystery side sleeve|| |
|Cuff adjusters to convert to Capri length|
The 1.5 in (3.8 cm) pant leg hem also serves as a sleeve for a flat ribbon threaded through it and an attached clip for cinching the cuff. The Stonewear Designs stated purpose for this feature is so the pant legs can be turned up (rolled up) and by using the ribbon, the hem can be secured in a Capri pants position on my legs. The inseam on the medium size is 31 in (80 cm).
For flexibility, the Dynamic Pant incorporates a gusseted crotch and some very inconspicuous darts in the leg for an articulated knee.
Almost all of the seams are double-stitched and edged which will prevent unraveling. All stitching is tight, even and without any defects. Great-looking quality product is my initial conclusion!
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
It took me a couple of minutes to find the care instructions for the pants. I'm used to some sort of tag being sewn into the waistband of my pants or "stamped" into the waistband. Neither of these is ideal as the tag is often annoying and inevitably the printed instructions wear out.
Finally, I found a very small tag sewn into the left pant leg outseam.
The directions for care are very short: Wash in cold water with like colors, line dry only and no bleach. Fairly normal care, except for the "line dry only" part. That I will have to remember!
TRYING THEM OUT
Trying on the pants for the first time, I was struck by how comfortable they are. Straight out of the box, the material is not scratchy or stiff and is very lightweight. I can hardly even feel the waistband thanks to the width of it and the barely-there support of the elastic interface.
There is plenty of room in the pants to accommodate the extra pounds (kg) I'm carrying right now as a result of several weeks of immoderate eating! It will be interesting to see if that "roominess" turns to bunching once I get back to my usual weight in the next couple of weeks.
I tested out the flexibility of the articulated knees by doing some deep knee bends and found the design plus the stretchy material work very well to give me free-range-of-motion.
The pant legs are perfect length for me when I am wearing my favorite trail footwear. I like to have my pants cover the tops of my boots without dragging on the ground and these pants do so.
I checked out using the hem adjusters designed to create a Capri length and found it easy to do. I suspect I will also be using that adjuster feature more to simply cinch the pants' cuffs closed over my boot cuffs so as to keep unwanted debris and critters out.
My main concern at this initial point in time is whether or not the very positive and my most favorite (right now) feature - the wide waistband - holds up (as in STAYS up) under use. I fear it may roll, shift or fold over. Time will tell.
Though it will not be a test of the Stonewear Designs Dynamic Pant, I will be wearing them on a three day road-trip, consisting of long car-hours and some sightseeing on my way back from Michigan to Colorado next week. From experience I know just how uncomfortable a pair of pants can be after hundreds of miles (kilometers)! Here's hope, the Dynamic Pant will stand up to this first "comfort" test!
I'm excited to have the opportunity to be wearing these really neat pants throughout the next four months.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I wore the Stonewear Designs Dynamic Pant on seven different occasions during the field report period of June through July. Three of those occasions were multi-day car trips when I wore them for two and three days in a row. The other four trials were two day-long mountain trail hikes and two day-long beach "strolls". Alas, I did not have the opportunity to wear the pants on any overnights.
The locations and the conditions of the car trips were as follows:
June 28 - July 1, 2017: traveled from White Lake, Michigan to Canon City, Colorado with stops in Indiana, Missouri and Kansas. Temperatures (outside) were in the high 80s to low 90s F (30 - 34 C) though we kept the car cooled down to about 67 F (19 C). Humidity was high throughout the trip.
July 23-24 and July 29-31: traveled from Canon City, Colorado via Colorado I-70 to Salt Lake City and then back to Canon City, Colorado through Wyoming with a couple nights in Wyoming. Temperatures (outside) were again in the high 80s F (30 C). Humidity was down in the lower double digits, thankfully.
All of the day hikes took place while I was visiting the Leelanau Peninsula in western Michigan. Twice, my husband John and I took day-long hikes along the sand dunes along Lake Michigan in Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. Very humid weather with mid-80s F (29 C) temperatures to make it rather miserable. I would have gladly ditched the long pants for shorts had the nasty, biting, black flies not been so horrific! The other two hikes were in what are called "mountains" in the lower peninsula and were much cooler - I estimate in the high 70s F (25 C) though I didn't have my weather gauge.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
Despite my lack of backpacking these past couple of months, I did get a good deal of wear out of the Stonewear Dynamic Pant. I have several observations to share.
First, the fit: as I mentioned in my Initial Report, the pants are generously-sized in the abdominal, hip and backside areas. Shortly after I got the pants I was probably at the highest weight (140 lb/64 kg) I have ever been (including at the 9-months pregnant stage!). At that time, the pants fit more or less snugly but looked very nice and neat. After a lot of sweat and a lot less junk food, I've dropped that weight (122 lb/55 kg) and the pants are now rather loose and a lot less neat looking in the mid-section. However, that is not a big issue for me as on the trail, comfort is way more important than style and I've never been accused of being a fashionable hiker!
Thanks to the wide waistband and the interior pull-tie adjustment, I don't feel like I'm going to lose my pants on the trail, so all is good.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the articulated knees of these pants! It's so easy to bend down without cutting off the circulation in my legs and the construction has kept the pants from becoming "baggy" at the knees like some other stretchy materials do.
The pockets in these pants are generous, I particularly like the side-slanted pocket on the left leg. It's perfectly placed for me to stash lip balm and a tissue or two, as well as ID and a credit card for that apres-hike celebratory libation! And the two waistband pockets are large enough that I can actually use them when I'm wearing a backpack - that's something that a lot of other pant pockets don't do. The only disappointment in the pocket department is the rear pocket which is just too small for anything (translated my phone)!As I expected, I have only used the cuff cinches to tighten the cuffs closer to my leg to keep out those danged thistles and in Michigan, the biting flies! They work very well for that and I wish all my pants had them. The cords have remained intact without any unraveling and cinching up the cuffs has saved the hems of the pants from getting frayed as well.
Speaking of "fraying", the pants have held up very well, in spite of lackadaisical care. So far, I haven't seen any tears, snags, pulls, loose stitches or any other signs of adverse wear. The pants can be brushed off pretty much when I get dried mud on them. And they don't hold odors - well, after 3 straight days, they do smell a bit rank if it's particularly hot as it was in Michigan!
|Misshapen Elastic Waist|
I have washed the pants three times so far in cold water along with my other backpacking/hiking clothing. No fabric softener, no bleach, just a regular detergent. I'm quite proud of myself that I've remembered to hang the pants to dry rather than tossing them into the dryer along with the rest of the wash. It only takes a couple of hours here in Colorado's dry climate for the pants to air-dry in my laundry room and I'd rather take the time to hang the pants up than to risk them (possibly?) getting damaged in a hot dryer.
My only complaint so far about these pants is that very neat wide elastic waistband. As I worried in my Initial Report, once the pants were washed a couple of times, the internal elastic started to "fold down" on itself. It's like it rolls around in the outer knit waistband cover and settles to half its size. After I take it out of the washing machine, I have to manipulate it into shape so that it is flat and not misshapened. As it is now, the top of the pants curve outward from my body instead of lying flat against my skin. It's not a big thing but I'd rather the elastic lay flat. I'll have to wait and see if this is a worsening situation and ponder a fix for it!
Otherwise, my Stonewear Design Dynamic Pant and I are ready to go again!
Though I usually wear long pants no matter how hot it is when I am on the trail due to the flora and fauna, I didn't get as much use with the Dynamic Pant as I would have liked. "Best laid plans" and all that. It was a disappointing summer. I do, however, have lots of big plans for fall, including a 7-day trip in the Rocky Mountains of Summit and Eagle counties in Colorado!
LOCATIONS, CONDITIONS and PERFORMANCE
|Dynamic Pant Resisting Splinters||In this last field evaluation period, I continued to wear the Stonewear Designs Dynamic Pant in my home territory of Fremont County as described above in my Field Report. I also wore them exclusively on several day hikes to Summit County, Colorado recently as detailed below.|
1.) Where: West Avon Preserve, Avon, Colorado - 13.5 miles (21.7 km) of hiking and mountain biking trails over dry, narrow dirt, rooted and rocky surfaces through scrubby vegetation with steep grades and switchbacks.
Elevation: Avon, Colorado sits at 7431 ft (2265 m) - high point and elevation gain of trail is unknown.
Weather Conditions: Cloudy. 51 F (11 C), 31% humidity, wind gusts to 21 mph (34 kph) with sustained winds of 5 mph (8 kph).
On this particular trail, I was once again appreciative of the comfortable stretch of these pants. Since half of the hike was up a very steep slope, I was constantly high-stepping up boulders and bending my knees. Between the gusseted crotch which prevented binding where I never want binding and the articulated knees which stretched when I needed them to, I was able to concentrate on gasping for breath rather than any imminent chafing of body parts. The wide elastic waistband was very forgiving as I labored upward. It was nice not having a rigid fabric or belt constricting me.
Since it was very windy at times, I was very aware of the fact that the pants kept me unscathed. The tight weave of the fabric prevented any chilling from the wind. I stayed very comfortable and unperturbed by the weather.
One of the most notable features of the landscape on this hike was the innumerable "hitchhikers" - those pesky bits of vegetation that seem to jump several feet from dried plants onto my legs! These sticky things were all over the place and as a result, all over my pants. Fortunately, the pants bore the brunt of the abuse, thus saving my skin and thanks to the cinch closures at the hem, I even managed to keep the thorns off my socks! The only "ouches" I suffered were from pulling all of them off the pants at the end of the hike. I'm happy to say, no snags or damage to the pants resulted from this encounter!
|Beautiful Piney Lake Trail|
|Walking through Aspens in Dynamic Pant|
2.) Where: Upper Piney Lake Trail, Vail, Colorado - Very well-traveled (ridiculously busy!) dirt trail along the edge of Piney Lake along a broad meadow and then through aspen and pine forest to Piney Lake Waterfall.
Weather Conditions: Sunny and dry with sustained winds (measured with my husband John's handheld anemometer) of 6.7 mph (10.8 kph) and gusts to 10.6 mph (17.1 kph). 41 to 51 F (5-11 C)
Elevation: 9362 - 9800 ft (2854 - 2987 m).
Again, on this hike I was very cognizant of the Dynamic Pant's ability to keep out the wind and again because of the steep terrain, I appreciated the ease of bending and lifting my legs.
Since I was using my cell phone as a camera - that was all it was good for due to the lack of any sort of cell/internet service - I needed a convenient place to carry my Samsung Galaxy phone. It was too hot for a jacket, so I couldn't store the phone there and the front pockets on my backpack of the day are so small as to be useless for more than a lip balm and a tissue! The Dynamic Pant's zipper-closure back pocket where I would have liked to have stored my phone is also too small. While the front waist side pockets are nice and large, because they are large, my phone seems to "drag" on the pocket, cause the pocket to hang down and the phone to thump against my thigh. Alas, it was my only option on this hike, so I tried it. I will admit though after a while, I didn't even notice the weight of the phone.
|Relaxing in my Dynamic Pant|
3.) Where: Stag Gulch Trail and Squaw Creek Trail, Edwards, Colorado - 5 mile (8 km) very steep hiking, mountain biking and horse trails of hard packed dirt through aspen forests and wide meadows. Mostly dry but some muddy spots and lots of horse pucky!
Weather Conditions: Partly cloudy with no wind at all. Temperatures ranged from 51 - 65 F (11 - 18 C) depending on the shade and the time of day.
Elevation: Over the 5 miles (8 km) we hiked, there was approximately a 1000 ft (300 m) elevation gain to a high point of about 9300 ft (2800 m).
OK. After three straight days of hiking many hours and many miles/kilometers, the most burning questions I had were: "Do these pants have an unpleasant smell? If so, how bad is that smell?" It was with a bit of reluctance that I put my nose to the test and took a quick sniff. Then I took another whiff. While I'm certainly not going to claim the pants were "fabric-softener" fresh, I didn't keel over. I certainly was comfortable enough to go for day four without worry of offending the wildlife or my hiking partner.
Also, as fabrics get dirty, sometimes they get rather stiff. Not so with these pants, dirt doesn't "stick" like some of my other bottoms and I didn't have problems with any stains either.
|Dynamic Pant Getting Rained On!|
4.) Where: Old Vail Pass - Ten Mile Canyon Recreation Trail - for most of the way, this is a blacktop-paved path (used to be Highway 6 from Vail to Frisco, Colorado), then it turns to well-marked and maintained dirt hiking and mountain biking trail through aspen and pine trees. We only walked about 6 miles (10 km) of it.
Weather Conditions: Cloudy to a steady drizzle with light intermittent breezes averaging 2.8 mph (4.5 kph). It was a cool 43 - 50 F (6-10 C)
Elevation: a gain of 900 ft (270 m) to a high point of about 9000 ft (2700 m) over the 6 miles (10 km).
Well, it had to happen. I forgot my rain pants and so when it started to drizzle, there I was with the unprotected Dynamic Pant on. I could have sworn my rain pants were in my backpack along with my rain jacket! Dang! Fortunately, the precipitation never progressed beyond a drizzle and stayed intermittent. Even better was the fact that the pants seem to shed the water rather efficiently. They never soaked through and I never got chilled from wearing damp pants. Seems like I didn't need those rain pants after all, right?
5.) Where: 5 Senses Trail and Beaver Lake Trail, Beaver Creek, Colorado - started out in the town of Avon, walking to Beaver Creek Village on blacktop and cement sidewalks for about 2.6 miles (4.2 km) to the start of the 5.2 mile (8.4 km) round trip trail to Beaver Lake. 5 Senses Trail is well-marked and traveled dirt trail just outside the BC Village heading uphill and connecting to the Beaver Lake Trail. Initially, the Beaver Lake Trail follows a paved road and then becomes a well-marked and traveled dirt path which is steep, has some narrow ridge crossings and goes through pine and some aspen trees.
Weather Conditions: Sunny and hot to cloudy then a steady drizzle. Temperatures ranged from 43 - 56 F (6 - 13 C) depending on the sun and the altitude.
Elevation: Avon, Colorado sits at 7431 ft (2265 m) and the high point of Beaver Lake is 9746 ft (2971 m) for an elevation gain of 2315 ft (706 m).
Well, suffice to say, after five days of wearing them, the Stonewear Designs Dynamic Pant needed washing! I've washed these pants at least three more times since my last report and the pants still look like new except for the waistband which continues to frustrate me with the folding/rolling of the interior elastic. I've only once forgotten to air dry the pants and even after their misadventure in my electric dryer, they appear to be no worse for the experience.
To be honest, mid-way through this field evaluation period, I was planning on donating my Stonewear Design Dynamic Pant to my backpacking partner/daughter-in-law as soon as I published this report. I had lost some weight and the pants were just rather sloppy looking on me. Not that I am any sort of fashion plate, on or off the trail, but the bagginess of the pants bugged me. In addition to the roominess in the seat and thighs, the way the waistband "rolls" and is "wavy" bugged me more. I truly think - and this is pure conjecture - I would be best off now with a smaller size. Maybe.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
However, these pants are just too comfortable to be pushed aside for such triviality! I absolutely love how I am free to move, however awkwardly, on the trail without any constrictions. Now, I definitely plan on keeping them close at hand for my next outdoor adventure. Sorry, Julia!
Thank you to Stonewear Designs and BackpackGearTest.org for the introduction to the Dynamic Pant!
Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
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