When they say stretch, they mean it, as in four-way, a featherlight fabric and real flexibility. The Dynamic Pant, first out in spring 2017 and now a stalwart in the Stonewear Designs lineup, was built specifically for climbing. Good to go all day, the pants can proceed handily from office to the gym and back. Or at least they did around here yesterday: You just flick off the chalk marks.
The stretchy waistband stays on under a harness (there are no buttons, zipper or tie, thank heavens), though this tester would prefer it was the same slatey gray as the pants and not an unaccountably different black. The maker is one of those blessed entities that have worked out how to make an elastic waist fall flat down the back side, instead of getting that dreaded clowny, poufy thing going. Front and back pockets also lie flat, and a zip pocket on the thigh would hold a folded topo printout comfortably, and takes a phone not so comfortably, but it would work fine for hiking. Articulated knees roll up into capris if you and the weather decree. The fabric wicks and is touted as abrasion resistant.
High price point, but you get a lot of uses.
Gotta have a soft spot for Stonewear Designs, started by a woman climber, Sari Nichols, in 1996 with the aim of creating comfortable and durable clothing to be worn by real women with muscles, curves or anything else. The company is still around (for a time owned by Trango, it has now transferred to SewSporty and moved from Boulder to Vista, California), turning out one beautifully made item after another. Check out a previous review on Rock and Ice.
Rock and Ice vigorously tests all gear it reviews for either 50 days or 50 pitches. This is a time-consuming process and limits the amount of new equipment we can present to our readers. Every year hundreds of new products hit store shelves, and most of these aren’t reviewed due to our stringent selection and review process. To better keep you more up to date on what is new, we present First Look. Gear in First Look has not always been field tested, but is gear we think you’d like to know about as soon as it is available. Some of the gear will be reviewed using our 50 days/50 pitches criteria, in future print and online editions of Rock and Ice. We have opted to use affiliate links in our gear reviews. Every time you buy something after clicking on links in our gear articles you’re helping support our magazine.