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experience with MontBell wind pants? <plus some rambling>
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Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
experience with MontBell wind pants? <plus some rambling> on 03/26/2012 19:55:25 MDT Print View

I have read great reviews on MontBell wind pants, but there are some details I'm seeking on their "UL" and "Dynamo" models. No local dealers have them around here.

Application: I'm looking for a superlight pant that will give protection from wind, bugs, and prevent chilling (but not be waterproof) in rain. I want to combine them with simple shorts to yield an adaptable solution for lower body clothing. I want to be able to make use of this in warm conditions as well as cool, so a breathable "not hot" pant is needed. In cooler conditions I can add a thin baselayer.

My Ex Officio convertible Amphi pants are great and adaptable but weigh 13 ounces. The venerable North Face Venture pants are good performers in extended storms but weigh 9 ounces and are too hot for a lot of situations.

I have a stocky build and would almost certainly need the XL size. What is the fit difference between the 2 MontBell models? Is there any significant breathability/warmth difference? The MontBell site describes the Dynamo as being geared toward winter pursuits but with such a thin, light denier fabric I don't see how that applies.

Edited by El_Canyon on 03/26/2012 19:57:27 MDT.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: experience with MontBell wind pants? <plus some rambling> on 03/26/2012 20:00:22 MDT Print View

I have Dynamos and I'm very happy with them. Super light and a good cut. They do everything you ask pretty well, though they're a bit thin for bug protection.

Jacob Linton
(gardenhead) - F

Locale: Western NC
UL vs stretch on 03/27/2012 09:15:13 MDT Print View

I've used both the UL and the stretch windpants, but not the dynamo. Hands down the stretch windpants are my favorite hiking pants I've ever used. I like the UL and their fit, but the stretch just made them wear like a completely different pant. I realize they're not available anymore, but maybe you can track some down or buy used.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: experience with MontBell wind pants? <plus some rambling> on 03/27/2012 09:43:03 MDT Print View

I own the UL,Stretch,and the Dynamo.The UL has a more plastic non breathable feel to it and is bug proof,the Stretch has a nicer feeling heavier(not heavy)material is bug proof,has zip pockets is roomier than the UL and zippers at the ankle and more breathable than the UL.The Dynamo has material more like the stretch but lighter and I would say more breathable than the stretch.I have not tried it around around bugs but I would guess that they are bug proof,but maybe someone else knows better who has worn them around more.The fit of the Dynamo is huge on me and I need to modify them,they are size small mens,my other pants fit great but that's because the they are size small womens.
I don't know but maybe this write up by John might help you

http://hikelighter.com/2012/01/26/montbell-dynamo-wind-pants/#more-147

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: experience with MontBell wind pants? <plus some rambling> on 03/27/2012 12:01:33 MDT Print View

I really don't know where wind pants fit into a UL kit. I find them too hot, especially the Montbell UL's... just like the UL wind shirt. The shirt was miserable and I am thrilled with the Houndini I replaced it with. Normally I find that I don't need wind pants with shorts until it gets down into the 30's F temperature range with wind. However, I am much more comfortable wearing a base layer under my shorts (for a little modesty). I am usually bringing the baselayer with me for around camp and to sleep in, so the wind pants are redundant. I mostly hike in shorts, but as the seasons gets colder, I switch to lightweight pants, and eventually to Schoeller pants in winter.

Additionally the MB UL pants don't have pockets. That is a huge negative for me. And they are not comfortable to sleep in, unless I wear a baselayer underneath... which usually means I don't need wind pants. Now my windshirt is one my most versatile pieces of clothing.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: wind pants on 03/27/2012 12:20:31 MDT Print View

"Application: I'm looking for a superlight pant that will give protection from wind, bugs, and prevent chilling (but not be waterproof) in rain. I want to combine them with simple shorts to yield an adaptable solution for lower body clothing. I want to be able to make use of this in warm conditions as well as cool, so a breathable "not hot" pant is needed. In cooler conditions I can add a thin baselayer."


Montane Featherlites will be all of the above. The only shortcoming is that I find them a bit warm to be good bug protection in warm weather. That they only come in black does not help. They breath decently and are quite comfy against the skin.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Dynamo on 03/27/2012 12:31:00 MDT Print View

I can confirm that the Dynamos are bug proof against mosquitos. I also don't find them specific for winter application only, having worn mine in 80 degree heat (not ideal--was avoiding sun burn situation). I feel like the comfort range maxes out around 60-70 degrees (of course, humidity will be a determining factor as well). IIRC, the dynamos do not have pockets. I can't speak about the materials used in the UL windpants, but I know they lack the ankle zips that are present on the Dynamo. I assumed the zippers are what accounted for the difference in weight between the 2 models.

My 3 season layering consists of running shorts, dynamo pants, and wool tights. I sleep with all 3 on when temps are around freezing. My running shorts (with liner intact) serve as my undies.

Edited by Konrad1013 on 03/27/2012 12:35:25 MDT.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Re: experience with MontBell wind pants? <plus some rambling> on 03/27/2012 12:33:00 MDT Print View

I bring wind pants on most trips(they weigh just a couple ounces),in the summer when its hotter and bugs are out they are loose and light and breathe well,and it gets cool or even chilly quickly here and I wear shorts year round, they work great for me.I could see where it might not be as great if you live in the desert but I live in the NW.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/montbell_tachyon_anorak_dynamo_wind_pants.html

Edited by annapurna on 03/27/2012 12:38:07 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: experience with MontBell wind pants? on 03/27/2012 12:44:00 MDT Print View

By the time you combine wind pants with a pair of light shorts, you are back to a couple ounces of your Ex Officio's. The Ex Officio Convertible Insect Shield pants spec at 9oz and lack the extra pockets and do-dads of the Amphi line (I weighed a pair of large/long that were 10.8oz) and note they do not include a belt or liner brief.

IMHO, wind pants are terribly fragile and the math only works if you normally wear super light running shorts most of the time and want some extra protection. If it is getting cold and windy, your rain pants work and you don't have the duplication.

I have a pair of Gramicci Quick Dry pants that are 9.9oz in XL size. They give a good balance of protection/durability/weight and come in various inseam lengths and colors. The fabric is light and the legs just full enough that they roll up well.
http://www.gramicci.com/shop/rockit-original-pant-p-3703.html

I see Sierra Trading Post has some on sale too.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: Re: experience with MontBell wind pants? on 03/27/2012 12:55:28 MDT Print View

Don't forget to factor in the weight of undies Dale! ;)

To be fair, my combo of windpants and running shorts come in around 6oz (size small though) so they still might be lighter than the converti-pant equivalent?

But as you mentioned, I prefer shorts most the time, and use the windpants as a protective layer. I also find the pants sufficient in repelling water for passing showers, so I can drop the weight of my rain pants (of course this is a very location specific matter)

I think the biggest thing going for the running short/windpant combo is the comfort and range of motion. Sometimes converti-pants feel restrictive, even when in shorts mode. A lot of this comes down to whether the pants feature a gusseted crotch or not.

Good points on durability...I would be very hesitant of this combo if I did a lot of bushwacking.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: experience with MontBell wind pants? on 03/27/2012 13:19:43 MDT Print View

+1 for what Konrad said