Black Diamond W Dawn Patrol Pants
Note - this review is based on one day of use.
First of all. I was very surprised when I tried these on AND THEY FIT! Most outdoor clothing retailers seem to think that only women with one body type play outside. Even their larger sizes assume we have no booty. My friends who try on pair after pair of pants that fit through the thighs but have a multi-inch gap at the waist band - you know what I mean. These pants are built for us, fellow big-bootied gals! No gap! (FYI, I am 5’ 4”, approx. 145 lbs, and bought the medium.)
Second, they performed fabulously when I wore them in the backcountry. I had a medium-weight base layer underneath, and they fit comfortably over that. They had enough stretch to be very comfortable to wear and move in. That whole bending over to mess with your boots thing is easy in these. They are nice and warm. On a sunny, teens-20s temps (fahrenheit) day, I was almost too warm when skinning but I usually run a little cold and it felt perfect. Plus the thigh vents helped keep me from overheating. They were good at wind blocking too. When transitioning above timberline in a stiff breeze, my legs stayed comfortable.
I really like the gaiter system - the inner gaiter has a full velcro closure on the side with a snap at the bottom, and the outside of the pant leg has a zipper on the side, also with a snap at the bottom. Messing with your boots during transitions is easy.
Since these are new, I can’t speak to durability but I hope they hold up because I love them. I can anticipate that they might be a little warm in spring conditions, and I’ll either ditch my base layer or choose a lighter one, depending on the day. My only very slight disappointment is the thigh pockets. They don’t have enough extra fabric to put anything with any bulk into them. Even my little tube of lip balm stretched the fabric more than I’d like. I don’t know if I’ll be using those much. They might hold a phone? but I’d prefer to keep my phone in a more protected inner pocket. Overall, that’s a minor complaint and I am very pleased with these pants.