Overall: Four Stars if you want a pant to use as a lower-body substitute for a full lycra suit or tights on race day since the PDG a little bit overbuilt for that. Four Stars if you want a pant for touring since the PDG lacks any zippered pockets in the front. Five Stars if you want a training pant to use with some race top that already has some pockets for items beyond just climbing skins, but that’s a relatively limited application, so Four Stars as an overall rating.
Background on product familiarity: I used the PDG pant during the 2014-15 season for lots of training sessions combined with a La Sportiva Syborg top. And for my touring the last few seasons I’ve used Dynafit’s very similar Racing pant and the somewhat similar Movement pant.
First, the first impressions out of the box: If your goal is more modesty than allowed by a full one-piece lycra race suit, then unfortunately you’ll be flashing a large Snow Leopard in back, plus the white sections of the white-on-black color scheme are glaringly bright. The fit matches up with the sizing chart, but note the continental differentiation, e.g., I’m a medium among presumably skinny Euro metrosexuals yet a small in the Obese States of America.
The elasticized drawstring waistband works very well, which begs the question of why this pant bothers with a zippered fly. Or perhaps that zipper migrated unintentionally a few inches from where it could have served as a highly useful front pocket (e.g., like on Dynafit’s own Movement and Racing models). The zippered mesh pocket in back (same as on the Movement and Racing) and the elasticized mesh pocket on the lower thigh (same as on the Movement, yet mysteriously absent on the Racing) are both very useful, but neither is a perfect substitute for a zippered front pocket.
Although the underpocketed design seems more suited for a racing tight, the relatively stiff zipped lower leg openings seem more suited for a touring pant. A Dynafit side-throw or an Alien vertical lever can be accessed via the long two-way zipper. If you want race-style access, the lower leg has reinforcements for cut-your-own holes.
Second impressions, in use: This has been the perfect pant for when I want to train with a separate top (as opposed to a one-piece suit), whether for more clothing flexibility, fitting in better with society after training, or enhanced protection against the elements. Most notably, as compared to a plain lycra suit, the PDG pant has coped much better with brief bouts of rain and freezing rain, and I’ve been much warmer for post-dawn-patrol “victory” laps on a cold chairlift. In my nearly identical Racing pant, with lightweight long underwear and wind boxers, my lower body has been perfect fine touring in sub-zero F temps and nearly hurricane-force winds (which is more than I can say for my big toes and big nose).
Third impressions, for long-term durability: My PDG pant has lived a relatively easy life so far, but my nearly identical Racing pant has been through hellish bushwhacks. Once I even brushed up against what I thought was a bushy protrusion that turned out to be a sharp broken-off branch – ouch! I was surprised to see that the pant was entirely unharmed. I was even more surprised back home to see the extensive blood on my leg. Yes, this material is impressively thin, but it’s also impressively durable.
Comment on this review: