I just recently picked these up. I was looking for a simple, lightweight softshell for speed touring that would work easily with my TLT 5 boots. I've been using these pants for skinning the local resort in the mornings and for quick and easy touring, preferring a hardshell when going out for a day of touring with a group.
First, I love the hand of the fabric. It's a dense weave but yet still supple. It does a great job blocking moderate wind while still breathing well. The pockets are a great design being deep but keeping contents over the thigh which is nicer than traditional pockets as I don't really notice the contents as much. There are no other pockets except for the two over the thighs. The adjustable waist system is simple and doesn't seem to get in the way much even when the waist is adjusted down to the smaller size range of the pant (I'm a 30" waist in the small). Simple and minimal instep patches add some protection against edges without being in the way.
My sole complaint is in how the integration with the Ultra Lock buckle system on the TLT boots works. As best I can figure the pant's cuff is intended to be pulled over the boot and the pant's side zip unzipped to expose the buckle lever. At the rear of the pant over the achilles there is a double-layer patch of fabric with outlines where ostensibly one cuts out the necessary holes in the pant to allow the buckle to close over the pant and securely latch into its mating hole.
There are two outlines on the rear internal of the pant, one triangular and the other a tall slim bar that runs vertically down the leg. The triangular outline seems solely to expose the Dynafit snow leopard logo at the rear of the power strap, which seems like a poor reason to cut your pants. Supporting the recommendation to not cut the triangular outline, cutting both holes creates a thin strip of fabric between the two cut-outs that I see as being a likely culprit to rip. So the vertical bar is most likely the only part you will want to cut as this area is what exposes the buckle mating hole on the boot. Here in lies the devil in the detail. I found that I had to expand the width of the cut-out towards the side-zip in order for things to work in any functional manner. Since the pant doesn't have a stirrup to keep it rotationally centered I found that the pant has a tendency to rotate such that the relatively narrow slot of the stock outline makes it very unlikely for my buckle to work and only snags the fabric in the mating hole leaving the buckle only partially locked. I found that expanding the cut about 1/2" towards the side zip works well and this is what I would recommend to others. The best advice is to make smaller cuts and cut more as needed until things work for you.
In summary, if you want a lightweight pant for moving fast these are a great option but at a high price point. If your boot has an Ultra Lock buckle like the TLT boots and you like to move fast and/or efficiently the TLT pant should be on your short list to evaluate. I love pairing it with the racing windstopper jacket for morning "how many laps can I get in before work?" runs at the resort. For me the only thing lacking a 5-star rating is the Ultra Lock buckle closure integration. It works, but I still am left feeling that this could be done better. I will likely buy another pair next year.
So after a season using these and also using a Dynafit race suit I have some thoughts. I believe the triangular cut-out on the TLT pant is intended for the Ultra-Lock buckle system contrary to my initial impressions. The fact that the pant lacks an instep stirrup is where things go wrong. On my race suit the pant cuff stays in a fixed position relative to the boot because the stirrup prevents rotational movement. On the TLT pant the pant cuff is free to move around the boot. In fact I think the position of the zipper causes the buckle to rotate the pant. That makes it really hard for a fixed position on the back of the pant to reliably be where you intend it to be. I have a couple thoughts on this.
My uneducated gut opinion is that I think the side zip should be moved at an offset angle more towards the foot. Then the pant should then have a race style stirrup or grommets and the buckle should be exposed through an additional fabric cut-out on the side (like a race tight). I understand why this would never happen on this pant but I think that would solve the awkwardness. With that said it would be easy to hack that together on the pant as is and I will make these changes and try them out next year. I don't think this affects my rating but offers a more complete and hopefully more accurate breakdown.
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