Any regular readers will know I have been on the quest for the perfect pants for a while now. The ‘one pair does it all’ that fit like your favourite jeans, yet function from hut to summit. 

So far this has led me down the ‘soft-shell plus lightweight overtrousers in the pack’ combo. But the Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Hybrid Pants are the first pair of pants to (literally) stop me in those tracks. Feels like soft shell; looks like soft shell – but when I took them out in a proper Welsh soaking, they behaved like proper shell pants, but without overheating. All thanks to the BD Dry + softshell combo. Stretchy too! 

Several burly outings later, and the DWR is still beading like a beauty. I am building faith in these as a serious poor-weather pant, as well as a comfy skinning outfit.

They are also well featured: two harness compatible thigh pockets (one has a neoprene transceiver pouch and attachment point); a small reflector.

The boot cuff is great, with reinforced instep patches and a cunning dual closure. They promote this for both racing and touring boots, but I like it to keep my flares from snagging my Crocs in the hut lounge! In the recent lockdown madness, it has helped to keep the cuff out of my bike chain on the ‘exercise from home’ outings, too! 

In use, the cuff is just big enough to get over a loose skinning boot, but with no Velcro to let you down it’s a bomber seal.


They rock when it’s hot, and when it gets cold and wild out there I combine ’em with my trusty zip-on/off insulated shorts combo – winner!

Where to buy
Black Diamond