Mountain Hardwear Stretchstone Jeans. PHOTO: Jakob Schiller

Mountain Hardwear Stretchstone Jeans. PHOTO: Jakob Schiller

It’s always nice to find technical gear that has an understated design. You get the performance without looking like a guber. That’s my favorite part about the Stretchstone demin jeans from Mountain Hardwear. They’re built for use in the rain or snow, or climbing around on rocks, but you can also wear them to dinner with your in-laws.

The Stretchstone jeans do well when H2O is falling because they have a DWR finish that keeps most of the water out. I don’t recommend skiing in them, unless you’re night skiing, in which case, denim is practically required. But these jeans won’t soak out while you’re clearing the snow off your car in the morning or if you get caught in a drizzle on your bike commute home. They also keep most of the beer out, as I found out last week during a late night at the bars in Salt Lake City.

You can wear them climbing or hiking, because they’re stretchier that your normal pair of jeans and provide a bigger range of movement thanks to a 73 percent cotton, 25 percent polyester, 2 percent Lycra elastane construction. They’re not built for yoga, but they move better than a regular pair of Levis. In terms of fit, they’re straight legged so you don’t look like a wanna-be hipster in skinny jeans, and the wash is pretty dark, so you can get them dirty and it won’t show.

Unlike some other “technical” jeans out there, the Stretchstone are also reasonably priced at 95 clams. That’s about what you’d pay for a regular old pair of blue jeans so why not buy these instead and get the added benefit of stretch and water protection?