Well, it’s that time of year when the temps turn frigid, and the weather becomes relentless. Shorts and capris are no match in combating winter weather, but thankfully full length tights are able to do the trick so we can continue adventuring all year long.
When choosing a pair of full length tights there are a variety of things you should consider. First and foremost, fit! You want to feel comfortable and have full range of motion. How you feel in your clothes will determine your attitude, actions, and your overall experience. In analyzing fit, we will cover the feel, functionality, and actual inseam length.
Secondly, consider the materials and fabrics used. Are the tights made from natural fibers or synthetic? Is the material resilient, does it have any water or wind proof properties to protect against the harsh elements?
Lastly, and maybe the most exciting, are the special features and pockets! These are the unique and creative extras each pair of tights has to offer. Every brand and style may be different, so there are lots of interesting possibilities to explore.
As many already know, Patagonia is one of the most eco-friendly outdoor companies on the planet. With that being said, the Patagonia Women’s Peak Mission Tights – 27’ are constructed from recycled nylon, reducing dependence on petroleum as a raw material and curbing discards. Additionally, these tights contain HeiQ Fresh, a Swiss technology containing biocide, which is a durable odor control that helps to eliminate all the yucky smells from fabric. These tights are perfect for the cold weather, keeping you warm while providing breathability, all while allowing lots of stretch and comfort.
What We Loved: The fit was super comfortable, the fabric was soft and smooth on the body, and the wide waistband provided support. We see these as the everyday go-to tights.
What We Would Change: Though the fit was near perfect, it might be nice for a bit more length, especially for those with long legs.
Fit, Feel, and Function: The fit is excellent. Our reviewer is approx. 130lb and 5’4” and ordered a size medium. The tights are mid to high-rise, and the wide waistband provides optimal compression and security. Thanks to the brushed micro-terry fabric backing the inside feel is comfortable and warm. The recycled nylon, polyester and spandex blend provides for all the movement you would ever want. Lastly, the stitched ankle “cuffs” present a bit more security for keeping the elements out and warmth in.
Special Features and Pockets: The Patagonia Women’s Peak Mission Tights – 27” contain one zipper pocket that is located on waistband in the back. It is large enough to hold keys, credit cards, gels, or any other small items. These tights also have a hidden flat elastic drawcord that exits in the front for easy adjustability. Lastly, there are reflective elements located on back of the lower legs, and at the waist.
Actual Inseam Length: Size medium measures 27”.
Brooks has been a running industry leader for quite some time, so it’s no surprise they’ve created a premium winter weather running tight. The Brooks Switch Hybrid Tight is unique in the fact that it has an all-over durable water repellent (DWR) treatment, and reinforced paneling in the front from the waist to above the knee, and in the back from the top of the calf to the ankle. The Switch Hybrid Tight is ideal for those damp or wet winter conditions, promising a quality adventure no matter what gets thrown at you.
One more important thing to mention is that the fabric used in these tights is approved by Bluesign. “Hey Google, what is Bluesign?” A certification that ensures textile products are safe for the environment, workers, and customers. – Google.
What We Loved: The durable panels and DWR treatment! It is nice having the added protection for those burly and blustery days. The reinforced panels are in strategic spots, allowing full flexibility and movement around your butt and knee joints.
What We Would Change: At least one of the three pockets to have a secure closure (preferably a zipper feature).
Fit, Feel, and Function: First impression fit was in line with what the tester hoped for. The tights are fitted next to skin with appropriate compression (high-rise) and there is no droop in the crotch. The tights are generally all-around stretchy, but you can feel a slight difference in stretch (a little less) in the reinforced panels. This is to be expected because of the difference in material, but something you may notice. We already covered the DWR functionality, but it deserves another call out because of its uniqueness. The tights are made from recycled polyester, spandex, and elastane.
Special Features and Pockets: The Brooks Switch Hybrid Tight has three pockets. Two of these are drop-in pockets located on each side of the hips and can just fit a smartphone. The third pocket is located on the waistband in the back. It has a three inch opening but is six inches wide. Large enough to hold keys, gels, or any other small items. None of the three pockets have secure closure feature. Both ankles are equipped with a zipper, making it an easier for the on and off process. There is also an internal drawcord to assist with adjustability.
Actual Inseam Length: Size medium measures 28”
Arc’teryx is known for its expertise in the backcountry, on the trails, the rock, and the snow. The Oriel High Rise Legging 28 are a full length high-rise outdoor legging, made for technical functionality and performance. Constructed with moisture-wicking synthetic materials, these leggings boast of stretch and flexibility, matched with durability to combat Mother Nature’s feisty side. These leggings are the perfect combination of comfort and performance.
What We Loved: The 28” inseam guarantees full length coverage, so no more cold ankles! *The Oriel High Rise Legging is also offered in a 26”.
What We Would Change: Honestly there really isn’t anything to change. An added secure zipper pocket for your keys or cash is always a nice bonus though.
Fit, Feel, and Function: The fit was on point, providing great coverage around the waist and lower abdomen, as well as past the ankles. Made from nylon and elastane, the feel was super comfortable, smooth to the touch, with lots of stretch for any movement. The functionality is perfect for any trail run or hike, as these leggings can be your go-to standard. You know what you’re going to get and can always bank on the performance.
Special Features and Pockets: There are two drop-in pockets located below the waist on each hip. The pockets are shaped wider at the top, getting smaller as they get longer. You can fit a smartphone, gels, lightweight gloves, keys, and other smaller items in these pockets.
Actual Inseam Length: Size 4 measures 28”, but also comes in 26”.
By women, for women, Oiselle knows exactly what we are looking for. The Oiselle Flyout Tights are a fan favorite. Made from a synthetic blend of materials: nylon, polyester, and spandex, these tights hug in all the right spots, providing warm, and compression. Flyout compression is Oiselle’s most durable and warmest fabric, made by Polartec as part of their Power Stretch Pro line. The exterior has a smooth brushed feel, with the interior using a soft looped design which is prime for holding warmth. The Flyout Tights provide warmth, breathability, and will keep you cruising on your way in the burliest of temps.
What We Loved: Thank you for the seriously functional and useful pockets! They can hold multiple or larger sized items!
What We Would Change: Personal preference here…but though the tulip cut provides a nice feminine touch, it would be nice to have that warm coverage down to or below the ankle.
Fit, Feel, and Function: Hello my comfys! The Flyout Tights provide that snuggly warm feel while still providing the freedom of movement. The high-rise waist offers comfort and compression, keeping you warm and feeling good. These tights were a little short for our tester, but for those who don’t mind an above the ankle length, these are your jam! Another thing to note, the material is a bit thicker or heavier, for warmth purposes.
Special Features and Pockets: There are two total pockets, each being a large drop-in pocket located on both sides below the hips. These pockets are deep, perfect for a smartphone and more. There is also an interior hidden drawcord, helpful in adjusting tights around the waist if needed.
Actual Inseam Length: Size 8 measures 25”
As an industry leader in Merino wool usage and product creation, we’d have to say that Smartwool is pretty bahhhhh-d ass. Ok, maybe our jokes are corny, but one thing you can count on is excellent thermoregulation and odor resistance in any Smartwool product, including the Women’s Merino Sport Fleece Colorblock Tight. The next-to-skin feel is a soft-brushed Merino wool (fleece-like), with an exterior comprised of durable recycled synthetic fabrics, ready to brave the elements. Additionally, the exterior has an eco-friendly, non-PFC DWR coating. These tights have a high-rise waist and reach all the way past your ankles (tall people rejoice!). The Merino Sport Fleece Colorblock Tight is a go-to for all winter adventures, especially the most gnarly!
What We Loved: The soft next-to-skin fleece feel was super comfortable and cozy. We also loved the zippered drop-in pocket, that extra security goes a long way for peace of mind.
What We Would Change: This isn’t so much of a change, but just something to note. The thicker material (more of a mid-weight feel), can seem a bit bulky around the ankles if the inseam length is longer than you’d like.
Fit, Feel, and Function: These babies are nice and toasty! They will keep you warm in the coldest conditions, and their durable exterior can tackle the worst. These tights have a high-rise waist, keeping you warm and comfortable with light compression. The length is great especially for those with long legs. Our tester received a size medium, which measures a 28” inseam. If you are a size medium but have shorter legs, these tights might feel a bit long. The Women’s Merino Sport Fleece Colorblock Tight has great stretch and allows for lots of mobility.
Special Features and Pockets: These tights are equipped with two drop-in pockets, one with a zipper closure. The pockets are located below the waist on both sides of the hips. The zipper pocket is great for keys, cash, and small items. The open drop-in pocket can fit a smartphone.
There is an internal hidden drawcord for adjustability if needed. Lastly, there are reflective elements on both ankles and at the hip, helpful with visibility in the dark.
Actual Inseam Length: Size medium measures 28”.
New England born and bred independent running brand Tracksmith, is known for crafting high performance and authentic running apparel. With a focus on celebrating and supporting the running culture, everything Tracksmith does has a specific reason and purpose. So when it came to creating the Turnover Tights, you better believe they were meticulous in both design and functionality. These tights will keep you warm while providing excellent comfort (thanks to the Inverno Blend fabric) and will allow you all the mobility you could hope for.
What We Loved: The fit and durable stretch fabric. More of a mid-rise rise waist, which is a bit refreshing for those who don’t love the high-waist trend. The tights hold their shape while retaining great stretch, even in the most stretched areas (knees and butt).
What We Would Change: Simply, a form of secure closure (button, zipper, or Velcro) on the main back pocket.
Fit, Feel, and Function: The fit of the Turnover Tights maybe be our favorite yet. The compression of the tights is not too tight or too loose. The mid-rise waist lends itself to a less bulky feel and the leg length extends to the ankles. Made from nylon and elastane, these tights have a pretty lightweight feel. The material is breathable and quick drying while holding warmth, but this may not be the pair to wear in most heinous winter conditions. The Turnover Tights are another pair we’d recommend as your everyday go-to for cool to cold weather.
Special Features and Pockets: There are two pockets included on the Turnover Tights. There is an open pocket in the back along the waist. It has the ability to hold a smartphone when stretched but might be best for gloves or something lightweight. On the back of the waist and right side is a vertical zipper pocket. This pocket can hold a smartphone, your keys, cash, anything would want to keep secure.
Actual Inseam Length: Size medium measures 27”.