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Performance Pants and Tights

Top Picks

How we choose: The best performance pants and tights highlighted here were selected based on 36 reviews of 15 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

How we test: Trailspace is powered entirely by our community of readers. The reviews posted here reflect the real-world experiences of outdoor enthusiasts just like you.

If you've used a performance pant/tight that you think should be listed here, please share your experience.

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Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Tights

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

The Fjällräven Abisko Trekking Tights are the perfect solution for comfortable and durable trekking pants as well as a thermal baselayer, all wrapped up into one. They feature functional pockets and robust construction, providing so much utility that one may find that no other pants are ever needed.

Reasons to Buy

  • Durability
  • Comfort
  • All-around utility
  • Good pocket design

Reasons to Avoid

  • Insufficient waist drawcord to prevent slouching
  • Can get a bit smelly after prolonged use

Specifications: Design: Reinforced Knees/Rear, gusseted crotch, articulated knees, and flat-lock seams Knees/Rear Material: 62% polyamide, 16% aramid, 12% elastane, 10% polyester; Stretch material: 82% polyamide, 18% elastane Pockets: 3 Weight: 265 g in size small (my sample, size small, weighs 9.7 oz/276 g) Conditions of Test Period: When I say that I lived in these tights for four months, I am not exaggerating much. These were the only pair of pants that I brought during a thru-hike of Te Araroa, New Zealand’s long pathway.

Read more: Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Tights review (1)

Ridge Merino Crowley Tights

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

Ridge Merino's Crowley Tights are a highly compressive, warm, and durable running tight for women. Made from a nylon-spandex-merino wool blend, they offer the best of synthetics (stretch and durability) with merino wool (comfort and odor control) for cold-weather active pursuits. I've been wearing the Crowley Tights for running during Maine winters and find them most comfortable in temps below freezing. These tights are...tight, so if you're not looking for a lot of compression consider sizing up. If you want a durable, warm compression tight that includes wool, keeps its shape, doesn't get stinky, and is comfortable on the run, check these out. Ladies, you'll have to wait till fall to get a pair as they sold out. Gentlemen, Ridge Merino is planning a men's version, but probably not for this year.

Reasons to Buy

  • Synthetic-wool blend
  • Lots of compression
  • Excellent odor control
  • Retain shape well
  • Durable exterior, not prone to snagging
  • Large, stretchy pocket on the thigh

Reasons to Avoid

  • Tight (well, they are compression tights)
  • Women's only (for now)
  • Wool can shrink in dryer (this was user error)

  Material The Crowley Tights from Ridge Merino are made from panels of Polartec Power Wool, a synthetic-wool compression combo. The garment is one fabric, but inside against the skin it's a soft merino wool twill (288 g/sm) for comfort, moisture wicking, temperature regulation, and odor control; while the exterior is nylon jersey for durability and stretch. Inner face of Crowley Tights with Polartec Power Wool Exterior of Crowley Tights with Polartec Power Wool Polartec Power Wool's material breakdown is 53 percent nylon, 26 percent Spandex, and 21 percent wool.

Read more: Ridge Merino Crowley Tights review (1)

Ronhill Trackster Classic

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

The iconic product, which still works, after all these years. Super-light, stretchy, tough, comfy, versatile, and easy to care for. Extensively copied, but still relevant.

Reasons to Buy

  • Comfort
  • Protection
  • Durability
  • Versatility
  • Zero restrictions

Reasons to Avoid

  • One tiny pocket
  • Not waterproof (you can't have everything)

Ron Hill was an English long-distance runner, in an era when all athletes wore cotton. Best known, to US readers, as the first British winner of the Boston Marathon (1970), he pioneered carbo loading, redesigned shoes and clothing, and used his academic background as a Textile Chemist to shift the entire paradigm of sportswear, to make it less restrictive and thus, more efficient. I've been wearing Trackster tights since the 1980s. They're light—almost filmy—crazy-stretchy, wind resistant and bug-resistant, for those days, when shorts would be a bad idea.

Read more: Ronhill Trackster Classic reviews (2)

Opedix S1 Tights

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Skiing and snowboarding and running are good for our mind, body and soul, yet we all acknowledge the toll it takes on our knees. Each time our feet absorb impact, the impact travels from the feet to the knees, pushing our knee joints to the outside. This creates wear points on the inside of the joint where most of the "load" is born. Oddly enough, this seems to increase as we age. The Opedix S1 Knee Support System tights, developed in conjunction with the Steadman Hawkins Sports Medicine Foundation, acts to counter these forces by keeping the knee positioned correctly to improve stability and function, and reduce the stresses on the knee joint that can cause pain and do long term damage.

Read more: Opedix S1 Tights review (1)

Salomon Momentum II Tight

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

My favorite winter running tights. I have two pair and may purchase another. Love the double layer at the knees and the length!

Reasons to Buy

  • Warm
  • Double layer at knees to help keep knees warm
  • Great length
  • Not too tight

Reasons to Avoid

  • Very warm, but would be nice if front of tights had a wind block panel

Several things make these my go-to winter favorites: I LOVE the double layer at the knees. It's surprising how the extra layer really helps to keep those knees warm (especially on a cold day) seems like I'm not as stiff starting out when it's really cold because my knees are already warm. Very smart thinking of Salomon designers. Thank goodness for the extra length! Nothing worse than having cold ankles and there are so many tights that seem a little short. These may be too long if you have pretty short legs and even on me (5'6) they tend to bunch up a little at the ankles.

Read more: Salomon Momentum II Tight review (1)

Opedix KNEE-Tec 2.0 Full Length Tights

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

Technical tights that improve alignment for increased performance. A valuable tool that can be used for training, racing, or injury rehabilitation.

Reasons to Buy

  • Helps with knee and hip alignment.
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Less fatigue during exercise

Reasons to Avoid

  • A little pricey

When I first received the Opedix KNEE-Tec 2.0 tights I was not sure what to make of them. Opedix has utilized years of scientific research in the biomechanical movement of the human body when designing their performance wear. In order to achieve what Opedix calls Kinetic Health, they have designed their tights with what they call "Torque Reform Technology" to assist in the alignment of the body during exercise. The idea is the Torque panels sewn into the tights assist the body in maintaining perfect alignment which in turn reduces injuries and increases performance in a variety of movement sports.

Read more: Opedix KNEE-Tec 2.0 Full Length Tights reviews (2)

prAna Luna Maternity Capri

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Finding technical clothing for outdoorsy women isn’t terribly difficult. Finding technical clothing for pregnant outdoorswomen is another matter entirely, as I learned during my first pregnancy nearly five years ago. So last fall I was excited when prAna announced a new maternity line for spring/summer 2008, especially as it coincided with my second pregnancy. PrAna’s series includes the Luna Maternity Capri, the Luna Maternity Pant, and the sleeveless Luna Maternity Top, all made from a stretchy 90 percent Supplex and 10 percent Lycra material.

Read more: prAna Luna Maternity Capri review (1)

REI Winter Momentum Pants

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

These pants seem to have disappeared from REI's catalog, so this review may be in vain. That said, I think these are great pants and wonder why they have apparently been discontinued. The REI Winter Momentum Pants are simple and clean, without a lot of gratuitous bells and whistles--one reason I like them so much. They are extremely comfortable and are made of a lightweight softshell material. The inside is brushed, so is very comfortable against bare skin. I have run in them, snowshoed in them, and hiked in them.

Read more: REI Winter Momentum Pants review (1)

More Reviews of Performance Pants and Tights

Trailspace reviewers have shared 36 reviews of 15 different performance pants and tights.

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Other Types of Pants

Find more pants reviewed in these related categories:

Waterproof Pants

Soft Shell Pants

Wind Pants

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