my collection of riding tights

Dear Ashley, We are out of space in your drawer. You do not
need to add to your collection. Sincerely, Your Tights

Completely shameless confession: I love riding tights. Even before I got into distance riding, I had several pairs of tights with funky-patterned side stripes I would use for schooling and riding lessons. As evidenced by the above, once I got into distance riding, my fashion sense took on very much of a “no holds barred color explosion” type of flavor. I also wear them for more than just riding: I’ll wear them under sweats in the winter when I need an extra layer, or as a more comfortable alternative to jeans on days I’m just hanging around the house.

I’ve gotten my tights from a variety of sources and I really like them all for different reasons. At the very least, having multiple brands allows me to rotate through them — very handy at the Prescott ride when day one’s tights rubbed on the inside of my knee, so I switched to a different type on day two.
I also tend to hold on to my tights for a very long time, reluctantly disposing of them only after they’ve reached the point where I might as well just go ride in my underwear, they’ve gotten so see-through.
tights from Evelyn the Tights Lady

The two pairs of denim-looking tights are my newest acquisition from Evelyn, bought at the AERC Convention in February. One pair are solid lycra with a denim print, and the other are a heavier, more cotton-woven type of material with the look and a tiny bit of a feel of denim. The lycra ones are nice and cool for the summer. The denim ones are a perfect fall/spring weight and very comfortable. The solid purple cotton and “fireworks factory explosion” ones are several years old now, and the patterned ones have been through a number of rides and holding up well. The solid purple ones are a cotton blend of some kind, which is nice and lightweight for summer.

I finally got to meet Evelyn in person at the Convention and paw through the racks of wonderful, wild, outrageous patterns. I thought bringing home the denim ones was a rather conservative move on my part…but Evelyn’s promised to look for some wild orange fabrics for me as well. :)
Love these…Evelyn is definitely one of my go-to sources on tights.
Tropical Riders
EnduraCool on left; PrixTec on right

I’m kind of on the fence about the Tropical Riders. The brown pair on the left are wonderful. They’re the “EnduraCool” model, I believe. I picked them up a number of years ago…probably 6 or 7?…on sale at one of my local tack stores. As you can see from the rather interesting color variegation on them, I’ve worn them a lot. The lower leg is still the original color, from always being covered by half chaps, and the upper waist area is the same way from always being covered with a shirt. But the middle part…welcome to the “Arizona sun effect.” They’ve also got a couple of small holes…but they’re so comfortable and great for the summer that I refuse to give them up until they’re in shreds.

The orange ones on the right, I’m not too sure about. They’re the “PrixTec” variety. I know one thing for sure: I don’t like the full-seat. It’s not even the grip in the saddle part — nice, but unnecessary, as it turns out — but I don’t like how much extra weight and lack of breathability the extra material adds, and it makes them fit a little funky. I’m not wild about the fact the cotton material seems to be pilling around the lower leg and ankle area after only a few wears/washes.
Will get another pair of the “EnduraCool” variety if I can ever find another pair on sale again.
Irideon Issentials

The most boring tights I own…but I can’t get rid of them. They wear like iron. The black pair on the right are at least 7 or 8 years old and don’t even have a hole in them. (And they’ve seen a lot of miles.) The grey pair aren’t much newer, at least 5 or 6 years old. They have a couple of tiny holes on the side of one knee. They’re made of some kind of microfiber polyester, so have fantastic grip. They’re acceptable all year round, but can get a little hot in the summer. They do have a funky outer seam that I have to watch for — if it gets placed under my half chaps the wrong way, it’ll press right into my shins and do some interesting pressure things. Black goes with everything, so I can wear my more colorful and interesting shirts with these.

Kerrits Klassic Performance

I’m pretty sure these are the “Klassic Performance” variety. These are another pair that have seen a lot of miles and have the wear to prove it, but I don’t have the heart to chuck them quite yet. The bottoms of them are permanently stained from when I was breaking in my new black half chaps and sumemr sweat + new suede = dye leak. There are a couple of holes in them. The thigh area is starting to stretch out and get a little threadbare. But they’re some of the coolest summer tights I have and are still super-comfortable. The only problem with these is the tan color. From a distance, ride photos have a bit of a “Lady Godiva” effect. Hmmm.

Crazy Legs tights

The two wild prints on the left are solid lycra.. The side-stripe ones are lycra stripes with some kind of tech-performance solid fabric. This is my other go-to source for something other than off-the-rack, tack-store tights. The ones on the right are my newest pair, and the print is some funky shimmery snakeskin-effect type of fabric…very wild. (And enough orange in it to go with my whole orange color scheme.) Also been very happy with these so far as well

Not pictured: Winter riding tights, because they’ve been put away in my closet until next winter. One pair are Crazy Legs, the other Irideon Wind Pro. Like the Crazy Legs. The Wind Pro, I use more as winter sweats than for actual riding, because they’re bootcut, which, as it turns out, I don’t care all that much for in the saddle, especially when paired with half chaps. I love the Wind Pro material, though, and will probably look for another pair next winter in a more fitted style.

What I love about all of these tights and their manufacturers: They’re made in the US. Yes, even the Irideon and Kerrits. That makes me extremely happy that something I buy and get so much wear out of ties in so strongly with my efforts to get as much of what I buy as possible made in the US. And I really like supporting the small businesses like Evelyn and Crazy Legs: hard-working people and personal friends who are innovative and quality-driven.
I’It appears that I’m out of drawer space now…but that doesn’t stop me from keeping one eye open for any good deals I might stumble across along the way. Because there’s always room for more tights.

5 thoughts on “my collection of riding tights

  1. So many cute tights! I am totally boring. I own 5 pair of Kerrits flow rise performance tights. Black. Some have brown on the side. woohoo! I just bought a new pair. Black. They wear like iron, a few have holes I've repaired and still wear. Cool enough in the summer, good the rest of the year. I do have an insulated winter pair, but they're too hot most of the time.

    I make up for the boring pants by wearing obnoxiously colored tops, the so-bright-it-makes-your-eyes-hurt are my favorite variety.

    I liked the peak into your closet!

  2. Sweet tights! I was just mulling over how old all of mine were..I definitely need some new ones, especially after seeing all of your cool pairs.

  3. The only tropical riders I have are the endurocools and those are the ones I like. I did pick up a different type at a used tack sale and really didn't like them as much.

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