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Smartwool TML Light : For Men & Women

Even though I’m not running these days, I move pretty fast on my daily power walks, so I need tights that can keep up with me and keep me comfortable in chilly fall temperatures. Smartwool’s TML Light Tight has been just the ticket.

Made out of a very stretchy blend of merino wool (39%), nylon (45%), and Elastane (16%), the TML Light Tight is easy to wear, allows me complete freedom of movement (also thanks to the gusseted inseam), and keeps my legs warm. 

I maintain a very brisk pace when I exercise, and I like to stay out for about an hour.  So, whether I’m walking the loop route around my urban neighborhood or hiking on my favorite park trails, I like the fact that my Smartwool TML Light Tight helps regulate my temperature.  I never get clammy because the material wicks and breathes well, so my skin stays dry.

I’ve been wearing the tight in temperatures from just under 50 degrees F down to about 42 degrees F.   Because it breathes so well, I don’t overheat when it’s on the warm and sunny side; I really appreciate that.  I’ve found the TML Light Tight plenty warm enough, too, when the sun goes down.  In, fact, I’d recommend it for temps down to freezing, especially for running or cross-country skiing. 

I tested a women's tight, size M, and found a great fit. I'm usually a size 10 in pants and sometimes need a L in tights, but not with Smartwool bottoms. I'm always a size M. Also, I’m vain enough to admit that I love the way the TML Light Tight fits.  My butt has never looked so good.  The tight is made out of a series of well-placed panels so I get a near-custom fit.  The wide waistband (three inches, thank you!) and a yoke-like panel of fabric beneath it both give the tight a sweet rear view. The TML Light Tight is body -hugging, but not tight.  There’s plenty of stretch to accommodate different body types.  (Men's tight does not have an extra wide waistband.)

I love the extended waistband on this mid-rise tight.  It’s extremely comfortable, it holds the tight in place, and it’s high enough that I can tuck in my shirt.  I normally prefer low-rise pants, but for fall/winter gear I appreciate a higher rise since I’m quite tall and really like to tuck in my baselayer tops.  I also like the placement of the ankle zippers (along the back of my calves); they never get in my way.  Of course, the seams are all flat, so there’s no chafing.

The TML Light Tight is a midlayer piece, so I’ll be wearing it in temps below 32 degrees F under a shell pant on rainy, cold winter days and under a soft shell pant for winter hiking or for outdoor activities where I won’t be moving around much (such as, clamming and searching for beach glass). 

Available in sizes S-XL, in black. Men's tight available in sizes S-XXL.

Bottom Line: I’ve really enjoy wearing this well-fitting, stylish tight for power walks and hikes. --E..D. (Nov 2011)

BUY ONLINE : $130, on sale for less at Backcountry.com. Shop for women's tight. Click for men's tight. Shop at Amazon.

Manufacturer's Site : www.smartwool.com

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When hiking or camping, always carry the "10 Essentials":

Extra clothing, extra food and water, lighter or water-proof matches and fire starter, map in waterproof envelope, compass, pocket knife, sunscreen and sunglasses, flashlight or headlamp, first aid kit, emergency shelter.

Source: Seattle Mountain Rescue and Seattle Mountaineers.