clothing · winter

In Search Of: Winter Breeches

Please send help, blogosphere!

I only own one pair of winter breeches. In past years, that has been sufficient for Vermont, but this winter has been so mild that I’m riding a LOT more than I usually do, and the years of wear & tear on this pair is getting to be too much.

let’s just say the breeches have outlasted literally everything else I’m wearing in this photo except the boots.

I have some fairly specific things that I know I do and do not like in winter breeches. I will have to order these online and test them out, so they need to be returnable. (I don’t have time to play the tack swap game!)

My current breeches are Devon-Aire Fleece Full Seats. They are fleece-lined with a suede full seat. They are great, but they are getting quite thin and they have a hole in one knee from a spectacular ice wipeout last winter. I would replace them with the same brand, but the last time I tried that, buying a pair on clearance that were the same size and type on spec, they did not work AT ALL. They were seemingly way too small, and the fit had totally changed. I may end up ordering some of the same kind again, just to make sure that I wasn’t way off base, but…ugh.

So please help! Send your ideas and suggestions!

Here’s what I know I like/need:

– They must be real breeches, not tights. NO pull-ons with elastic waistbands; proper zippers & buttons only. I used to have a pair of the winter Tuff Rider pull ons that I hated with the fire of a thousand suns. They all end up feeling like diapers.
– They must be realistically winter breeches. I live in Vermont y’all and ride down to 10 degrees. None of this “oh well they were warm in Texas in the 40s so they should be fine!”
– Ideally they should either run a bit long in the leg or have a tall option. While I rarely need a tall, I am almost always more comfortable in the tall version of jeans and breeches.
– Also in sizing, I recently learned that sometimes breeches aren’t made over a 34? Fuck that. I usually run 30-32 depending on the breeches, which means my ass fits but there’s gapping at the waist, but otherwise it’s just a no go.
– Ideally they should have a full seat option.
– They really really should be below $100.

Help? Anyone?

11 thoughts on “In Search Of: Winter Breeches

  1. I got a pair of Ovation Winter Euro Sear Front Zip Kneepatch Breeches for Christmas. They are affordable ($57 at Riding Warehouse), come in a bunch of sizes (I got small, normally wear size 24, they fit perfectly), and are simply fantastically made. Zipper + hook, full zipped pocket, heavy-duty fabric that is still comfortable and close-fitting for warmth, velcro bottoms but they have plenty of room so they don't feel tight and I never even notice them, and they seem to run a bit long!

    I've ridding in them in below freezing weather and I've been super snuggly warm. I want like 10 more pairs. I don't know if they have a full-seat option, but they might. I hardly wear full seats. These are definitely not slippery though.

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  2. I just use long underwear under my normal breeches, which is perfectly sufficient for Oklahoma's 40 degree winters. 😛

    Work has a couple models of winter breeches from Horze (the Mystral and the Grand Prix Thermo Pro) from last season that we're trying to get rid of. They're both black, both full seat. The Mystrals are a 30R and the Grand Prix Thermo Pros are 32R. I think the length on Horze breeches is good- I'm 5'9 and the bottoms hit right at my ankles. The Mystral is cotton with fleece lining with a suede full seat; the GP is a stretchy softshell-ish material with a fleece lining and suede full seat.

    Anyway, they're both 50% off, which makes the Mystral $37.97 and the GPs $74.97. Let me know if you want me to send you a pair!

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  3. idk about any non pull-on options (i wear kerrits) but i'm also a HUGE fan of Mopas leggings (available on ebay for like.. $5, seriously). i layer them under everything and they are super cozy.

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  4. (actually, had i been a bit better organized and more on the ball, there would have been a pair in your secret santa gift exchange box… so, uh… sorry?

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  5. Base layers! I found that investing in a couple pairs of good base layers to wear under some of my looser regular breeches works best. I ride outside in Alberta until -15C like that. Every pair of winter breeches I've tried hasn't been as warm.

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  6. Those are among the ones I was eyeing – thank you for the review! (I rarely wear full seats, but I have found in the past that winter breeches tend to be slippier and so I often want a full seat.)

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  7. I own several UnderArmour pieces as well as some SmartWool base layers for work around the barn and other outdoor sports, but I've never liked layering under breeches. Most of my fair weather breeches are too snug to do that. I'd never get into them. 😦

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  8. I do the base layers too. I simply buy my winter breeches one size larger than I would normally wear. When it's below 20 I wear my fleece breeches with a Cuddle Duds thermal layer underneath. Note: I'm riding outdoors on trails in subfreezing temps for hours and this combo keeps me comfortable. I'm not much help otherwise: I wear winter tights. My own personal reasons: there is no way in hell that I want a metal zipper or buttons close to my skin in the wintertime! 🙂 I have a pair of Tuffriders, 2 pairs of Irideons and one pair of Kerrits Powerstretch full seats. The Kerrits are my favorites by far: they are going into their fourth winter of 3-4x/week wear for high mileage trail rides. I'll be replacing them at the end of this winter. They don't sag or bag and are still comfortable without an underlayer.

    The Tuffriders I kind of hate and rarely wear them: they do bag in the seat despite being knee patch and they are slippery. I like the Irideons but they are regular rise, which bothers me as I am short-waisted: they come up to my stomach! But I got them on eBay so I can't be picky. They are also knee patch but I haven't had issues with the fabric being slippery.

    I take large in Irideon and Kerrits winter pants: I have a 28-29″ waist and 39″ hips. #latinaproblems. Hence why I also prefer tights. 🙂 They fit me so much better than zip-up breeches!

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