A full seat tight with exclusive “GripStretch” panels through the seat, inner leg and knee for “added stability and joint support”. The core fabric was originally developed for mountaineering and is thermo-regulating, lightweight, snag resistant and durable. It has anti-fatigue and slimming properties. Four-way stretch material (nylon, polyester and lycra knit mix) with polyurethane full seat panels. These retail for $99.00 US and are available in Gunmetal, Latte and Black. The review breeches are gunmetal (grey) with black GripStretch, elastic ankle cuffs, flat seams and a pocket on the right thigh. Machine wash – hang dry – no bleach. In short, these breeches remind us of the F.I.T.S. full seat breeches, only without the frills (F.I.T.S. full seats retail for approximately one hundred dollars more). The breeches even came with a pack of carrot seeds for the horse – a very cute touch!
Field tester review based on 1 month of testing: These breeches fit nicely right off the bat and were very comfortable to wear. One of the first things I noticed was how stretchy these are – I could probably do the splits in them without any seams ripping out. As with any pull on breeches or tights, I’d highly recommend wearing a belt to avoid something lovingly referred to as “plumbers crack”.
I rode in these breeches with two different saddles (a cloth-covered Wintec 250 and an Equileather covered Wintec 500) as well as a synthetic suede bareback pad. I didn’t really notice any amazing change in grip from these breeches compared to other full seats or regular breeches, but I also wasn’t slipping around.
I think Kerrits is going in the right direction with segmented full seat panels as well, as opposed to one solid piece of material for the full seat. The paneled design affords a much greater degree of flexibility and in turn, increases comfort.
While these breeches are comfortable, I’m going to have to question their ability to be snag resistant and durable. After my initial test ride in these, only being out on the horse for an hour, the breeches had a few fuzzy areas on them where my half chap zippers do up. The half chaps I have are a quality, well-made pair, but they have no zipper guards like a majority of other half chaps. I think therein lies the problem. Still though, to look down and see those rub marks after just one simple ride.. it was disappointing. To give credit where credit is due though, I caught these breeches on a stick during another trail ride and put a small hole in them (about the size of a pin head). The fabric did not run, bunch or rip further. Stitching the hole would probably make it look more obvious because it would be impossible to mimic the same weave as what’s in the fabric, so I have left it for now. It’s just on the side of my right leg, right above my knee.
I thought it was nice that these tights fit me without having to roll up the ankles at all. I’m 5’2” and usually have a hard time finding breeches short enough for my legs. I don’t think a taller person would have a hard time wearing these either – there seems to be enough stretch, even lengthwise, to accommodate someone a little more gifted in the height department.
The side pocket is a handy idea but could use a few improvements. It’s too narrow and deep for an average hand to reach anything in there (ie: lip balm, tissue, etc) and not secure enough for me to feel safe storing anything valuable like a cell phone or keys. I realize that the Kerrits Breathe Tights are skin tight and streamlined – having a large pocket would neither be practical nor attractive, but I don’t see the pocket as very useful in its current design.
I’d recommend these tights for warm weather riding only. I wore these on a few cool spring days and found myself longing for something warmer. On the same token, when I wore these on relatively hot days, they did a great job of keeping me at a comfortable temperature.
All in all, I think these are a decent pair of breeches for the price. They do snag and get rub marks easily, but I find that any fabric with the same type of composition (ie: lycra blend materials) has the same trait. They wash up nicely and would be a good option for a budget-minded rider looking for the advantages of a full seat design. The next step up in price for full seat breeches or tights is hefty and Kerrits gets kudos for allowing more people this riding attire choice.