Gear Review: North Face Progressor Tights
Weight: 210 g (7.4 oz)
Size: Women’s small
Material: 79% nylon, 21% elastane with FlashDry™ material to accelerate the removal of moisture from the skin and speed up evaporative drying.
Ladies: Wouldn’t it be great if there was a pair of tights (pants) that function as a base layer, a hiking pant, a climbing/yoga pant, or any activity pant? The North Face Women’s Progressor Hybrid Tights are the answer to that practical wish.
Circumstances of Gear Testing
I tested the Progressors for six months (summer, fall, winter) with hiking, backpacking, hot yoga, trail work, trail running, plyometric circuit workouts—and loved them. I wore them in hot, humid, mild, snowy, and wet conditions. The Progressors are now a new tried and true favorite of mine—dependable, go-to pants for hiking, backpacking, running, skiing, yoga, etc.
Comfort: Durable, lightweight, and naturally breathable.
Fit: Slim, supportive, compressive (but not restrictive) fit with wide waistband with seven-inch rise (e.g., rise to true waist/belly button). For looser fit, order one size up from your normal size.
Weight/temperature: Lightweight. Cool on a warm day; warm on a cool day.
Material: Stretch woven, stitch knit blend. 79% nylon, 21% elastane; FlashDry™ fabric engineered to accelerate removal of moisture from skin and speed up evaporative drying.
Wicking: Quick-drying FlashDry™ technology helps with wicking and odor-resistance and moisture-wicking Polartec® Power Wool™.
Pockets: Side pockets on left and right outer hips (roomy enough for hands, smart phone, trail snacks, headlamp, etc.).
Reinforced areas: Stretch-woven panels on thigh, sat and lower-leg provide fitted, supportive coverage and reinforced, strategically bonding to reduce chafing or abrasion.
Durability: Yes! I wore these tights relentlessly for six months. In all that use, they never chafed or wore out how others might (minus a loose hem at the bottom of one pant leg, which I easily repaired with a needle and thread).
What I liked best: Versatility, flexibility, wicking and staying in place. These Progressors work as a base layer, thermal underwear/long john layer, or lightweight tight for warm or cool days. They are reliable in wet or dry weather, move comfortably with any twist, bend, stride, or shimmy of a hiker (uphill, downhill, around trees, over boulders, setting up camp, etc.). And the waistband at true waist stays in place through every step, squat and stumble (a major perk!).
Corporate responsibility: The North Face prides itself on a commitment to environmental and social responsibility. This is an A+ plus in my book. Companies that care about the planet and making well designed, long-lasting clothes impacts sustainability, your wallet, and overall stewardship ethic important in the outdoor community.
Guarantee: Lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
Point of origin: Indonesia.
Sometimes with hiking clothes, we have to suspend our expectations for perfection, but with the Progressors that’s not necessary. Throughout half a year of rigorous, repeated testing, the Progressors kept my legs happy, comfortable and protected in a complete mix of conditions, terrain, and activity—hiking, backpacking, down dogging, doing trail maintenance, urban walking, even lounging (because hiking clothes are worn on zero/off trail days for “non-peak performance” moments, too).
Fit: I’m 5 feet, 8 inches and 140 pounds with an athletic female build—broad shoulders, smaller waist, and strong hiker legs. A women’s size small fit comfortably around my legs, hips, and calves. (For looser fit, order one size up). The waistband hit at my true waist (belly button) and comfortably stayed in place without having to repeatedly need to pull them up for comfort, a common shortcoming of other tights.
Hiking with my pack’s hip belt cinched around the waist also didn’t both the tights. They were flexible and in place without feeling restrictive when hiking around rocks, through bramble and overgrown trail, shimmying around trees, using hedge trimmers for trail work, even doing burpees and yoga in the living room.
Function: The Progressor’s side pockets on the hips are tailored along the body, nearly invisible unless in use. They’re deep enough to fit your hands (for warmth on a cold day, which really made a difference), a cell phone, trail snacks, a trail map, etc. The pockets are sewn along the outside of hips conveniently where hands fall at one’s sides, so not having to bend the arms to reach them.
Testing these in my native Mid-Atlantic, a humid, damp climate (we get precipitation all year and notorious humidity in summer), I am always conscious of how clothing feels and functions on damp days in this part of the country and most of the Appalachian Trail terrain.
The Progressors perform great with moisture. While they are not waterproof, they’re a close second. The 79% nylon, 21% elastane blend and FlashDry™ fabric is designed to “accelerate removal of moisture from skin and speed up evaporative drying.” And guess what, folks? The FlashDry™ technology really does its thing. Even with rain or sweat, my legs stayed comfortable, never feeling weighed down by moisture and dried fairly quickly.
Flattering fit: The shape and cut of the Progressors are flattering, too, to so many bodies and builds. They have a fitted, compression look. With diagonal panels and two-color tones on the reinforced areas, the Progressors look sleek and accentuate the hips, thighs, and calves in the best way.
North Face guarantee: The North Face is committed to good business and protecting the environment. They promise to repair the clothes for life. Like some of their counterparts, the North Face is a leader in selling quality products and promising customers a guarantee that’s good for the planet, your wallet, and thoughtful consumerism.
As a former thru-hiker and someone who tries to be invest in long-lasting, well-made, multipurpose clothes, I also try to be conscious of my gear for the planet’s sake, living simply, and considering the now popular Marie Kondo’s advice, “Does this spark joy?” The Progressor Hybrid Tights are an easy “yes” to all of those questions. These tights also pair great with a North Face Progressor Short-Sleeve Wool Crew shirt from the same line.
Final Rating: 8/10
Disclaimer: This product was donated for the purposes of review.
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