September 6, 2021

Long-Term Product Review: Piper Heavy-Weight Winter Tight by SmartPak

Posting this today because SP is running a 15% off Labor Day sale, so if you want to order these, now is a good time!

I have a few very specific requirements for winter riding pants:

  • They need to be WARM down to truly unreasonable temperatures
  • They need to be as comfortable as sweatpants. Winter is a time of survival, not fashion.
  • They need to hold up to doing chores in them.
  • Silicone full seats are life.

I've tried a few pairs to this point - TuffRider was warm but ugly, Horze absolutely MURDERED my lady bits (who puts a raised four-way seam THERE, seriously?! Probably a man...), and Kerrits suffered badly in the quality and longevity department - zippers that stopped working, fabric that snagged if you looked at it funny, and unimpressive, plasticky silicone.

But these. These are almost perfect. Smartpak hit it out of the park.

They tick the most basic of requirements these days: a side pocket. On both sides.

I actually bought these last year in October, and they sold out shortly after I bought them. They never came back in stock, and I didn't want to review something you guys couldn't buy, so I held off. But they're back! And that means this is more of a long-term review, since I wore them all last winter.

Proof that this pair have been heavily used and extensively tested!

They have a mid-weight version (that I haven't tried yet) and these heavyweights. And they are HEAVY. They feel heavy just to hold, which is partially because of this ultra luxurious, almost fur-like lining:

Reeeeeeeeally can't understate how comfy this lining is. I kind of hope the silicone falls off at some point so I can wear these around my (very cold) house all winter, lol.

The outside is a knit fabric that sheds hay nicely and hasn't pilled at all after an entire season of use. It's not going to snag if you run into a sharp corner either.

Fit is super tricky - don't let the fit out of the box fool you: these do stretch as you wear them. You'll want to size down unless you're planning on always wearing a layer underneath them. I bought these in Small so that I could fit my UnderArmour 4.0 under them, and they work well for that, but I'm planning to buy more in XS because the smalls sag badly when I wear them by themselves.

I'm wearing them by themselves here, and you can see they're pretty baggy. Do keep in mind this is the wrong size for me without something underneath. I'll post an updated fit pic when my XS get here.

For sizing reference, I'm 5'1 and 115lbs, am a 24 in Tredstep and ELT breeches, a 26 in Ovation breeches, an XS in Irideon tights, and a Small in Kerrits tights.

The length is what it is on 5'1 me. They're too long, but nobody makes petite breeches, so this is how long all my breeches are. #wesufferinsilence

I long to be one of those girls that can wear cute riding socks on the outside of her breeches, but I try it and I'm like "why does this look so bad on me?" and it's like "Oh right, because a bunch of extra bunched up fabric at the ankles under socks is not a good look"

In terms of warmth, a normal human would be good in these by themselves down to maybe the low 20s/upper teens Fahrenheit. I'm an actual lizard with Reynauds, so I use my UA4.0 with them below about 30F, and last winter I was just fine or even hot in that setup - even when I was at the barn with the vet and Aeres when it was a low of 8F. They are not waterproof or even water resistant, nor are they windproof, although I would call them "wind-resistant".

Finally, as a silicone full seat connoisseur, this is a middle-of-the-road, crowd pleasing level of grip. It's not going to glue your butt to the saddle, but it's not nothing either. And they do make a knee patch version, if you prefer. 

One reviewer noted the silicone started to fall off on hers after "1-2 seasons", but I can't speak to how she washes them. That has not happened to me washing them about once a week on delicates/cold and hang drying them from October-March of last year, so I feel pretty good about their longevity at this point.

Not a single dot missing after one season of use. And yes, there's dog hair on them in every one of these pictures, welcome to my life

Bottom line: I have yet to find a warmer, more comfortable, more durable pair of winter tights than these, and I wholeheartedly recommend them, but the sizing is tricky.


What: Piper Heavy-Weight Winter Tight by SmartPak - Full Seat

Sizes: XS-XXL

Colors: Black, Grey, Navy

Price: $89.95 with discounts available for USEF members and supplement auto-ship members

Disclaimer: Bought these with my own hard earned money, and I am not affiliated with nor being compensated by SmartPak in any way.


  1. Glad to hear such a positive review. I may need some this winter since it is likely I will be without an indoor arena. *sad face*

    1. Ughhh that's the worst. If you paired these (and maybe UA4.0, depending on your cold tolerance) with one of those winter riding skirts or with a pair of winter over-breeches (Mountain Horse, Smartpak and Ovation all have a version of them) I think it would be very doable to go without an indoor, since that would give you both warmth and windproof-ness.

  2. I wish I had a pair of these when I lived in Illinois! Now I'm just glad to never need something like that ever again. =-)

    1. Haha! The most expensive way to deal with winter: move

    2. Very true! But worth it if you hate winter as much as I do. =-)

  3. Thank you for the good review! I am thankful I found some stupid sticky ones (they aren’t flattering, but I’m never cold and my naughty horse isn’t going to spin buck me off without negligence on my part) but will have to watch for these for days when my current ones are just too warm! Normally SmartPak’s winter offerings are useless, this is a good change!

    1. You're welcome! As much as I'm lukewarm on Smartpak, I have to admit their last few rounds of new apparel have shown that they've done some serious market research, these included.