STONEWEAR DESIGNS LIBERTY TIGHT CAPRI
TEST SERIES BY NANCY GRIFFITH
January 16, 2017
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Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
126 lb (57.20 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with a canoeing/camping group which made a 10-day voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have hiked all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a few weeks long. Over the past few years I have lowered my pack weight to a lightweight base weight of 15 lb (6.8 kg) while still using a tent, stove and quilt.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Great Trango Holdings Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2016
Manufacturer's Website: http://stoneweardesigns.com
MSRP: $76 US
Listed Weight: Not Listed
Measured Weight: 8.5 oz (241 g)
Size Tested: M
Other Sizes Available: XS, S, L, XL
Color Tested: Heather Gray
Other Colors Available: Black
Made in the USA of imported fabrics
The Stonewear Designs Liberty Tight Capri pants are made of a Precis Stretch fabric which is 88% Polyester and 12% Spandex. The pant leg hem is straight and has a 22.5 in (57 cm) inseam. Most of the seams are flat-lock for a lay-flat design.
The waistband is wide and double-layered. It has stylish angled stitching along the sides and has the Stonewear Designs embroidered logo on the front.
There is a secret open-topped pocket at the rear of the waistband for hiding small items like a key or a few bills. My wallet is so small and thin that I think I may be able to fit it in there comfortably, and I'll very likely use it for carrying a house key during my morning runs.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS & TRYING THEM OUT
My initial impression was that the capris certainly are 'tights' in that they looked like leggings. Then I noticed the wide waistband and a nifty pocket in the rear of the waistband just above the printed tag.
I tried them on and was happy with the fit and softness of the fabric. But I'm really glad that I've lost a few pounds recently or else I don't think that the fit would be quite as good. Overall, I find the fit to be a little on the small side for the sizing listed.
The quality of the workmanship seems to be outstanding. The seams are all complete and well-sewn with no loose threads. The fabric is substantial without seeming to be too heavy weight.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
I found the tag near the lower cuff of the left leg. It notes to machine wash in cold water with like colors and to line dry only. No bleach is to be used. I'll be careful to not dry these since I don't want them to get any smaller.
The Stonewear Designs Liberty Tight Capri pants are a comfortable pair of tights with a hidden pocket in the waistband.
Comfortably soft fabric
Not a problem for me, but sizing runs a little small
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I wore the Liberty tight capris for various activities during the test period. I wore them for one 5-day backpack trip, a 3-day boat camping trip, three hikes, one snowshoe hike, seven morning runs, four softball games and multiple trips to the gym. I also love to wear them around the house.
|Socks almost reach|
Pacific Crest Trail, Cascade Range, Northern California: 5 days; 65 mi (105 km); 4,355 to 6,684 ft (1,327 to 2,037 m) elevation; 31 to 64 F (-0.5 to 18 C). Conditions ranged from clear and sunny to cloudy with strong winds and light rain.
Two hikes on Gerle Loop, Auburn Recreation Area, California: 2.5 and 3.5 mi (4 and 5.6 km); 500 to 1,500 ft (150 to 450 m) elevation; 50 and 65 F (10 and 18 C); clear to overcast conditions
Monroe Ridge, Sierra Nevada Foothills, California: 4.2 mi (6.8 km); 743 to 1,262 ft (226 to 385 m); 50 F (10 C); pine forest to rocky soil; moist trail conditions
Snowshoe hiking in Sierra Nevada Foothills, California: 2.5 mi (4 km); 5,873 to 5,923 ft (1,790 to 1,805 m); 32 F (0 C); first good snowfall; windy with storm coming in.
Loon Lake, Sierra Nevada, California: 3 days; 6,327 ft (1,928 m) elevation; 52 to 82 F (11 to 28 C); mostly sunny with afternoon breezes
Pre-dawn runs were from 2.3 to 3.6 mi (3.7 to 5.8 km); 47 to 70 F (8 to 21 C): dry conditions; occasional breezes
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I absolutely love the comfort of these pants and they became my favorite pants instantly. I wear them around the house, for errands, for softball, running, working out, and of course, backpacking and hiking. Seriously, I find myself wanting to wear them all of the time.
For backpacking I wore the pants for sleeping and then under my skort for early morning hiking until it got warm enough to take them off. The length of the capris and tightness around my calves makes them comfortable even in colder temperatures. I can wear taller socks and bridge the gap to the capris when I want to but usually that small amount of exposed skin doesn't make me cold. And with no looseness between the fabric and my legs, the cold air doesn't get in. I wore them as a base layer for snowshoeing under my rain pants. They were nice and warm and the capris stayed tucked inside my thicker winter socks.
I love the thicker fabric which seems very durable but isn't particularly hot when not in the direct sun. However, I found the pants to be unbearably hot in the sun even at temperatures down to 55 F (13 C). On my first trip while wearing the capris, it was 70 F (21 C) and while driving to the lake the sun was hitting my legs through the truck windows. Although it was a very pleasant day, my legs were so hot that I had to stop and change my pants. I found that also to be the case the next morning at the lake. As soon as the sun came over the ridge and hit my legs, I had to run to the tent to change my pants.
The color is gray and not completely black, but the warming from the sun's rays is incredibly effective. This came in handy more so as the temperatures dropped. During the Lassen backpacking trip, the mornings were frigid with freezing temperatures and shady cool wet areas. But as soon as the sun hit my capris I was warmed to the core. It felt great for a little while but then I did have to change pants fairly soon because even with the colder temperatures my legs were just too hot.
The fit is fantastic and always comfortable. They waistband is tight enough to always keep the pants in place but there is no restriction anywhere during any athletic activity. I loved to wear them for softball and could run with no binding.
|Warming in the sun|
The durability has been very good with the pants looking nearly new despite several washings. I've lost count but they've likely been washed at least seven times. That isn't much for how many times I've worn them, but they were so often on my body that they'd miss wash day. And I purposely tried to wear them multiple times between washings to evaluate the odor resistance and never had any issues with the smell becoming offensive. Even on the five-day backpacking trip where I wore them in the evening in camp, every night for sleeping and on most mornings until it got warm there still was no noticeable aroma. There is no pilling or pulled threads despite going through brush and getting snagged on branches at times.
The only times that I used the hidden pocket on the waistband was for jogging and for running errands. When I wasn't wearing a jacket on my pre-dawn jogs I'd put my house key and phone in that pocket. It worked great even though my phone was a little large and stuck out the top. The phone was still secure and never wanted to bounce out. And for just going to the store, I'd put my very thin wallet in the pocket when I didn't have another pocket.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I wore the Liberty tight capris for various activities during the test period. I wore them for one three-day backpack trip, a three-day fishing/crabbing trip, one snowshoe hike, five morning runs and multiple trips to the gym. I continue to wear them around the house.
Pacific Crest Trail, San Bernardino National Forest, Southern California: 3 days; 42 mi (68 km); 2,922 to 5,601 ft (891 to 1,707 m) elevation; 25 to 52 F (-4 to 11 C). Conditions ranged from clear and sunny to cloudy with strong winds.
Loon Lake Trail, Sierra Nevada, California: 6.2 mi (10 km); 6,327 to 7,030 ft (1,928 to 2,143 m); 23 to 26 F (-5 to -3 C); clear sunny conditions changing to windy snowstorm conditions
Fort Bragg, Northern California Coast: 3 days; sea level; 34 to 56 F (1 to 13 C); mostly sunny
Pre-dawn runs were 2.3 mi (3.7 km); 36 to 53 F (2 to 12 C): mostly dry conditions with one rainy morning
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I still find these pants to be really comfortable and one of my preferred pants. With the colder weather I find myself wanting to wear full-length pants at times instead, but these pants still have gotten plenty of use.
For backpacking I again wore the pants for sleeping and wore thick tall socks with them to keep the cold from hitting my legs. Then on the cold mornings I left the capris on and just pulled my hiking pants overtop to begin the day. As the day warmed I removed the capris from under my hiking pants usually at our lunch break. The thicker fabric is really nice for cooler weather and for a nice-looking fit. For snowshoeing and for the fishing/crabbing trip, I wore them as a base layer under my hiking pants. They are thicker than my usual base layer pants so they make a better base for the cold temperatures.
With the colder temperatures I didn't have the issue of the sun over-warming the pants and my legs getting hot. For running I found the capri length to be a little uncomfortable at first where my bare leg was exposed but it wasn't a big issue. I would prefer full-length pants on those coldest mornings though.
I enjoy wearing them for arena softball and for going to the gym because they are comfortable, allow me to move with no restriction and are stylish without being too revealing due to the thicker fabric.
The durability continues to be very good with the pants still looking great. There is no loosening of the waistband fit, no bagging of the rear end, no loose threads or any other visible wear. They have been washed probably a dozen times by now and always come out looking good. I wore them one day for some yard work at my mom's house which included trimming her orange tree. The thorns on that tree tried to snag everything I was wearing (and are quite lethal if you haven't seen them). But the pants didn't have a single thread pulled or any damage at all. There has been no issue at all with any odor retention despite multiple wearings between washings.
The Stonewear Designs Liberty Tight Capri pants are a comfortable thick pair of tights that I just love!
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
Comfortably soft fabric
Fabric really attracts the warmth of the sun's rays
This concludes my Long-Term Test Report and this test series. Thanks to Great Trango Holdings and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test these great pants.
Read more reviews of Stonewear Designs gear
Read more gear reviews by Nancy Griffith