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Odlo Performance Light Bottoms - Women's Review

A highly breathable layer that dries quickly, making it exceptional for intense cool to cold weather activity
Odlo Performance Light Bottoms - Women's
Photo: Odlo
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $65 List | Check Price at REI
Pros:  Very breathable, ultralight construction, quick drying, great snug fit
Cons:  Not as comfortable as merino fabric
Manufacturer:   Odlo
By Trish Matheny ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 4, 2021
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 10
  • Warmth - 30% 5
  • Breathability - 30% 9
  • Comfort and Fit - 30% 8
  • Durability - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Odlo Performance Light Bottoms are made for the athlete focused on year-round performance. Specially designed to breathe efficiently and wick moisture away from the body with quality Norwegian design and Swiss construction, it was clear these bottoms were worthy of our fast-paced activities. From trail runs to backcountry skiing, these are our go-to pair for breaking a sweat, especially in the shoulder seasons.

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Awards Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $65 List
Check Price at REI
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Pros Very breathable, ultralight construction, quick drying, great snug fitAmazing breathability, comfortable on the skin, great fit, good warmth, affordable, cute colors and designsSuper durable, wicks and breathes well, good warmthExcellent value, very warm, breathable, cute color options, comfortable waistband, versatile fitSmooth and silky, good breathability, easy to wear on its own, cute and fitted style, affordable
Cons Not as comfortable as merino fabricLess durable than previous versionNot as cozy as merino wool, uncomfortable waist bandStretches out over timeNot super durable, absorbs and holds water, stinky after a month of heavy use
Bottom Line A highly breathable layer that dries quickly, making it exceptional for intense cool to cold weather activityA synthetic long underwear bottom with exceptional value and versatile applicationsThe warmest synthetic base layer we've testedA merino wool pant that offers an excellent valueA super inexpensive synthetic base layer option
Rating Categories Odlo Performance Li... Patagonia Capilene... Patagonia Capilene... Meriwool Merino The... REI Co-op Midweight...
Warmth (30%)
5.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
4.0
Breathability (30%)
9.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
8.0
Comfort And Fit (30%)
8.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Durability (10%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
5.0
7.0
Specs Odlo Performance Li... Patagonia Capilene... Patagonia Capilene... Meriwool Merino The... REI Co-op Midweight...
Material 69% polyester/27% polyamide/4% elastane 100% recycled polyester 92% recycled polyester/8% spandex 100% merino wool 92% polyester/8% spandex
Fabric weight (g/m²) N/A N/A 129 g/m² 250 g/m² N/A
Our weight class assessment Lightweight Midweight Heavyweight Midweight Lightweight
Measured Weight (size medium) 3.1 oz. 5.6 oz 5.8 oz 7.8 oz 6.4 oz
Cuts avaliable Full length Full length Full length, boot length Full length Full length
Smelly over time? No Yes Yes No Yes
Odor control fabric N/A HeiQ Fresh HeiQ Fresh Naturally odor resistant n/a

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Odlo Performance Light Bottoms are designed to keep you warm during intense activity with features that include body-mapping ventilation that won’t allow you to overheat and a fabric that dries quickly on the body. This synthetic pair consists of 69% polyester, 27% polyamide, and 4% elastane.

Performance Comparison


We love the Odlo Performance Light for desert trail runs during the...
We love the Odlo Performance Light for desert trail runs during the fall.
Photo: Toby Swimmer

Warmth


When considering this metric, we note the weight of each base layer, from lightweight models geared towards high output activity to heavyweight thermal fabric that will keep you warm while riding the chair lift. The layers that offered the most warmth while we were exposed to the elements received higher scores. Keep in mind that a high score in this category is not necessarily desired for high-output activity.


The Odlo Performance Light Bottoms are meant to keep you warm enough while moving without leaving you sweaty and, eventually, shivering. The heavily ventilated construction is not designed to be your warmest winter layer. It is designed to keep you warm during activities such as fall training runs and winter cross-country skiing by allowing the moisture to be wicked away from the body and released through extensive ventilation. As a synthetic layer, it hardly compares to the warmth of a lightweight merino wool layer. However, when pushing your heart rate during strenuous activity in cool to cold temps, we found the Odlo Performance Light to be a great option offering warmth by not allowing for sweat to build up beneath your layers.

The Odlo Performance Light is constructed of breathable material...
The Odlo Performance Light is constructed of breathable material meant to help you transition through the seasons. We do not recommend these bottoms for maximum winter warmth.
Photo: Trish Matheny

Breathability


To test the level of breathability for each base layer, we take note of the fabric that made up the construction of the garment, whether or not the layer was merino wool or synthetic, and finally the level of thickness, from light to heavyweight. Next, we brave the elements to assess how well each base layer was able to breathe, wick away moisture, thereby keeping us warm and dry. We also note how quickly the layers are able to dry out after being soaked in sweat or moisture from the elements.


After taking one look at the Odlo Performance Light Bottoms, we knew they would breathe well due to the seamlessly integrated ventilation zones. The ventilation did not allow for much moisture to accumulate while we were out on our bike or running the trails. Sweat was wicked away from our skin remarkably effectively. The material is quite thin, somewhere in between pantyhose and a cotton legging, so best to stay in motion when wearing these leggings in colder weather conditions.

Similar ventilation to the Icebreaker 260 Zone, these vents below...
Similar ventilation to the Icebreaker 260 Zone, these vents below the waistband allow for the bottoms to shed excess moisture.
Photo: Toby Swimmer

Comfort and Fit


Warmth and breathability are important factors when selecting a base layer. However, if the layer does not fit appropriately and offers a low level of comfort, it doesn’t matter how warm it is or how well it breathes. We test for comfort and fit by wearing each pair of long underwear for the day, from drinking coffee by the fire to performing during activity, then we recorded our experiences, giving the layers that were the most comfortable throughout the day higher scores.


We love the overall fit of the Odlo Performance Light Bottoms. While not as comfortable as a soft merino wool construction, we found they are comfortable enough to forget about when we were out exploring the trails. The fabric allows for freedom of movement, and the flatlock seams prevent chafing for an increased level of comfort. Don’t be fooled by the European sizing, these bottoms are designed for a form-fitting and secure fit to increase their level of warmth and prevent excess airflow. During testing, we found these leggings to fit true to size; however, if you find that your measurements put you between sizes, consider sizing up.

The low profile waistband is a good reason to purchase these bottoms...
The low profile waistband is a good reason to purchase these bottoms true to size; if properly fit, it holds them in place during any activity.
Photo: Toby Swimmer

Durability


For this metric, we record the daily wear and tear we experienced with each pair of long underwear during aerobic activity. After trusting these base layers to keep us warm during rock climbing adventures and cold trail runs during the change of season, we evaluate the impact of those activities on each pair of long underwear. We give higher scores to the layers that are able to keep up with us without stretching out, as well as the layers that displayed the highest level of quality and craftsmanship.


The Odlo Performance Light Bottoms feature a solid construction. We did not experience any durability issues during our testing process. However, the fabric is ultralight, requiring a level of care to make these leggings last. Odlo recommends always machine-washing these leggings with cold water and hanging them to dry which will prevent the material from being compromised by heat from the dryer.

Real testing takes place on real trails. The Odlo Performance Light...
Real testing takes place on real trails. The Odlo Performance Light Bottoms offer the durability needed while trail running through sage and rabbitbrush.
Photo: Trish Matheny

Value


We’re excited that this pair of synthetic long underwear is available for less than the cost of its merino wool competitors. The features such as the body mapping ventilation which allows the material to breathe and dry quickly with the heat your body produces during activity as well as the flatlock seams that increase the overall comfort make these bottoms worthy of their affordable price tag.

Conclusion


The Odlo Performance Light Bottoms are well-designed to keep you warm during the change of season. With features that include body mapping technology that allows for maximum ventilation, a quick-drying and lightweight fabric, and a body-hugging comfortable fit, these leggings are a fantastic option for the athlete looking to maximize performance year-round.

Perfect for the fall, spring, and intense winter training, the Odlo...
Perfect for the fall, spring, and intense winter training, the Odlo Performance Light offers ventilation to keep you dry during your favorite activities.
Photo: Toby Swimmer

Trish Matheny

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