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Ridge Merino Inversion Heavyweight Merino Leggings - Women's Review

These heavyweight 100% Merino wool long johns offer superior warmth and comfort at a fraction of the cost
ridge merino inversion heavyweight merino leggings for women long underwear review
The perfect pair of long johns for everything from cold desert mornings in the fall to the base of your layering system while skiing powder in the depths of winter.
Credit: Lindsey Fell
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $80 List
Pros:  Excellent warmth, soft elastic waistband, odor-free, high waisted design for additional coverage
Cons:  Thicker fabric doesn't breathe as well in warm climates, fabric shows signs of wear after minimal use
Manufacturer:   Ridge Merino
By Trish Matheny ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 22, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 13
  • Warmth - 30% 9.0
  • Breathability - 30% 7.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 30% 8.0
  • Durability - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

If you're looking for a high-performing heavyweight pair of long johns created with every winter outdoor activity in mind, look no further than the Ridge Merino Inversion Heavyweight Merino Leggings. These leggings are so soft and cozy next to the skin, thanks to their 100% Merino wool construction and flatlock seams. Complete with a high-waisted design that offers full coverage and a brushed elastic waistband that holds everything in place when layered beneath your pants. Our only complaint about these leggings is their heavyweight design prevents them from functioning year-round; however, when the temperatures drop, these are one of our favorites.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award  Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $80 List$60 List
$59.99 at Amazon
$65 List$55 List
$54.95 at REI
$40 List
$39.95 at REI
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Pros Excellent warmth, soft elastic waistband, odor-free, high waisted design for additional coverageGreat value, very warm, breathable, comfortable waistband, versatile fitVery breathable, ultralight construction, quick drying, great snug fitSmooth and silky fabric, easy to wear alone or when layered, cute and fitted style, affordableAffordable, incredibly breathable, soft and stretchy fabric
Cons Thicker fabric doesn't breathe as well in warm climates, fabric shows signs of wear after minimal useStretches out over timeNot as comfortable as merino fabricAbsorbs and holds moisture, fabric retains odor immediatelyWaistband doesn't provide enough structure, lacks warmth, fit runs large
Bottom Line These heavyweight 100% Merino wool long johns offer superior warmth and comfort at a fraction of the costA Merino wool pant that's warm, comfortable, and offers a great value, though they do stretch out the longer you wear themA highly breathable layer that dries quickly, making it exceptional for intense cool to cold weather activityThis synthetic base layer option features a soft and stretchy polyester fabric that offers moderate levels of warmth and breathability for an affordable priceLightweight, breathable, and highly affordable, these tights unfortunately lack warmth and require constant adjustment due to the stretchy fabric and wide waistband
Rating Categories Ridge Merino Invers... Meriwool Merino 250... Odlo Performance Li... REI Co-op Midweight... REI Co-op Lightweig...
Warmth (30%)
9.0
9.0
5.0
7.0
6.0
Breathability (30%)
7.0
7.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
Comfort and Fit (30%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Durability (10%)
8.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Ridge Merino Invers... Meriwool Merino 250... Odlo Performance Li... REI Co-op Midweight... REI Co-op Lightweig...
Material 100% Merino wool 100% Merino wool 69% polyester, 27% polyamide, 4% elastane 92% polyester, 8% spandex 92% polyester, 8% spandex
Fabric Weight (g/m²) 270 g/m² 250 g/m² Not disclosed Not disclosed Not disclosed
Weight Class Heavyweight Midweight Lightweight Midweight Lightweight
Measured Weight (size medium) 7.9 oz 7.8 oz 3.1 oz 6.4 oz 5.8 oz
Cuts Avaliable Full length Full length Full length Full length Full length
Smelly Over Time? No No No Yes Yes
Odor Control Fabric Naturally odor resistant Naturally odor resistant N/A N/A N/A

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Ridge Inversion Leggings are a heavyweight base layer that offers superior warmth and comfort for a decently affordable price. One of the warmest and thickest layers that we tested, these long johns are designed with winter outdoor activities in mind. Though they breathe well in colder temperatures, sweat pooled in the waistband when tested in warmer and humid climates. These leggings feature an excellent high-waisted fit and a full-length pant that extends to the ankle. A brushed and stretchy elastic waistband increases comfort without being distracting, and the flatlock seams are minimal to prevent chafing. Our only durability complaint with the Inversion is the minor piling in the fabric after minimal washes. But overall, this layer is perfect for staying warm and cozy during any cold-weather adventure.

Performance Comparison


ridge merino inversion heavyweight merino leggings for women long underwear review - the ridge inversion leggings are the perfect affordable long johns...
The Ridge Inversion Leggings are the perfect affordable long johns for colder temperatures, whether traveling through the desert during the fall or earning your turns in the backcountry.
Credit: Lindsey Fell

Warmth


Finally, a long underwear garment that lives up to its advertised weight — the Inversion Heavyweight Merino Leggings are exactly that, a heavyweight garment built for the coldest of winter adventures. These are hands down one of the warmest pairs of long underwear we've tested, thanks in part to the high rise of the waist for added warmth in addition to the 270 g/m² of thick and heavyweight Merino wool.


During our fall testing period, when the temperatures dropped, we remained warm and cozy while camping in the cold and dark. The smooth Merino wool of the Inversion Leggings increases their layering ability when paired with other pants over the top for added insulation. These leggings quickly became one of our go-to's for extra warmth around the campfire or for long trail runs in the shade. They are perfect for backcountry ski adventures when layered below your bibs, whether riding the lift or earning your turns in the backcountry during the coldest conditions.

ridge merino inversion heavyweight merino leggings for women long underwear review - the inversion heavyweight were some of the thickest and warmest...
The Inversion Heavyweight were some of the thickest and warmest leggings we tested, providing top notch warmth and comfort during the coldest months of the year.
Credit: Claire Maurey

Breathability


While the Ridge Inversion Leggings breathe decently for a heavyweight 100% Merino wool pair of long johns, they do not breathe as well as other light and midweight options tested in this review. The simple, stripped-down design also does not feature any ventilation panels for moisture to escape, except through the thick and tightly woven wool material. These leggings are designed with winter sports in mind and are far too thick and heavyweight to be considered functional for the entirety of the year. That said, the Merino wool fabric is so soft and cozy that they are perfect for those crisp fall evenings when you need a little extra insulation.


While the fit of this layer is neither super tight nor loose, it still allows air to flow through the fabric, thereby wicking moisture away from the skin to prevent any clamminess. Still, our testers noticed that the thick waistband often collected sweat that was difficult to release with other layers over the top. While not the highest performer in this metric, the Ridge Inversion offers effective moisture management in the colder conditions for which it is designed.

ridge merino inversion heavyweight merino leggings for women long underwear review - the stripped down design doesn't feature any venting for moisture to...
The stripped down design doesn't feature any venting for moisture to escape so we don't recommend the Inversion Leggings for the warmer months, however, the thick Merino fabric performed quite well when the temperatures dropped.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Comfort and Fit


Premium 18.5 micron fibers in this 100% Merino wool fabric create next-level softness and increase next-to-skin comfort, making these leggings a great choice for rest days, cold nights in the tent, or pushing yourself in the mountains. The flatlock seams reduce chafing and prevent discomfort, while the brushed elastic waistband lays flat against your skin. Removable labels also enhance comfort, and the Merino wool design didn't itch or cause any irritation.


The fit of the Inversion is slim enough to retain body heat but loose enough to allow for full range of motion, even when layered below your ski or puffy pants. The high-rise waist increases warmth and offers more coverage around the waist with full-length pant legs that extend just below the ankle. These leggings easily accommodate athletic calves without any constrictions. Our testers were impressed by the overall comfort and fit offered by these affordable Merino wool leggings, whether layered below an outer layer or worn on their own during a mellow rest day at home.

ridge merino inversion heavyweight merino leggings for women long underwear review - the high-waisted fit, brushed elastic waistband, and ultra fine...
The high-waisted fit, brushed elastic waistband, and ultra fine Merino wool construction make these leggings extremely comfortable and easy to layer.
Credit: Claire Maurey

Durability


We're happy to report we noticed only minor fabric piling after many weeks of rigorous testing. After many trail runs through sharp manzanita forests and cold fall camp nights, these long johns held up rather nicely. The 100% Merino wool fabric is naturally odor-free, even after many uses between washes.


The fabric is thick enough to be worn on its own, though if you purchase these in a light color, they will, unsurprisingly, stain more easily. The lighter colors can also pick up bits of darker fabrics worn over the top, often changing the color, if ever so subtle. Aesthetics aside, the Inversion Leggings are ready for cold outdoor pursuits, thanks to reinforced flatlock seams and the 270-gram Merino wool heavyweight fabric.

ridge merino inversion heavyweight merino leggings for women long underwear review - here you can see the minor fabric piling in addition to the thick...
Here you can see the minor fabric piling in addition to the thick waistband that lays flat against the skin and finally the durable reinforced flatlock seams.
Credit: Claire Maurey

Should You Buy the Ridge Merino Inversion Leggings?


If you're looking for an affordable 100% Merino wool long john that doesn't sacrifice performance or comfort, these are a great option. Ultrafine Merino wool traps heat and sheds moisture during the coldest months of the year. A naturally odor-free and durable design makes these more than worth their modest price tag.

What Other Long Underwear Should You Consider?


If you're psyched on a 100% Merino wool design but prefer a lighter weight and want to reduce excess bulk in your ski and snowboard boots, check out the Ortovox 185 Rock'N'Wool Short Pants. Or, if you want to invest in a superior Merino wool design that offers a few more bells and whistles, consider the Icebreaker BodyfitZone Merino 260 Zone Thermal Leggings.

Trish Matheny
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