Best Budget Sweatpants for Women of 2021
The Adidas Essentials Linear Pant are so versatile and comfortable that we couldn't help but keep reaching for them, no matter what the plan for the day was. They are made from cotton and recycled polyester, which, besides feeling good against the skin, means they're more environmentally friendly than other options. The midweight french terry fabric is soft and breathable, making them ideal for more intense exercise on chilly days. They are our go-to for hikes or runs in the park on cool days. The slightly slimmer fit is flattering and still offers a full range of motion.
These pants have a slightly higher price point than many others we tested, but we believe the quality, durability, and versatility offset the price, especially if you are looking for sweatpants that can transition from outdoor adventures on cooler days to lounging around the house or campsite. The biggest downside, though one that is not particularly difficult, is that the manufacturer recommends hanging them to dry, so you'll have to be careful not to throw them in the dryer with the rest of your clothes.
The cotton/polyester blend fabric of the Amazon Essentials Fleece Jogger is one of the softest and coziest against the skin, making it an ideal choice for lounging, especially when the temperatures drop. These were a regular staple for mornings spent over coffee and a book and evenings curled up on the couch. The relaxed fit leaves enough room to comfortably get into any yoga pose, yet they are slim enough to still look good when running to the grocery store. With a range of colors from navy to light yellow and patterned options including camo, stars, and leopard, and matching or contrasting drawstrings, there is an option to fit your unique style preference.
We had to search for a disadvantage of the Amazon Essentials Fleece Jogger, and all we have to say is that there are more breathable options out there if you are looking for pants for sweaty activities. The sizing is generous but accurate, and we recommend referencing the size chart and buying accordingly. All in all, we loved this jogger for lounging, sleeping, and light exercise such as walking or stretching.
The Champion Powerblend Jogger is made of quality fabric and manufacturing and held up well in our wash and wear and stretch tests, making it a great choice for durability. The fabric is on the slightly heavier side, which made them more ideal for lounging around the campfire, going for a chilly morning hike, and sleeping in on a cool fall camping trip. The athletic style, flattering fit, wider cuffs, and pockets make these pants good for running out to the shops, as well as walking on the local trails. The relaxed fit left plenty of room for squats, lunges, and stretches.
These pants were not quite as soft as a few of the options but were still quite comfortable. This athletic style goes effortlessly from the couch to the gym to the grocery store and has one of the best ranges of motion. The quality materials were made to last, offering up good value for a reasonable price.
The Adidas T10 pant takes the cake as the most breathable garment in our testing fleet. It's ideal for high-intensity activities and is a tester favorite for runs on chillier days. The polyester fabric wicks moisture away from the skin and also regulates temperature well, making them ideal for outings when conditions might vary. The cut is slim fit, with enough room to offer a full range of motion. These are made of quality fabric and are durable, and did not stretch out in the cuff stretch test.
The polyester fabric is extremely breathable and ideal for exercise but is not as cozy against the skin as some of the fleecy sweats tested. The zipper at the ankle felt a little scratchy with ankle socks when they were new, but seemed to soften up with a few washes. There is no drawstring, making them a little less adjustable than other options, and they have the lowest rise out of the pants tested. They are perfect for athletic activities but less cozy for lounging around the house.
The Under Armour Fleece Pant is the warmest garment tested and was a favorite for hanging out around the campfire, as well as hiking on a couple of chilly camping trips. The fleece feels great against the skin and is warm and cozy while still being quite breathable and wicking moisture away from the skin. They are made of quality materials and held up well in the durability tests. The pockets are deep and securely hold a phone, wallet, and keys.
The ankle cuff is longer than usual, giving it a stylish look, but the cuff is a little snug, slightly affecting the range of motion while doing squats and lunges. These pants also have one of the higher price points of the garments tested. If these fit your needs, we think their quality, durability, and warmth may be worth the investment. The Under Armour Fleece Pant is our favorite choice for outdoor activities in the cooler months.
The Leggings Depot Jogger is constructed from lightweight and breathable fabric, making this garment ideal for hiking, jogging, working out, or sleeping. The fabric is soft against the skin, and the slightly roomy fit, combined with stretchy fabric, offers a full range of motion, making it easy to move in. These sweats are also available in various colors and patterns, so it's easy to find a pair that fits your style preferences.
The manufacturer recommends washing by hand and hanging them to dry, so take this into consideration when purchasing. We ran these through a few cycles in the washer and dryer with no noticeable side effects, but this may shorten their life in the long run. These pants offer a soft, lightweight option that is great for a wide range of activities, from hiking to sleeping and is reasonably priced.
The Baleaf Jogger's cotton/spandex blend is soft and smooth against the skin and is lighter than traditional sweatpant material, making it ideal for warmer temperatures, as well as for sleeping. The stretchy fabric was easy to move in and comfortable to walk in. We loved the mustard yellow selected for this test, and these pants are available in a range of lovely colors, from jewel tones to muted shades and neutrals. The fit is roomy through the hips and thighs without looking baggy and has a drawstring to dial in the waistband.
The manufacturer recommends hanging pants to dry. The lightweight fabric was not as cozy or durable as some of the other options but is great for warmer temperatures. This is an excellent, predominantly cotton option for light activity, lounging, and sleeping.
The Gym People Jogger combines features from leggings and joggers to create a hybrid model with a smooth high-rise waistband, a fitted cut through the waist, hips, and upper thigh, a looser fit through the knee, and a band at the ankle. They also have decent pockets to accommodate a phone. The stretchy fabric offers a full range of motion.
The athletic-style fabric is comfortable on walks and hikes but lacked breathability on a three mile run. The fabric is lightweight and more in line with legging fabric than traditional sweatpant fabric. While it is soft and feels smooth against the skin, it is not cozy. These offer an alternative style to the traditional sweatpants, and are great for running errands, working on projects, and doing light exercise.
The Hanes Mid-Rise Cinch Bottom sweats are quite comfortable, with a soft, cozy fabric that feels great against the skin. These pants offer a relaxed, roomy fit and are perfect for lounging around the house. The no-frills, classic design comes with a minimal price tag.
The fit runs really large on these pants, and without a drawstring, we found they tended to creep down and come to rest pretty low on the hips, which was annoying while hiking or stretching. We recommend consulting the size chart, and if you are in-between sizes, size down. This garment is an affordable, no-frills basic that offers cozy comfort but runs large.
The Southpole Fleece Jogger is made of soft, warm fabric and offers a slightly slimmer fit than many of the other options. These sweats were super cozy for lounging in. They are offered in a great range of colors including a variety of pinks, yellows, oranges, and reds, as well as the standard black, navy, and grey.
The sizing is juniors and runs a little smaller than the other women's sweatpants tested here, and the size chart goes by numbered sizes (1, 3, 5, etc.), whereas the pants are available in small to xx-large. The polyester fabric is very cozy but proved to lack breathability, even on short walks. The other downside is that they left red fuzzies on legs, socks, and underwear, even after multiple trips through the wash. Bottom line, these sweatpants offer a nice slim fit, great colors, and are comfortable to lounge in, but they lack breathability.
Why You Should Trust Us
Jessica Albery has a degree in Journalism and uses this background and attention to detail to collect facts, devise repeatable tests, tally the results, and present a thorough review. Jessica has a penchant for getting outdoors, no matter the weather, as well as a love for reading books curled up on the couch. She spent hundreds of hours over a few months in the 10 pants selected for this review, in a wide range of situations from chilly camping trips hanging out around camp and hiking, to lazy days spent at home. Jessica then passed around the pants to a few friends to get a variety of opinions regarding fit, comfort, and style.
After extensive research, we purchased the top 10 sweats available on the market. We ran them through side-by-side tests, including a mile walk to test breathability, a set of exercises to test the range of motion, all-day wear to test comfort, a stretch test, wash and wear, and a thorough inspection to check for quality and durability.
Analysis and Test Results
We judged garments based on the comfort of materials, ease of movement, breathability, quality, and durability, as well as fit and style. The uses of sweatpants are as varied as the types of fabric and styles they come in. Some are comfortable for lounging but too warm for exercise. The most breathable pair is not the coziest. It's helpful to think about what aspects you find most important in a pair of sweatpants and find one that meets your specific needs.
Comfort of Materials
The comfort of materials is a key aspect of a good pair of sweatpants. We looked for fabric that felt good against the skin and did not rub or chaff. The Amazon Essentials Fleece Jogger's fleecy cotton/polyester fabric was one of the softest against the skin and was one of the coziest for curling up on the couch with a good book.
The Adidas Essential Linear pant scored well but has a whole different feel. The french terry fabric was less cozy but really smooth against the skin. The fabric was a great weight and was lighter than standard sweatpant fabric but more substantial than the lightweight options tested. This fabric is ideal for the widest range of temperatures and activities, making it a top choice.
The Under Armour Fleece Pant is the coziest for cold temperatures, offering the thickest fabric, with a soft fleece lining and a bonded outer. The Champion Powerblend Jogger was the second warmest, and features a fleecy interior and thick material, while the Hanes Mid-Rise Cinch Bottom's midweight fabric was soft against the skin.
Ease of Movement
Ease of Movement is essential in a pair of sweatpants, whether you plan to wear them for exercise or to curl up in a ball on the couch. We determined it was important that the garment allow a full range of motion without hindering movement or feeling restrictive. To test the ease of movement, we performed squats, lunges, step-ups, sat cross-legged, and walked a mile.
The Baleaf Jogger's roomy fit and cotton/spandex fabric moved and stretched with body movements and were easy to move in. The Gym People Jogger was the slimmest fitting pant with the best range of motion, thanks to the 20% Spandex in the fabric. The Leggings Depot Jogger offers the best combination of range of motion and breathability, while the Champion Powerblend Jogger offers the best combination of ease of movement and warmth.
Breathability is a key component for pants used for intense physical activities. To establish a baseline for breathability, we walked one mile in each pair of pants and gauged whether the pants got sweaty and held in heat, or whether they provided ample airflow and wicked moisture.
The Adidas T10 Pant is the most breathable product tested, and is our pant of choice for running. It kept us warm enough at the start of chilly runs but wicked moisture and vented well once things heated up.
The Adidas Essential Linear Pant is also quite breathable, and is slightly warmer and cozier, making it an ideal choice for chillier outdoor exercise. These were another frequent choice for jogging on colder days. The french terry interior wicked moisture quickly and efficiently, while the Leggings Depot Jogger is a great lightweight breathable option. They are perfectly suited for cool mornings when the temperature is expected to rise when wondering whether pants or shorts are the right call.
Quality and Durability
In an effort to evaluate the longevity of a product, we devised tests to determine the quality and durability of each garment. To test durability, experts stretched the cuff of each pant 100 times, measuring before and after, to find out if the fabric became misshapen. We also wore each pant day in and day out over a few months and washed them frequently according to the manufacturer's instructions. We meticulously inspected the fabric and seams inside and out to check for wear and tear as well as manufacturer defects.
The Under Armour Fleece Pant is constructed from quality materials and is made to last. Even with months of frequent use, they held up well and showed minimal wear. The thick, durable cuff at the bottom held its shape the best in the stretch test.
Both the Adidas Essential Linear Pant and Adidas T10 Pant fared well in the quality and durability tests and will hold up well to frequent use for the long haul. Both are made of quality materials and showed little damage from the stretch test. The Champion Powerblend Jogger is made of a high-quality cotton/polyester blend fabric and showed minimal wear and tear from washing, but stretched a little bit more in our stretch test than the other top choices in this category.
Fit and Style
For the fit, we consulted the manufacturer's size recommendation and bought them accordingly. We then evaluated the fit through the waist, hips, and thighs, as well as the length. We then passed pants around to friends to get input on the fit on different body types. We took into consideration whether they had a drawstring in the waist to adjust the fit. When considering style, we took into account modern aesthetics, cut, drape, color choices, and whether we felt good while wearing these pants on walks, runs, or while running errands.
We loved the fit and style of the Adidas Essential Linear Pant. The manufacturer's size chart is accurate, and they fit well in the waist, hips, legs, and length. The cut is slightly on the slimmer side and feels flattering while still offering room to move.
The Amazon Essentials Fleece Jogger also fit great; they are loose enough to move easily without being baggy or frumpy. The thick ankle cuff adds style points, and this garment is available in a wide range of colors, some with contrasting drawstrings, to suit any wardrobe preference. The Baleaf Jogger scored well for style and is available in a wide range of colors, including gorgeous jewel tones like mustard yellow, selected for this test.
From fitted to relaxed, ideal for lounging or running to home wear or out and about, there is a wide range of styles of sweatpants available on the market. Sometimes it can be hard to find the right fit for your needs. Our experts extensively researched the sweatpants available, purchased the 10 most promising pairs, and performed in-depth tests on each pair to determine the advantages and disadvantages of each, taking the guesswork out of finding the perfect pair of sweatpants.
— Jessica Albery
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