Thursday, September 26, 2013

Product Review: Smartpak Piper Kneepatch Breeches

Smartpak Piper Breeches
List price: $79.95
What I paid: $65.00ish

Since I have a horse to ride again, I thought it was worth my time to own more than one pair of breeches. I have a pair of Rompf kneepatch breeches that I love, but they run about $100 a pair and my local store was out. Instead of getting more of the same, I decided to try the Pipers because they were so well-reviewed in the blogosphere. It helped that Smartpak was running a 20% off promotion and that I qualified for free shipping by buying two pairs.

What I think:
I've waited to write this review because I like to put products to the test before I say too much about them. I purchased them back in August and have a solid month's abuse on both pairs now, so I think I can talk freely.

For $60, I think they're alright. They fit me well, but I am long waisted, so the higher rise actually suits me perfectly. I absolutely love the sock bottoms (no annoying velcro, huzzah!). Either I have freakishly narrow ankles or the sock bottoms are cut pretty wide, because they're loose on me.

I've gotten plenty of compliments on how they look, especially the tan pair with the teal contrast stitching. The belt loops are wide enough to accommodate a 1" to maybe a 1.5" belt. The material is soft and stretchy. I don't think it holds everything in place as well as my thicker and a bit stiffer Rompfs, but it's still respectable. They probably won't be great cold weather breeches, but they are great for summer.

They have held their shape well, and I don't feel like anything is out of place at the end of another long day in the sun. 


Here's what I don't like:

Cuz that feels really good
The top of the breeches close with two hooks (fine). However, the inside of the loops are inside the breeches, meaning that the metal is cutting into my stomach. That's fine on dress pants, since no one actually does anything in them, but for athletic wear? Ouch. In addition, there is a seam on the outside of the lower leg in both colorways that digs into my skin. My half chaps are pretty loose, but when it's hot, my legs hurt when I take these breeches off, from that seam. That puts them into a tricky weather category--too lightweight of fabric to wear when it's cold, but they take your skin off when it's hot.

I should add that I use the snot out of breeches. I probably spend the least amount of time in them riding--I run errands, feed horses, clean stalls, buck hay, and scrub water tanks. To their credit, they haven't stained or looked ratty, but I noticed that they take snags a lot easier than makes me comfortable as far as long term use is concerned.

The Final Outcome: 

That said, for the casual rider (or someone who only wears breeches to ride, then changes to do chores), they are a great choice for any budget. 

Noted: I was in no way compensated to write this and I had to buy the breeches on my own. I'm simply sharing information to benefit the blogger community.

Also noted: If you want to compensate me to write something, let's chat.


  1. YES! I HATE the closure on these, every time I bend over they pinch. When I'd written my review a while ago I think I'd been tucking my shirts in, then I started wearing them not tucked in and OWWWWW. I am writing to Smartpak to tell them. I love these breeches otherwise, but the pinching sucks. And, I think your ankles must be freakishly small, they fit mine just fine :P

  2. I wanted to love these breeches SO BADLY because the merlot color in person is to die for. But they made me look like my butt was a million miles long and pretty much drooping to my ankles. Even though they're expensive I've gotta stick with my TS Trophy Hunters. I hope Smartpak keeps trying though, each breech they come out with is an improvement on the last!

  3. I am glad it's not just me with the closure!! It is ridiculous and pinches like crazy! I let Smarkpak know cause otherwise I love them and they are comfy!

  4. A large square bandaid - not the cheap kind - will keep those thingies form rubbing. Definitely a design flaw imho. ;D

  5. I just looked at my romphs and it is exposed in them too, good thing I am ocd about tucking in my shirt!

    1. Interesting--I haven't noticed them hurting. I will have to wear them today and see if it bothers me, since I am OCD about not tucking in my shirt. ;)


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