“A pair of high-waisted Merino leggings that you can wear on the treadmill, on the trail, or on the couch!”
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Ridge Merino Overview
If you’re a weekend backpacker or even just an outdoor lover, you’ve got to check out the gear from Ridge Merino. They create comfortable, high-performing clothing from our favorite fabric: Merino wool!
Yet, it’s their commitment to creating high-quality, affordable apparel that sets them apart.
I won’t get into much detail here, as we’ve already put together a comprehensive Ridge Merino brand review. However, if you happen to like these leggings, you may want to check out the rest of their Merino collections!
Specs & Features
- 80% Merino (14% Nylon, 6% Spandex)
- Midweight 240gsm
- 18.5-micron fibers
- UPF Rating 50+
- Thick, supportive waistband
- Crotch gusset & flatlock seams
- Colors: black, gray, pink
- Price: $$
Pros: Fantastic comfort and breathability | Supportive high-rise waistband | Versatile construction
Cons: May feel too snug for some | Not as stretchy as synthetics | No pockets*
Suggested Uses: Hiking | Lifestyle | Snow Sports | Training | Travel
Alright, to say I was excited to test out these leggings is a bit of an understatement. It’s not every day you see a pair of high-waisted Merino wool leggings that are designed to improve performance. Basically, it’s the next step into integrating more Merino into our daily wardrobes.
And I’m just glad to be a part of it.
Anyways – fangirling aside – the first thing I noticed after ripping open the packaging was the craftsmanship in the seams. They just look durable, and upon further inspection, you can see how smooth they sit on the fabric. So, I knew they wouldn’t cause any irritation without even putting them on. And when I did put them on, my prediction came true.
“Developed for our female athletes who wanted more support and coverage in the mountains, this fit is a high rise, form-fitting legging.”– Ridge Merino
The fabric itself feels very light, although it’s classified as midweight (240 gsm). That’s why it has such an exceptional warmth-to-weight ratio. Moreover, these leggings are incredibly breathable. I honestly think I could wear them for at least 10-months out of the year (in New York).
As for the initial feel, I genuinely believed the fabric would be a bit stretchier. It’s not stiff, but it feels different from wearing synthetic leggings. Still, the material is supportive enough to move with me without feeling restrictive.
The XS worked for my petite frame nicely (5’1″, 105 lbs.) when it comes to the actual fit. Although advertised as full-length, the length itself sat just around sock-height on my ankle. So, if you are a taller, skinny woman, just make to check the sizing charts. Also, the overall style is simple. That’s not meant to be a good or a bad thing. These are your basic pair of leggings made with comfy Merino and designed to hug your curves.
And finally, the feature I was so excited about in the first place: the high-rise waistband. I immediately noticed its support, which can be an issue with other Merino wool leggings. It’s not tight to the point where my stomach hurts, either. Basically, I have no problems with the waistband.
Three-Day Wear Test
Alright, now that I’ve gotten my initial thoughts out of the way, it’s time for my favorite part: the three-day wear test. In the simplest terms, I just wear them for three days to see how they hold up, if they smell bad, and just provide more not-so-expert opinions.
It’s not overly complicated. However, I always like to provide as much necessary detail as possible. Therefore, you can better imagine how these high-waisted leggings will work in your life.
I had to work during the day, so I threw on these leggings at night. At around 7:00 pm and freezing temperatures, I took the dogs out for a short walk. I have to say these leggings held up well against the cold. However, whenever there was a gust of wind, you could definitely feel it. So, if you’re considering these for cold outdoor temps, you may need a wind-resistant outer layer.
Once inside, there was no need to change since my microclimate adjusted nicely in the warm house. A cozy few hours on the couch binging Netflix, then off to bed. In my leggings, of course.
I slept cozily in these high-waisted leggings (although I had some “sleep marks” around my stomach in the morning). I always like to test Merino wool gear in all situations, and in bed has to be my favorite. Let’s just say these leggings passed the ‘pass out‘ test with flying colors.
As I do most mornings, I started doing light yoga. As I mentioned before, I didn’t think these leggings had a lot of stretch, but they may have just been when I put them on initially. I didn’t have any movement restrictions or annoying adjustments as I performed my sun salutations. This leads me to believe that these Ridge Merino Aspect leggings are great for low-to-medium impact athletic activities. Still, I would opt for another pair in any high-intensity endeavors.
Finally, I had the opportunity to wear these Ridge Merino leggings for the entire day! I wore them to the gym. I wore them to the grocery store. Heck, I even wore them to the bar (however, it was a lunch date, so nothing too fancy). It paired well with a simple tee and zip-up for an athletic look that wasn’t too athletic if you know what I mean.
Finally, the moment of truth at the end of the three days: do they stink? And the answer is no. After three days of wear (and our standard hour to air out), I couldn’t even sense a whiff of body odor. So, I have to commend Ridge Merino; their “no-stink” claim genuinely holds.
And honestly, I probably could have worn these leggings another week. Still, instead, I had to move on to another important test: how will these leggings hold up in the laundry?
One significant portion of our reviews is how long Merino wool gear will hold up in the long run. Subsequently, an excellent way to test this is by putting it through the laundry. So, let’s take a closer look at the fabric after we finish the cycle.
Note: We try to follow the brand’s laundry instructions for each product when performing these tests. Ridge Merino recommends gentle wash on cold and line dry for these high-waisted leggings.
As you can see after a wash & dry cycle, these leggings look good as new. In fact, as someone that lives in the Merino world, the lack of pilling is actually impressive.
Now, if this is an indicator of long-term durability – which I think it is – these leggings pass without a doubt. And this type of longevity is what we see with a lot of Ridge Merino gear. Personally, I think it’s their (m)Force fabric technology, but I am honestly not smart enough to tell you otherwise.
After three days of wear, a quick laundry test, and a whole lot of comfort, I think it’s time to wrap things up. Let’s take a brief look back at what I liked and any potential room for improvement.
I’ll keep this section updated throughout my adventures with these leggings. So, if anything changes with my thoughts, you’ll be the first to know!
What I Liked
Alright, this may not be the hard-hitting ‘analysis’ that you came for, but hear me out. My favorite part of these leggings is the extreme level of snugness. The fabric is soft and comforting, while the overall design hugs my curves in the right places. It just moves with me no matter the activity.
Moreover, I’m not sure if these are more base layers, leggings, or tights – nowadays, those terms almost seem interchangeable.
However, one thing is for sure: the Aspect bottoms are designed to be tight and supportive. The waistband shouldn’t feel restrictive, but if you’re in-between sizes, you may want to consult the size charts.
Finally, I absolutely love the versatility of the waistband. Depending on my outfit, I can wear it high-waisted (as Ridge Merino intended) or fold the waist over. Plus, since these leggings are solid colored with a low profile, they pretty much go with anything in my closet – Merino and more!
Room For Improvement
I always get torn writing the “bad” aspects of these reviews. Much of the time, an area for improvement may throw off the overall usage of the gear. For example, I would love to see a thigh pocket added to the Ridge Merino Aspect leggings. However, that would involve re-designing an already solid stitching structure. Thus, it may take away from the fabric flexibility. Plus, they are meant to base layer bottoms, so that may not even be the best option for pockets.
Still, who wouldn’t love an extra pocket? Perhaps even a small zippered pocket on the back of the waistband. For a couple cards, keys, and cash, you know? And maybe some more color options, too? Again, these aren’t negatives, just pipe dreams from a Merino wool lover!
Anyways, the only other actual room for improvement that I can potentially see is the leg length. I’m 5’1″ (154 cm) – on a good day – and these barely touch my ankles. So, if you’re on the taller side, you may have some trouble with the inseam.
If you are worried about the length, you can check out the inseam length chart and measure it yourself!
Final Thoughts: Ridge Merino High-Waisted Leggings
These leggings are what they say they say they are: comfortable, high-performing, and supportive. What you see listed on Ridge Merino’s product page isn’t just a ‘salesy’ marketing language. It’s the real deal.
They aren’t hyped up by false claims. They aren’t jam-packed with features. Ridge Merino has simply made an exceptional pair of high-waisted Merino tights at an affordable price. And I recommend wearing them whenever – wherever – adventure calls.
And that about wraps up our Ridge Merino high-waisted leggings review. If you liked what you read, make sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more Merino wool gear. Or, sign-up for our newsletter for monthly Merino deals, discounts, giveaways, and more! Come join the flock!