Wait… what’s that you say? You’ve been thinking of purchasing some manpris, but are flummoxed by the myriad options available from the various running apparel companies? Don’t be shy, my gender role-bending friend, you’ve come to the right place. Your love affair with 3/4-length tights, affectionately known as manpris, is about to begin. So, read on and let me gently usher you through some of the top choices for trail running on the market today.
Some may question the efficacy of the short, tight, pedal pusher, or culotte as I prefer, but I assure you they have their right place in your veritable arsenal of tights. There are some days where tights simply are too warm, and when you crave that extra ventilation and relief around the calves and ankles. That temperature for me is exactly 30-degrees Fahrenheit, and being that nearly every morning last winter and spring hovered around that temperature in my mountain-west locale, the manpris got a lot of play. I loved the extra warmth around my knees while allowing my calves to feel the breeze.
Sure, I was once a doubter of the hot pants, the chic tight, but only the virility-challenged trail runner will allow petty teasing from one’s peers to keep them away from supreme comfort on the trail on those too-cold-for-shorts mornings. Sure enough, your friends will relent, allowing you to join them for runs in public once again. They may even start to become curious about your manpris and secretly try on a pair. Before you know it, you’ll be the trendsetter you were two years ago when you first showed up with arm panties on. So, let’s review!
*All tights reviewed are a men’s size medium unless otherwise noted. The reviewer is 5’10” and weighs 143 pounds.
Pearl Izumi Men’s Ultra 3/4 Tight ($75)
Storage is a huge bonus with these manpris and a nice, wide, envelope pocket in the back provided room for my iPhone, camera, or lots of gels. Additionally, two flask pockets sit at an angle on each hip and do not bounce in the slightest. I was able to fit my small camera in these stretchy pockets when I wanted instant access, and they have not stretched out with frequent use.
- Storage! One envelope pocket, two flask pockets.
- Work well in colder temps. A bit of compression.
- Built-in brief offers good support without pesky panty lines.
Mountain Hardwear Mighty Power 3/4 Tight ($65)
- Lighter weight with cooling mesh inserts work well on warmer days.
- Very soft fabric feel.
- No compression whatsoever. These are the loosest fitting tights I own.
Arc’teryx Incendo 3/4 Tight ($75)
- Very comfortable. Flat waistband, no bunching under knees, crotch doesn’t sag.
- Durable. I took several hard falls on sandstone and the tights look brand new.
- A bit of compression.
- Apparently discontinued for 2013.
- Least storage of the bunch.
Salomon Endurance 3/4 Tight ($65)
- The wide waistband Salomon is becoming known for.
- Very lightweight and slightly windproof.
- Supposedly provides compression in the correct size.
- Side pockets are basically useless as gels/flasks bounce out of them.
And finally… The Best Manpris!
It is nice that price is not a factor here, as all of the manpris are priced between $65 and $75. You’d think we’d get a discount on short pants! Hands down, the 3/4 tight where $75 worth of engineering was incorporated was the Pearl Izumi Ultra 3/4 Tight. With storage options specifically designed for ultrarunning, it was a joy to load up my camera and enough gels for five or six hours of running and not have to take a pack. Additionally, it is nice to have the versatility to wear these tights in colder temps and feel some compression aiding the muscles.
An honorable mention goes to the Arc’teryx Incendo 3/4 Tight, and it is unfortunate to see that they were discontinued for 2013. This tight is very simple, durable, and comfortable. Like the Pearl Izumi Ultra Tight, the Incendo offered some compression while maintaining comfort. Hopefully Arc’teryx brings back a 3/4 tight into their lineup at some point, possibly incorporating additional storage.
Manpris! So hot right now.
Bryon Powell here. After reading Tom’s manpri roundup and learning that the Pearl Izumi Ultra 3/4 Tight was his favorite, I approached PI about giving away a pair… and they’ve agreed! Guys, to be eligible please submit your favorite photo of another dude running in manpris by the end of next Wednesday, September 18th. We’ll give a pair out to our favorite response.