Alpinestars Banshee and Iria Women’s Leggings Review

Ah pants, the bane of my existence.  Riding pants are no different than everyday ones, in regards to it being almost impossible to find ones that fit.  I probably tried at least half a dozen pairs (purchased, tried, returned, repeat), before finding ones that are at least mostly great.  Some were too big, some too small, and most, made for 7’4” giant women (who I’d love to meet, by the way).

I am fairly tall, at 5’7”, but I have short legs (30” inseam is my preference, on everyday pants).  Add to that how riding pants need extra length, and it was a struggle.  The current winners are two similar pairs of Kevlar-lined leggings by Alpinestars; the Banshee leggings (get ’em on Revzilla) and Iria leggings (also available on Revzilla).  Fit and general features are about the same. The Iria leggings feature cargo pockets and the main material is a bit lighter weight, with slightly thinner/less coverage in the Kevlar lining. They flow a bit more air, and are a bit better for warm weather. The Banshee leggings look more like a normal pair of pants, are a thicker knit material, with more Kevlar, and work better in cool weather. Armor was removed for fit and comfort (since I already walk like a robot in them).

I wear size 10 in normal pants.  Since I lift weights daily, I have large quads and calves, and a muscular/curvy build. I ended up getting an XL in these, though they do go up to 2XL for women with builds slightly larger than mine.

Pros

  • They actually fit.
  • Despite that I feel like an overstuffed sausage in them, in appearance, they’re quite flattering, and I’m not mad at how they make my ass look.
  • The Banshee Leggings let NO air through (at least in the weather I have tested them in).  The Iria Leggings only begin to get cooler below 60 degrees.  As someone who is basically always cold, this is a HUGE selling point.
  • They can be bunched up or worn over shoes, and have a flip-up reflective strip on the back, above the ankle.
  • They have a lot of stretch in them.
  • The wide, soft waistband is very comfortable.
  • The cargo pockets on the Iria Leggings are a nice feature.  
  • They provide great protection. However, you can still get bruises from large debris.  Good news is, you’ll barely feel it when it happens.

Cons

  • I feel like a stuffed sausage in them.  The waist tapers in, which I’m not particularly a fan of.  
  • Since I have a long torso, the rise on these is technically too short for my comfort.  They fall too low, both in the front, and back.  (On short torsos, they’d be great, and actually a bit high-waisted).
  • They’re a bit long/bunchy to pass for cute, everyday pants.
  • They can be too good at keeping out air, and become very hot in the summer.  Prepare to literally peel them off your body.

Final Rating

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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