Gear Review: Outdoor Research Women's Melody Tights

Spoiler Alert: My legs feel like
they're being hugged in this shot!
I'm picky when it comes to next-to-skin layers. If a piece of apparel is itchy, scratchy, or abrasive, you can bet I won't wear it.

So when I read that the Outdoor Research team describes the Women's Melody tights as "a soft hug for your legs," I was intrigued. How could it be possible for a pair of tights to be that soft?

I received a complimentary pair of the Women's Melody tights to test as a part of another season of #ORInsightLab - a chance to see what "a soft hug for your legs" really feels like. I was glad to put the Melody tights through their paces inside, outside, and at the gym to see how they performed for my first of three reviews for Outdoor Research this season.

Fit and Feel

One touch of the fabric to bare skin and it was clear the "soft hug" Outdoor Research promised I'd get when I put these tights on had been delivered. The Melody tights are constructed out of some of the softest material I've worn next to skin, outside of pure fleece.

They're constructed primarily from polyester fabric (87%), and the remaining 13% is a material called "spandex brushed space dye jersey," which explains some of the texture as well as the pattern.

The Melody tights feature an elastic waist with a drawcord, a feature designed to help them stay put. I didn't find myself using or needing the drawcord most of the time thanks to the elastic waist, and because it's one single continuous cord; it can't be tied. They're somewhere between mid and low rise, and made with a flat seam construction to ensure the seams aren't scratchy. Ruching around the cuffs and waistband adds a nice aesthetic touch.

The Melody tights have a 27" inseam, which is a few inches shorter than my 5'9" tall self needs for tights, but the fact that they're a bit short on me didn't bother me during testing. They also feature a gusseted crotch, a diamond shaped piece of fabric sewn into the crotch area, which eliminates multiple seams coming together in one particularly uncomfortable place. I won't wear tights without this feature; it's ideal for ladies who prefer going commando under next-to-skin layers.


The Melody tights are designed to be wicking, quick-drying, breathable, and thanks to movement-mirroring stretch, they're designed to move with you. For me, the ultimate test for all of these features was a full Olympic weightlifting session at my gym, Requisite Fitness.

The Melody tights are a touch short on me, which wasn't
an issue until I took them outside in chilly weather.
They stayed put, allowed my legs to breathe, dried quickly, and left me plenty of freedom of movement while I ran through warmups on the assault airbike, heavy tempo front squats, clean pulls, glute ham raises, and more. I also found them soft and comfortable enough to wear all day once my lifting session was over.

I did have an issue with the length while I outdoors in chilly weather; the inseam is shorter than I'd normally wear, which left skin on my ankles exposed. But a taller pair of socks helped take care of that.

Recommended Uses and Final Thoughts

Bottom Line? I love fit, feel, and performance of the Melody Tights, and I'd love them even more if they were a few inches longer.

But if you're a lady with regular length legs, and you're looking for a super soft next-to-skin pair of tights for running, general exercise, wearing around town, or wearing around the house, these are a great option.

Though I received a complimentary jacket to test from Outdoor Research, all opinions expressed here are my own. Also, as a note, there are affiliate links in this post, and I'll receive a commission for purchases made.