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Need one pair of tights that can do all — or at least most of — the things at a reasonable price? Bontrager’s Kalia Thermal Tights may be a good option.
The mid-rise, chamois-less tights have a light thermal lining that makes them soft and cozy without being overly heavy or too warm. The yoga waistband is comfortable and the tights themselves are lightly compressive. The thigh pocket on the right side is deep enough to securely hold my phone while riding and running.
The Kalia tights work well as general-purpose, cool-weather activewear. Bontrager applied the high back rise you’d expect to see on cycling-specific tights, which ensures they also pass the squat test. They work well for yoga, stayed in place on the bike for shorter rides and commutes, and saw heavy rotation for winter trail running.
While the lack of a gusseted crotch means they’re not ideal for a big mileage day, they worked great over a pair of shorts on our 13-mile commute. And if you need something quick and easy to change into for après-ride beers on a cold day, definitely throw them in your gear bag.
The tall ankle cuffs have less stretch than the tights themselves, which makes them a bit of a struggle to get a foot through. The thin drawstring at the waist is a single continuous loop, which is nice in the sense that it won’t disappear inside the waistband, but isn’t particularly functional and tends to twist inside the waistband. The twisting isn’t something you can feel, but it’s visually noticeable. Since the drawstring doesn’t serve any real purpose, you can easily cut it and remove it.
Bontrager’s Kalia tights weren’t made to be a niche piece of cycling-specific kit, but if you need something that will suffice for short- to medium-length rides in cooler temps, can be worn on the yoga mat or with your running sneaks, and isn’t going to break the bank, they’ll be just fine.