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Photo credit: Craftsportswear.com and inov-8.com

inov-8 AT/C Tights and Craft Devotion Tights review

23-Feb-17

Last updated: 17-Aug-18

By James Eacott

James spent much of the winter running in tights (or ‘leggings’, to others). Winter in the UK was mild pre-Christmas, but January has seen him run in temperatures predominantly between -5⁰C and +5⁰C, with plenty of mud along the way. He tested two pairs of tights from inov-8 and Craft mostly on the canal path trail as well as the Cotswold Way and Ridgeway.

Photo credit: James Eacott.

INOV-8 AT/C TIGHTS

  • Full length
  • Sort stretch, ultra durable fabric
  • Zones breathable venting mesh
  • Super flat waist with non-loosening drawcords
  • Rear zip i-pocket
  • Dual rear gel mesh pockets
  • Flatlocked stitched construction
  • UPF 50+ protection
  • Multi-angle reflective
  • Weight: 250g

Out of the packet, the AT/C’s feel thicker than most tights. I’ve worn Skins, Craft and 2XU before, but never Inov-8 and it’s clear they’re a heavier build. The difference is small but noticeable and as temperatures drop, thicker fabric is very welcome.

I was pleased to find that despite their thicker material – which certainly keeps you warm - the freedom of movement wasn’t compromised. This is down to some clever engineering from Inov-8: the tights are not the same thickness all-over. They’re warm in the right places. The crotch is thicker than the lower leg, for example, and there’s strategically placed mesh panels to keep you cool when you break a sweat. All very thoughtful and probably not appreciated until you experience this quality.

Tights often lack storage space, but the ATC’s zipped pocket is spacious enough to hold my phone (a sizeable Samsung Galaxy 7) and the other two pockets at the rear/hips are large enough to securely carry a bar, keys or gel in each.

The ankle zips make post-muddy removal considerably less messy. The zip also ‘locks’ at the bottom. This means they don’t gradually unzip themselves as you run, which again is something you don’t realise until you’ve worn tights that don’t have this lock.

The elasticated waist is complemented with a drawcord which makes them comfortable and secure - they don’t budge even after hours on the trails. The reflective details are a nice touch too.

PROS: Large zipped pocket and side pockets; thick and cosy. They look cool!

CONS: Too thick for summer running.

Score  
Design 9.5/10
Features 9.5/10
Performance 9/10
Value 8/10
Total 9.5/10


CRAFT DEVOTION TIGHTS

  • Ergonomic fit for comfort and range of movement
  • Zippered pocket
  • Reflective strips
  • Zipper at the leg ends for easy on and off

If you’re after a minimalist, naked feel, the Craft Devotion are the tights for you. They’re lightweight and allow for a full range of unrestricted movement.  They’re not the warmest tights but as we lose little heat through our legs anyway, this is not a big problem save for the bitterest of days.

The zippered pocket on the right hip is large enough for keys and a bar, but I couldn’t fit my (admittedly large) phone. I’m not sure why there isn’t a pocket on the left hip too – that’d be doubly handy.

I’ve been on plenty of muddy runs and the zipper at the ankles make them easy to remove and throw straight into the washing machine without getting mud everywhere. The reflective detail on the front and back is well placed and much-needed in winter and spring.

The fit is good, but after 3 months of regular usage, they’re bagging around my bottom more than the Inov-8’s. This is certainly not down to me shedding weight, either (after all, I tested these through the Christmas season – if anything, they should have become tighter as I expanded).

At just £40 (and you’ll probably find them cheaper), they’re amongst the cheapest running tights you can buy, but they would need replacing a couple of times through the year if you wear them frequently. Unlike the Inov-8’s, they’re so thin that, although they don’t keep you toasty in winter, they are suitable for summer.

PROS: Lightweight, cheap.

CONS: A tad thin for cold UK mornings; they material has started to stretch and lose form after a few months.

Score  
Design 7.5/10
Features 7/10
Performance 7/10
Value 8/10
Total 7.5/10


CONCLUSION

Both are decent tights. The Craft Devotion are cheap but I can’t quite bring myself to say they’re “good value for money”, because you will need to invest in a couple of pairs a year. So, they’re probably priced about right. Having said that, they’re comfortable and the light-weight material will really come into its own as Spring approaches.

I would recommend shelling out the extra tenner for the Inov-8’s. They genuinely feel like great value for money and I appreciate the extra warmth, the better storage and the reliability that tells me they’ll last for a while.

Have you used any of these tights? Don’t agree with this review? What’s your opinion? Add your own comment to this review and share your experience and passion for running with others.

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“I was pleased to find that despite their thicker material the freedom of movement wasn’t compromised.”

Where to buy

inov-8 AT/C tights for women View deal
inov-8 AT/C tights for women View deal
inov-8 AT/C tights for women View deal
Craft Devotion running tights for women View deal
Craft Devotion running tights for men View deal
inov-8 AT/C tights for women View deal
inov-8 AT/C running tights for men View deal
inov-8 AT/C tights for women View deal
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Review inov-8 AT/C Tights and Craft Devotion Tights review

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