Looking for women's plus-size cold weather exercise pants
January 7, 2012 9:50 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for women's plus-sized (size 2X) cold-weather pants for walking my dog in the morning. I walk/run her for about 45 minutes (we are slowly doing Couch to 5K together). Specifically, I'd like to have something like these thermal running tights that are light, easy to pull on in the morning straight out of bed and will wick away moisture. Regular exercise and/or running tights aren't warm enough. Typical temps I walk in are down to 20F -- I'd like to be warm, but just not cold would be sufficient. I need them in a women's size 2X, but have had no luck finding anything.

I am in the US, in the Washington DC metro area. I would prefer to order off the internet, but can do phone/mail/local too.

If I can't find running tights like those, I need suggestions for what to wear for pants instead. I need to keep warm in cold (down to 20F degrees), windy conditions, where I'm walking vigorously, sometimes running, and sweating a lot. I need pants that wick away moisture. If it's raining, I still walk the dog, so something somewhat water resistant would be great (we don't go for a long walk when it snows, so that's not a concern). Sweatpants and jeans won't do the job here.

I found a great jacket for outdoor exercise from the advice in this previous thread -- can you help me also find pants?
posted by OrangeDisk to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Would any of these work?
posted by la petite marie at 10:02 AM on January 7, 2012

Well from that previous thread you already know about Junonia. If you don't see what you like there, I recommend Target, though the store itself is better than their online presence. I've had good luck finding plus-sized exercise wear there, and I think right now (beginning of year - resolution time!) is a good time to find it.
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:05 AM on January 7, 2012

Ok, this may be too obvious to bear mentioning, but long underwear/base layer underneath other pants? I am always recommending silk long underwear (Lands End has nice ones) but they are not the most wicking, from what I understand. So you might want their "Thermaskin" ones or something more performance-oriented.

Of course this seems like overkill (to me) for the climate in the DC area, which might be why you didn't consider it. Maybe you could wear those polartec ones with wind pants overtop? Or you could just get snow pants.
posted by cabingirl at 10:06 AM on January 7, 2012

I wouldn't contemplate running at less than 40°F in anything but Under Armor Cold Gear Tights.
posted by BrashTech at 10:16 AM on January 7, 2012

Did you try athleta?
posted by fshgrl at 10:43 AM on January 7, 2012

No particular recommendations, but I think REI would be a good place to start looking.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:44 AM on January 7, 2012

Best answer: I have a pair of Polartech Power Stretch winter riding tights, and the fabric is really just the perfect weight for moderate activity in DC winters. I often put them on in the morning and wear them all day even if I'm not going riding until the afternoon. They are warm and snuggly on the inside, with a smooth outer finish that is somewhat wind-resistant.

I found yoga-style and tights-style pants in the same fabric, going up to 2X that might be good for your purposes.
posted by drlith at 10:49 AM on January 7, 2012

Under armour is fantastic. I wear the HeatGear tights, but that's because I'm in a warm climate-- they have much cozier options. They cary size XXL/18, is that the same as 2X? Online you have to click on the "more sizes" button next to the XS/SM/MD options.
posted by acidic at 12:37 PM on January 7, 2012

I get almost all of my workout gear from Old Navy. It's pretty good quality, and really cheap. I live in DC too, and when it gets really cold, I wear compression tights under sweatpants. The layering makes it warmer than just a single thermal layer. Here's their plus-size activewear page.
posted by decathecting at 12:57 PM on January 7, 2012

I live in Alaska and spend a lot of time outside even in the winter. I go with one of two options around 20 degrees: first, just layering long underwear under a pair of regular running pants (for running) or under a pair of soft shell pants (for walking, and use thicker long underwear).

But! The second option: I have recently discovered Sporthill's 3SP pants, and usually just go out in one layer if I'm going to be active outside now, even if it's around 10 degrees (and I trend colder than most people). I'm not sure what model I personally have, but I'd feel confident ordering anything in their zone 3 line if I were you, and they manufacture a few things in plus sizes. They have at least one model available in women's 2XL at this site.

Caveat: they're expensive, but awesome. Follow the washing instructions EXACTLY or you'll mess them up. They also attract pet hair like nothing else.
posted by charmedimsure at 2:03 PM on January 7, 2012

Response by poster: Oh wow. Thank you all so much. I have so many great options to look at. I really, really appreciate it.

The Under Armour and Sporthill look like what I have in mind. Does anyone know if the Under Armour XXL runs large? According to the size information, I would be at the tippy top of the sizing for those. Maybe I'll order both and return whichever one doesn't fit.
posted by OrangeDisk at 3:18 PM on January 7, 2012

I checked TeamEstrogen for ya, and found these tights and these pants. The reviews might help you narrow things down. Good luck!
posted by virago at 4:55 PM on January 7, 2012

posted by kat518 at 7:28 PM on January 7, 2012


I wear UA Coldgear tights exclusively for running in temps at or below 50ºF. I am doing Couch to 10K and live in Boulder, Colorado, where it gets quite cold (and some of my running has to be done at night due to time constraints).

I am in between a medium and large in most manufacturers, have big hips & thighs, and their medium runs plenty big for me. I find their stuff is VERY stretchy, nonbinding in the waist, and well-cut for active wear (it doesn't ride up on my ankles, or do that stupid baggy-crotch thing that I *hate*). I love how soft and silky it is and highly recommend it.
posted by lonefrontranger at 7:41 PM on January 7, 2012

You might want to try some layering -- I like cuddle duds which are fairly stretchy & roomy as a base layer and then some non-thermal old-navy like layer over the top.
posted by countrymod at 8:41 AM on January 9, 2012

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