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REI Co-op Midweight Bottoms Review

For cold weather trips on a budget, this pair of synthetics are hard to beat
REI Co-op Midweight Bottoms
Credit: REI Co-op
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $50 List | $24.83 at REI
Pros:  Great value, warm but still breathable, very comfortable for a synthetic
Cons:  Slightly short inseam, fabric could be stretchier
Manufacturer:   REI Co-op
By Justin Simoni ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 14, 2022
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 11
  • Warmth - 30% 8.0
  • Breathability - 30% 6.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 30% 7.0
  • Durability - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

REI Co-op has certainly been investing in its research and development. Seemingly every new product they release brings with it a good balance of performance, features, and price. The REI Co-op Midweight Bottoms are no exception. These synthetic pants will certainly keep you warm, with a fabric thickness made for wintery weather. The dual-layer fabric is comfy, performant, and will last for years to come, not needing the delicate care of a pair of woolies. The best part is the extremely competitive price for the value you receive. Overall, these are an easy pick to add to your layering arsenal.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $50 List
$24.83 at REI
$110 List$110 List
$110.00 at REI
$40 List
$39.95 at REI
$25 List
$21.80 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Great value, warm but still breathable, very comfortable for a syntheticSoft next-to-skin, super warm for its weight, durable and all-naturalExtremely breathable, ultralight stretchy nylon/Merino wool blendUnbeatable price, breathable, quick drying, functionalAffordable, lightweight, warm for weight
Cons Slightly short inseam, fabric could be stretchierA touch heavy for fabric weight, slow to dry after washingPrice may make you do a double-take, care instructions need to be followed when dryingShort cut legs, average comfort and warmthInstant fabric tear, baggy fit, sticky exterior gridded fleece
Bottom Line For cold weather trips on a budget, this pair of synthetics are hard to beatUndeniably comfortable, warm, and breathable, this rough-and-tumble pair of 100% merino long underwear has it allA seriously tuned ultralight pair of wool/nylon blend leggings built for fast and light outdoor adventuresSlender and breathable, these are everything we expect out of a lightweight pair of long underwearA warmer lightweight option that has a lot of potential to improve upon design
Rating Categories REI Co-op Midweight... Ortovox 185 Rock'N'... Artilect Boulder 125 REI Co-op Lightweig... Carhartt Base Force...
Warmth (30%)
8.0
8.0
6.0
5.0
6.0
Breathability (30%)
6.0
7.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Comfort and Fit (30%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
5.0
Durability (10%)
8.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
Specs REI Co-op Midweight... Ortovox 185 Rock'N'... Artilect Boulder 125 REI Co-op Lightweig... Carhartt Base Force...
Material 100% polyester 100% Merino wool 85% Nuyarn Merino wool, 15% nylon 92% polyester, 8% spandex 100% raised mini-grid polyester
Fabric Weight N/A 185 g/m² 125 g/m² N/A N/A
Weight (size M) 7.62 oz 6.4 oz 4.34 oz 5.46 oz 5.2 oz
Insulation Weight Midweight Midweight Lightweight Lightweight Lightweight
3/4 Boot-Cut Available? No Yes Yes No No
Fly? Yes No No Yes Yes
Dryer safe? Yes No No Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Plenty warm and quite burly, the REI Midweight Bottoms will protect you from the freezing temps of any wintry adventure in the mountains or when you're simply lounging around the hotel waiting for the ski lifts to open in the morning. We are most impressed with this pant's durability — it's tough enough to be worn alone, which you may be tempted to do if you need to jump outside quickly to chop some wood. The two-sided synthetic material is one of our favorite details and features a brushed interior that works to trap heat and a silky smooth exterior that slides over whatever top layer you pair these with. But the best part of these long underwear is what they lack: a high price tag! As a budget-friendly option, this pair of long underwear is hard to beat for the price.

Performance Comparison


REI Co-op Midweight Bottoms long underwear - a great pair of midweight long undwerwear at an unbeatable price
A great pair of midweight long undwerwear at an unbeatable price
Credit: Justin Simoni

Warmth


The Midweight Bottoms pull their weight in warmth, being just as toasty — if not more so — than other comparable options. It's best to utilize these on frigid winter days or while sleeping outside on cold summer nights. Despite being so warm, breathability is impressive enough to be comfortable temperature-wise on everything but very active pursuits.


We wore these underneath our jeans on a warm Spring day bike ride across town and finished the trip to the coffee shop relatively comfortable and dry. For backpacking mornings that start out frigid before the sun finally makes an appearance, we anticipate you won't mind keeping these on well into your lunchtime break without overheating.

REI Co-op Midweight Bottoms long underwear - the rei midweights take the edge off of wintry weather.
The REI Midweights take the edge off of wintry weather.
Credit: Shay Castle

Breathability


Breathability is important in long underwear as it's difficult to continuously adjust bottom layers while out adventuring, as it inevitably means taking off shoes and a top layer. The Midweight Bottoms stay breathable, and we credit this to the next-to-skin fit and wicking qualities of the polyester fabric. The fabric's soft, brushed interior surface will trap heat while pulling moisture away from your skin.


This pair doesn't include any additional anti-odor treatment, but our drying time test revealed they dry quickly compared to similarly weighted long underwear, so you're not out a pair of comfy bottoms for long when waiting for them to air dry. The spandex top waistband retains some moisture, as do some other hotspots, like the crotch. But we're quite pleased with the performance of these even though they can't compare to lighter-weight pairs of underwear.

REI Co-op Midweight Bottoms long underwear - although weight is a respectable 7.6 ounces, the synthetic midweight...
Although weight is a respectable 7.6 ounces, the synthetic Midweight Bottoms will take a little more room in your pack than a natural pair.
Credit: Justin Simoni

Comfort and Fit


Overall, the fit of the Midweight Bottoms is tight without being too constricting, allowing heat to be trapped between your body and the garment while also facilitating moisture to wick away from the skin. Keeping dry aids in keeping comfy — nothing is worse than clammy bottoms.


The waistband has enough give to accommodate an appropriate spectrum of waist sizes without squeezing too tightly. In a medium, we measured an inseam length of 31", which matches the manufacturer's specs. This is a little shorter than our 32" reviewer would have liked, but REI does offer a "long" version of the same underwear. The total length from the top of the waistband is 41". The waistband itself is 1¼" thick. Sizing for this style goes from XS to XXL.

REI Co-op Midweight Bottoms long underwear - the midweight bottoms are comfy enough for even the hyper weight...
The Midweight Bottoms are comfy enough for even the hyper weight conscious to think about bringing along.
Credit: Justin Simoni

The four-way stretch fabric is more stretchy widthwise than lengthwise, and all the stretch is accomplished from the fabric weave alone — no elastic material, save for in the waistband, is present. This stretch allows for freedom of movement without bunching up. The ankle cuff is doubled over for added durability and a nice finish to the garment.

The fabric features a smooth, silky exterior, which will move over anything you're wearing on top without catching. The interior has a softer, fleece-like hand, helping to trap heat and wick away moisture while also just being nice and comfy against the skin. All seams are flatlock seams, which reduce bulk and have no sharp edges that could catch and irritate your skin.

These underwear have a fly with an adequate opening in case you don't want to undo all your layers for mid-travel alleviation. They are also gusseted, providing an extra amount of freedom of movement. Moving the seam away from the center of the crotch makes an activity like riding a bike or anything else you're straddling your seat more pleasant.

Durability


Surprising to us, the Midweight Bottoms look just as new now as the day we received them, which we credit to a few design choices. First, there are strong and flexible flatlock seams found throughout the garment. These seams lay flat against the fabric and also increase the comfort of the underwear. Next is the dual texture fabric choice: the smooth exterior resists catching on your top layer, allowing the softer interior layer to keep you warm and wick away moisture. The fabric is also 100% polyester — an already durable material — and doesn't include any elastic material to degrade over time. All the stretch you find is from the weave of the fabric itself.


Lastly, the no-frills design, save for the gusseted crotch that we absolutely adore, keeps things simple. Less seams, means fewer weak points to bust.

REI Co-op Midweight Bottoms long underwear - the tought but soft fabric and gusseted crotch helps make the...
The tought but soft fabric and gusseted crotch helps make the Midweight Bottoms one of the most durable pairs of long underwear we've tested.
Credit: Justin Simoni

These long underwear scored very high in our tough abrasion tests, mostly due to the burlier weight of the fabric, which could be one reason to go for a warmer, heavier pair of long underwear, rather than a lighter.

REI Co-op Midweight Bottoms long underwear - our tough abrasion test did little but cause slight fuzzing of the...
Our tough abrasion test did little but cause slight fuzzing of the fabric.
Credit: Justin Simoni

Proper care can influence long-term durability for the better. Being made from synthetic fabric, the Midweight Bottoms should be a little easier to care for than woolies, but we still suggest hanging these to dry after washing. Manufacturer's instructions also say that drying them on low will do the trick.

REI Co-op Midweight Bottoms long underwear - seen close up, the synthetic knit of the fabric is thicker than many...
Seen close up, the synthetic knit of the fabric is thicker than many of the lighter weight bottoms we've tested.
Credit: Justin Simoni

Value


While testing and reviewing the Midweight Bottoms, we needed to do a double-take on the price. For what you receive, we found these long underwear a great value and something you should seriously look into, no matter if you're on a budget or not. They're warm, durable, and breathable.

Conclusion


A simple, budget-friendly, and durable option for those looking for a warm synthetic pair of long underwear sums up the The REI Co-op Midweight Bottoms succinctly. What this pair of long underwear doesn't forget to bring to the table is a great value. Pick these up when the mercury dips down, and your winter stoke hits an all-time high.

REI Co-op Midweight Bottoms long underwear - the midweight bottoms are workhorses.
The Midweight Bottoms are workhorses.
Credit: Justin Simoni

Justin Simoni
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