Saxx Roast Master Mid-Weight Tights review: warmth and comfort

Men's thermal leggings with an in-built ‘ballpark’, the Saxx Roast Master Mid-Weight Tights provide extra support during cold-weather camping and outdoor activities.

A man wearing Saxx Roast Master Mid-Weight Tights runs along a woody trail
(Image: © Pat Kinsella)

Advnture Verdict

Cleverly constructed from recycled plastic and pulped wood, these robustly built high-performance men’s thermal tights make brilliant base layer bottoms for all sorts of outdoor adventures in the colder months of the year. Suitable underwear for hiking, biking, trail running, paddling and snow sports, there’s plenty of flex in the fabric, plus a fly opening for discreet toilet stops out on the trail. The real revelation, though, is the built-in ‘Ballpark Pouch’, which keeps everything comfortable, cushioned and well-supported during outdoor adventures.


  • +

    Ballpark upper offers great comfort

  • +

    Fly access

  • +

    Maintain thermal properties when wet

  • +

    Excellent moisture-wicking

  • +

    Majority of material recycled


  • -

    Standard fit is slightly short

  • -

    Not as breathable as merino tights

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    No foot stirrups so legs can ride up

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Meet the reviewer

best fleece jackets: Artilect Halfmoon Bio Pullover
Pat Kinsella

Pat has hiked all over the world, his adventures taking him to Mont Blanc, the roof of Western Europe; the Norwegian Alps; the highest peaks on Australia; and New Zealand’s Great Walks – among others. He’s an experienced tester of hiking footwear and gives each pair a thorough thrashing before reviewing.

Saxx Roast Master Mid-Weight Tights: first impressions

Made with a material mix that's mostly comprised of recycled polyester, the Saxx Roast Master Mid-Weight Tights accompany the Saxx Roast Master Mid-Weight Long Sleeve top to provide base layer protection for your entire body. 

Thermal leggings are typically a fairly straightforward piece of kit, designed to do one job – keep your legs warm – but, being made by men's underwear specialists Saxx, these tights have a bit more about them. The upper section boasts the brand's trademark 'Ballpark pouch', which is purpose-built and designed to keep the relevant parts of the male anatomy securely supported and in a comfortable position while the wearer gets on with whatever outdoor pursuit they're engaged in. 


• List price:  $75 (US) / £65 (UK)
• Materials: Recycled polyester (87%), Tencel lyocell (9%), elastane (4%)
• Sizes: XS / S / M / L / XL / XXL
• Colors: Black / Dark Brick / Twilight /  Get out camo
• Compatibility: Snowsports, winter walking, trekking, hiking, biking and trail running, shoulder season backpacking and camping

Fairly unusually, the design also offers a fly opening, for those moments when nature calls while you're out on the trails. The benefit of this feature is that you don't have to pull the entire top of the tights down in order to relieve yourself – something that's particularly useful when it's properly freezing outside.

Perhaps even more impressively, though, the vast majority of the material used in these tights is either recycled plastic, or Tencel Lyocell, an environmentally friendly fabric where the fiber content is derived from sustainable wood sources.

Saxx Roast Master Mid-Weight Tights: in the field

A man wearing Saxx Roast Master Mid-Weight Tights runs along a stony beach.

A built-in fly means these are very much an underwear layer – remember to wear some shorts on top! (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

I have been testing my rather fetching 'Get Out Camo' patterned Roast Master thermal tights during a range of outdoor adventures and campouts amid the frostbitten forests, non-roasty coast and chilly hills of Devon during late autumn, midwinter and early spring. 

Aside from a few freezing weeks it has been more of a wet winter than a cold one in the south of England, but I have been very glad of the extra leg protection offered by these tights during some day hikes across the moors and early morning trail runs when the temperature hasn't managed to climb north of 0°C / 32°F. 

While not quite as luxuriously comfortable as full merino leggings, the synthetic material used in these tights means they remain lightweight and still provide excellent thermal protection even when they get wet. Polyester fabrics are hydrophobic, meaning the fibres absorb very little water (less than 1% of the garment's weight), so you never feel soaked through like you do in wool or bamboo-based leggings, even if you get caught out on the trails in torrential rain. They also dry extremely quickly (far faster than merino or bamboo), and keep your legs warm the entire time, when dry or damp. 

The synthetic material is pretty tough, and while these aren't quite as robust as dedicated running leggings, they perform well as an underlayer out on the trails.

The elastane content, although quite small, gives these tights plenty of stretch, so I never felt like my freedom of movement was in anyway inhibited when I was walking, running, hiking and biking, whether I was wearing the leggings beneath trail-running shorts, hiking trousers or rain pants. I haven't yet worn the Roast Masters beneath salopettes or ski pants in the snow yet, but they'll certainly provide a good defense against the cold.

A man wearing Saxx Roast Master Mid-Weight Tights runs along a woody trail.

The synthetic materials used mean the Saxx Roast Master Mid-Weight Tights are moisture-wicking, but not that breathable for more energetic activities. (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

The downside of the synthetics is that they're not as breathable as natural materials, and can get a little sweaty during high-energy activities such as skiing and running. The Tencel Lyocell content does seem to introduce a level of softness and comfort that's lacking in some synthetic leggings I have tested in the past, however, and there is certainly no plastic feel or static crackle when you pull them on.

And so to the Ballpark feature, which is one of the big selling points of these tights. Don't worry, I won't go into too much detail, but suffice to say this pouch does its job well, keeping everything in place and reducing the risk of discomfort, chaffing and other undercarriage unpleasantness. It's good to see some considered design going on here, because bog-standard leggings can be pretty horrible to wear during outdoor activities, and you shouldn't have to sacrifice comfort for warmth in these halcyon days of high-performing outdoor apparel.

The fly opening is useful too – especially when it's cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey outside. Between the Ballpark pouch and the fly features, there's little doubt what side Saxx leans towards when it comes to the old dilemma of whether undies should be worn beneath tights during outdoor activities – this is a resounding vote for going commando.

Pat Kinsella

Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing stories involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades on Strava here and Instagram here.