Blown Away: Craft Women’s ADV Essence Wind Running Tights Review

(Photo/Conni Mahoney)

I’ve lived in the third coldest valley in the lower 48 for more than 10 years. While searching for the best women’s winter running tights, I can’t say I’ve gotten used to that piece of mountain life: -30 is still bone-chilling. The snow and chilly wind stick around through spring, well into May. True summer — without longstanding freezing temps overnight — hits around June.

And not only do I have singletrack and mountain traverses I’d eager to check off my list, I am also my husband’s trail and ultrarunning training partner. He’s training for the Crazy Mountain 100 in Montana at the end of July, so he can’t wait for the snow to melt to jumpstart the training plan.

Thankfully, training as a trail and road runner in the cold has gotten easier as apparel technology improves. These burly running Wind Tights from Craft are the best windproof layer I’ve tried. And because I live in the Gunnison Valley, they were tested in the harshest weather that the Colorado Rockies can throw at you. 

In short: The Craft Women’s ADV Essence Wind Tights ($95) for runners is ideal if you train in a frigid, blustery environment. The wind panels are in the front and also completely coat your backside. The fleece-lined women’s running tight is built to be among the warmest tights on the market. They do run a smidge small, so consider sizing up if you are in between sizes.

Read the full Best Women’s Winter Running Tights buyer’s guide to see how this pair from Craft stacks up.

Craft Women’s ADV Essence Wind Tights


  • Number of pockets
  • Pant rise
  • Fleece lining
  • Gusset
  • Inseam


  • Windproof

  • Comfortable waist

  • Reflective details


  • Run small

  • Weird pocket placement

Constance Mahoney

Women jogging outdoors in ADV Essence Wind Tights
Putting the Craft ADV Essence Wind Tights through the paces; (photo/Conni Mahoney)

Craft ADV Essence Wind Tights: Women’s Winter Running Tights Review

You’ve likely heard the phrase, “There is no such thing as bad weather — just bad gear.” I think about that saying every winter.

Winter in the high alpine is notoriously hard to train through. When buried trails become inaccessible, I mentally befriend the road where I also don’t have the distractions of rocks to keep my brain preoccupied. Instead, my brain tends to fixate on the weather, which is not always positive.

But this winter, that experience pivoted for me, in great part due to the solid winter-tailored apparel that kept me comfortable. For one, I tested out the Craft Women’s ADV Essence Wind Tights, a winter running tight that helped keep my motivation up as the flurries swirled.

ADV Essence Wind Tights Pockets
The Craft Women’s ADV Essence Wind Tights have a roomy, zippered back pocket; (photo/Conni Mahoney)

Are These Running Tights Really Windproof? 

Yes! The Craft Women’s ADV Essence Wind Tights are actually windproof. I’ve run in blizzards, surprise snow squalls, and everything in between. These tights outperformed my expectations.

Even with particularly powerful gusts, I could not even feel a slight breeze. I learned to trust this design, and I wore them whenever the weather was rough. 

ADV Essence Wind Tights Fabric
The Craft Women’s ADV Essence Wind Tights are lined with a cozy fleece material; (photo/Conni Mahoney)

The windproof panel covers the entire front thigh down to just below the knee. That same material also wraps around the backside and to the top of the hamstring. I’ve never understood why so many windproof tights have no windproofing for my hindquarters.

Brand designers must forget that wind comes in all directions, or that we often run out-and-backs, and that our butts need protection, too — right? Or, maybe they’re trying to cut costs. This Swedish manufacturer got the design right. And my tuchus appreciates it!

ADV Essence Wind Tights
These winter running tights have lengthy strips of reflective material on the calves; (photo/Conni Mahoney)

Reflective Details 

One key safety feature that this tight nails is the reflective details. Winter running often means putting down miles in complete darkness or during twilight. These are critical times when reflective details help to ensure safety for you, as well as other pedestrians, bicyclists, or drivers.

Four 6-inch vertical strips are located on each calf and shin. A smaller reflective decal is on the top exterior left calf. The final light-catching logo is on the right thigh.

While the reflectivity of winter running tights can enhance safety, it’s important to remember not to rely solely on your pants for visibility. A variety of running lights can be integrated onto your gear, head to toe, in addition to using a headlamp.


I love that the interior of these tights is lined with fleece. They feel like what any winter runner would want in bitter temps: warm, soft, and fuzzy. I basically never felt cold when I was running in this design.

The one time I felt cold, the wind chill made the temps plummet well below zero, and my body had already felt really cold all day. That experience was definitely an outlier to my other test runs. Maybe I was fighting off a cold. And sometimes, regardless of the gear, it can be dangerously cold for a run.

ADV Essence Wind Tights Interior
Winter running tights can have strategically placed fabric reinforcements to help keep joints and other body zones warm and protected; (photo/Conni Mahoney)

Pleats, Gussets, and Drawstrings 

Throughout my testing of the Craft Women’s ADV Essence Wind Tights, I found that these pants have virtually no restriction. Craft was very intentional with this design to succeed at that fit. For instance, the designers placed a pleat on the side of each knee, which enhances the range.

The tights also have a gusseted crotch to help relieve stress on the seams. The waistband rests at a comfortable height of 3 inches, which sat right above my belly button. It doesn’t pinch or slide down. Within the waist, a drawstring is included for a more customized fit. 


The 100% polyester blend of these winter running tights not only blocks wind but also sheds moisture. While the surface is not treated with a moisture repellent, the fabric still worked well enough. Snow never soaked through on my runs.

On the interior, the recycled polyester and elastane blend quickly absorbed moisture off my skin, dispersed the perspiration, and then it evaporated. In the meantime, the windproof panels and fleece liner helped keep me warm.

Craft Sports Women's ADV Essence Wind Tights
While these winter running tights are not waterproof, the fabric is able to resist absorbing moisture; (photo/Conni Mahoney)

How to Wash

Buying winter running tights can feel like an investment, and how you take care of them will help their longevity. I washed these several times throughout the winter and noticed minor pilling. But nothing was out of the ordinary, given the amount of use. I followed the directions on the tag: machine wash cold and air dry. Pretty simple!

Missed Opportunity

While this is one of my favorite winter running tights, Craft missed the mark with its only pocket.

The 6” x 7” pocket with a 4-inch zippered opening sits awkwardly on the side of my glute. It is large enough to hold my iPhone 13 (with a protective case). But as I run, where the phone lands in the pocket against my body feels weird and weighs down the right side of the tight. The drawstring helped keep the pants from falling.

But I think the designers could have done a better job finding where to place a functional pocket. Perhaps the pocket is only meant for super-lightweight items like an energy gel, but that would be good to highlight in marketing materials.

ADV essence wind tights pockets
The Craft ADV Essence Wind Tights feature a single pocket; (photo/Conni Mahoney)


In all my winter field testing, the Craft Women’s ADV Essence Wind Tights emerged as a formidable ally against the harsh elements of winter runs.

The windproof panels, which wrap from the front thighs to the rear, shield against biting winds. That construction ensures protection even in the most challenging conditions.

Reflective details enhance safety during low-light runs. The fleece lining offers unparalleled warmth and coziness. Attention to detail shines through with the pleats, gusset, and waist drawstring, which optimize freedom of movement and provide a comfortable, customized fit. The fabric’s moisture-shedding abilities, which efficiently wick away sweat, enhance this tight’s performance.

Despite a subpar pocket placement, the overall performance of Craft Women’s ADV Essence Wind Tights is undeniable. Priced at under $100, they not only offer top-notch features but are also a more affordable winter running tight for those seeking reliable protection against winter’s fury.

Overall, these winter running tights are a protective layer for frigid temperatures, allowing runners to focus on training. Then, the weather can’t be an excuse or nuisance! From snowstorms to gusty winds, these tights stand ready to keep you toasty and motivated to explore wintry adventures.

The post Blown Away: Craft Women’s ADV Essence Wind Running Tights Review appeared first on GearJunkie.

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