The North Face Dune Sky Tights Review | My Favourite Hiking Tights

The search for the best hiking tights can be long and arduous, resulting in many days enduring ripped tights and endlessly fighting with ill-fitting waistbands. But once you find a pair that fits snugly and wins the battle against the wilderness, you want to share it with the world! Which is why I’ve decided to write an in-depth review on The North Face Women’s Dune Sky 7/8 Tights – my new favourite tights for hiking!

I’ve spent the last few months thoroughly testing the Dune Sky tights against the demanding trails in New Zealand’s South Island and am excited to share the results with you. In this post, you’ll find my honest review of The North Face Dune Sky tights, including my favourite features and the ones I wished for.

Hiking towards a giant Glacier on the Mueller Hut Route in Mt Cook, New Zeland

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My Honest Review Of The North Face Women’s Dune Sky 7/8 Tights

Quick Info

Price: $120AUD
Sizes: XS – XL
Material: Body: 80% recycled polyester + 20% elastane with FlashDry Technology | Waistband: 88% recycled polyester + 12% elastane rib
Weight: 400g
Length: 7/8 with 25” inseam
Colours: Australia + NZ: Black | North America: black, purple, navy, coral, IWD print
Sustainability:
recycled material
Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty
Activity: Hiking, yoga, running

The North Face Dune Sky 7/8 Tights

Positives:

  • Made with recycled material
  • Snug fit at the waist prevents them from falling down
  • Soft and comfortable feel
  • Highly flexible
  • Keeps you warm for mild winter hikes
  • Quick drying

Negatives:

  • No thigh pocket for a phone (the back pocket doesn’t work with a backpack on)
  • Slightly too warm for a hot summer climate
  • Some wear at the seam and runs after a few months of heavy use

The North Face Women’s Dune Sky 7/8 tights are a sustainable and form-fitting pair of tights that you can trust to take with you anywhere from the trails to the yoga studio. They feature a soft and buttery material that keeps you comfortable and warm through a mild winter adventure and a secure ribbed waistband that prevents the pants from slipping down.

Aside from a few features I wish they included – most importantly, a side thigh pocket – the TNF Dune Sky tights have passed my thorough testing with flying colours, only showing a small amount of wear at the waistband after a month of heavy use.

UPDATE: The North Face has now released the Dune Sky Pocket Tights which include two thigh pockets that sit just below the hips. Although I haven’t tested how the pockets feel while walking – this new option has made these tights even better!

Who Are The North Face Dune Sky Tights For?

Standing on the Liverpool Hut Balcony in Mt Aspiring National Park wearing The North Face Dune Sky Tights

The North Face Dune Sky tights are the perfect choice for adventurous ladies who want one pair of hiking tights that can do it all. Due to their superior stretch and flattering waistband, the Dune Sky tights will be your go-to for anything from a casual travel day to scrambling up a mountain for sunset.

There is nothing these tights can’t do and I can guarantee you won’t want to take them off once you experience the incredible comfort the Dune Sky tights provide. I’m even considering buying another pair so I never have to explore without them!

Size

Hiking along Key Summit surrounded by snow capped peaks wearing the North Face Tights

I am 5”5 with an athletic build and after purchasing the women’s Wander Shorts from TNF in a medium and finding them to be too big, I chose a size small for the Dune Sky tights. I am usually a size medium and find that the tights are a little too small, meaning they fit true to size in my circumstance.

I have found multiple reviews online stating that the tights are too small, but this could be due to the fact that the waistband is quite rigid in order to prevent the pants from falling down.

Luckily, The North Face has a free 30-day return policy for online purchases so if you happen to pick the wrong size, you can easily return and exchange for a different size.

Fit

The North Face Dune Sky 7/8 Tights Waist Band

The Dune Sky tights are a high-waisted form-fitting 7/8 design with an inseam of 25”, sitting roughly 1cm above my ankles and just above my belly button. The flatteringly wide ribbed v-shaped waistband compresses slightly, making the Dune Sky tights perform outstandingly in a variety of environments without compromising on style.

I have straight hips and athletic legs which often result in the need for a bigger size to fit my thighs but this also means that the waist is always too big. But with the Dune Sky tights, their rigid waistband compresses and stays perfectly in place throughout a full day of hiking.

The only problem with such a rigid waistband, however, is that it produces stress on the seams when you’re pulling the pants on and off. I have noticed a little bit of wear at the seam connecting the waistband to the body which I assume is a result of the rigidity.

Comfort

Thanks to the soft material, the gusseted crotch and the high level of moveability, the TNF Dune Sky tights are incredibly comfortable to wear all day. On my month-long road trip in New Zealand, I wore these pants almost every day and loved the freedom of movement and cosy feel.

The waistband does compress slightly which could be uncomfortable for some, but I found that I barely noticed after the first few minutes of wearing the tights.

Breathability

The North Face Dune Sky Tights in rocky terrain

When you put the TNF Dune Sky tights on, you wouldn’t expect them to breathe well due to their soft polyester material. However, after a strenuous hike to Mueller Hut in the afternoon sun, I only had a little sweat at the waist where my backpack’s hip belt sits. 

The body of the tights is constructed with FlashDry Technology to help wick away moisture and I found that this worked well for hiking in temperatures between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius. I have yet to test them in the summer heat but feel that they might be a little too warm for those conditions.

Flexibility

Climbing the steep trail to French Ridge Hut wearing the Dune Sky Tights from The North Face

The body of the Dune Sky tights literally feels as if you’re not wearing anything! They offer superior stretch and with the addition of a gusseted crotch, you’re free to move without any limitations.

Flexibility is one of my biggest concerns as many of the trails we venture to require awkward moves and long stretches between foot holds. I felt perfectly comfortable moving in the Dune Sky tights and felt no limitations while scrambling up the technical ascent to French Ridge Hut in New Zealand.

Warmth

The North Face Dune Sky tights offer exceptional warmth for their lightweight and breathable build. Some of our morning adventures began with temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius yet I warmed up quickly with the Dune Sky tights. I even spent a day in the pouring rain at Milford Sound and stayed warm when my pants were drenched.

Durability

Climbing up rough terrain wearing The North Face Dune Sky Tights

I have tested the durability of the TNF Dune Sky tights on multiple technical trails, where there were many scrapes with boulders and branches, and am happy to report that they prevailed with flying colours. Only after truly abusing these tights on overgrown trails, have I found tiny abrasions on the body where I’ve scraped across sharp or rough rocks.

With that said, none of the runs have worn through or gotten any bigger after the initial abrasion happened.

The only issue I have with the durability of the TNF Dune Sky tights is the connection between the bottom of the waistband and the top of the body. I have found a few tiny tears where there looked to be too much stress on the stitching. But as I expressed above, this could be due to the tights being slightly too small.

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Features

Moisture Wicking

The North Face Dune Sky 7/8 tights are constructed with a moisture-wicking property called FlashDry Technology. This technology basically accelerates the evaporation of moisture to keep you dry and comfortable.

This is an essential component for me as we transition from hot to cold constantly on winter hikes. And I’m pleased to report that I found that this feature worked extremely well, with sweat drying almost instantly after strenuous ascents

Sun Protection

Admiring the view of Mt Cook from the Mueller Hut Route in Mt Cook National Park

The Dune Sky tights boast a 40 UPF protection rating, allowing you to rest easy knowing you won’t get burnt through your tights. I know some of you might be wondering how on earth you could get burnt through tights but let me tell you, I have from the Arc Teryx Oriel tights and it’s not fun!

Anti-Odour Treatment

The TNF Dune Sky tights are constructed with an anti-odour treatment so you can feel comfortable wearing these for days without washing. I took these on a 3-day hike and can confirm that they did not smell even slightly afterwards.

This feature is not only beneficial for hiking, but it also translates across all forms of physical activity and allows you to safely push yourself in the gym without the worry of your tights getting stinky.

Pockets

Placing phone in the back hip pocket of The North Face Dune Sky 7/8 Tights

The pockets department is where these tights fail. I am a strong lover of thigh pockets as it’s the best place to store your phone when you’re hiking with a backpack – especially if the backpack’s hipbelt pockets are too small.

The Dune Sky tights have a spacious drop-in phone pocket at the back of the waistband and while this is large enough to fit my Google Pixel 6 easily, the placement is useless when wearing a hiking backpack.

UPDATE: The North Face has now released the Dune Sky Pocket Tights which include two thigh pockets that sit just below the hips. Although I haven’t tested how the pockets feel while walking – this new option has made these tights even better!

Gusseted Crotch

A gusset is a diamond-shaped piece of material sewn into the crotch of your pants to increase moveability and comfort. I personally wouldn’t buy a pair of tights without this and am happy to report that the Dune Sky tights have this feature.

Material And Seams

Stitching on The North Face Dune Sky Tights

The North Face Dune Sky tights are built with 80% recycled polyester and 20% elastane. This combination allows for a soft and buttery feel without sacrificing flexibility. The higher count of polyester also increases breathability and moisture-wicking capabilities.

There are seams that run on the outside of the thigh, the inside of the thigh and up the middle to the waistband. Personally, I rather have tights that don’t have a seam running to the waistband as I find it hinders comfort and while the seam on the TNF Dune Sky tights does annoy me sometimes, it’s not as aggravating as the TNA or the Nike tights I’ve owned in the past.

Sustainability

Perhaps the best part about The North Face Dune Sky tights is the fact that they are designed with 80% recycled material in the body and 88% in the waistband! As a strong advocate for supporting sustainable brands, this made me super happy – especially after confirming that the recycled material didn’t sacrifice durability.

Value

The competitive price of the TNF Dune Sky tights is relatively affordable when you factor in the durability and breathability of the tights. You can of course find cheaper pairs of tights but you will often sacrifice durability and longevity.

After testing the Dune Sky tights thoroughly over a month-long period, I would be happy to pay this price again for another pair of TNF tights.

My Experience With The North Face Dune Sky Tights

Hiking through the Valley of Mt aspiring surrounded by snow capped mountains

Why I Chose The North Face Dune Sky Tights

I chose The North Face Dune Sky 7/8 tights for a number of reasons but the top two were based on the sustainable construction and the positive reviews stating their superior comfort and moveability.

How They Perform

After wearing the Dune Sky tights almost constantly on a month-long adventurous road trip in New Zealand, I am happy to report that they performed even higher than my expectations. Aside from the issue with the tiny tears at the waistband connection and the lack of thigh pockets, the TNF Dune Sky tights are easily my favourite tights for hiking.

However, while they’re highly durable in comparison to other tights on the market, I would be hesitant to embark on a multi-day adventure without a backup pair just yet – I’ll keep you updated after further testing.

Where Do I Wear My TNF Dune Sky Tights?

Where don’t I wear my Dune Sky tights!?!

But honestly, I find myself reaching for the TNF Dune Sky tights for long travel days, technical trails with big ascents, yoga workouts and lounging around the house. The only place that I wouldn’t wear these tights is in hot climates during the middle of summer.

Final Thoughts

Climbing up rocky and rooty terrain wearing The North Face Dune Sky Tights

The North Face Dune Sky tights exceeded my expectations and I have fallen in love with the comfortable and next-to-skin feel. I would highly recommend these tights for adventurers looking for just one pair that does it all – especially if you have the same body shape as me and find it irritatingly impossible to find a pair of tights that don’t fall down.

I hope to see the addition of a thigh pocket in the future and perhaps more stretch in the waistband so it receives less stress when pulling the tights on and off.

I hope this review has helped you make your decision, if you have any questions or reviews of your own, please feel free to drop them in the comment section below.

Happy Hiking 🙂

Last Updated: 13/12/2023