Finding a pair of breeches that I like can be difficult—with more curves than a large portion of hunter/jumper riders, riding pants that fit all of my criteria are few and far between. As a result, I have become a bit of a breeches snob to the point where the only brand in my closet is Tailored Sportsman. Now, a pair of SmartPak breeches are in there as well.
I got a peek of the new Hadley breeches at a work function in June and was instantly impressed. When they finally popped up on SmartPak’s website the next month, I immediately ordered a pair of the knee patch version to see if they wore as great as they looked.
Upon first impression, the Hadley’s fabric feels more like my beloved Tailored Sportsmans than SmartPak’s famous Pipers. Though they don’t cover every lump and bump as well as some others, they are super stretchy and surprisingly stain resistant, making these breeches feel like an expensive addition to your collection. I’ve worn these to the barn numerous times between washes and they were still spotless—I was even able to fully body clip my horse while wearing them and wear them the next day without the prick of a million hairs in my legs.
In terms of thickness, the tech-type fabric is a bit thicker than Trophy Hunters but was still cool and wicking enough for hot summer days. We will have to wait to see how they hold up come winter. The one downside of the thinner material that I’ve encountered is that you can see any bunched fabric underneath, meaning you have to really make sure the pockets and tucked in shirts are smooth.
These currently come in a medium rise with a front zipper and the ever popular sock bottom. Like the Pipers, the Hadleys feature four generous pockets, thought they are more subtly designed. The two back pockets are small, zippered slits that sit above the now-classic euro seat stitching. I can fit my iPhone 8 Plus in all four pockets easily and it stays inside the front pockets during rides with no problem.
The cute Hadley logo is stitched on both the back center belt loop and the center of the knee patches and thankfully doesn’t make you feel like a walking billboard. Though SmartPak lists the breeches as having 2″ belt loops, I found them to be slightly smaller but stretchy enough to easily fit my 2″ belts.
My two complaints about the styling is that the euro seat is a lower than my preference, which is less flattering on those with a bit of junk in the trunk (i.e. ME!), and something in me wants to see them with two buttons on the front, not just one. I’d also love to see these in side-zip.
As of right now, these breeches only come in three colors—a limited selection compared to Tailoreds and SmartPak’s other breech styles—but I wouldn’t be surprised if they release more colors in the coming months. I chose the charcoal with tan patch color purely because I am a fan of the contrast patch trend, but they also come in navy and a show-ready tan. I’m crossing my fingers for a few more contrast patch colors in the future
For me, fit is the most important part. I found these to run slightly small and would recommend sizing up if between two (plus, SmartPak has free exchanges on sized items!). Other than that, I found them to fit similar to my front-zip Tailored Sportsman Trophy Hunters, which made me super happy. The wide waistband hits right below my belly button and they have plenty of room in the thighs and bottom as opposed to the Pipers.
So far, these are holding up wonderfully. They still look brand new and pill-free (a huge improvement from the Pipers) after a few washes and a steady three months of use. I did notice some slight shrinkage after I tossed them in the dryer, but SmartPak does recommend laying them flat to air dry instead.
At almost $120 (the full seat version rings in $10 more), these breeches are cheaper than some of the more expensive options. If you’re a SmartPerks and USEF member, they get knocked down to just a hair over $100, then add one of SmartPak’s common sales and you can get them for even less! While I am a bargain hunter and will probably wait for a sale to snag another pair, I don’t think the retail price is outrageous for a decent Trophy Hunter dupe.
Overall, I really like the SmartPak Hadley Knee Patch Breech for schooling at home and will definitely pick up another pair if, and when, they release more colors. For all my more slender readers or those looking for another opinion, check out Saddle Seeks Horse’s review on them as well!