This blog has MOVED!

Please visit for the most updated content. All these posts and more can be found over at the new URL.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ariat Chap Review

I will not do something, just because everyone else is doing it. Especially when it comes to expensive items. Sometimes this is justified – there is a cheaper or more effective alternative that can be found with a little work. All my life I’ve been used to “making do” and while I’m more comfortable now than I’ve ever been (or will be for a long time in the future, as immediate poverty looms in my near future as a graduate student) it still goes against my nature to buy something because it’s the popular thing.

So it was with the ariat terrain chaps.

My first pair of chaps were a pair of suade Velcro ones. They served me faithfully for a couple of years, even if they weren’t exactly quality – the elastic understrap broke, the stitching come apart and under the right circumstances they encourage my tights to ride up.

Then came cut-up tail wraps acting as stirrup leather covers, paired with knee high socks.

Then came the Span Am Cavalry canvas chaps with laces. These were great! They were not as easy to put on or take off and while they were light weight, cool, and great for running – I admit that they’ve never quite recovered from the rainy, muddy 100 I did last February.

Ariat Terrain chaps were too trendy and too expensive – I wasn’t interested. But then I discovered a little tack store in Corvallis OR called “The tack box”. They had a pair of the chaps, in my size, in brown. I decided on a whim to try them on. To my surprise I actually liked them.

Then I did something stupid. I decided to put them back and make a decision later.

One week before Tevis I decided that I MUST have a pair of those ariat terrain half chaps.

You guessed it – NO one in my area carries them. NO vendor at Tevis stocked them. And although I would have willing paid up to a 100 bucks to have them, they were not to be found. I kept picturing that pair of half chaps hanging in that tack store, for less than $85, in a state that doesn’t charge sales tax.

2 weeks after Tevis I flew back to Corvallis on business.

And you guessed it.

Bought myself a pair of those half chaps.

I love them. I even forget I’m wearing them. I was a little worried at first because they were a bit tight around the top, and I had trouble getting them zipped all the way to the bottom because they were a bit tall as well. However, after ~a week the leather has completely molded to my leg for a custom fit and they are so comfy I forget I have them on and regularly wear them home. When trying them on, don’t worry if they are a bit snug – they do stretch and I’m very pleased with how they have broken in and they are not restricting in the least, even though there was some “tightness” in some areas during the first couple of rides.

I was a little disappointed that the Elastic straps that snap at the bottom were such crappy quality. In the second use, one of the snap halves came out. My trainer told me that was her typical experience as well, and now she just cuts off the elastic side snap strap anyways because it tends to interfere with where the spur rests. I took her advice and I like them better that way – the zipper still stays put, but they are easier to take on and off and it does make the spur rest better without the extra bulk.

I wish I had the black option, but I wasn’t about to run the risk of not being able to find them again! And really, to find them for a reasonable price without having to pay tax or shipping was worth the sacrifice in color.

Overall, the best chap option I’ve tried. They are cool, light, don’t rub, stay in place, and keep my shoes tied. I think I could even run in them! Consider investing in a pair!

1 comment:

  1. Nice review! I also have a pair of the Terrain half chaps... I bought them with the matching paddock boots, but in typical Ariat style, the boots were destroyed in about a month. The chaps have held up pretty well, other than the snap you mentioned. They fit nicely under my knee brace!

    One of my local tack shops had them on clearance a while back. I thought they were being discontinued since they were $30/pair, but I see places like Dover still list them at full price so maybe I'll have to check again!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.