“Ultimate” can mean many things. Hopefully, Levante doesn’t mean that they are the last tights they will ever make. Maybe the thickest, or perhaps they think they are their best, never to be surpassed.
These tights are supplied in an open packet. Extracting them from the pack reveals an opaque tight that feels quite light for 80 denier. If these were 30 denier or lighter we would call them sheer to waist, they are of average weight and finish from waistband to toe. The legs are unshaped, and the brief is finished with flat seams and a cotton-lined gusset.
I small curiosity in our test pair was a label sewn into the back seam. It was put in before the dyeing process so was a uniform grey with no words on it. I wonder what it would have said?
Colour is even without, and banding and the finish are beautifully soft to the touch. Immediately warm to wear. If they can wick moisture away from the skin, they will be ideal for an active day in cold weather. Maybe not “ultimate” but some of the best 80 denier tights we have tried.
Levante told UKTights that the Ultimate 80 are the Airskin Opaque under a new name. Of course, being told that an 80 denier tight is a 70 denier does raise a few questions. More questions were raised when we found that the Levante Ultimate 80 tights in size X-Tall (black) fit our tester perfectly. That same tester remembered that the Levante Airskin Opaque in size X-Tall (charcoal) had been about the biggest tights they had ever tested in terms of the size of the brief.
We decided therefore to re-examine the Levante Airskin Opaque in size X-Tall and to compare this with Levante Airskin Opaque in size Tall and another pair of Levante Ultimate 80 in size X-Tall to see if we had another case of Levante “mispackaging.”
4 Pairs examined:
- Levante Airskin Opaque in size X-Tall (charcoal) – 11cm wide rear panel (measured at the waist), waistband 53cm un-stretched. Weight 60g
- Tall (Mocha) – Identical to Levante Ultimate 80 in size X-Tall (black) in every detail, waistband 44cm un-stretched Weight 55g
- X-Tall (Black) – Identical to Levante Airskin Opaque in size Tall (Mocha) in every respect, waistband 45cm un-stretched, Weight 55g
- X-Tall (Mocha) Big in the brief but less so than Levante Airskin Opaque in size X-Tall (charcoal). 9cm wide rear panel (measured at the waist), waistband 49cm un-stretched. Weight 65g
There is no mention on any of the packets about a rear comfort panel in the brief. Airskin Opaque is described as 70 denier and credit Meryl with the microfibre manufacture. No mention is made of Meryl on the packets for the Levante Ultimate 80.
The main visual difference between the Levante Airskin Opaque and Levante Ultimate 80 is that the Airskin Opaque appears to have been shaped a little at the heel during finishing. On the leg, you cannot tell them apart.
What we did find, and it is a slight worry, is that Levante Ultimate 80 in size X-Tall (black) had a cotton gusset, but the same tights in mocha had a comfort rear panel and were much bigger in the brief, although a little smaller than the Levante Airskin Opaque in size X-Tall (charcoal). That detailing should vary according to the colour in a given design is not good.
The change in denier from 70 to 80 is a mystery as the tights look and feel the same, the scales did tell us though that the 80 denier with the comfort rear panel was slightly heavier than similarly detailed 70 denier.
If you can get your size correct both styles look and feel great, and will last and last.
We have no idea if the sizing anomalies go through the range, but if you are looking for long tights but don’t have large hips, you may want to ask your supplier to check that you are getting cotton gusset tights. Luckily thin can be done quickly without taking the tights from the packet.