In December 1998, we evaluated half chaps in many different designs and materials. Since then we’ve seen even more variations in styles of half chaps, a product category that already offers a wide selection to fit most needs of both English and Western riders.
We were particularly impressed before with the fabric half chaps from Libertyville Saddle Shop but noticed some problems with the zipper and that the fabric held in sweat. Both have been solved in this next generation. We’ve rarely had a product bring up so much comment from observers during testing, since these are distinctive (“What are those' Fabric half chaps' Kevlar'”).
The Libertyville half chaps are woven with bulletproof Kevlar thread and are extremely tough. While you can’t wipe them or brush them like you can leather (shedding hair clings!), you can just toss them in the washer. They’re great for anyone with leg-health problems who can’t wear leather or for anyone who wants to just stuff their chaps in a pocket when not riding.
Leather/zipper half chaps tend to be pricey, so we welcome Dover’s Riding Sport Half Chaps, which are attractive, comfortable and durable while priced significantly below average cost for leather/zipper half chaps.
In leather-zipper half chaps, our bottom line from last fall remains the same: Our top choice for fit and durability is Tredsteps. Best Buy remains Tally Ho.
Kevlar Half Chaps
• Type: Fabric with side zipper
• Colors/Sizes: Dark green.
• Made In: Taiwan; distributed by Libertyville Saddle Shop.
• MSRP: $79.95
• Features: Armortex stretch fabric (DuPont Kevlar and polyamide) with mesh liner, elastic binding at top and over foot; heavy-duty sized zipper (zips down), elastic foot strap.
• Comments: Order a size down so fit is snug. Fabric is durable and has a firm feel and good grip while riding. Machine washable (gentle cycle, cold water, hang dry). Fabric is waterproof and breathable. Spurs can be worn over chap. Excellent alternative to leather chaps, comfortable, and easy to transport or store.
Riding Sport Elastic Half Chaps
• Type: Suede with pleated leather/elastic panel and side zipper.
• Colors/Sizes: Brown, black; XS, S, M, L.
• Made In: China; distributed by Dover
• MSRP: $68.70
• Features: Unlined suede front and inside calf; back suede panel pleated to elastic fabric; pleated section over top of foot; buckle at top of light coil-type zipper and snap cover at bottom (zips down); elastic foot strap.
• Comments: Taller than similar suede half-chap models; suede not as substantial as on some other half chaps but still durable; suede stretched a bit during test so buckle helped prevent sag; size runs large; attractive; reasonable price; spurs worn under chaps and low; foot panels allow fit over larger paddock boots, such as lined winter boots.
Contact Your Local Tack Shop Or:
Libertyville Saddle Shop
PO Box M
Libertyville, IL 60048
PO Box 5837
Holliston, MA 01746