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These Uniqlo leggings are UV protective and less than $30

They feel comfortable, secure and light as air.
Two images of Writer Jillian Ortiz wearing black Uniqlo Airism UV Protection Soft Leggings
TODAY Illustration / Jillian Ortiz

While working from home, I have happily been spending my days in leggings, sweatpants and practically every other bottom in my closet that has some kind of stretch to it. I honestly can’t remember the last time I put on a pair of “solid pants,” and I plan on keeping it that way — even through to the end of summer.

So, instead of ditching my long pants for shorts, I started my hunt for comfortable leggings that I could wear throughout the next month or two while the temperature is still on the warmer side. Luckily, my search was not as extensive as I was expecting it to be, as a friend recommended I try these Uniqlo AIRism Leggings that are made with a "cool to the touch" fabric.

I haven't tried much from Uniqlo, but I couldn't pass up the idea of cooling leggings. The price was right at just under $30, and the rave reviews convinced me to take a chance.

Uniqlo AIRism UV Protection Soft Leggings

They truly do feel like “air”

Along with the height of the waistband, the other important quality I look for in a pair of leggings is how the fabric feels. Once I put these leggings on, I never wanted to take them off. The fabric on the outside feels like soft suede, but on the inside, it feels like air — which is exactly how they are supposed to feel. Plus, I could immediately feel the cooling effect at work.

The leggings are crafted with AIRism technology, which makes them moisture-wicking, stretchy, cool to the touch and breathable. I can usually only last a few hours in the pairs of leggings that are already in my closet, but I can wear these all day without breaking a sweat.

The day they arrived in the mail, I wore them straight to the grocery store to see how well they would hold up — and I was not disappointed. Even after pacing around the store and hauling groceries across the parking lot, I couldn’t believe how comfortable I still felt in 70-degree weather. I kept them on when I returned home and loved how great they were for lounging, too.

Jillian Ortiz / TODAY

They’re available in a range of colors and sizes

Though I personally prefer a solid black pair of leggings since I can pair them with essentially any item in my closet, the Uniqlo leggings also come in eight different shades, ranging from neutrals to brighter colors (and I’ll likely be purchasing another pair soon). Even though I feel perfectly cool in the black style, opting for a lighter hue might work even better for an end-of-summer style.

Besides the comfortable feel, the best part might be the figure-flattering high-waist fit. The waistband provides enough coverage for me to feel confident all day long. It also stays put for most of the day, meaning I don’t have to worry about pulling up my leggings whenever I move around too much.

While the size rating on the website indicates they fit a bit snug, I found that these leggings run true to size. If you're still concerned about how they might fit, Uniqlo conveniently offers a size assistant that can help you find the size that is best for you, depending on your preferences.

They offer UV protection

Applying sunscreen on my legs always seems to slip my mind, especially on days when I am just relaxing in the backyard. After finding out that UV rays are strong enough to penetrate regular pieces of clothing, I was even more thankful that these leggings were equipped with UPF 40 for extra sun protection.

Since UPF fabrics tend to be more tight-knit than regular items of clothing, I also feel comfortable knowing that these pants aren't see-through. Plus, the length hits right at the ankle, so I don't have to worry about awkward tan lines.

Jillian Ortiz / TODAY

Between the soft fabric, high-waist fit and cooling feeling, I can't believe I found such a versatile pair of leggings without breaking the bank. I'm certainly no stranger to summer sweat and would typically prefer to throw on a pair of denim shorts during the warmer months. Now, however, don't be surprised if you find me enjoying the rest of summer while living in these leggings.

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This article was originally published on June 25, 2020.