I had been using the CW-X Compression full-length tights since 2005. And when I finally had a chance to go on a trip to USA last November, I decided to "replenish" my CW-X attire since ditching my last pair due to a big tear at the back of thigh area after the 2010 Canadian Death Race. Although I also had a 2XU full length tights, it didn't have the unique CW-X Conditioning Wear feature where the patella (kneecap) should fit just above the x-shape Conditioning Web internal lining. Going to the CW-X Conditioning Wear website, I saw some new products and made use of the comparison chart to check out the different tights:
Using the above chart, I zoomed into the 3 pairs which provide lower back support since I always felt lower back tightness midway into the run and at the end of my workout / races: the Stabilyx™ Tights, the Pro Tights, and the Revolution Tights. (Note: if you only have knee problems for example, then you should look at Ventilator, Stabilyx and Expert tights). I zoomed into the specifications of the 3 tights. Stabilyx™ Tights was impressive. The website claimed that the Stabilyx™ Tights "provide optimum target support to the core and knees, ideal for runners, for those engaging in activities with lateral motion, and for athletes seeking best form of knee support". The website stated that the Revolution Tights "are the ultimate in performance support wear, engineered to be 14% lighter than regular performance tights, and features the new EXO-Lite Seamless Support Web". As for the Pro Tights, it "unites the major joints of the leg to offer optimum muscular support for activities with linear movement such as running and Nordic skiing, with the patented CW-X Support Web™ bringing the hips, knees and ankles into proper alignment, reducing impact and load to the knees". These tights are exactly what I needed for my races!
I checked out the prices from the online stores: Stabilyx™ Tights and Pro Tights cost the same at US$79.99 while the latest Revolution Tights cost a cool US$194.95. I used the website's size guide (also available on the online stores) to confirm my sizes and proceed with my online purchase. Most of the online stores also provide comments and reviews of the products from customers. (Note: Not all comments are positive so you have to weigh the comments, vs your past experience with the product and what you are willing to spend). Shipping was free to anywhere in USA (less Alaska and Hawaii). And when I arrived in St Louis, I got my tights in a UPS package.
I took out all 3 tights and measured the length against my height from the hip down. The tights seemed shorter than my height. I was a little concern and put on one of the pair to try out. It was not easy to put on the tights, as with my discarded CW-X tights and 2XU tights. The most important thing is that you need to pull the tights through to your ankle first. Then slowly pull them through the calves section, little by little, and through the knees, the thighs and lower back. Eventually, it should sit nicely and not too tight. I was pleased. And decided that I should use the Revolution Tights for the Ozark Trail Endurance Run (temperature was a cool 10°C thereabout) and the Stabilyx™ Tights for the Bataan Death March (temperature was a "cool" 28°C thereabout)! Talk about not trying new stuff on race day! :p
The Revolution Tights is made of 50% Coolmax Nylon and 50% Polyurethane 4-way stretch body fabric, which pulls moisture away from the body to the outside of the tights and provides a UV protection rating of UPF 50+, while the Stabilyx™ Tights is made up of 80% Coolmax and 20% Lycra 4-way stretch body fabric, which also pulls moisture away from the body to the outside of the tights but provides a UV protection rating of only UPF 40+. Both textures felt the same "thinness" when I felt them using my bare fingers. I couldn't tell if one of them was thicker (and could perhaps provide more warmth??) than the other. However, after wearing both in 2 different events (despite the big differences in temperatures), I felt the Stabilyx™ Tights probably provide slightly more warmth (perhaps due to the Polyurethane material used??). Despite that, I felt cool throughout my run in the Bataan Death March wearing the Stabilyx™ tights. The Stabilyx™ tights also felt more snugged as compared to the Revolution tights but I had little problem in removing it when I need to attend to urgent needs. Both tights stayed in their position throughout my run, nor did it constrict my running movement. Hence I had no abrasions issues.
Verdict: Judging from the price, Stabilyx™ Tights (US$79.99) is definitely a much value-for-money full length tights as compared to the Revolution Tights (US$194.95). Both tights provide very good support for hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, and IT bands. However, if you have more problems with your Knees than your Calves / Achilles, then it makes more sense for one to invest in a pair of Stabilyx™ Tights (excellent support for lower back, knee, ab/core) than the Revolution Tights (excellent support for lower back, calves/achilles, and ab/core). :) Note: Mar 2012 issue of Runner's World (US edition) lists the CW-X Stabilyx™ Tights as one of 7 top choices of the 50 testers.