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Best waterproof cycling trousers 2023

Keep your legs dry with the best waterproof cycling trousers

If you want to carry on cycling through the cold winter months, you're going to have to deal with rain, but the right legwear can help stop your rides turning into soaking-wet miseryfests. We've racked up the cold and wet winter miles to round up the best waterproof cycling trousers.

Choose waterproof trousers for total rain protection; water-resistant tights for rides where you don't mind getting a bit damp. To really keep the rain out requires waterproof fabrics and sealed seams, which is incompatible with the stretch needed for tights, but the best water-repellent stretch fabrics do a pretty good job of keeping the rain out for a while.

Whichever route you go down, look for plenty of reflective patches to increase your visibility in the winter gloom.

Trousers and jeans made from water-repellent cotton are an unexpectedly effective alternative that look normal off the bike.

The best waterproof cycling trousers, overtrousers and bib tights in 2022

Overtrousers and trousers

Best waterproof overtrousers: Endura Urban Luminite Pants — Buy Now for £58.49 from Cycle Store

Endura Urban Pants on bike.jpg

Endura's Urban Luminite Pants may be a little lacking in practical extras – for example, there are no pockets, no fly or popper/button closure, and no adjustable sizing – but they more than make up for that with simply superb waterproofing, breathability and reflectivity. As an effective pair of overtrousers for when the going gets wet, they're hard to beat.

With the lack of some details, you might be tempted to see them as overtrousers or something, and only put them on when it's raining.

Which, of course, is what they're designed for. They are 'only' overtrousers – but actually very well-thought-through ones. For example, the waist and crotch's lack of zips and poppers is the legs' gain. At the bottom of each leg, extra material is poppered up inside, ready to be let down if you need a little more length. Then there are zips that run up each calf, allowing you to get your Luminites on in a hurry without taking off your shoes.

These are fantastic overtrousers. If we deal with probably the most important aspect – weatherproofing – performance is faultless. Even in heavy rain, water stays away and I was particularly impressed by that poppered closure round the ankle, which stopped the bottom of my jeans getting damp.

Read our review of the Endura Urban Luminite Pants
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Best trousers: Vulpine Men's Cotton Rain Trousers — Buy Now for £140.00 - £150.00 from Vulpine

Vulpine Mens Cotton Rain Trousers V2 - riding

A classic that's been unavailable for a while, but is now back, Vulpine's Men's Cotton Rain Trousers are a well made, superbly thought through pair of trousers that will keep you dry on the bike and looking stylish off it.

The rain trousers are made from Epic Cotton. If you're unfamiliar with this technology it's a silicone treatment applied to the individual fibres that make up a piece of clothing. It means that the water resistance of the garment is ingrained in it rather than being applied as a final process, and therefore is less likely to wear down over time. Vulpine claim that it will last for over 200 washes.

The Cotton Rain Trousers have Vulpine's characteristic tailored fit, not skinny and not too baggy. Loose enough to pedal in comfortably, without looking like a pair of clown's trousers off the bike.

The back is cut high to avoid any winter draughts, or unsightly views for the people in your wake. Waist sizes range from 26in up to 38in, with a leg length of either 32in or 34in, although it's worth considering sizing up on leg length to keep your ankles hidden when pedalling.

Read our review of the Vulpine Men's Cotton Rain Trousers
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Best jeans: DU/ER All-Weather Denim Slim Jeans — Buy Now for $199.00 from DU/ER

DUER Stay Dry Denim Relaxed cycling jeans - riding.jpg

For cycling short distances and not having to carry a spare change of clothes, the DU/ER All-Weather Denim Slim Jeans are ideal, being comfortable on and off the bike and keeping you dry and warm in the wind and rain thanks to a waterproof membrane. They also pack some useful reflective details when you roll the cuff up.

The best thing is they look like regular jeans. No more odd looks as you billow into the office/cafe with oversized waterproof overtrousers when you've cycled in the rain. Normal jeans aren't much cop for cycling any sort of distance, but these are stretchy and provide no restriction to pedalling, nor are there any nasty seams in the saddle area to cause discomfort.

The jeans are made from a cotton fabric infused with Lycra, for added stretch, and Coolmax technology, which ramps up the breathability and helps transport sweat away. But the real magic lies in the use of a waterproof membrane.

Ride in the rain and, put simply, the jeans don't get saturated like regular jeans. Arrive at the office and they quickly dry off so you don't need to get changed. I found the waterproofing adequate for most rain I encountered, from drizzle to heavy downpours.

Read our review of the DU/ER All-Weather Denim Slim Jeans

Best budget waterproof trousers: Proviz Nightrider Men's Waterproof Trousers — Buy Now for £52.99 from Proviz Sports

Proviz NightRider trousers

We've not formally reviewed them, but our Liam swears by these overtrousers for wet-weather commuting. As well as being waterproof and breathable, they feature reflective trim and logos for visibility, a cycling-specific cut and ankle zips.

They're also length-adjustable, with poppers at the ankle providing a range of cuff positions so you can get the fit spot on.

See all trouser reviews here.

Showers Pass Transit Pants — Buy Now for £99.00 from Showers Pass

Showers Pass Transit Pant - riding

Waterproof overtrousers may not be the sexiest garment ever but there is no doubting the job the Showers Pass Transit Pants do. Made from a waterproof and breathable Artex hardshell 3L ripstop fabric, they do a great job of keeping the water out.

They achieve this by having the seams taped which allows them to be wind and waterproof. To keep the trousers away from the chain and cranks you have some velcro cinch straps that allow you to keep the material tight on your leg rather than flapping around. They have a long zip on the ankle to ease taking them on and off over shoes or boots.

There is no doubting they're very good at keeping the water out but it would have to be a seriously wet day in the first place to warrant their use. They get a lot of those in Showers Pass' Portland Oregon home though: over 125mm of rain a month from November to January on average. You might get less use from them in London (average 70mm in December, the capital's rainiest month) but you'll appreciate the weather protection; they are great for commuting but may prove too bulky for much more.

To go with the commuting theme there is a full leg length reflective trim to aid visibility in low light. If you want to transport them they have a mesh stuff sack for easy packing. To sum up, if you wanted to wear your every day clothes but still travel by bike in wet conditions then the Transit Pants would be a decent choice.

Read our review of the Showers Pass Transit Pants
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Madison DTE Women's Waterproof Trousers — Buy Now for £102.93 (limited sizes) from Cycle Superstore

Madison DTE Women's Waterproof Trousers

The Madison DTE Waterproof Trousers are made for riding in the most terrible conditions, the sort of weather where one glance out of the window is enough to make you put your slippers back on and reach for the kettle. Don these trousers though and you’ll soon find, actually it’s not that bad to be out splashing down the road, gravel or trails, in fact it’s pretty fun!

Constructed from a 2.5 layer fabric with 3 layers on the rear panel, knees and ankles for more protection, which along with taped seams make the DTE’s fully waterproof. They are pretty breathable too, outings in these have been in both conditions of ‘raining cats and dogs’ and ‘dry skies but swamp like’. For the former the trousers have kept me dry while the rain batters down and for the latter they have defended us from the wet and crud whilst preventing us from overheating, thanks in no small part to the two zippered leg vents. Which do, in case you were wondering have waterproof zips for when they are closed.

There's a similarly excellent men's version too for £107.99 from Leisure Lakes.

Read our review of the Madison DTE Women's Waterproof Trousers

Endura Hummvee Zip-off Cycling Trousers II — Buy Now for £59.99 from Cycle Store

Endura Humvee zip off

You can tweak the popular Endura Hummvee Zip-off Cycling Trousers for a range of types of riding, from commuting to hitting the trails and dirt roads. They're compatible with Endura's Clickfast system so you can add liner shorts for longer rides too.

A DWR coating fends off the wet, and a seamless seat panel keeps you comfy. There are zipped hand pockets, cargo pockets and large rear map pockets, an elasticated waistband with adjustable belt and ankle length zips with Velcro ankle cinches to step them flapping into your chain

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Water-resistant tights

If you swerve wet weather, take a look at our guide to warm winter tights.

Best overall tights: Castelli Sorpasso RoS Wind Bib Tights — Buy Now for £119.00 from Sigma Sports

2021 Castelli Sorpasso RoS Wind Bibtights.jpg

Castelli's Sorpasso RoS Wind bib tights provide windproof protection for your working muscles, they're water repellent, and they come with an excellent seat pad. For keeping comfortable on cold and filthy winter rides, they're hard to beat.

One of the key factors of these tights is the Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper X-Fast fabric which covers your quads, knees, and what Castelli euphemistically calls 'your most sensitive parts'. Infinium Windstopper X-Fast is a softshell fabric that's water resistant – highly water resistant, in my experience – with a deep fleece inner face, so you get plenty of insulation here.

The Sorpasso RoS Wind bib tights put in an exceptional performance. The Windstopper panels really work to keep you comfortable in cold conditions and don't inhibit movement, and the Nano Flex treatment helps keep you dry on wet roads. Add in an excellent seat pad and you have a remarkably good pair of winter tights.

Read our review of the Castelli Sorpasso RoS Wind Bib Tights
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Best women's tights: Rapha Women's Shadow Tights — Buy Now for £270.00 (XS & S only) from Rapha

Rapha Women's Souplesse Shadow Tights - riding.jpg

With the Women's Shadow Tights, Rapha has combined its finest technologies to create "unparalleled" weather defence and performance – and added a price tag to match. Leaving no stone unturned from cosiness to safety, it has created a reliable and stylish pair of bib tights to keep you on the road, even when the mercury plummets.

The Shadow tech was developed for the Spring Classics. From Team Sky to Canyon//SRAM, Rapha's material has been ridden to World Tour level. The Shadow fabric is a blend of nylon and elastane finished with a hydrophobic DWR (durable water repellent) treatment made for staying dry whatever winter throws at you. The technology, Rapha claims, is 'an unbeatable force in weather protection'.

'Unbeatable force' is a strong statement, but hours from home with torrential rain setting in, I agreed. Water collects into satisfying little beads which brush away to reveal barely-wet fabric. Out on chilly, wet training rides I was able to stay dry, with no rain sinking through the fabric.

Read our review of the Rapha Women's Souplesse Shadow Tights

Best value tights: Pearl Izumi Pursuit Hybrid Cycling Bib Tights — Buy Now for £69.99 from Cycle Store

Pearl Izumi Pursuit Hybrid Cycling Bib Tight - riding.jpg

The latest version of Pearl Izumi's Pursuit Hybrid winter bib tights have had some subtle alterations, and with Mike raving about the previous versions, we were pleasantly surprised to find that, if anything, they've got even better. The added PI Dry technology on the back of the legs prevents you getting soaked from spray, they're super-stretchy and flexible so you can use them on hard training sessions too, and the padding is really comfortable – they're firmly among our very favourite bib tights.

Read our review of the Pearl Izumi Pursuit Hybrid Cycling Bib Tights
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Best One-piece: Castelli Sanremo RoS Thermosuit — Buy Now for £340.00 from Castilli Cycling

Castelli Sanremo Thermosuit 2

Special mention must go to the Thermosuit from Castelli. The Thermosuit is essentially a pair of tights and a long sleeve jersey stitched together at the waist around the back, with a full-length zip on the front. There's Gore Windstopper Infinium 205 Plus fabric on the chest panels, while a lighter weight Thermoflex Windstopper 203 fabric is used around the back and Nano Flex 3G for the tights with Nano Flex Xtra Dry on the upper front and thigh.

Read our review of the Castelli Thermosuit

Albion Three Season Tights — Buy Now for £150.00 from Albion Cycling

Albion Three Season Tights

The Albion Three Season Tights offer everything you could possibly want from a pair of bib tights to fend off the worst of the UK's winter weather. The pad is very comfortable, the fleecy fabric is warm and cosseting, and a combination of windproof knee panels and durable water-repellent treatment keeps your legs well protected. They are also priced quite competitively against similar premium tights.

The brilliant Elastic Interface pad keeps you comfortable for longer rides. The padding is pretty minimal, so you don't really feel it there, but the comfort is next level, and it doesn't get in the way when you're moving around on the saddle. The fabric is similarly minimal in feel; it almost feels like you're naked, such is the lack of bulk to the material. The material stretches in all the right places, at one with your every movement. It's so comfortable, and like the pad, you hardly notice you're wearing it.

These tights are very comfortable, the pad will keep your backside happy for many miles, and they look great. They also fend off cold and wet weather, and work across a wide range of temperatures – you don't have to worry too much about what to wear on your legs, just stick these on and you're pretty much good to go from almost zero degrees up to the late teens.

Read our review of the Albion Three Season Tights

Nopinz Endurance Bib Tights Woman’s — Buy Now for £114.99 from Nopinz

Nopinz Endurance Bib Tights

The Nopinz Endurance Bib Tights Woman's are a great-fitting option for winter endurance riding with a very well-specced chamois for the price. A hydrophobic coating protects against road spray, and the soft, fleecy lining will keep you snugly warm.

Tester Anna Marie writes: "The tights use a Roubaix-lined fabric that's wonderfully soft and fleecy inside and feels great right up against the skin. The fabric also has a generous amount of stretch and it's fairly low bulk too. In and out of the saddle, I found I was able to move freely and comfortably, and the fabric hasn't bunched up or caused any hotspots in my experience.

"Teosport provides the Armadillo endurance pad which is a very well-specced option for the £115 price tag of the bib tights. It provides excellent support, with no pressure points or chafing on long base mile rides in my experience.

"Overall, the performance of these bib tights really impresses for the price point. Nopinz has delivered a comfy, low-bulk option with a pad that'll cover you on long winter base miles."

Read our review of the Nopinz Endurance Bib Tights Woman’s

Pactimo Men’s Storm+ Thermal Bib Tights — Buy Now for £152.00 from Pactimo

2021 Pactimo Men's Storm Thermal Bib Tight.jpg

Pactimo's Men's Storm+ Thermal Bib Tights make riding in cold, wet weather less grim than it can be, with a water-repellent finish on the bottoms and a more waterproof fabric for the saddle area to keep road spray at bay. The chamois is superbly comfortable even on long rides, too.

Tester Iwein writes: “I like these a lot. They’re supremely comfortable, and have the added bonus of a water-repellent finish, making them more suitable for days out that feature 'weather'.

“They've been a trusty companion in the interesting weather we've been having recently. On dry, windy days they've been my go-to when the temperature is around 5°C and lower. In wet weather, they've come out as soon as the temperature goes below double digits.”

“The Storm+ Thermal Bib Tights are great on rides that feature lots of weather. The water-repellent finish works well enough to keep drizzle at bay, and the waterproof seat area is particularly good for wet, mudguardless rides. The chamois, fit and stretch combination results in superbly comfortable bib tights – they get the thumbs-up from me.”

Read our review of the Pactimo Men’s Storm+ Thermal Bib Tights

Specialized Men’s RBX Comp Thermal Bib Tights — Buy Now for £100.00 from Tredz

2021 Specialized Men's RBX Comp Thermal Bib Tights.jpg

The Specialized Men's RBX Comp Thermal Bib Tights offer great comfort thanks mostly to the Body Geometry pad, but also the softness and warmth of the fleece fabric used for the main sections. I'd like them to be a little more visible in the dark, though.

Tester Stu writes: "These RBX Comp tights are made from a fleece-backed Lombardia fabric which feels great against the skin. I was comfortable in them from about 13°C down towards just below freezing, all depending on how hard I'm working. On rides into a chilly northerly wind, I found them to block the chill effectively and you also get the bonus of some water resistance. This is enough to stop light rain or drizzle getting through for half an hour to an hour depending on how heavy it is. It's certainly better than nothing.

"Overall, the RBX Comp Thermals offer a great fit and a very comfortable pad, plus their durability means they are well worth what could be seen as a fairly modest investment."

Read our review of the Specialized Men’s RBX Comp Thermal Bib Tights
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Orro Pyro Line Aquazero Bib Tights — Buy Now for £99.99 from Orro

2021 Orro Pyro Line Bibtights.jpg

Tester Stu writes: "The Orro Pyro Line Aquazero Bibtights have seen me through the last few weeks of winter in all sorts of conditions. These are good – really good – offering protection, warmth and great levels of comfort whether on the road or away from it.

"The fabric used is called Blizzard; it's fleece backed and I found it to be very warm. Some of the rides saw temperatures below freezing with a harsh windchill, probably around the -5°C mark, and it still managed to keep the muscles warm.

"If it's raining you also get a decent level of protection from the water repellency treatment. I've been riding in the rain a fair bit and they've been through the washing machine quite a few times, and the water is still beading off."

Read our review of the Orro Pyro Line Aquazero Bibtights
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Rapha Women’s Pro Team Winter Tights — Buy Now for £210.00 from Rapha

2021 Rapha Women’s Pro Team Winter Tights - front.jpg

The Rapha Women's Pro Team Winter Tights provide good levels of warmth and weather protection, together with a comfortable chamois pad. The bib strap and buckle design for easy loo stops is straightforward and effective too. Fantastic quality, but pricey with it.

Designed for the worst of winter, these full length bib tights have plenty of features that show great attention to detail for the needs of women riding in cold conditions. As well as being made with a tough but lightweight three-layer fabric, including windproof and water-repellent panels at the front and Thermoroubaix fabric at the back, the broad stretch straps are designed to sit around the outside of the bust, and a heavy duty magnetic clasp at the back allows for pee stops without having to strip off.

The levels of warmth were perfect on days hovering around zero, and they saw off freezing winds. The water repellency is enough to deal with road water and reasonably heavy rain, and my legs have stayed warm and dry throughout testing, with no sweatiness or discomfort even when working hard. These are aimed at demanding riders and it shows. No matter what I threw at them, they delivered on comfort and just the right amount of protection for UK winters.

Read our review of the Rapha Women’s Pro Team Winter Tights

7Mesh TK1 Bib Tights — Buy Now for £150.00 from 7Mesh

7 Mesh TK1 Bibtights - riding.jpg

The 7Mesh TK1 bib tights are very warm, technically loaded and can carry as much kit as a three-pocket jersey. As always, the pad fit may not be to everyone's liking, but if it does suit you these are excellent winter tights for on- or off-road riding.

Canadian firm 7Mesh's "warmest, most protective thermal legwear" has a pretty good pedigree to draw upon. Earlier this year Pat raved about the warmer-weather Mk3 Bib Shorts, praising their 'unique design' and 'incredible levels of comfort'. A key factor here was the 'hammock' design whereby the chamois can move independently from the outer skin of the shorts. Pat found this prevented the need to do the 'cyclist shuffle', whereby the pad needs rearranging, either on or off the bike, to afford comfort.

I can vouch for the comfort of the design, but it may not be for everyone, all the time. Over a few months' riding I did encounter one occasion where the pad seemed to bunch on one side, leading to a small amount of chafing. As this only happened the once, and otherwise I was a happy chap, I'll put this down to perhaps more need to pay attention to – ahem – strategic alignment at the start of a ride, shall we say.

Read our review of the 7Mesh TK1 Bib Tights

Santini Vega Bib Tights — Buy Now for £105.49 from BikeInn

Santini Acquazero bib-tights Vega design - riding.jpg

As water-resistant foul-weather bib tights, Santini's Vega 2.0s are right on the money. They're reassuringly water resistant without losing a smooth fit against the skin. They're not quite warm enough for super-cold temperatures, but they're not as expensive as you might expect either.

Santini says that you can use the bib tights in temperatures ranging from 5-18°C. Now, I don't know about you, but 18°C is summer shorts weather for me on a bike, but the breathability in colder weather leads me to think that you could conceivably wear them to something approaching that upper temperature if you really did feel the cold.

The downside is that these aren't really bib tights for deep winter – when you're looking at frosts that hang around all day, for example. They're just not windblocking enough for that (although the fleece lining is very comfortable), and that positions them as tights that you'd be likely to use as your first pair through autumn, and your last pair through spring, with a 'hardier' pair for the really grim, freezing stuff in the middle.

Read our review of the Santini Vega 2 Aquazero Bib Tights
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Endura Pro SL Bib Tights II — Buy Now for £120.00 from Sigma Sports

Endura Pro SL Biblong - riding.jpg

Endura's Pro SL Bib Tights are excellent: they're windproof, fit superbly, and the pad comes in three widths, offering a little customisation.

At the core of the longs is the four-way stretch windproof, breathable fabric with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish front and seat panels. This panelling of fabrics gives the longs a very comfortable fit. On the bike, they fitted me perfectly with no bunching of material at the back of the knee.

The windproofing is very effective and kept me nice and toasty down below zero. The density of the fabric is brilliant and results in no cold spots where the material is stretched. With others, my knees can get quite stiff in the cold; no such problems here.

Read our review of the Endura Pro SL Bib Tights
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Castelli Nanoflex Pro 2 bib tights — Buy Now for £220.00 from Sigma Sports

Castelli Nanoflex Pro Bibtight On Bike

The Castelli Nanoflex Pro Bibtights are a warm (but not windproof) and water resistant choice for the cold weather, offering great breathability and freedom of movement.

You might well have heard of Nanoflex before because Castelli uses it extensively across its range. It's the brand's fleecy, stretchy Thermoflex fabric, a warm polyamide/elastane mix that's given a coating of silicone 'nanofilaments'. This makes water roll off the surface rather than soaking in. It doesn't make the fabric waterproof – heavy rain will get through – but you'll stay dry in drizzle, and road spray won't soak in.

Read our review of the Castelli Nanoflex Pro bib tights
Find a Castelli dealer

See all tights reviews

Things to know about water-resistant legwear

Leg muscles don’t work as well when they’re cold, and there are few better ways of making them cold than running water over them. Tights, trousers and overtrousers that fend off the wet are therefore a winter essential for many riders.

You have three main choices. Performance-orientated riders tend to go for tights, which take the basic idea of cycling shorts — they're close-fitting garments that move with you — and extend it down to your ankles; waterproof overtrousers fend off the rain so you arrive at the office with dry trousers; and cycling trousers look like regular trousers, but are shaped and detailed so they're comfortable for riding.

A note on water-resistance. It's just about impossible for a fabric to be totally water-resistant and remotely pleasant to cycle in, so there's always a degree of compromise here. We've found the garments in this guide fend off water well enough that we'll happily use them in the rain.

Waterproof cycling trousers and over-trousers

If you’re commuting or even touring or mountain biking, then waterproof cycling trousers might be a better option than tights. Their looser fit makes them useful for commuting and urban cycling, they can be more comfortable and they can be worn over casual clothing.

There are two types: overtrousers that are waterproof and roomy enough to be worn over normal clothing; or tailored cycling trousers that look like regular trousers, but with cycling-specific features like a gusset free crutch and stretchy fabric.

Showers Pass Rogue Pant - belt loop


Overtrousers are handy if you want to pull something over your normal clothing for riding to the office. They can be waterproof and windproof so will keep you nice and dry. Velcro or zip adjustments at the waist and ankle will tailor in some of the fabric so they don’t flap about or risk getting caught in the chain. The level of bagginess can vary from brand to brand, so it’s always worth checking before you buy. Look for lots of reflectivity if you’re commuting.

A smarter option — sartorially — is cycling trousers, designed to look like regular trousers and more fitted than overtrousers. These are ideal if you don’t like the idea of skintight Lycra tights or baggy overtrousers, and for shorter commutes or dashing across the city, they’re a stylish choice. And, providing you stay dry, you can wear them all day in the office too.

Some are made from technical fabrics, like a soft shell or Epic Cotton, so they’re not only comfortable and warm, but also weatherproof.

Showers Pass Rogue Pant - ankle

You get normal pockets, an adjustable waist band and some have adjustable ankles that can be rolled up for that fixed chic look. The part of the trouser you sit on will be made from a hard-wearing fabric and the seams will be placed so that they don’t cause any discomfort. They won’t have any padding, but you can supply your own padded shorts if you want some extra comfort or are planning a longer ride. You’ll get a few reflective details on some trousers too, for increased about-town visibility.

One thing to check is the leg length. Cycle clothing is usually made in fairly short production runs by the standards of normal high street fashion or utility wear. That means there is often only one choice of leg length. Not a problem for those of reasonably average height, or leg length, but potentially a problem for anyone at either end of the spectrum.

Those with shorter legs in particular can find that overtrousers bunch at the ankles so that even when cynched in they can bulge out enough to snag in chainrings.

One other thing to bear in mind with any waterproof trousers is that while they may keep your legs dry all that water has to go somewhere and a large proportion of it is going to be heading for your shoes. So if you want to stay dry either combine with waterproof socks or with waterproof overshoes. Make sure that you put the trousers over the top of the over-shoes otherwise the water simply runs in to the tops of your overshoes and from there makes its way in to your shoes.

Water-resistant cycling tights

Tights are essentially long versions of regular shorts, and are often made from similar Lycra fabrics, though they're usually thicker for warmth. You have a choice of bib tights, with straps looping over the shoulders, or bibs with a waist band. Which you wear is down to personal preference, but bib tights are generally considered more comfortable as you don’t have a waist band to dig in, which can be annoying on longer rides.


Rapha Women's Souplesse Shadow Tights - straps front.jpg

Some tights have a water resistant or waterproof fabric, such as Castelli’s Nanoflex. These are good if you’re brave enough to venture out in the rain as they can stop the rain seeping through to your skin which will, given time, sap away at your warmth. Likewise, some manufacturers add windproof panels in key places to keep the wind chill out.

The tights we've listed here all have a high degree of water-resistance. It's almost impossible to make truly waterproof tights, but these will help keep you dry better than your typical fleecey winter tights.

We discussed the features of winter tights in more depth in our guide to warm winter cycling tights

About Buyer's Guides

The aim of buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.

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As far as possible that means recommending equipment that we have actually reviewed, but we also include products that are popular, highly-regarded benchmarks in their categories.

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Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

Add new comment


wycombewheeler | 4053 posts | 2 years ago
1 like

Would be useful to see the trousers photographed with boots.
The reason for trousers instead of tights is to direct the water outside of boots and so keep feet dry.
Doesn't matter how good tights and boots are of the tights are inside the boots, then water will run down legs and feet will get wet.
Pictures of trousers with boots would give confidence the cuffs are large enough.

Chris Hayes | 1216 posts | 2 years ago

No Assos Sturmnuss?  These are one of the best purchases I've made in 30-odd years of cycling .... Rapha neoprene booties for the cold - Assos rain overshoes for the wet... 

Xenophon2 | 428 posts | 3 years ago
1 like

When it starts dipping below freezing, for my legs I wear my regular long cycling tights but with Assos SturmNuss trousers over them.  As long as you cut out the windchill factor you're fine.  When it gets REALLY cold (around here that means -7 to -12 centigrade at night) I wear a thermal underlayer below all that. For my torso that means thermal undershirt, then a Santini vega xtreme jacket, nothing more.  Coldest I've ever experienced in that outfit was -13 centigrade during a very early morning 14-mile commute and I was fine, the hardest bits to keep warm (or at least protect from freezing)  are face/eyes and feet, I looked like something out of a movie with frost and icicles hanging from my face mask.   I've yet to find cycling shoes/booties that live up to their tall claims.  

Boatsie | 550 posts | 3 years ago

Cheers SS. Topography here has temperature lows at zero ℃. Although baggy, tucking cheap rain suit pants into socks works at that temperature. Change socks after ride. Feet tend to steam them while riding.
Keeping wind off the big bit. Altura Night Vision reads like I might upgrade later. Cheers

Secret_squirrel | 3194 posts | 3 years ago

Flip me was there any attempt to review things that weren't a kings ransom?

I use Altura night vision kinetics at 24 quid a pair. Can't recommend them whole heartedly as the crotch sags a tiny bit and they aren't advertised as waterproof but they have kept me warm and dry from spray and drizzle on many a winter commute. They are tight as well so go 2 sizes up from your usual - which in fairness may be the cause of my saggy crotch in mine. They have never chafed in spite of the sag,

Plus the missus's tells me they light up like a Christmas tree when car headlights hit them.

mtnbikerva1 | 8 posts | 4 years ago

Are any bib tights windproof from the ankle up to the waist or belly/gut/abdomen?

BehindTheBikesheds | 3285 posts | 4 years ago

8 years on and my Nalini Team winter bib longs are still going strong, brilliant in really cold temps and the seat pad is excellent. Being bright red however I look a bit like a certain Italian plumber when I done my blue long sleeve jersey yes

BTW the Showers Pass trousers are no longer produced so you should remove them as the only ones on their site are rain over trousers that aren't something you could wear in the office/not riding. 

CharlesMagne | 90 posts | 4 years ago

Massive shout out to Bioracer's Spitfire Winter Protect bibtights, sold in the UK by Stolen Goat as the Aarkan. Their built in membrane is properly waterproof and windproof and doesn't deteriorate in the wash, yet they are really breathable. They're all I wear in the low season, I wore my four year old pair today and they're still great. They're good from -7 to 15 degrees, rain or shine.

Clyde_S_Dale | 2 posts | 5 years ago

All I can say is, if you buy windproof tights, make sure they are windproof EVERYWHERE and I do mean EVERYWHERE.

Don't find out the hard way just exactly where you can get windburn if it's cold and windy enough.


Simon_MacMichael replied to Clyde_S_Dale | 2733 posts | 1 year ago
1 like

Clyde_S_Dale wrote:

All I can say is, if you buy windproof tights, make sure they are windproof EVERYWHERE and I do mean EVERYWHERE.

Don't find out the hard way just exactly where you can get windburn if it's cold and windy enough.


Ah yeah, shades of Remi Lindholm at the Winter Olympics ...

Yemble | 61 posts | 5 years ago

Two comments:

1. Ankle zips on tights suck. Annoying to do and undo, uncomfortable, and completely unnecessary. Will never again buy a pair with zips.

2. For overtrousers, the Altura Night Vision are excellent - and have adjustable leg length. Thermal tights with these over the top are good down to at least -10C with snow or rain.

Freddy56 | 731 posts | 5 years ago

Can I mention my Lusso tights if it looks like rain are magic and my Galibier Mistral bibs if the temp is freezing.

Luv2ride | 137 posts | 5 years ago
1 like

Personal recomendations from me for the Sportful R&D bibtights and the Castelli mk2 Thermosuit.  Both brilliant bits of kit and both snaffled for bargain basement prices after some judicious sale hunting....keep those eyes peeled people!

Biggus-Dickkus | 66 posts | 5 years ago
1 like

What no Assos. The best and most comforatble tights on the market!!!

How could anyone write an informative articule on this and not mention Assos?

BarryBianchi | 406 posts | 5 years ago

I have some Gore Windstopper Sort Shell pants. They are in no way, shape or form, waterproof, and never were for more than the first 10 mins of the first ride.  Clue's in the name - Windstopper, not Rainstopper.

StraelGuy | 1723 posts | 5 years ago
1 like

No Castelli Velocissimo? I treated myself to a pair and wore them when we had a cool, wet spell recently. They were a revelation! The fit is superb with the comfiest pad I've ever tried and, while probably not a sub-freezing option, were absolutely toasty and luxurious yes .

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