The Altura Nightvision DWR Waist Tights are a decent choice if you want protection from the elements without the bother of full bib tights. They are warm, come with a decent pad, plenty of reflectives and even a water-repellent coating. Just be aware that they come up a little small around the waist.
The main reason I wear bib tights or bib shorts is that I like them to stay put whether I am in or out of the saddle. Some pairs of waist shorts I've had in the past didn't have that secure a waist; the Alturas are better in that respect, but they do come up a little snug.
Using Altura's size guide, my waist measurement sits between small and the medium, and my height is bang on the medium, which is what I'm testing here. (It's not me in the photos.)
To keep the waist snug, the elastic is quite taut, which makes the tights a bit of a struggle to get up over the tops of your legs and backside. Once on they didn't feel too bad, but for a little bit of extra comfort I'd probably go up to the large size. It's an extra 2in in width, but the overall height barely changes.
For length I can't fault them. The silicone ankle grippers keep the legs in place, and with no excess fabric to speak of there was no bunching behind the knees. I have quite large thighs, and there were no issues with the tights fitting there either.
The material Altura uses is relatively lightweight but has a fleece backing, to trap body heat and keep you warm. I'd say the tights are good for temperatures from around 7-12°C, and should it be raining they also have a DWR (durable water repellent) coating which sees rain, from moderate showers to prolonged drizzle, bead off the surface. It doesn't keep you dry forever, but for changeable conditions it is ideal.
As they're part of Altura's Nightvision range, you get plenty of reflectives, which on this option are blue during daylight hours but appear silver come darkness and light is applied.
You get a good covering on each thigh at the front, and both calves at the rear.
Pad-wise, Altura's Comp 3D chamois is pretty good. It's quite firm, without a huge amount of padding, but I got on fine with it, even on long rides. The stitching around the outside feels soft and I certainly didn't suffer any irritation from it.
Priced at £64.99 the Nightvisions are a tenner cheaper than the 7Mesh Seymour Tights, which Mike reckoned were very good. Those don't have a pad and are designed to be put on over your bib shorts for extra protection, so a little different to the Alturas, but they do also come with a DWR coating.
The Alturas are the same money as the dhb Classic Thermal tights, the non-bib version of these that I found to be very good.
Overall, the Alturas are comfortable and come with a decent pad. The only issue I found was a slightly tight waist – you might need to go up a size for a better fit.
Decent all-round package for winter riding if you don't want bibs, but check the sizing
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Nightvision Waist Tight
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Altura says, "The Altura Nightvision Waist Tight uses soft-touch fabrics to deliver body insulation and warmth, close fitting with an elasticated waist and features Altura's comp 3D pad for added comfort. DWR treatment on the fabric repels water off the material to keep you dry. Designed with a reflective design so you can be safe and seen in low light conditions."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Reflective upper thigh detailing
Soft touch fabrics
Altura Comp 3D chamois
Silicone elasticated hem
Other than the waist size, the cut and fit of the tights works well on the bike.
Sizing comes up small around the waist.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I followed the washing instructions and everything was fine.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Ideal warmth for use in the majority of winter conditions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Reflectives are very effective.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Waist comes up small.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're the same price as dhb's Classic Thermal tights, and £10 less than the 7Mesh Seymour Tights.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, I generally prefer bib tights.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Overall the Nightvisions are a good pair of tights. They are warm enough, comfortable and once on don't move at all. The sizing around the waist is the only real issue.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!