Albion's Winter Tights are designed for cold and wet British winter days, with multiple fabrics and a rear pocket for extra storage. They aren't the warmest – if you want a pair for deep mid-winter you might want to consult our best winter bib tights guide – but in the right temperatures they are some of the most comfortable.
A quality pair of tights is one of the most important items of clothing if you brave the cold and wet months of winter on your bike. Because they are usually worn next to the skin and are the only layer exposed to the elements, they must be resistant to a wide range of conditions.
These Albion tights are made from three different fabrics using a panel construction. The main nylon fabric has a four-way stretch; the back panel is lined with a brushed fabric for added warmth; and the leg sections are lined with a windproof fabric.
As with the Three Season pair that Hollis tested earlier this year, Albion has added a C0 durable water repellent (DWR) treatment to help water bead off (C0 is a less harmful process of making DWR coatings than the old C8 process).
There are several reflective elements, including strips on the calf area visible from the rear, and sections on the thighs, one of which includes the Albion logo, a nice touch.
Sizing and fit
The tights are available in sizes XS to XXL. Albion's size guide suggests these will fit waist sizes from 81cm (26in) to 101cm (40in), and I found that correct. I am on the border between XS and S, but preferring a tighter fit, went for the XS.
I could tell right away that they fitted me perfectly in terms of length, girth and overall height. While Albion does not specify a height range for the sizes, the fabric has enough stretch that it should be sufficient for most people.
The Winter tights have a foot stirrup, which is something I usually avoid, but the very thin, seamless design didn't interfere with foot comfort at all. And if you don't get on with them, the ankle seams are designed so you can cut the stirrups off without damaging the tights.
The high front chest panel means a zip is required, and one minor issue I experienced was that it would occasionally undo. It tended to only happen after the first attempt and when standing up; once in a riding position it stayed in place. I am at the upper end of the chest size range, though, and it happened a little less as the testing went on.
There's a strip of material intended to conceal the zip and block airflow, though it seems a bit unnecessary given that most riders will be wearing some form of windproof clothing on top.
The tights also have a rear pocket, which I found useful for storing a rain shell, or gloves on days when the temperature was changeable.
It's a side-access design and not the easiest to access, as it's positioned to sit under a layer. I did store food in it on one ride, and it was fine, but I would suggest you avoid anything that is affected by warmer temperatures, such as a chocolate bar – it melted very quickly!
I was impressed with the comfort these offer in every area, and particularly excellent at the backs of the knees – there was no scrunching or folded fabric in that area, which can be an issue with some tights.
During testing, I rode in a variety of conditions and distances, including multiple longer rides in excess of four hours, and the pad never lost its comfort. It has different thicknesses, with deep 12mm cushioning in the centre and thinner 3mm padding around the borders. Despite the thickness of the main padding, I could feel no movement within the padding material that can sometimes cause discomfort or chafing.
I used the tights in temperatures ranging from -2°C up to the mid-teens, and found their limits at both ends of the scale. Moving towards the mid-teens they started to feel a little warm and sweaty, particularly on higher-paced rides and efforts.
They excelled between 5 and 10°C, which would cover most general winter riding, and became my garment of choice for almost every ride. Below 5°C they began to feel too thin to maintain warmth. On the coldest rides I also used Spatz Roadman overshoes which improved warmth significantly; without those I would not have been comfortable riding in -2°C temperatures.
The DWR coating is useful initially but doesn't last long, though that's something I've found to be common with other DWR-treated garments. It worked well on the first half of a very wet ride, with water beading off to start with, but by the end they were completely soaked through, which is how they've been on subsequent rides.
At £190 these are quite expensive, though the quality of construction, their performance, and comfort all help to justify the cost, and they are similar to other premium brands.
Some of my favourites that work well at similar temperatures are the now-discontinued Assos' LL.habuTights_s7, which David tested back in 2018. The updated version – the Equipe R Habus – sound like they're designed for colder weather, and are £50 more than the Albions.
Rapha produces different versions of its winter bib tights for different temperatures, with its thermal Pro Teams at £230 and the lightweight Pro Training versions at £180.
The Albion Winter tights have become a firm favourite to grab when the temperature starts to drop, and while they struggle closer to freezing, within their comfort zone they are exceptional. With several great design features, such as the rear pocket and brilliant fabrics, if you're looking to get through winter conditions I would highly recommend them.
Incredible comfort, with excellent fit, and suitable for all but the coldest winter weather
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Make and model: Albion Winter Tights
Tell us what the product is for
Albion says: "Ultimate winter protection for those who ride outside, no matter the weather.
The Albion Winter Tights have been designed with key performance features to increase your comfort and ability to keep riding, even on the coldest winter days.
Three premium Italian brushed back fabrics are combined in an engineered panel construction to optimise protection against cold airflow around the legs and back when riding, with a zippable upper section featuring a mesh back panel providing additional upper body warmth and comfort.
The tights use a C0 Durable Water Repellency (DWR) treatment to repel road spray and showers, feature reflective trim configured to be visible to oncoming traffic and from behind, and use the same Elastic Interface pad for long distance riding that features across the Albion range.
Additional features include a rear pocket for stashing gloves or additional layers, and stirrups for full ankle coverage."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Engineered panel construction to optimise protection against cold airflow when riding
Brushed back fleece fabrics for warmth and comfort against the skin
C0 DWR treatment to provide protection against road spray and/or showers
Premium Elastic Interface ultra pad technology for long distance riding
Reflective trim for enhanced visibility
Zippable upper body section with mesh back panel to provide additional warmth and comfort
Rear mesh pocket for easy access storage
Ankle stirrups for additional cold weather protection (made using straight cut edge fabric, these are removable with sharp scissors)
Fabric and Manufacturing:
Fabric - Main 83% recycled nylon, 17% elastane; Windproof panels 93% Polyester, 7% Elastane; Mesh 73% recycled nylon, 27% recycled elastane
Made in Italy
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Excellent fabric and fit that gives great all-round performance.
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for fit:
Very good snug fit thanks to four-way stretch fabric.
Rate the product for sizing:
The size guide is accurate.
Rate the product for comfort:
I completed multiple longer rides in these with absolutely no discomfort.
Rate the product for value:
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No problems, no shrinking or stretching, and condition remained the same. Always washed at 30 degrees.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The temperature range where they feel great is quite narrow, but within this they were faultless. It was only closer to freezing that I went for a different set of tights.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit beyond all else seemed perfect.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The zip was a little frustrating, but mostly an issue when putting them on. Once riding, it was fine.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Similar to other premium brands. Rapha's lightweight Pro Team Training tights are a tenner less, while its thermal Pro Teams are £230.
Some of my favourite Assos tights, the LL.Habu, provide a similar level of warmth to the Albions, but the latest version, the Equipe R Habu, are £240 and sound like they're designed for colder conditions.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Certainly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I would, depending on the temperature range they usually ride in.
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Albion Winter tights provided an excellent level of comfort and a perfect fit, with additional neat features including the pocket and stirrups. They worked really well in a reasonable temperature band, and it was only closer to freezing that they feel too thin. They are quite expensive, but around the same price as (or a little less than) other premium brands.
Age: 35 Height: 168 Weight: 62
I usually ride: My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix
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: road racing, cyclo cross, sportives, mtb, Lots of gravel style riding
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