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The Altura Progel Thermal Bibtights are warm, well made and give plenty of coverage to your upper body. Seam positioning is a bit of an issue, though, and for me the bib section isn't quite long enough – it's shorter than that in most other tights I've worn.
Like a lot of winter tights, the Progel Thermals use a brushed back, fleecy fabric to trap body heat in a bid to keep you warm. It works well – I found the Alturas to have a working temperature range between the low-teens Celsius down to around the freezing mark.
The fabric itself isn't too thick, so it doesn't restrict your movement and that helps with breathability too, although that isn't really an issue with garments worn on the legs.
They're not windproof, but as long as you aren't riding into an icy blast for a huge amount of time it's not a problem, as long as you keep moving.
The Progel pad uses varying levels of density with the odd channel running here and there to stave off any numbness. On the whole, I got on fine with it whether I was out for an hour or three or four. I like the fact that it isn't too thick, which can take away some of the feedback from the bike, and there was no bunching of the material.
Overall quality of the bib tights is really good as well. All the stitching is neat and tidy, and wear doesn't look to be an issue long-term.
My issue, though, is where those seams are positioned.
First is the seam that runs centrally down the front. When in the riding position it can rub in places that really shouldn't be getting rubbed when you are on the bike. Other tights are made with a seam here (I'm currently testing some Gore tights that have it), but they use ways to make it not as intrusive as the Progels. The Gores, for instance, show no evidence of the seam inside, only on the outside.
I'm not really a fan of seams that run behind the knees, either, as when you are pedalling continually and you get a small bunching of the material it emphasises the ridge of stitching. This is what happens here, and on longer rides it can become very irritating.
There is plenty of length in the legs, and even though the bottoms of the leg are quite snug to get over your feet, once on you don't get any issues with them riding up.
There are also reflective details on the lower sections of each leg.
On bib tights designed for cold weather I like to see plenty of coverage for the upper body, and you certainly get that here. The Progels have a high front panel which covers the majority of your stomach, and it continues right the way around, covering your lower back and vital organs.
The bib section is made up of a mesh panel covering the back, with elasticated straps at the front. On the whole it is a comfortable design, the straps aren't too narrow… But the whole top section feels short to me.
I had to stretch the straps over my shoulders, and once in position they are noticeable all of the time, as was the back section which is clearly being pulled taut, much more so that I have had with any other pair of tights.
Double checking my measurements (that's not me in the photos!) with the size guide, I'm well within range of these mediums.
Priced at £69.99, if they fit you then they aren't bad value, especially when taking into account the overall quality. They are £15 cheaper than the Lusso Classic Thermal tights – but those are a tough act to beat. I found the Lussos very comfortable indeed, and I got on well with the cut and shape.
The Alturas are the same price as dhb's Classic Thermal tights, bar a penny. Those aren't quite as good as the Lussos across the board, but as I said in the review, they cover the basics well, at a great price.
Overall, the Altura Progels have a lot going for them, but then there are some real niggles for me, especially those seams.
Good quality and plenty warm enough, but some seams could do with repositioning and the fit won't suit all
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Progel Thermal Bib Tights
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Altura says, "The Altura Progel Thermal Bibtight has been updated with improved thermal fabric and a more refined design. This bib-tight features body mapping design, soft elastic shoulder straps and our proven Progelpad which all combine to ensure great comfort on long rides in the winter."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Thermal brushed back fabric
Body mapping construction
Mesh upper body
Soft elastic shoulder straps
Leg length, waist and size all tallied up with the charts, but the torso length of the bibs feels short on me.
Pad comfort and that of the fabric is good, it's just the seams I had an issue with.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No problem after following the washing conditions.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a pair of winter tights they work well in the cold, but the cut just doesn't work for me.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Pad is comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
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 bibs, and £15 less than the Lusso Classic Thermals, but those are a tough act to beat.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes and no.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly, especially if they were long legged with a short torso.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Taking price and quality into account, the Alturas have plenty going for them. The issues for me though are the seams running behind the knees and I just didn't get on with the upper body fit.
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,
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!