When fighting winter's battle against the elements you need top-notch weapons in your armoury. The Bontrager RXL softshell bib tights will help your cause.
Designed to be your first line of defence with Profila Softshell front and rear panels giving you protection against the wind and from the rain, these bibtights offer a decent layer between you and the elements while providing a good fit.
They keep the showers out and stop the wind whistling where you don't want a tune. In temperatures below freezing the Bontrager RXL softshell tights have done the job well.
Some bibtights can be awkwardly bulky, either too big on the legs or too thin where you need the extra cover. The Bontrager RXL softshell bibtights almost feel like a wetsuit, slightly heavier than most tights, but without hindering your movement.
The Profila softshell on the front and rear panels doesn't only keep the wind and rain out, it keeps your body heat in. When you work hard the same technology allows the moisture to be wicked away from the skin so you remain warm and reasonably dry.
To complete the lower half of the RXL softshell bibtights you have an ankle gripper with the leg cut slightly longer at the back to afford a bit more protection. All of this is secured with a generous length zipper.
Moving up the tights, around the waist you have another generous zipper on the front to provide easier access for comfort breaks and to aid getting in and out. Carrying on up, all of this is kept in place with a meshed upper. The straps are also made with the micro mesh Profila dry material which is breathable but does allow the tights to move with you rather than against.
To complete the effect you get a Bontrager logo on the front of the shin and a smaller logo with reflective dots on the reverse. As with most of the Bontrager range, the RXL softshell bibtights are available in six sizes from XS to XXL.
For the money, £109.99, you're getting a good quality garment which will help in your battle with the elements. The seams are finished sympathetically so they don't irritate or agitate the skin and the fit is good. Bontrager have got your back and your legs covered.
Protection from the elements and good fit
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Bontrager RXL Softshell Bib Tight with inForm Chamois
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Cold and wet mornings are no longer an excuse not to ride once you pull on the new full-length RXL Softshell bib tights with inForm Chamois. Engineered for ultimate warmth, the Profila Softshell front and rear panels are your protection from cold, wet and windy weather. The 3D-shaped, multi-density chamois provides comfort and breathability for long rides in unfavorable weather.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Profila Softshell front and rear panels provide windproof and water-resistant protection from cold and windy weather
Profila Thermal fabric retains body heat and wicks moisture to keep you warm and dry
3D shaped, Italian-made inForm RXL chamois features a 4-way stretch top sheet, multi-density construction, and extremely breathable Aircell foam padding
Micro mesh Profila Dry bib straps with zippered front for convenience
Plush elastic leg gripper, scalloped ankle for extra coverage, and semi-locking zippers for easy on/off
Reflective elements enhance visibility
From the mesh upper and straps to the sculptured ankles and the Profila material in-between, you get a well designed and finished product. The seams are strong and the zips on the front and the ankles are robust, all of which gives you the confidence that the RXL softshell tights will do their job.
Against the cold and showers the Bontrager RXLs have performed admirably. There is enough protection to make them comfortable in the cold or when the rain falls although in heavy downpours the Profila material can struggle to keep the water out but they are billed as water-resistant. The Profila material can stain a little.
The seams, zips and material have all proven to be robust and durable. The mesh despite being thinner and more stretchy has also proven up to the task.
They are heavier than your average bibtights but the protection and durability offered is a small price to pay.
Easy to get on or off and a comfortable fit.
They are still a lot of money but if you want to invest in a set of bibtights then you should consider the Bontrager RXL softshell bibtights, plenty of features but the price may put some off.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Right on the money.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Despite the bulky feel the bibtights fit well and offer a good fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
If I'm picky the Profila material on the front of the legs can stain a little as well as looking a little shiny.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? I would.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Good quality and comfortable bibtights with a small question mark over appearances.
About the tester
Age: 45 Height: 178cm Weight: 80kg
I usually ride: Currently riding a Pinnacle Evaporite Three My best bike is: As above
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, sportives, mtb, Not yet but looking to dip my toe in the world of TT