Craft's mid-price Storm Bib Tights keep you warm, dry and comfortable when the mercury dips and the weather turns foul. Their weather-cheating prowess is equal to, if not better than, several similar contenders I've used recently.
The spec is impressive throughout. The Storms are a mix of heavy duty polyester/spandex polyurethane, with wind and water repellent panels that do their job very convincingly without feeling restrictive – whether you're hurtling along or mooching around at cafe stops. They are much easier to don and remove than their relative bulk might suggest thanks to generous ankle zippers and ergonomic panels.
Water tends to bead up and roll away, so doesn't get a chance to soak in, although in real terms we're talking three, maybe four hours' persistent rainfall before they'll saturate. The membrane breathed better than I was expecting and the thin pile fleece shuts the door to chill.
The bib and braces are similarly spot on, providing just the right levels of support without compromising movement. They seem to breathe more efficiently when riding hard in milder weather – say, 8 degrees, with only light winds. I was slightly disappointed by the lack of zippered fly, although road/trailside comfort stops were fairly straightforward.
Fluorescent sections are always good for murky weather, and new for this year is a big block at the lower back, presumably designed to be visible when riding in the drops. Unfortunately it's easily obscured by jacket tails, though the long strips on the calves and retro-reflective stitching more than compensate – even at relatively modest cadences.
Other commentators have suggested that sizing is generous and I'll concur. Our mediums were absolutely bang on for my 33.5in inseam (it's not me in the photos), although the outer membranes showed a curious tendency to wrinkle. This was never intrusive, it just looked a little peculiar.
I couldn't fault the pad insert, though, which employs varying thicknesses of EVA foam ranging from 4-10mm and reckoned fully effective for riders hitting 100kg.
Comfort is superb, allowing four hours steady cruising, by which point I was ready for some serious refuelling. The low-density side wings solved minor chafing issues I experience on my rough stuff tourer, which is another definite plus.
The outer shell also seems very rugged, coping handsomely when blasting along bridleways, suggesting they're a good option for competitive mud-plugging.
We've yet to enter a seriously cold snap, but on the basis of these past few weeks I'm confident they'll keep me temperate and agreeable when it's several degrees below freezing.
Extremely comfortable bib longs for cooler days
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Make and model: Craft Storm Bib Tights
Size tested: Medium, Black/Flumino
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?
Craft must feel the bib tights' name requires no further elaboration. I'd describe them as a very good mid-range bib tight for autumn and winter conditions.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Thermal, brushed fabric at back for warmth and ventilation
- Ergonomic design for a perfect riding-position fit
- 4-way elasticity for optimal freedom of movement
- Ergonomically placed flatlock seams
- 360 degrees visibility
- Ergonomic bib construction
- Side zipper at bottom leg
- Craft Performance Pad Men
Made to a high standard.
Just right for really cold days without feeling too warm or cumbersome when things turn unexpectedly mild.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall the Craft Storm Bib Tights have proven extremely comfortable. Fit and freedom of movement are absolutely bang on, ditto the insert that matched my contours beautifully, whatever bike I was riding. The fabric offers excellent defence against the elements without turning uncomfortably clammy in milder temperatures.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fit, performance, pad and balance of materials.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing of note, being really picky I might suggest a zippered fly for roadside pit-stops.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely
Use this box to explain your score
Very good pair of mid-range cold weather tights that perform consistently well across the board.
Age: 41 Height: 1m 81cm Weight: 70kg
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mountain bike frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking