Sportful's Luna Bib Tights offer superb comfort and performance in cold, dry weather. They're also a good price for the quality, coming in cheaper than the other women's tights recently tested here at road.cc – even dhb's Aerons are a fiver more at RRP, though Wiggle currently has them on sale for less. The Lunas are not at all rain repellent, though, despite having 'Thermodrytex Plus' technology in their make-up, and you do get cold if the heavens open.
- Pros: Lightweight, excellent warmth and breathability
- Cons: No rain repellency, understated visibility
As with many bib tights, the design is quite plain – you can barely even see the Sportful logo on the calf of the left leg. The reflective detail is a bit lacking though: simply a bum and thigh logo, plus two tabs stitched into the seams of the lower legs which are effective, provided they sit above any overshoes/socks – not always the case if you have high-reaching ones.
There are no zips at the ankle but Sportful has managed to incorporate just enough elasticity to avoid the annoying battle of dragging the leg end over the heel – and that's even with my size 8 trotters! There is a wide silicone strip to hold the tights in place too.
When on, the tights feel really lightweight and thin – for the simple reason that they are. At 242g they're a little lighter than the dhbs mentioned above and Rapha's Core bib tights, and quite a bit lighter than others out there.
They are in no way restrictive or overtight in any one area, as some winter tights can be, so your movement on the bike is just as if you have a pair of lightweight leg warmers and shorts on. The bib is pretty standard and I had no quibbles with the fit.
The 'Princess Pad' (ahem) isn't so different from Sportful's top of the range Infinity Pad; the same construction but with one less layer and a different top cloth. It certainly does the job; I suspect the extra layer in the Infinity version is appreciated for rides in excess of four hours but this one gave me no trouble on four-hour rides. It's not too bulky or rigid either.
I was doubtful about the ability of such lightweight tights to keep me warm when the temperatures really dropped, but I shouldn't have been. Sportful cites a temperature range of 5-15°C, but long rides at just above freezing, 1-2°C, were not an issue, and this is from someone who feels the cold and, by others' standards, likes to overdress. With a varied pace they kept me perfectly warm while not allowing me to overheat. They have been great in temperatures up to about 7°C, although pressing on in anything above that I started to overheat a little, so I'm not sure I'd wholeheartedly agree with Sportful's suggested range.
The tights' biggest downside is their sponge-like reaction to rain. According to Sportful's website they feature Thermodrytex Plus technology – which incorporates a 'water repellent silicone finish' to provide 'some water repellency' – but I found there was very little resistance to rain, and because they are so thin, as soon as they got wet there was no real protection from wind chill or just the cold air flowing over the legs.
On cold, dry days though, if you want to stay warm in kit that doesn't feel excessively bulky then the Luna tights are definitely worth investing in.
Simple design, comfortable fit and super performance in the dry – but not so good in the rain
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Sportful Luna Bib Tight
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Sportful's intention with the Luna Bib Tights is to offer 'extra warmth and support in a clean, simple style that offers everyday styling and comfort.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Reflective highlights ankle elastic with silicone grip
85% Polyamide, 15% Elastane
Breathable mesh upper bib section
Temp. Range 5 to 15 degrees
In cold, dry weather they are outstanding, less so in the rain.
Despite being light (and feeling a little flimsy), they're still looking good after a month of excessive washing and wearing, so no evidence that they are going to become see-through any time soon.
Excellent in all dimensions.
Medium was just as I would have expected.
Lightest winter tights I've used.
For the performance on offer I think they're good value.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy. Washing instructions are simple: max 30, no softener.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Excellent. Unless it rained...
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The feel of a lightweight, race-like garment without sacrificing the performance of a full winter tight in very cold, dry conditions.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Their performance in the rain. I tend to wear bright tops so the lack of visibility wasn't really an issue.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, unless it rained.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A simple design that is comfortable and does an excellent job in cold, dry conditions, for which I'd give them 9, but they're not so good in the rain, which brings the overall score down. I'd also like a few more reflective details.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, getting to grips with off-roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…