ETC Snug Leg Warmers are an affordable option for cold rides when the mercury hasn't dipped far enough to warrant full winter bibs. While they do a good job of keeping you warm, the lack of smaller sizes is a real letdown, and the silicone strips are not a good combination with delicate skin.
ETC's leg warmers are made of a lightweight, fleece backed polyester-elastane blend. They have several panels intended to create an accommodating fit around the knee, and the construction belies the price tag; it's as neat as some £40 warmers I've used. Unfortunately, there are a few things elsewhere that might put you off.
Unlike ETC's zipped leg warmers and tights, the Snug Leg Warmers only come in S/M, M/L and L/XL. I'm 172cm (5ft 8in) with an inside leg (top of thigh to floor) of 82cm, the S/M are too large.
If I sit the tapered part around my knee, where it's supposed to be, the silicone gripper is VERY high up my leg. The lower hem sits well at the ankle, at least, but the fit here is loose.
After a wash (for them, not me...) they offer a snug fit around the knee and thigh, but only at first – by the end of a ride they look baggy, with fabric bunching behind the knee. I think all this could be fixed simply with a smaller size, but that doesn't exist.
Given I'm not exceptionally short, this may well be the case for many riders. I'd say you need to be at least 175cm with a good leg length to even stand a chance of the S/M fitting well, and you'll need a bit of meat on your legs to fill them out – especially around the ankles.
Two narrow silicone strips do a good job of holding each warmer in place, but I personally experienced irritation from them. This could be because they sit so high up my leg; the band isn't overly tight, but the skin here is softer and it leaves me with a red line after every ride – never unbearable, but certainly not ideal.
Given the effective dimpled bands and wide elastic panels that so many warmers use now, silicone strips look a cheap option. Then again, these really are a cheap option.
Fit issues aside, they actually impress performance-wise. I am one for really wrapping up in winter; I normally opt for winter bibs in single digit temperatures. I was surprised by just how warm these felt, even on days as low as 3°C.
Okay, the excessive length offers more coverage than a 'standard' warmer, but the fleecy backing does a great job of retaining warmth and keeping off windchill.
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The reflective logos certainly work, but are also not without flaws. The logos on the upper part are completely redundant, for one thing, while those by the ankle get covered by overshoes/socks of moderate height. To top it off, the logos are already beginning to peel off ours.
The ETC Snug Leg Warmers are, quite possibly, the cheapest warmers out there. Even competition from the normally difficult-to-beat dhb and BTwin doesn't get close, with the dhb Regulate Light Leg Warmers at £20 and the B'Twin Cold Weather Leg Warmers at £14.99.
If you're after greater quality, Lusso offers separate ranges for male and female riders and varying conditions, and all are £29.99. Stu really rated the Lusso Active Aero versions, but if you're really looking to spend big – almost four times the price of ETC Snugs – HTP's Pioggia Leg Warmers are excellent at £39.99.
On the face of it, £11 is a bargain for a pair of tailored leg warmers that offer genuine protection in cold weather. However, the lack of smaller sizes, the poor reflective detailing and a basic silicone gripper that won't agree with everyone's skin could put many off.
Good protection, but not for short or skinny riders. The aggressive silicone grippers may irritate, too
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Make and model: ETC Snug Leg Warmers
Tell us what the product is for
No description on Moorelarge's site, just the technical details listed below. They're legwarmers! For warming legs.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* 94/6 Polyester/Elastane blend for flexibility and closeness of fit
* Silicone thigh grippers
* Reflective detailing
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Impressive panelling and fabric for £11, though the reflective logos are poorly done.
Rate the product for performance:
Effective and retain warmth well.
Rate the product for durability:
The logos were peeling off after only three weeks, but the stitching and fabric seem fine.
Rate the product for fit:
You need to be long-legged and not too skinny to even contemplate the S/M.
Rate the product for sizing:
There are only three sizes available (unlike with other ETC options), and the smallest doesn't cater for even a medium-sized leg (I consider myself medium sized). You need to be at least 175cm to even consider fitting these.
Rate the product for weight:
Rate the product for comfort:
Silicone grip strips sit high up and can irritate the skin. While perfectly tolerable, it's not ideal.
Rate the product for value:
Good value – if they fit.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Simple, in with all the other kit at 30 degrees. Come up just fine.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Keep you warm in a good range of temperatures.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Soft fabric, good protection from cold.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Irritating silicone grippers, poor size range.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
You're unlikely to beat these on price... Lusso's Nightlife Warmers are £29.99, Decathlon's Cold Weather Leg Warmers are £14.99 and even reliably-budget dhb's Regulate Light Leg Warmers are £20.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No – they don't do my size
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, taller ones. But there'd be a warning about the grippers.
Use this box to explain your overall score
There are the two major negatives holding the score down; the lack of sizes for 'smaller' riders, and the rather aggressive silicone strips. The peeling logos aren't great either, but if they fit you get pretty good performance for very little cash.
Age: 39 Height: 173cm Weight: 64kg
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!
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