The Fat Lad At The Back Women's Winter Thermal Padded Cycling Tights offer excellent cold weather comfort and good looks to those in larger sizes than a UK12. They're not a bad price either.
If you're larger than a UK14 it's difficult to get good quality, performance cycling kit. Love or hate the name, Fat Lad At The Back has successfully targeted that market for both men and women, and it doesn't just cater to larger riders either – many products are available in smaller sizes as well.
These waist tights are designed to coordinate with a few of the company's jerseys and jackets, and offer a nice bit of relief from plain black (though that's available too, along with other colours).
They're a good weight of warm, fleecy Super Roubaix fabric which is nicely matt rather than shiny, and the double thickness, flat-fronted waistband has a high fit at the rear. There's a silicone gripper all the way around the waist, but none at the ankles – they get a stretchy cuff instead.
The calves feature reflective patches for visibility, and a female-specific, high-density pad finishes the tights off.
These are extremely comfortable from the word go, with the smooth front panel staying secure and cosy across the stomach, and the high back making sure there's no gap between tights and jersey.
I'd prefer a zipped ankle or a gripper tape rather than the slightly shiny lycra stretch cuff – it looks a little incongruous – although it does its job well.
Despite having no windproofing or water repellency, these tights are cosy in low single digit conditions, dry quickly, wick quickly and manage heat well – even on hilly rides.
The pad is comfortable and supportive, contouring to the body fast, though it's best suited to short and mid-length rides as it eventually compresses slightly. With a higher quality pad, these tights would be exceptional.
The breadth of options is impressive, going up to a 46in waist, and the sizing is spot on for a comfortable, smooth fit without being snug. There's plenty of length for riders quite a bit taller than me (I'm 5ft 5in with 31in legs), but the bit of wrinkling I got didn't cause any grief thanks to the stretch in the fabrics.
You can pay less, of course: the Madison Stellar Women's Tights are just £49.99 and go up to a size 14, while Altura's Nightvision Waist Tight is £64.99 and goes to size 18 (34in waist). Neither go as large as the Fat Lad At The Back, though, and given the quality of the fabric, overall finish, comfort, looks and the breadth of sizing, these tights feel like good value.
The Women's Winter Thermal Padded Tights are comfortable, well made and warm – they're a very credible and stylish option for cold weather rides, and well worth the investment.
Warm, comfortable and well made winter tights for a huge range of sizes
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Fat Lad At The Back Women's Purple/Blue Winter Thermal Padded Cycling Tights
Size tested: 3
Tell us what the product is for
Fat Lad says: "Made from warm fleecy Super Roubaix compression fabric, these super comfy, high waisted, padded cycling tights have a reflective panel and bright eye catching graduated colour on the moving part of the leg, ensuring you're visible to road users, whilst keeping your legs warm and insulated against the cold."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Thermal Super Roubaix fabric
Reflective accents at calves
Broad flat double fabric waistband with high back
Silicone gripper at waist
Female specific chamois pad
Lycra ankle cuffs
Available in sizes 30" waist/39" hip to 46" waist/55" hip
Machine washable at 30
Well made from good quality fabrics: some small hanging bits of thread at the seams, although not structurally a problem.
Do a great job at giving a comfortable, warm and dry ride in cold conditions.
They feel pretty durable. The outer fabric is not overly prone to catching and they wash well.
The combination of the double fabric, flat-fronted waistband and the high back gives a really good fit at the waist. The legs are generous in length, but not over long.
Spot on. The broad range should offer something for most riders larger than a size UK10.
Pretty good for the amount of warmth they provide.
Superbly comfortable, though the pad is best suited to medium-length rides as it compresses slightly.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy to look after.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Good warmth and comfort.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfortable chamois, well-shaped waistband, attractive looks, sizes up to a 46in waist.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Slightly odd cuffs.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
These are competing with the likes of Ale Women's Winter Tights and Sportful's Women's Neo W Tights, which are both £80, but feel a bit pricey when compared to the Madison Stellar Women's Tights at just £49.99 (up to size 14) or Altura's Nightvision Waist Tight at £64.99 (up to size 18).
At the more spendy end of the spectrum, the Castelli Velocissima Tights are £100 but only go up to XL (32.5in waist), while the Pearl Izumi Pursuit Thermal Cycling Tights are £129.99 (34.5in waist max).
The Fat Lad tights feel pretty good value given the quality of the fabric, the overall finish, comfort, good looks and the breadth of sizing options.
Did you enjoy using the product? Definitely
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
These tights are well made from good quality fabrics and give excellent warmth and comfort, plus they look good. They sit in the middle of the price spectrum too, which seems fair – and it's money well spent. There's little holding them back, and they're very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: Liv Invite My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
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: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.