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Pactimo's Alpine Thermal Bib Tights are extremely comfortable, even on long rides. They fit really well, and have useful reflective details and cargo pockets to keep your stuff in. At £130 they are not the cheapest out there, but they really do feel worth it.
Pactimo has three bib tights in its range; the other two are the Storm+ Thermals (review coming soon) which are water repellent, and the Vertex WX-Ds, which are water repellent and wind resistant and rated down to -17°C!
The Alpine, then, is the option for less severe conditions. Pactimo's marketing positions them as alternatives to regular bib shorts with knee or leg warmers, except a little more efficient thanks to being one garment.
They're made with what Pactimo describes as as a mid-weight, breathable, stretchy, brushed-back Italian fabric (83% nylon, 17% elastane). In other words, the usual Roubaix type stuff you'd expect. There is no windproofing or waterproofing.
The upper is mesh for breathability, and the straps are a couple of inches wide and comfortable. I had no issues with chafing or them digging in.
The fabric is stretchy enough that Pactimo designed these without ankle zips, and I found putting them on and taking them off easy enough; I actually own some bib tights with zips that are harder than these!
The stretch should accommodate most body shapes, too. There's not very much compression here, which suits me fine for off-season riding.
The pad is Elastic Interface's Paris chamois, a dual-density design aimed at road and off-road use. It's 3mm thick at the front and 13mm at the back, and rated for rides up to six hours. I actually found it supremely comfortable for rides longer than that.
I'm a big fan of the mesh cargo pockets on the thighs, as it allows you to take a bit more on rides without overloading your jersey or jacket pockets. It can be an interesting look when they're stuffed full, but I can't say that kind of thing bothers me much.
There's reflective detailing too: a logo on each hip and a decent-sized strip on each calf. Pactimo says they're more reflective than on previous models too, and can reflect more than 350 lumens.
A trip to the lovely Alpujarra region in Spain proved the perfect test for these. On the coast it was around 18°C, whereas topping out on the mountain roads it dropped to zero in the shade. While these were not ideal for either extreme – between 5° and 12° is their optimum working range for me – they felt the right choice overall. They were breathable enough to deal with the warmer air and long climbs, and warm enough to keep me comfortable on the cold descents.
Those generous cargo pockets really help here, as they easily keep a pair of gloves, a buff, a skull cap and a pair of toe warmers very close to hand. I could have stuffed those things in jersey pockets, sure, but they were already full of food, a waterproof, my phone, keys and more.
Testing Pactimo's Summit Stratos Range Bib Shorts earlier this year I discovered a medium fitted me perfectly, which was again the case with these bib tights. The size chart is accurate and the bibs themselves are true to it.
These work very well, and I think £130 is reasonable for the quality and performance you're getting, though you can get decent bib tights for less: Altura's Icon Men's Thermal Bib Tights are £95 and Specialized's Men's RBX Comp Thermal Bib Tights are £100, and both scored an impressive 8/10.
These are very comfortable, even on rides longer than the six hours they're rated for, and work well for anything between around 5 and 12°C. That's a sizeable chunk of the winter in most of the UK...
Super-comfortable bib tights with useful cargo pockets and a good temperature range
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Pactimo Men's Alpine Thermal Bib Tight
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Pactimo has this to say: "Full length thermal bibs are a great alternative to regular (non-thermal) bibs with leg warmers because of uninterrupted thermal coverage through the entire leg and rise, meaning you'll stay much warmer in chilly riding conditions. They are the ideal choice in cool/cold temperatures when you will not need to shed warmers during the duration of your adventure.
"We've also included two lightweight mesh pockets on both legs for easy access to glove liners, warmer packs, snacks or other necessities. For enhanced visibility in low-light, winter conditions, we used durable, stretchy reflective applications in the form of hip logos and strips on the thighs and back of calves. These reflective hits, while understated, have a far greater candle-power than previous thermal bib tight iterations (350+ lumens)."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Italian Thermal stretch fabric
Breathable stretch uppers and straps
Elastic Interface Paris chamois
Innovative hip and leg paneling for clean appearance and long distance comfort
No ankle zippers for better fit and protection from wet and chill
Mesh thigh pockets for ride necessities
Reflective logos and strips provide 360° visibility (350+ lumens)
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The label says to 'machine wash cold with mild detergent on delicate cycle', and that caused me no issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I found these the perfect companion on a recent trip to mountainous terrain where it swung between 15 degrees in the valleys and close to zero at the tops. The cargo pockets are super useful for stashing gloves, buffs, toe covers and whatever else you want to take. I found the pad superbly comfortable for all-day rides, too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
These are warm, comfortable, unrestrictive and have useful cargo pockets.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
I think these are worth their £130 rrp, but you can get decent bib tights for less: for example, Altura's Icon Men's Thermal Bib Tights and Specialized's Men's RBX Comp Thermal Bib Tights are both around the £100 mark. But you can also pay a lot more – MAAP's Team Thermal Bib Tights and Rapha's Pro Team Winter Tights with Pad II are both well over £200.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
These are super comfortable, even on long rides, for anything between around 5 and 12°C. The cargo pockets are very useful, the tights are well made and well priced.
About the tester
I usually ride: All of them! My best bike is: Ribble Endurance SL disc
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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, mtb, Zwift