Best waterproof cycling trousers and bib tights

Best waterproof cycling trousers

The best waterproof cycling trousers or waterproof cycling bib tights will keep your bottom half drier, particularly if you’re not using a pair of the best mudguards  to protect yourself from road spray. 

You may already have invested in a one of the best waterproof cycling jackets to get you through the rainy days on your bike - but this leaves you only half protected. 

We’ve rounded up our pick of waterproof bottoms for the all-weather cyclist and commuter. Because arriving to your destination soaked is never fun. Our dedicated 11 tips for cycling in the rain page will give you lots of advice for how to survive the weather at it's worst, and one of the biggest tips will be invest in a pair of waterproof cycling tights or trousers. 

Our pick of the best waterproof cycling trousers

The best waterproof cycling trousers will generally have a more relaxed fit and will have keeping the water out high up on the proprietary list. While you might find some casual fit options that can be worn on and off the bike, many are a pull over design. 

A great commuting option when you don't want to change, so can either leave on as they look like a regular pair of trousers, or can slip off once you've reached your end destination. 

Endura Hummvee II Trousers

(Image credit: Endura)

Endura Hummvee II Trousers

Best water resistance cycling trousers for all round use.

Specifications
Material : Nylon Mini Ripstop
Waistband: Elasticated and adjustable belt
Ankle: Elastic and Velcro
Water proofing finish: PFC-Free DWR
Size : S - XXL
Reasons to buy
+Multiuse trail and urban trousers+Durable ripstop fabric +Multiple zipped pockets +Shorts liner compatible 
Reasons to avoid
-DWR will need re-coating-Not overtrousers-No zipped ankles

Scottish brand Endura know a thing or two about foul weather, and it's Hummvee II water-resistant trousers are designed exactly to deal with it.

Constructed using Ripstop fabric, which is well know for it's durability, these cycling trousers are a great option for anyone looking for water protection across a host of different terrains. 

Capable of shrugging off mud and rain, these water resistant trousers come with an environmentally friendly PFC-Free durable water repellent (DWR) finish, although that will need re-spraying from time to time. 

Casual enough to look good off the bike, these cycling trousers also have a seam free seat, which means that you can ride them without cycling shorts, although they aren't designed to be worn over your non-cycling gear, like the Altura Nightvision 3 waterproof cycling trousers, meaning that should you choose to commute in them, you'll need a change of clothes once you get to your end destination. The Hummvee II are compatible with Endura's own Clickfast padded shorts liner, and do have an Velco style ankle closure, which can be a bit hit and miss over time if gets regularly clogged with muck meaning the closure can become less effective. 

With several pockets, including zipped hand pockets for off the bike usability and handy cargo and a large map pocket, means there's a lot of reasons that these multi-use cycling trousers could be all you need. 

Altura Night Vision 3 waterproof overtrousers

Altura Night Vision 3 waterproof overtrousers

Best waterproof cycling trousers for riding at night

Specifications
Material : Polyester
Waistband: Elasticated
Ankle : Hook and loop (Velcro)
Water proofing finish: AlturaShield
Sizes : TBC
Reasons to buy
+Can wear over non-cycling clothes +Highly reflective details+Wind and water resistant+3-stage leg length adjustment+Two pockets+Mens and women's fit option
Reasons to avoid
-No zipped ankles (tricky to get on/ off legs without removing shoes)-Can get damp with condensation on inside-Loose fit 

Altura's Nightvision range is the original go to brand for being seen on a bike at night. 

The brand says that the Nightvision waterproof overtrousers are its best selling commuter trousers - and we can see why. The large reflective detailing should help make the wearer stand out in low light levels, with beams of light shining off the panels across the legs.

Unlike the Endura Hummvee II cycling trousers, these waterproof and windproof cycling trousers pull on over your existing clothing, so a great option to have stowed away in your commuting luggage should the weather take a turn for the worse while out on the bike . 

This  loose fit does mean that these waterproof cycling trousers should be easy to slide on over most clothes, although with no lower leg zip, it' can't be guaranteed that it will be possible while keeping your shoes on.

The handy three leg lengths to choose from making these a good length fit for most riders. However, this loose cut does mean they are rather baggy, and although there is a Velcro like closure round the lower leg to protect them from getting tangled up in the drivetrain, these are going to be pretty flappy in the wind, although male and female cut options will help with more realistic sizing for most riders. 

With two pockets, for quick access, the trousers are great for not having to open to the elements when trying to get keys/ work passes out, but due to their fabric you'll find yourself heating up inside pretty rapidly, meaning that you can suffer from internal condensation, so best to whip these off as soon as you're out the rain and wind. 

 

BTwin 500 Urban waterproof cycling overtrousers

(Image credit: BTwin)

BTwin 100 City Cycling Rain Overpants

Best waterproof cycling trousers with built in shoe covers

Specifications
Material : 100% Polyester cationic
Waist: Elasticated
Ankle : Hook & eye (Velcro)
Waterproof finish: 100% Polyurethane
Sizes: XS - 2XL
Reasons to buy
+Integrated foot protection +Great price point +Compact stow away design+Compatible with lighting system (optional extra)+Eco credentials 
Reasons to avoid
-Body and shoe size ratio needs to work for rider

Decathlon does the cycling basics at a bargain price and its BTwin range some of the best waterproof cycling trousers you can buy. 

We loved these BTwin 500 City Cycling Rain Overpants for the genius integrated shoe covers to prevent the rain you’ve kept off your legs ending up in your shoes, as well as offering waterproofing to your feet from road spray off the front wheels. 

The overtrousers come with taped seams and have been lab tested with 60 litres of water per square metre sprayed at them for two hours, which Decathlon says simulates an average downpour.

Capable of packing down in to packet the size of your hand, these are a great option for packing in a back pocket or rucksack for the just in case days on the bike. 

B'Twin say that it's used a more environmentally friendly dyeing process, which also uses less water than a traditional production system, giving these some eco credentials. 

The isn't the level of reflective detailing as can be found on the Altura Nightvision waterproof trousers, but there are two attachments systems on the back of each leg which allow you to mount lights directly on to, which should really improve you being see on the road at night. 

The only thing that you need to make sure that the trousers Vs shoe size ratio works for you and if it does then these are a screwed purchase if you're on a budget and want something guaranteed to keep you dry, providing it's not biblical or for hours on end.

Madison Roadrace Apex men’s waterproof ¾ overshorts

(Image credit: Madison)

Madison Roadrace Apex men’s waterproof ¾ overshorts

Best waterproof cycling trousers for raceday warm up

Specifications
Material : TBC
Waist: Elasticated gripper
Ankle : N/A
Sizes : XS - XXL
Reasons to buy
+Race cut+High waist at rear to prevent damp spots from rain jacket run off & rear wheel spray +Silicone waist gripper for stay put fit+Designed to be worn over shorts/ bibtights
Reasons to avoid
-Not full length-Pricy option 

If it’s a bit too warm for full overtrousers, Madison’s overshorts will up your ventilation while keeping your upper legs and rear end dry. 

They’re designed for the ride position, with a tall back to prevent water ingress from either pouring off your rain jacket or from rear wheel spray. 

Madison say these are a great pair of waterproof cycling trousers for breathability, and their tailored fit means that there is limited wind flap, making these a great option for warming up on a wet race day, to limit the soaking your shorts get before getting to the start line.

Their shorter leg length means that they do sow away nicely, potentially making them a good bike packing option, but they won't afford total lower body protection like the BTwin 500 City Cycling Rain Overpants, so won't necessarily be a commuting cyclist's cup of tea. 

From our experience with waterproof and water resistance clothing, the price tag does reflect the performance, and with the Madison brand we'd expect these to live up to their breathability and waterproofing claims, you just have to be prepared to pay a little extra for it. 

Our pick of the best waterproof cycling bib tights

Unlike cycling trousers, the best waterproof bib tights will be for cyclists out on a dedicated ride, who still want performance on the bike, while keeping the rain at bay for as long as possible. Bib tights are really an extension of shorts, so expect a built in pad and a tight fit, these aren't for waring over anything, so remember to bring a non-cycling clothes for once you're off the bike. 

It's worth noting here that waterproof cycling trousers Vs waterproof cycling bib tights will differ in definition, with the later generally proving more water resistant ,but when water does eventually breach, it will be warmer once it reaches your skin. 

Castelli Nanoflex Pro 2 Bib Tights

Castelli Nanoflex Pro 2 Bib Tights

Best waterproof cycling bib tights all round

Specifications
Material : Nano Flex Xtra Dry fabric
Chamios : Progetto X2 Air pad
Colours: Black only
Size : S - 3XL
Reasons to buy
+Nanoflex material shrugs off water+The Progetto X2 seatpad is one of the most comfortable tested+Comfortable articulated cut
Reasons to avoid
-Waterproof inner calf material can be a little baggy on skinny ankles-Weightier than other winter bibtights

We saw the previous version, which we rated really highly based on the combination of their all round weather proving performance which is teamed with high-end comfort.

This version still gets Castelli’s top of the line Progetto X2 Air pad and a double-face knited fabric for extra warmth, giving them a temperature range of between zero and ten degrees. 

This version however is even better as it uses Castelli’s latest Nanoflex Xtra Dry surface coating to repel water, a double layer over the seat and reflective waterproof splashguards on the lower legs making these one of the best waterproof cycling bib tights.

This double fabric and other features does mean that these are one of the more weightier pair of cycling bib tights on the market, so it's something to consider if you are wanting to keep the overall cycling weight package down, but in our experience we'd take the comfort and look for weight savings elsewhere.  

The only other criticism is that the fit around the ankle could be tighter better, although it's worth remembering that Castelli can come up small. 

They are an expensive purchase, but absolutely  worth it if you’re doing a lot of cold, wet weather riding. 

Gore C7 Partial Windstopper Pro Bib Tights+

Gore C7 Partial Windstopper Pro Bib Tights+

Best Best waterproof cycling bib tights for long distance comfort

Specifications
Material : GORE® WINDSTOPPER®
Chamios : C7 Pad
Colours: Black/ Black, Black/ Yellow
Size: S- XXL
Reasons to buy
+Padding design exceptionally comfortable+Wind and waterproof+Relatively lightweight 
Reasons to avoid
-Not many reflective details

Another top notch option for longer road rides in wet conditions, the Gore C7 tights are windproof, breathable, insulated and water repellent, using Gore’s own Windstopper membrane-based fabric.

We highly rated the GORE C7 Long Distance+ bibshorts for their great padding, which is placed at the centre of the kit's design, rather than as an insert. This meant that on test it had an excellent placement and kept us comfortable in the saddle all day. 

The wind and water stopping fabric has been strategically placed in order to offer the most protection where it's needed. In-between sits either a brushed fleecy or a lighter mesh, to help keep the over all weight low and help prevent over heating. 

In general Gore clothing is considered one of the industries gold standards when it comes to winter protection, so we'd expect an awful lot performance wise from this pair, which is reflected in the price, albeit slightly cheaper than the Castelli Nanoflex Pro 2 Bib Tights, with the only obvious missing feature is the level of reflective detailing. 

ASSOS MILLE GT ULTRAZ WINTER BIBTIGHTS

(Image credit: Stefan Abram)

Assos Mille GT Ultraz Winter Bib tights

Best waterproof cycling bib tights for winter warmth

Specifications
Material : RX Heavy- brushed warp-knit
Chamois : MILLE GT EVO Insert
Colours: Black
Size : S - XL
Reasons to buy
+Winter warming+Great fit+Comfortable chamios
Reasons to avoid
-Very high price tag

If you were looking for the best waterproof cycling bib tights to get you through the even the harshest of winters, then the Assos Mille GT Ultraz Winter Bib tights are the ones for you. 

They manage to balance all the warmth and water resistance you'll want for on a bike, while providing a flawless fit. 

The soft and fluffy RX Heavy fabric is super stretchy and on test we found that this did away with the need for any ankle zips. We also found that thanks to a low front bib design, this allowed us to get low on a bike, making these one of the best performance fitted pair of water resistant bib tights on the market. 

The pad was exceptionally comfortable too, taking the harshness of the road away from the ride, even on the longest of days in the saddle. 

There is no shying away from the price tag, but it's a lot cheaper than investing in an indoor cycling as these will enable you to get out in all weather. 

  

Castelli Sorpasso RoS women's bib tights

(Image credit: Wiggle)

Castelli Sorpasso RoS women's bib tights

Best waterproof cycling bib tights for women

Specifications
Material : Nano Flex 3G fabric, Nano Flex Xtra
Chamios: Donna Progetto X2 Air seamless pad
Colours : Black/ pink, black/reflex, blue/reflex
Sizes: XS - XL
Reasons to buy
+Warm on cold rides+Breathable properties +Reasonably priced for water resistant bib tights 
Reasons to avoid
-No comfort break solution -Zipped ankles won't work for some

We highly rated the Castelli Sorpasso RoS women's bib tights so much that we presented them a covered Cycling Weekly Editor's Choice Award.

On test we found them superbly comfortable, and ticked all the boxes that you would want in a pair of the best waterproof cycling bib tights in that they provided great warmth, had a very comfortable pad insert and were genuinely water resistant.   

The down side was that while the bib tights themselves were more than up to the job of a long day in the saddle, the lack of a swift comfort break option meant that it was a case of all layers off when needing to respond to natures call, not idea when it's raining and cold, and more often than not, not in a warm cafe. 

Our tester wasn't a fan of ankle zips, but the legendry Castelli Nano Flex 3G fabric more than made up for it with it's high level of stretch being partnered with Nano Flex Xtra Dry for a dream team outfit for what is a really competitive price point in the water resistant bib tight world.  

Rapha Women's Pro Team Winter bib tights

(Image credit: Future)

Rapha Women's Pro Team Winter bib tights

Best waterproof cycling bib tights for comfort breaks

Specifications
Material : Polyester mix fabric water and wind resistance
Chamios: Women's specific
Colours: Black only
Sizes : XXL - XL
Reasons to buy
+Dropped tail for easy comfort breaks+Water and wind resistant front +Spray-proof rear+High thermal properties +Some reflective detailing 
Reasons to avoid
-Loose fit on ankles-Magnetic clasp can be fiddly 

The DWR treated Rapha Women's Pro Team Winter bib tights do a great job of getting you through miserable weather, with one of the most important features for women - a dropped tail. This means that taking a comfort break doesn't require the removal of all your your upper half clothing, something that we really missed on the Castelli Sorpasso RoS women's bib tights. 

This waterproof cycling bib tights were great at offering front and rear weather protection, as well as keeping you generally warm on cold rides. 

The ankle fit could have been better, and the magnetic clasp on the bibs less fiddly, but overall, if you want to keep warm and dry for as long as possible, including when nature calls, you can't go far wrong with these. 

Best waterproof cycling trousers or best waterproof cycling bib tights?

When weighing up the options between the best waterproof cycling trousers or cycling bib tights, it's really important to think about the kind of cycling you'll be undertaking in them. 

If you're committed to experiencing reasonably short daily rides no matter what the weather, you'll want something robust, that can pack down, which offers as much protection as possible that you can swiftly get on over your non-cycling clothes. 

If you're looking for keeping the rain spay/ drizzle off without overheating, then a good pair of casual water repellent trousers could be just the job. 

Alternatively, if you're looking for wet weather protection on longer rides, such as winter club runs, then you'll find that waterproof cycling bib tights, with their tight fit, comfortable padding and extra warmth are the ones for you.  

Do waterproof cycling trousers stay waterproof?

This all depends on the fabric they are made from and if there is any surface treatments. You'll find that most durable water repellent treatments will wash off after a while and you will be required to re-apply. If you're not sure where to start, our pages on the best waterproof treatments for your cycling jacket ,or how to re-waterproof your cycling jacket are are just as applicable to your trousers or waterproof cycling bib tights

Best waterproof cycling trousers: what to look for

Cycling cut

When you’re riding a bike, you’ll be bent over rather than standing upright. It's therefore useful to have a cut that’s higher at the back than at the front, so you’ve got adequate coverage of your rear end, with plenty of overlap with your upper half clothing to stop rain from getting in from above and spray from below.

It’s also a good idea to look for waterproof cycling trousers that are wide enough at the knees not to get in the way as you pedal, but tight enough at the ankle not to get caught in your gears. Leg length adjustment is useful to help keep the ends of your trousers out of the way.

Breathability

It’s easy to get hot when you’re cycling. Since you’ll usually have a waterproof top as well as your waterproof bottoms, that means that you can easily get sweaty, particularly if it’s warm and humid.

best cycling waterproof trousers

A pair of waterproof cycling trousers made of breathable fabric will let sweat out better, helping to keep you more comfortable as you ride. See our guide on the best waterproof cycling jackets for more on waterproofing and breathability.

Seam sealing

The best waterproof cycling trousers will be seam sealed. That’s where there’s a waterproof tape applied over the seams to prevent water ingress through the stitching. It’s something that can occur in prolonged downpours, with the extra pressure due to your forward movement helping the water to force its way in.

Reflective

Wet weather makes you less visible to other road traffic, so it’s a good idea to have reflective elements on your clothing. They’ll come as part of most cycling-specific kit, but may not be present on non-specialist items. It’s also worthwhile to use daytime running lights to increase your road presence.

Best waterproof cycling trousers

Packability

If the sun does make an appearance on your ride, it’s useful to be able to take your waterproof cycling trousers off for a more comfortable experience. If you’re on a road bike stowage may be limited to your pockets, especially if you've already got one of the best packable rain jackets for cycling on you. 

Even if you’re using a backpack, you probably don’t want half of it taken up by a damp pair of trousers. So the ability to pack small is useful in a pair of waterproof cycling trousers, although a weightier pair might be more durable.

Zips

Leg zips are useful on waterproof cycling trousers. They make getting the trousers on and off a lot easier, without needing to remove your cycling shoes. Plus, some waterproof trousers will have thigh zips, letting you get a bit more ventilation without needing to take them off completely.

Best waterproof cycling bib tights: what to look for

All the above are relevant when making the best waterproof bib tight purchase, just that your purchase considerations will be coming from a slightly different angle.  

Cut

The cut of a pair of waterproof bib tights will be much closer than cycling trousers, this is mostly because the rider will still be looking for performance over the total waterproofing.

While these will seem closer to a race fit than trousers, it's worth bearing in mind that even the most advanced wind and water resistant fabrics wont be as malleable as simple Lycra, so will have a slightly boxier fit than a standard race cut pair of bib tights, and will often have a weight penalty.  

The best waterproof cycling bib tights will have an integrated chamois too, this can often be similar to the usual padding as featured in the brand's bib shorts, so worth investing in a pair of tights that do carry it across if you know you get on with it well. Some waterproof bib tights also have a more waterproof pad, which is a really good investment, as a wet chamois can get waterlogged and really uncomfortable very quickly. 

Breathability 

Waterproof cycling bib tights will be much more breathable than a pair of waterproof cycling trousers that go over your clothing. Again however, fabric that tends to offer water protection, will do so in both directions, so don't expect them to be as breathable as your regular pair of the best cycling bib tights.  

Reflective details 

In general, no matter where you ride, as soon as the rain falls, so does the light levels. For us it's a no brainer to have reflective detailing on any waterproof clothing, but watch for how this is applied on bib tights as their stretchy nature can mean iron on details soon peel off. 

Dropped tail

For women this feature will come in to it's own on your first cold ride that necessitates a comfort break. Without one, you'll find you'll be required to remove all of your upper half first, meaning that no matter how well performing your waterproof jacket or bib tights are, you'll quickly be soaked to the skin unless you're in a dry cafe.