Sealskinz Water Repellent Bib Shorts review

Sealskinz Water Repellent Bib Shorts offer a summer weight fabric with the added bonus of water repellency. How do they cope with showers and damp roads?

Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Sealskinz Water Repellent bibshorts are light enough to be comfortable on warmer rides, with the added bonus of water repellency if the heavens do open. They have a good quality pad, but the bibs are a bit short, which I found uncomfortable.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Comfortable pad which isn’t overly-thick

  • +

    Water repellent fabric coating

  • +

    Light enough to be comfortable for damp summer rides

  • +

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Short bibs are uncomfortable

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Sealskinz has recently broadened its range of cycling apparel from kit for your extremities to bibshorts, tights and jackets. They continue the brand’s emphasis on keeping rain at bay during your outdoor activities.

Whereas the Waterproof Bibshorts are made from a three layer laminate fabric and have taped seams, the Sealskinz Water Repellent Bib Shorts I'm testing here are lycra-based with surface treatment to keep water out, with untaped flatlocked seams. So they’re not designed for quite the full-on deluge of the waterproof version, but manage well in lighter rain. It’s nice to have a bit of protection from damp roads.

Sealskinz flatlocks all the seams, but unlike the Waterproof version, they're not taped internally

They’re also a bit lighter so they’re more comfortable to wear in warm conditions if it looks as if it’s likely to be showery. Sealskinz says that a result of their water repellent treatment is that the shorts dry fast, so you’re less likely to be riding in damp kit once the rain stops.

>>> Bibshort buyer's guide (video)

Cytech Liege pad is not over-thick but still comfortable

They’ve got the same Cytech Liege pad as the waterproof version. It’s made from three different densities of foam padding and has an extra-soft, low friction facing fabric. It’s not particularly thick, but has enough cushioning in the right places to be comfortable.

>>> Sealskinz Waterproof Cycling Jacket review

Watch: Wet weather riding skills

There are internal silicone leg grippers and a reflective Sealskinz logo on the rear of the right leg. The bibs are mesh with sewn edge seams and a wide gap in the rear for better heat dissipation. Although I'm of average height, I have quite a long torso and found they came up a bit short on me, so the pad tended to be pulled up after a few cycles of out of the saddle riding, needing adjustment to prevent this becoming uncomfortable. They’re less prone to this than the full waterproof version though.

>>> Why do cyclists wear lycra?

But the fit of the legs is just right, with enough length to keep most of my thighs dry. The fabric is not heavy either, so the bibshorts are comfortable in warmer conditions and provide enough ventilation and air circulation not to be hot.

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Paul Norman

Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.

He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.