Sealskinz Waterproof bib shorts review

With wet conditions holding sway, we've been testing Sealskinz's fully waterproof bib shorts

Sealskinz waterproof bibshorts
(Image credit: Cycling Studio)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

Sealskinz’s bibshorts boast impressive features for wet rides in milder conditions. There’s a comfortable pad too. The fit is close, though, and I found the short bibstraps uncomfortable.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Fully waterproof with taped seams

  • +

    Windproof fabric

  • +

    Breathable enough to remain comfortable

  • +

    Quality pad with low friction facing

  • +

    Reasonable price

  • +

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Short bibs are uncomfortable

  • -

    Sizing is a bit Italian – you may need to size up

  • -

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

These Sealskinz waterproof bib shorts are new for this year. Along with waterproof bib tights and a waterproof jacket, they form part of a range of clothing which broadens Sealskinz’s remit from waterproof accessories to keeping your whole body dry on wet rides – the sort of weather you can expect at any time in the UK.

Unlike many water-resistant cycling shorts, the Sealskinz waterproof bib shorts are fully waterproof, with the parts exposed to the rain made of a three-layer laminate which incorporates a middle waterproof breathable membrane. All the seams are internally tape-sealed too, to keep out the wet.

>>> Cycling in the rain - how to survive it (video)

Anything overlapped by your top half clothing – the upper parts of the shorts’ body and the bibs – is made of a breathable Lycra, with the bibs having flat-welded outer edges. All the seams are flatlocked and there are internal silicone leg grippers. You get reflective red darts and logos on the legs.

Sealskinz Waterproof Cycling bibshorts

Sealskinz uses a quality Cytech pad and tapes its seams

Inside, there’s a comfortable Cytech seat pad with a smooth, comfortable top surface and three different densities of foam.

>>> Best cycling bib shorts

Sealskinz describes its shorts as having a snug fit: the Medium comes up more Italian than UK sized. There’s enough stretch in the fabric that they’re not uncomfortably close, but I did find the bibs on the Sealskinz waterproof bib shorts too short on me. They bit into the shoulders when riding and caused the pad to ride up. Anyone with a more racing snake build might find it difficult to get a good fit.

Sealskinz has made the bib shorts very breathable though, despite their ability to shrug off rain and wheelspray. Although hotter than Lycra shorts, I didn’t find that I got sweaty even on warmer rides.

Sealskinz Waterproof Cycling bibshorts

The logos and the red flashes are highly reflective
(Image credit: Cycling Studio)

As well as these fully waterproof shorts, Sealskinz makes a water repellent variety which is surface coated and comes without the taped seams. It’s lighter with more air circulation for warm, damp rides and lighter on the wallet too at £80.

Overall, the Sealskinz waterproof bib shorts are an excellent idea. It’s just a shame that the bib straps are a bit too short to be comfortable.

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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.