With wet conditions holding sway, we've been testing Sealskinz's fully waterproof bib shorts
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.
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.
Inside, there’s a comfortable Cytech seat pad with a smooth, comfortable top surface and three different densities of foam.
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.
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.
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.