The La Passione Prestige Deep Winter Tights are top performers, highly comfortable and have a high-end look, but their price is lower than you might expect for an Italian-made garment of this quality.
Less stretch on the front panels
The La Passione Prestige Deep Winter Tights are exceptionally warm, weatherproof and well fitting. Even though £170 is hardly cheap, their performance matches winter tights that break the £200 barrier from the premium brands – and they’re made in Italy.
La Passione says the Prestige tights are “designed to help you enjoy the harshest winter conditions” and although something might have been lost in translation here, their protection against the elements is so good that winter actually can be enjoyed rather than endured.
La Passione Prestige Deep Winter Tights: Construction
La Passione says the Prestige tights are made from a membrane fabric with high breathability. A thicker, three-layer, DWR-coated fabric extends from the sides of the hips down to below the knees. There's a fleecy lining throughout.
The lower legs taper perfectly into the elastic cuffs – personally, I prefer zip-free cuffs like these for a neater interface with overshoes – and there’s no bagginess even around skinny ankles.
Unlike the Shimano Evolve Wind tights, which have a similar thicker wind/waterproof front, the fit of the La Passiones was good around the knees, with just the smallest bit of creasing – something that is difficult to avoid with thicker, less elastic fabric. The knees are semi-shaped, with an extra seam on the inside taking them in slightly to keep creasing to a minimum. When the knees are bent, the creases all but disappear.
The bib section extends high up the front and takes no chances with gaps, and the back is nice and high too, finishing with mesh that divides into the wide shoulder straps. The creases to the side of the chamois in the photo below are flattened out in in the riding position.
It’s good to see such prominent, well placed reflectives on the backs of the legs – and done with style, looking like two sections of road (actually La Passione’s ‘hold the line’ logo). The La Passione lettering on the sides of the legs is also reflective.
The Elastic Interface chamois is thick and supportive and ideal for longer, slower winter rides. I was also pleased to see that it was smooth with just with a central groove – and also black rather than celeste, fluro orange or sky blue!
La Passione’s size guide is accurate – I found the fit of the medium exactly right (I am 178cm and 68kg). They come in seven sizes.
These are some of the warmest tights I’ve ridden in. Deep Winter is correct. Their stated temperature range is -1°C to 8°C, which I would say is right. For winter road cycling, which can’t safely take place in temperatures much lower than that anyway, they’re all you need. And in some of the worst conditions this year, these tights have been the only garment I've been wearing that has kept the warmth in and the weather out.
On the bike, the stiffer fabric of the front panels did seem to pull the chamois into a position slightly further forward of where I thought it should be, but my sit bones were still fully supported. Without looking down at it, I wouldn’t have known, since comfort was unchanged.
I was satisfied with their breathability, though it has to be said these tights are for the coldest days when all available body heat needs to retained. At 8°C, their stated upper limit, I would probably choose a lighter pair, for dry riding at least.
As for the Prestige tights' durability, they've been through a few wash cycles and the front panels are as waterproof as on day one, but the DWR coating will need reapplying eventually. I’m pleased to see the reflectives aren’t peeling at all. I would say these tights will last a few winters.
La Passione says its direct-sales model helps it keep its prices low compared to “the other guys," that the cost to produce a pair of high-end winter tights such as these is the same but it cuts out distributors, agents, marketing, sponsoring and retail mark-up and passes on the savings. It estimates that with all of these extras, the Prestige Deep Winter Tights would cost £255, which is more expensive than the Assos Mille GT Ultraz (£240), the Santini Adapt (£215) and the Rapha Pro Team (£210). Obviously, it’s impossible for us to verify this, but at their actual price of £170 it’s fair to say they do offer good value, because their performance is on a par with those £200-plus tights, the fabrics are high quality and durable, construction is very neat and they have a premium look and feel.
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Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor on the magazine following an MA in online journalism (yes, it was just after the dot-com bubble burst).
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Shorter fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
And the vital statistics:
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