The Sportful Total Comfort bib tights succeed in being very comfortable on long winter rides.
I first pulled on the Total Comfort tights with high hopes having been very impressed by Sportful’s No-Rain legwear reviewed in December.
“The name says it all,” reads the Italian firm’s description of the Total Comfort tights. Designed with long distance winter riding in mind, the tights have a number of features to ensure, well, total comfort, including a plush chamois and thick mesh bib straps.
The tights are made from a fleece-lined thermodrytex double fabric which has a hollow polyester inner layer said to insulate while actively wicking sweat away to the outer nylon layer.
The recent freezing weather has provided the perfect opportunity to test the insulating properties of the tights, which remained warm on rides where the mercury threatened threatened to touch zero degrees, helped by additional lining on the front and knees. The tights will also shrug off light road spray without offering the increase water resistant protection of the No-Rain range.
So the tights are comfortable in that they’ll keep you warm, which is the basis for any winter clothing review. How about the chamois? Sportful have opted for a very plush seat pad which is up to 18mm thick. A thick pad doesn’t necessarily mean a comfortable pad and the racier pad on the No-Rain tights was well-suited to my derrière – but I found the Total Comfort pad to be, well, totally comfortable, particularly on long rides of more than four hours.
Beside its extra thickness, the chamois has a multi-density construction, dimpled surface and anatomic design which all help when racking up winter miles. Long winter rides provide the basis for the year ahead and the Total Comfort’s pad does a great job of making those miles as comfortable as possible.
The thick bib straps are also excellent, providing a comfortable and secure footing for the tights, while the open mesh structure helps moisture escape from both the tights and base layer beneath while also providing a little ventilation. At the other end of the tights, the legs are secured by a zip on either ankle, finished with reflective trim.
While the No-Rain bib tights previously reviewed secured top marks for their water resistance, it was the seamless – and faultless – fit which secured their billing as the best tights I’ve tested this winter. And while the fit of the Total Comfort tights is, on the whole, good, it’s not quite as good as the No-Rain tights, with a little too much material in the leg meaning there’s a little bunching around the back of the knee and I have to hoik the tights up just a touch after pulling them on.
The tights come up against tough in-house competition thanks to the superb quality of the No-Rain range, whose tights and jackets are ideal for the damp British winter. But that aside, the Total Comfort bib tights are just that – very comfortable thanks to a well-thought design which has been tailored to make long winter miles as comfy as possible.