FUNKIER AQUA GENT'S PRO WATER-REPELLENT TIGHTS IN BLACK
XL 357g Black (as tested) £ 74.99
The Funkier Aqua Gents Pro Water-Repellent Tights in Black are a winter weight tight made from a thermal, water repelling fabric, so you'll stay drier and warmer for longer. At £75, they represent excellent value, too.
Pros: Great value.
Cons: Water-repellent rathet than water-proof.
These are a ten-panel design made from a very sturdy 80% Polyamide, 20% Spandex mix, with a tactile micro-fleece lining and flatlock seams. No risk of being branded after a day's riding.
The outer fabric has a water-repellent coating, which doesn't require any specialist care, or re-proofing. Just a bit of common sense, when it comes to washing. As goes for any technical garment, really.
Silicone grippers at the waist and ankles are sensibly proportioned. These also feature stealth retro-reflective detailing and the latter also feature a self-locking nylon zipper.
Pad-wise, this is the B14, shared with their Ride Flo Gents 3/4 Length Summer Bib Tights. No exotic looking contours, the slimline pad features an anti-bacterial top layer designed to wick moisture, manage odour. Medium density foam provides support. Standards of construction are uniformly good and there's been no hint of chafing, or deterioration in 6 weeks and roughly 600 miles.
Ours were XL. By most size guides, my 32 inch waist and 33.5 inseam equates to a medium. Being a waist, rather than bib design, I was also relieved to find everything fitted perfectly - no bagginess around the moderately high waist, ensuring greater protection to the lower back. This also permitted a middleweight base layer to be tucked in, providing the ultimate seal, paired with a decent jersey and usually, technical jacket.
Leg length is also bang on, running seamlessly past my ankles, thus continuing the weather cheating theme. Forming a good seal with touring shoes, there's been no issues with MTB type booties, when things have turned bitterly cold. That said, I'd still try for size, or at least scrutinise their sizing chart carefully, before clicking to cart.
Comfort has been superb all round and I've only noticed ours, in the most positive sense. October/November were still relatively mind but I've found ours consistently temperate between 10 and -2 degrees. The medium density pad and cut has delivered unrestricted movement and considerable refinement. Minor mistiness is quickly wicked and though not generally good. hygienic practice, I've worn ours three consecutive days and three seventy-mile rides without anything funky or fetid.
Blistering, chafing and similar rub has also been a moot point, regardless of saddle choice. Talking of which, the water-repellent outer affords just the right amount of tenure, permitting effortless mid ride shuffling, without annoying slide-particularly on traditional leather saddles. In terms of staying dry, it will resist persistent moderate rainfall, for around 90 minutes before it finally penetrates the outer fabric and the inner faintly damp.
However, thanks to the micro-fleece lining, chill has been a moot point, even when it’s been raining dogs and sliding towards 2 degrees. Yes, riding fixed and constantly spinning the cranks helped but this song remained unchanged on my tubby tourer and more technical terrain. I've yet to get saturated, even after several hours steady.
Gentle breezes help with the drying process and frankly, I'd much prefer a water-repellent fabric that breathes, to a truly impervious one that leaves me feeling ‘boiled in the bag.’ When things finally seep in.
Typical drying times with rider generated heat seem to be around the thirty-minute mark, although bargain on two hours at room temperature, following a machine wash. At 2 degrees, on a cold dry day, I could feel icy blasts permeating the outer layer but again, the micro-fleece lining kept my legs warm.
Towards 12 degrees and the inner climate becomes clammier but no worse than several other middleweight winter tights in my wardrobe. The cut and give, ensures that emptying weary bladders by the roadside, or cafe' facilities are straightforward and dignified.
Durability/ Care 4/5
Having regularly washed, worn and subjected the fabric to spirited bridle path blasts, there's no hint of bobbling, or similar damage, six weeks or so down the line. Not that I'd expect that, given the timescale and garment's tog weight.
A bit of common sense is required when washing. Yes, by all means bung them in with the civilian wash but ensure no-one's dumped a load of fabric softener, or similar stripping agent in.
Ideally stick to 30-degree cycles, although ours have emerged fine at 40 degrees, on several occasions. You could always wash them with your 2/3 layer laminated jackets, adding some proofing agent to the mix. However, to date, I've not felt the need.
There are some store brands offering decent entry level bib tights, for £55. However, these do not feature a water repellent layer and similar refinements. We've seen some small brand bibs with otherwise similar specification, commanding nearer £90, so whichever way we look at it, there's little to grumble about, in the value stakes.
For the money, the Funkier Aqua Gents Pro Water-Repellent Tights are an excellent option for enjoying the winter months. Especially if you're racking up the miles on a a cyclo-cross, or similar build, sans mudguards.