Pactimo Women’s Cycling Clothing: Tested And Reviewed!

Pactimo is a well-known, well-respected cycling clothing brand that offers a little bit of everything. Whether you need a new kit for the road, trail, or cold weather adventure, Pactimo has plenty of options for you.

We’ve put a bunch of their best-selling pieces thru the wringer to see how they perform, feel, and hold up. Scroll thru to read about the whole collection, or jump to our review of a specific piece.

Table Of Contents

About Pactimo
Road Collection
Ascent Vector Short
Ascent Vector Bibs
Ascent Short Sleeve Jersey
Cold Weather
Vertex WX-D Bib Tight
Alpine Thermal Long Sleeve Jersey
Winter Socks
Mountain Bike / Gravel Collection
Range Pants
Range jersey
Apex shorts
Ridgeline Soft Shell Hoodie

Why We Like Pactimo As A Company

Pactimo is a Colorado-based, sustainable company focused on making an impact on the cycling industry AND the world. 

There is truly nothing better than a sustainable cycling company with a great message. So many of us want to “vote with our dollars” these days, and proudly support companies that are focused on sustainability and giving back. 

According to their website, “Pactimo is a derivative of the word impactful. When the company was founded, we set out to make an imPACT on the industry, our customer’s and employee’s lives and, most importantly, this global village we call Earth.” 

When I received my Pactimo shorts I noted that the packaging was very nice but also minimal, which was great. In addition to minimizing packaging waste, Pactimo is also focused on using recycled materials in some of their clothing, which is really great.

 

Additionally, Pactimo gives back to the community through donations to a variety of charities, both cycling related and not.

I think that it’s amazing that more and more cycling companies are committing to sustainability and giving back, and applaud Pactimo for being a part of this awesome trend. 

Ascent Vector Short

tested by Stacy Smith

Price: $134 at Pactimo.com

I am always on the hunt for a good bike short…I mean, what female cyclist isn’t?  So, not too surprisingly, when I had the opportunity to check out Pactimo’s Ascent Vector short I jumped at the opportunity. 

I am always looking for a short that has an excellent chamois.

Not too thick, not too thin. Awesome quality material that isn’t itchy or hot. 

We women want a short with just the right amount of stretch. You know, so you can get them on without doing the “jiggle dance.” I cannot tell you how many times I have legitimately laughed at myself in my closet mirror when I am trying to pull on some shorts! 

And yet, at the same time, we also want enough compression to feel supported. 

It is definitely a balance, and if you’re anything like me you get to a point where you just kind of want to throw up your hands and give up on finding the perfect short. 

I still hang in there though, because I know the perfect short MUST be out there somewhere!

Every single time I have the opportunity to try shorts for a new brand, I will enthusiastically say “Yes, please!”

The Pactimo Women’s Ascent Vector Short is an excellent bike short option. It has a good amount of give but still leaves you supported. The chamois is high quality and the fabric is very comfortable. It is well-designed and flattering. 

The Pactimo Women’s Ascent Vector Short is Very Comfortable

Comfort is absolutely key when you are choosing a cycling shot, and the Women’s Ascent Vector short is VERY comfortable. 

I am generally not a big fan of compression anything, so a short that squeezes me like a sausage is never going to be a good thing. Also, I am a bigger girl, so what may feel nice to someone on the smaller size often doesn’t work. It just ends up leaving me with essentially seam welts on my body, and a bit of a stomach ache from my belly being squeezed too tight. 

The Pactimo Ascent Vector Short has just enough compression. It keeps you feeling nice and tucked in, but doesn’t lead to the point of pain or welts. 

The chamois is also great. It is solidly not too thick and not too thin. This is personal preference, but if I were doing a much longer ride I would prefer a somewhat thicker chamois. To me, this short is perfect for anything up to 30/35 miles. 

According to Pactimo’s description, “the Italian Elastic Interface® chamois offers larger coverage with added padding in the front for added comfort.” I will say that I noticed and appreciated the greater amount of coverage…it was very nice! 

I do have a couple of relatively small complaints, though. After about 15 miles into my ride the shorts did roll down under my belly. This was not particularly comfortable, and I didn’t at all feel like stopping to roll them back up. 

Also, it was a chilly day, so my belly got COLD! I could have done without that, which is why I often will choose a bib short for a longer ride than a regular short. 

Finally, I should mention that the leg cuffs were a bit more restrictive than others I have tried. This is great in that it prevents them from rolling up (which no one wants!) and keeps them in place.

Great grip!


It’s not so great if you are a bigger girl like me and don’t like your thighs to be squeezed.

The Women’s Ascent Vector Short Comes in…SHORT! 

  Speaking of thighs, these shorts hit mine in just the right place. As a shorter gal (I am 5’ 2 ¾ inches and that ¾ ‘s COUNTS!) I find almost ALL of my bike shorts to be a tad bit too long. These are absolutely perfect. And, as you can see, short doesn’t mean like “Daisy Duke” short. It just means that they will fit us shorter girls the way that regular shorts fit taller girls. This is a really awesome and pleasing option. 

Many bike clothing companies don’t offer short versions of their shorts/bibs/or tights, so I must say that I am very grateful to Pactimo for offering this option. 

The Sizing on the Ascent Vector Short is Limited 

One thing that is a little disappointing with the Pactimo Ascent Vector Short is that it is only offered in sizes XS-XL.

Additionally, when I compared the size chart to other brands, the sizing isn’t quite as generous either. So the XL is actually going to fit more like a large for many people. I ordered my “normal” cycling short size, and I definitely felt like I could have sized up. 

Now, I love my body, and think it’s freaking amazing. I am cool with ordering whatever size fits, and I don’t care if it’s one thing or another. Still, though, I do feel a little twinge of disappointment when I pull on a pair of shorts that I think “should” fit and they don’t. 

I do think it should be noted here, though, that some of Pactimo’s bibs/short styles are offered in larger sizes, like XXL. Additionally, their custom kits can be ordered up to size 4X. They also offer a “fit kit” for their custom gear, so that you can make sure what you get is what fits you which is pretty awesome, too! 

The Women’s Ascent Vector Short Design is Attractive and Flattering 

I will be honest, I got a LOT of compliments on these shorts. The design is fresh, the lines are just lovely, and they are simply flattering. 

I loved the way they looked, and my friends in my Wednesday Night Women’s Ride loved them too! I felt like my thighs “bowed out” a little more than I would like around the rather tight leg cuffs, but I think if I sized up that would have solved this problem. 

Come to think of it, it probably would have helped with the tightness of the leg cuffs, too! 

According to the description of the Ascent Vector Short on the Pactimo website, they have “Pactimo’s proprietary Silhouette™ articulation and contoured seaming.” It feels good. It looks good. It’s absolutely a win.

Women’s Ascent Vector Bibs

pactimo bib shorts

tested by Kristen Bonkoski

Price: $174 at Pactimo.com*

I love me a good bib short, and I found the Ascent Vector bibs to be both comfortable and flattering. They’re more breathable than most and I found myself grabbing for them on warm summer days.

Good For Hot Days

The Ascent Vector bibs are lightweight and thanks to the mesh upper, extremely breathable. They were some of the better bibs I’ve worn for hot days. I do worry some that the mesh fabric will wear quickly, but thus far, no problems. If you live in a warm climate, these bibs are a good choice.

Wide Leg Bands

I’m a big fan of wider silicone leg bands like the one found on the Ascent Vector. They keep you from getting that weird sausage like look that narrower elastic does, and I didn’t end up with the leg bands cutting into my thighs.

Mildly Compressive

These bibs were just compressive enough (everything was comfortable and stayed in place), without being excessively so. If you like the more European feel, super-compressive bibs, you’ll want to try something like the Machines For Freedom bib instead. On the other hand, if you prefer some breathing space, you’ll like the Ascent Vector.

Comfortable Chamois (But A Bit Wider and Longer Than I Prefer)

The chamois on these bibs was quite comfortable on everything from trainer rides to long-distance. They are a good medium-thickness. Not minimalist, but not bulky either.

That said, I did find there to be a bit too much fabric around the chamois both between the legs and at the front of the crotch. Pactimo mentions this on their website: “The Italian-made, Elastic Interface® chamois in the Ascent Vector offers a larger footprint with more coverage to fit a wider range of riders, and includes added front coverage for increased comfort and reduced chaffing.”

It’s true I didn’t end up with any chafing, but I also felt the chamois came up awkwardly high in the front. It’s a couple inches longer than any of my other go-to bibs.

Straps Stay In Place

Rather than a halter or racerback type design, the Acent Vector has more traditional straps–but with a connector piece between the shoulder blades. This connector is not adjustable, but worked well for me. The straps stayed in place and weren’t overly tight.

It’s also worth noting that there’s no sort of quick release on these bibs for easy pee breaks. Either learn to be a houdini pee-er or use these bibs for shorter rides.

High Quality At A Reasonable Price

In case you hadn’t noticed, bibs are expensive! Especially good ones.

The Ascent Vector shorts manage to come in at under $200 and are often on sale for far less. Unlike most “budget” bibs, these feel high quality and fit well.

Feels Good Against The Skin (No Irritation)

These bibs have minimal stitching and no unnecessary panels, which make them a good choice for women with sensitive skin. I didn’t have any issue with itching or rubbing.

There is a tag inside the bibs, but with careful removal, you should be able to get it out without damaging the shorts.

Women’s Ascent SS Jersey

tested by Kristen Bonkoski

Price: $120 at Pactimo.com*

The Women’s Ascent short sleeve jersey is pretty much your traditional, club fit bike jersey. Nothing too out there or unique, but sometimes simple is exactly what you’re looking for.

Club Fit

The Ascent SS jersey is what’s generally referred to as a “club fit.” This is a little looser fitting than a tighter racing jersey, and is flattering on most women.

I found the jersey to be just relaxed enough without looking baggy. It had a fairly good length, but the waist was narrower, so if you have larger hips, it may ride up to the waist.

As a result, I found it was a great fit with bib shorts, but less so with non-bibs.

Lightweight But Not Thin

The Ascent SS jersey feel lightweight and good for warm days, but isn’t flimsy or thin like many summer-weight jerseys. It definitely feels high quality and expensive.

Large Rear Pockets (Plus Zipper!)

There are three roomy rear pockets (big enough for your cell phone and lightweight jacket). There is also a small zippered pocket to the right side. This is perfect for zipping your ID and cash safely away. Wish all jerseys had this feature!

pactimo short sleeve jersey pockets

Full Zip Front

The Ascent Jersey has a front zipper that unzips fully, making it a good choice for wearing with bibs as well as for hot days. The zipper has a bit of rubber on it that makes it easy to zip or unzip one handed on the bike.

 UPF 50+ fabric

In addition to being breathable on hot days, this jersey is also great for summer riding due to the UPF 50+ fabric. If you spend a bunch of time out in the sun, your skin will thank you.

Women’s Vertex WX-D Bib Tight

tested by Kristen Bonkoski

Price: $224 at Pactimo.com*

When I first got the Vertex bib tight this spring, I thought I’d be waiting until next winter to test them out. Alas, mother nature had different plans. We had our fair share of sub-freezing and snowy days this spring, so lucky you–I got to test these out early!

The good news is that the Vertex bib tight is crazy warm and cozy, so I really didn’t have any excuse to hang out on the trainer. Winter riding is totally doable with these tights.

Good To Zero (Yes, Zero!) Degrees

Do you run cold? These bibs are pretty much a must have then.

They are super warm, with a suggested temperature range of 0° to 40°F. If you run warm at all, they are probably even better suited for sub-freezing temperatures.

The material is super thick, and on the inside is fleece lined, making them really cozy. The exterior is coated for to be both wind and rain resistant.

I wore them on the road in snowy conditions, and next winter I plan to wear them for fat biking as well.

Chest Clip For Easy Pee Breaks

If it’s sub-freezing you absolutely do not want to take off your upper layers to get bib off. Thankfully, the Women’s Vertex bib has low sides and chest clip that allows you to unclip and pull down the back of the shorts to pee. This does take a bit of practice, but is totally doable and appreciated.

The chest clip does seem a little small and fragile to me, so I worry a bit about long term durability but it has held up thus far.

Ankle Zippers And Reflective Strips

In order to help you get these pants on and off, there are ankle zippers. They are quite long and were appreciated when trying to wrangle my way into these tights.

Right next to the zippers are reflective strips, and there are reflective logos on the hips as well. That’s appreciated as winter riding tends to be in lower light conditions.

Alpine Thermal LS Jersey

tested by Kristen Bonkoski

Price: $159 at Pactimo.com*

The Alpine Thermal LS Jersey is a nice in between piece between a lighter weight long sleeve jersey and a jacket. At my comfort level, it was great by itself in the 40s and 50s, and as a layering piece in even colder temps.

Great Versatility

Layering is the name of the game when it comes to riding in cooler conditions, and the Alpine Thermal jersey makes for a great layering piece. Yes, you can wear it on it’s own, but thanks to the full zip it can also be worn like a jacket. On different rides, I’ve worn this piece on it’s own, over a short-sleeve jersey, over a merino baselayer, under a vest, and with a rainjacket.

It’s also versatile in the sense that I feel comfortable wearing this for whatever type of riding I’m doing. It’s worked great on road rides but also on my mountain biking and commuting.

Cozy Material

The exterior of the jersey has an almost silky feel while the interior has a soft, fleece like material. This not only had the benefit of keeping me warm, it had the mental benefit of feeling cozy when I didn’t really feel like going out into the cold to ride.

pactimo thermal jersey

Lots Of Reflective Stripes

If you like to be seen on the road, the Alpine Thermal jersey will help you do just that. Unlike many jerseys with their small token stripes, the Alpine jersey has sizable stripes across the arms and and on the rear pocket.

Pocket Space

This jersey has one large rear pocket, and two smaller ones. The large pocket is large enough for me to carry a vest and and phone, but the two smaller pockets are awkwardly narrow. They’re big enough to fit a bar, but not much else.

There is also a zippered section that’s great for keeping valuables secure. It’s large enough for a credit card, ID, and car keys.

High Neck, Full Zip

As I already mentioned, the jersey unzips fully so you can wear it with bibs or as a top layer. When it’s time to zip it up, the neck comes up quite high to provide additional warmth and wind protection.

Winter Sock

tested by Kristen Bonkoski

Price: $32 at Pactimo.com*

The key to winter riding (or cooler spring/fall riding) is keeping your hands and feet warm. Once those get cold, your ride quickly turns miserable.

The Pactimo Winter sock does a great job of providing warmth without being too thick to fit inside your riding shoes comfortably.

Keeps Your Feet Warm And Dry Without The Bulk

My favorite thing about the Pactimo Winter sock is that they are relatively thin and yet warm. I’ve been known to sacrifice a little bit of foot comfort by jamming a thick wool sock into my riding shoes, but these socks kept my feet just as warm without the bulk.

In fact, Pactimo claims that their polyester socks are “30% lighter in weight compared to a similar knit sock constructed of Merino Wool.” I even chose to bring these as my bivvy sleeping socks on a cold overnighter rather than my normal wool socks to save space in my bag and my feet stayed toasty.

A Bit Stinkier Than Merino

The only thing holding me back from having these be my #1 cold weather pick is that they aren’t merino. While they did an admirable job of staying warm and dry like merino, they don’t have the same antimicrobiable properties.

In other words, these probably aren’t the pair of socks I’d want to wear for multi-day bikepacking or touring. And even on wet day rides, the socks kinda stunk when I got home.

Pilled Quickly

Another thing worth mentioning is that after a half dozen washes, these socks did start to pill quite a bit. Not a big deal if they are tucked under pants or thermal tights, but less ideal if you plan on them being visible.

Women’s Range Pants

tested by Kristen Bonkoski

Price: $107 at Pactimo.com*

Surprisingly, the Range pant was hands-down my favorite piece of Pactimo gear I tested. In fact, it’s one of my favorite pieces of mountain bike clothing I’ve reviewed, period.

Why? They are insanely comfortable. Like as comfortable as any pair of sweatpants I own. They also work well for wear off the bike and I found myself grabbing for these on any casual dress day.

Comfortable On (And Off) The Bike

Clearly the most important part of a bike pant is that they feel comfortable on the bicycle and don’t restrict movement. That was definitely the case with the Range pant.

I was able to pedal all day in these pants and never felt restricted or uncomfortable. I have relatively large thighs, hips, and bum, and didn’t feel that the pants pulled or dug in anywhere.

There’s a little bit of spandex in the fabric, so they are stretchy and move well. While the overall fit is fairly loose, the pants to taper at the ankle so that they won’t get caught in your drivetrain.

While I don’t typically ride with a chamois (I wore wool boy shorts under these), I did go for a ride with a Club Ride chamois underneath to make sure that they would fit. They did.

Not only were these pants comfortable on the bike, they were so comfortable off the bike, that I found myself wearing them constantly. To lounge on the couch, to the grocery store, to walk the dog.

If you like peices of clothing that can work both on and off the bike, you’ll love the Pactimo Range pant. I wouldn’t wear these for anything fancy, but for biking, lounging, hiking, or running errands, they are fab.

Water And Dirt Resistant

These aren’t “rain pants” but they do an awfully good job of repelling water. I recently wore them on a rainy, cool, bikepacking trip and I was crazy impressed by how well they kept me dry, and how well they dried out between rain storms.

range pants

The pants have a DWR (durable water repellent) coating which is what makes them work well in the wet. It also works well at repelling dirt which is another reason I loved the pants for bikepacking.

And unlike other pants I’ve tested with a DWR coating (like the Club Ride xxx, for example), the Range pants don’t make any swish-swish-swish noise with movement. Not sure how the managed that, but I’m grateful.

Traditional Waistband

The waistband on the Range Pants is what I’d consider an old-school, traditional waistband. It has a zipper, snap, and belt loops. Aside from a belt there is no way to cinch up the pants or adjust the waist.

Surprisingly, this design worked really well on my body. (Most traditional pants don’t work so well for me as I have large hips and a narrow waist). I didn’t have any gap between my lower back and the pants, nor did they dig in.

Clearly, the pants worked for my body type, but because they aren’t adjustable, I’m not sure they’d work for EVERY body.

Plenty Of Pockets

Women’s mountain bike pants (and shorts) rarely have as many pockets as their male counterparts. That’s why I was happy to discover that then Range pants have five–yes, five!–pockets.

Two of these are hand pockets, but there is also a zippered side pocket and two rear zippered pockets. The side pocket worked great for me while bikepacking to stuff granola bar wrappers. On another ride, I used it to stash my ID, credit card, and cash.

You wouldn’t want to put anything to bulky in the rear pockets since you’re sitting on them, but they’d also work well for carrying cash or wrappers or the like.

Comes In Grey

The only bummer to me about these pants is that they only come in grey. Don’t get my wrong, I love the grey, but I like these pants so much, I’d totally take a couple of pairs in different colors or designs.

Range Tee

pactimo range tee

tested by Kristen Bonkoski

Price: $96 at Pactimo.com*

Like the Range pants above, the Range jersey does a great job of pulling double duty. Yes, it’s a mountain bike jersey, but it’s easy to wear for running, hiking, or lounging as well. There’s nothing about it that screams “bike jersey!”

Loose Fit

I appreciated the loose fit of the Range jersey. It made it airy on hotter days, and made it easy to wear elbow pads as well.

This was the loosest fitting piece of Pactimo clothing I tested, so if you like a bit of a tighter fit, I’d recommend sizing down.

Merino Blend Is Comfortable And Dries Quickly

Oh, how I love a good merino blend! Merino does a great job of drying quickly and staying stink free.

Like the Range pants, I used the Range jersey primarily for bikepacking. I tend to only wear merino tops (and underwear) when doing multi-day rides, and the Range performed well. It was fairly wet when I pulled into camp on day one, and had dried out completely by the time I had to put it back on on morning 2.

It also didn’t wrinkle and stayed looking–as well as smelling–fresh.

Simple, T-Shirt Design

The Range jersey doesn’t have any pockets, which may be a positive or a negative for you. It worked well for me, as I tend to wear a hip pack anyway.

I liked that the design was simple as it meant I could wear it on or off the bike. I found that I’d take off my baggy shorts after a ride and slip on some clean running shorts, but leave the jersey on even if I needed to run an errand or join friends for post-ride beers.

Expensive

Merino peices are never cheap, but even when you take that into consideration, the Range jersey is quite spendy. At around $100, it’s considerably more than the Shower’s Pass Apex merino jersey, for example.

Limited Colors

The only other con of the Range jersey is that it only comes in two colors–black or baby blue. If you’re a stylish kinda gal that likes to color coordinate, this might be a deal breaker.

Women’s Apex Shorts

tested by Kristen Bonkoski

Price: $93 at Pactimo.com*

The Women’s Apex shorts were the only piece of Pactimo clothing I didn’t love. Interestingly, there are plenty of positive reviews of these shorts elsewhere, so take my opinions with a grain of salt.

Silky Material

The material on the Apex shorts is unlike anything I’m accustomed to. It’s soft and silky to the touch which makes them feel great, and may work well for short, cross-country rides, but they lacked the durability I prefer.

This is not the pair of shorts I would want to crash in or to sit around in the dirt in. The material is fairly thin and I questioned the durability for more aggressive and/or backcountry riders. It also seemed to wrinkle easily.

That said, the thin fabric did feel good on sweltering summer days.

No Waist Adjustment

The Apex shorts has a zipper and snap closure. There is no waist adjustment and no belt loops. Fortunately, the waist fit me pretty well, but if it doesn’t fit your body, you’re sort of out of luck there.

Zipped Pockets

I did appreciate the zippered pockets of which there are two. One on the rear (good for an ID and credit card) and one on the leg. The leg zipper wasn’t quite big enough to fit my phone but it did hold plenty of snacks.

Ridgeline Soft Shell Hoodie

Photo credit: Dean Bradley

tested by Kristen Bonkoski

Price: $232 at Pactimo.com*

It’s been an exceptionally cool and wet spring where I am, so I’ve had ample opportunity to test out the Ridgeline Soft Shell hoodie. While not a true “rain jacket,” I found that it did an exceptional job of keeping me dry and warm especially on big descents. This is a high quality jacket with high quality construction.

Great For Cool (Even Cold) Wet Or Windy Days

As the price would suggest, the Ridgeline hoodie is a true technical piece. This is the jacket you want for blustery days.

It’s finished with DWR coat that kept me dry in even fairly hard rain. It might not keep you dry in the hardest downpour, but let’s be frank, not much does.

It’s also warm for long, chilly descents. Pactimo advertises the jacket as appropriate for 45 degrees to 65 degrees, but I think you could use it on much colder days with a long sleeve merino and a flannel. It’s an excellent top layer.

I’ve only used it on spring days thus far, but could see myself using this as a layer for fat biking in the winter as well.

Better For Descending Than Climbing

Now the downside of the Ridgeline hoody: it’s just not that breathable. There are no vents, and I found I quickly got sweaty when doing any kind of pedaling. In fact, I found myself avoiding putting it on when climbing even when it was lightly raining.

At the summit, however, I was happy to have the Ridgeline. And I guess that’s the appropriate place to put it on: once you’ve reached the ridgeline. For descents, I was happy as a clam in this jacket and found it kept me warmer than nearly any other jacket I have.

Moderately Packable

Unfortunately, there’s always a trade off between how heavy duty a jacket is and how packable it is. I took this jacket on a recent bikepacking trip and it took up more space in my frame bag than I would have preferred. That said, when we were on hour 4 of rain, I was still dry and my friend in the ultra lightweight Outdoor Research Helium jacket was anything but.

If you’re looking for a super lightweight jacket that folds down to fit in your hip pack, this probably isn’t it. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a jacket to protect you against more severe weather and you don’t mind finding a way to carry it, this will be your jam.

pactimo jacket

Elastic At The Hood, Waist, And Wrists

This baby cinches down to keep you dry and warm thanks to plenty of elastic. The wrists have an elastic cuff to tuck under or over your gloves. The hood also has elastic to provide a tight fit, and the waist has a drawstring elastic to further tighten things up.

ridgeline jacket drawstring

Zippered Pockets

There’s a small zippered pocket at the chest. It’s not huge, but certainly large enough to carry cash or an ID.

Both hand pockets are also zippered which I appreciated. I was able to throw in a couple granola bars and keys.

Comes In Lots Of Colors

This jacket comes in every color under the rainbow, so if you’re looking to color coordinate, chances are you’ll find a shade you like.

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