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10 Best Women’s Cycling Pants & Tights

Whether it’s cold outside or you just prefer wearing long pants, cycling tights can be a great alternative to shorts. A good padded cycling tight or pant should keep your bum happy and provide some compression and support to your leg muscles. They should also be well constructed, comfortable, and able to withstand a bunch of wash cycles.

We’ve tested, reviewed, researched, and surveyed our community to put together a list of what we believe are the 10 best women’s cycling pants on the market. We’ve further divided these into tights, winter bottoms, capris/knickers, and rain pants.

Read on to learn more about each, and also what to consider when making a purchasing decision.

(Note: If you are looking for a mountain bike pant, check out this list as well).

Our Top Picks

BottomType Of BottomWhat We LikeList Price
Terry Coolweather TightTightTall and petite lengths$139
Pearl Izumi Attack Cycling TightTightAffordable$100
Terry Winter Bike TightThermal Wind and water resistant$169
Castelli Meno Wind Bib TightThermal bibSuper comfortable$174
Pearl Izumi Sugar Thermal Cycling TightThermalAffordable, warm$100
Pactimo Vertex WX-D Bib TightThermal (bib)Extreme warmth$224
Terry Hi Rise Holster Cycling CapriCapriPockets$139
REI Co-op Junction Padded 3/4 TightsCapriDurable$69
Baleaf Cycling TightsTightBudget pick *
Shower’s Pass TransitRain PantWaterproof$135
* (Last updated: 2023-10-22 at 21:04) – More info

Women’s Cycling Tights

Cycling tights can provide extra warmth during shoulder season riding as well as more coverage for women who simply prefer a legging instead of cycling shorts. They can also provide some compression which can feel good on tired legs.

All of the tights we’ve listed here include a chamois (padding). If you don’t need padding, just about any pair of leggings will work well for riding.

Terry Coolweather Tight

Terry is another company making great cycling apparel for women. The Terry Coolweather Tight is a medium-weight bottom that is ideal for shoulder season riding (40-60 degrees).

We appreciate that the tight comes in a wide variety of sizes and is offered in plus sizes as well as regular, tall, and petite length! The chamois is on the thinner side and is well suited for women who prefer a more minimalistic chamois or for shorter rides.

It also includes a zippered pocket which is a feature we love!

Read Our Review: Terry Coolweather Tight

Price & Where To Buy:

Pearl Izumi Attack Cycling Tights

The Pearl Izumi Attack Cycling Tights are the long version of their best-selling Attack Short. These are not thermals, so are best for fall and spring days.

The chamois is thinner than some of the other options here, which makes them best suited for women who like a more minimalistic feel or for shorter rides. For the price, these are a great pick.

Price & Where To Buy:

Women’s Thermal Winter Tights

When the mercury drops, there’s no need to automatically head inside to ride. With the right clothing choices, you can ride comfortably all winter long. (Well, as long as the roads are dry).

Terry Winter Bike Tights

Ready for some serious winter cycling? Get yourself a pair of the Terry Winter Bike tights.

These babies are warm thanks to Polartec fabric with DWR wind and water treatment. They are highly windproof and water resistant, and will keep you toasty on the worst weather days.

Additionally, they have a yoga style waistband which is comfortable and fits well.

Read Our Review: Terry Winter Bike Tight

Price & Where To Buy:

Castelli Meno Wind Bib Tight

Prefer a bib tight? The Castelli Meno Wind Bib tight has all the comfort you traditionally love from a bib as well as the ability to keep you toasty warm.

Wind and water resistant on the outside, soft and fleecy on the inside, these bibs are the perfect combo of cold-weather protection and comfort. Speaking of comfortable, we also really like the chamois which provides plenty of cushion without feeling like a diaper.

Price & Where To Buy:

Pearl Izumi Sugar Thermal Cycling Tight

The Peal Izumi Sugar Thermal Cycling Tight is one of our favorites because it’s both warm AND affordable. The interior is fleece-lined which feels cozy even on blustery days.

The tight comes in a “cycling” version with built in chamois, as well as regular tight than can be worn without a chamois or over your favorite cycling shorts.

The only thing to note is that these run VERY small, so make sure to order up a size.

Read Our Review: Pearl Izumi Sugar Thermal

Price & Where To Buy:

Pactimo Vertex WX-D Bib Tight

The Pactimo Vertex Bib Tight is what I grab on days that I really don’t want to ride. These are super warm even in blizzards, high winds, and otherwise miserable conditions.

The exterior of the tight is windproof while the interior is comfy and fleece lined. While winter bibs can sometimes be a beast to get in and out of, these are fairly easy thanks to the long zips at each ankle and the chest snap.

The only bummer with these is the price, but in this case, you get what you pay for.

Price & Where To Buy:

Read Our Review: Pactimo Vertex bibs

Women’s Cycling Capris & Knickers

Cycling capris (also known as knickers) are the perfect option for spring riding or for your indoor cycling class. We like ones that have a chamois (padding) and also a bit of compression.

Terry Hi Rise Holster Cycling Capri

There’s lots to like about the Terry Hi Rise Holster capri. Most specifically, the comfortable high waist (no more plumbers crack!) and the large pockets.

These capris have just enough compression to provide support but won’t make you feel like you’re being squeezed like a sausage. Finally, they have the very popular Terry Flex Air Chamois that will keep you comfortable in the saddle.

Price & Where To Buy:

REI Co-op Junction Padded 3/4 Tights

The REI Co-Op Junction 3/4 Tights feel like a more expensive tight at a fraction of the cost. They have a comfortable chamois, stay in place while you ride, and are durable enough to withstand many wash cycles. (This can’t be said of other tights at this price point).

We particularly like the nice deep pockets that are big enough to fit even a largish cell phone. Finally, if riding in traffic or low light, you’ll appreciate that these capris have reflective accents as well.

Price & Where To Buy:

Women’s Cycling Pants

If you prefer a more relaxed fit than a tight, consider a cycling pant. These work well for commuting to work, but can be used on the road as well. For even more pant options, check out our list of the Best Mountain Bike Pants.

Women’s Cycling Rain Pants

It doesn’t matter how warm a pair of cycling pants are, if it is raining (or snowing) outside, you need something with some serious DWR (water proofing). I like wearing these over a pair of cycling tights.

Shower’s Pass Transit Pants

The Shower’s Pass Transit Pants are the pants I wear in particularly wet and miserable weather. They keep you dry no matter how hard it’s coming down.

I also appreciate the reflective accents so it’s easier to be seen in low light conditions, and the fact that they are easy to cinch down at the ankles. If you’re riding to work, the pants also come with a small stuff sack so they’re easy to take a long.

Read Our Review: Shower’s Pass Transit Pant

Price & Where To Buy:

Bonus: Budget Tights

Baleaf Cycling Tights

Whether you’re brand new to cycling or just on a tight budget, we recognize that many of the pants listed here may be a bit too pricey. For women looking for something more affordable, we recommend the Baleaf Cycling Tights.

They don’t have the same level of durability or compression as some of the more expensive tights, but they are comfortable and warm.

Read Our Review: Baleaf Cycling Tights

Price & Where To Buy:

DIY Bike Tights

Bike tights can be awfully expensive. One of my personal favorite solutions is to use a detached chamois (padding cycling underwear) underneath cheap fleece lined leggings.

baleaf cycling underwear (2)
Put a pair of padded underwear like these ones from Baleaf underneath your leggings.

Fleece lined leggings can be picked up super cheap on Amazon or even at your local drug store. I’ve had a couple of pairs that have lasted around a decade, so they are durable too.

Put these on over a chamois, and oila–you have cycling tights on a budget! This is a particularly budget conscious option if you already have the padded undies.

Another Alternative: Knee or Leg Warmers

If you’re new to cycling, you might also not be aware that you can turn your existing shorts into either capris or pants by using knee or leg warmers. These have the added benefit that you can take them off when the temperature starts to warm up.

That said, warmers can be a bit of a pain when they start to slip down, and may not be as comfortable as a true cycling tight. Still, they are affordable and are great for shoulder season riding in particular.

Parleys

Things To Consider When Shopping

Type Of Riding

What sort of riding are you doing–road, indoor cycling class, or commuting? In each case, you might prefer a different type of pant. On the road, we prefer a full length tight. This protects against the sun and protect YOU in the event of a crash. It also provides additional compression.

winter tights

For an indoor class or trainer ride, capris are awesome. They generally aren’t quite as warm as tights, so can be good for sunny spring days as well.

Finally, for commuting, you might prefer a pant that looks like, well, a pant. In this case, it’s important to look for a pant that is plenty stretchy, particularly in the crotch. You also want something that won’t ride down when you’re bent over–nobody wants plumbers crack.

Outdoor Temperature

Everybody is a little bit different in there sensitivity for cold. Personally, I like a traditional tight when the temps are over 40 degrees, and a thermal, fleece lined tight any time the temp drops toward freezing.

And some women like tights even in the summer. They provide additional sun protection and coverage. In this case, a capri or very thin tight will be best.

Chamois

A great tight isn’t that great if the chamois isn’t comfortable. We recommend spending a little more to get a good quality chamois (like the tights on this list). More expensive chamois will have dual density designs, better stitching, and will last a lot longer.

Additionally, choose a chamois that is appropriate for the amount of time you will be riding. A thicker chamois isn’t always better!

The longer you’re riding, the thicker the chamois you will want. But even then, a good saddle can provide a lot of comfort with a minimalistic chamois. In fact, chamois that are too bulky can cause saddle sores. Never something you want!

Compression Level

Tights have the tendency of being, well, tight! Compression can provide a lot of support for your muscles, and can help keep your tights in place. If you haven’t tried a pair of compression tights yet, we totally recommend it.

Still, there are some women who might not like quite so much compression. In this case, look for a tight that fits a little looser.

Coolweather Side Pocket Close

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About The Author / Reviewers

stacy smith

Stacy Ann Smith is a New England-based cyclist who strives to stay upright on her bike.  She is the founder of Sascy Cycling, and her mission is to encourage women to love their body and focus on what it can do, not what it looks like.  When Stacy’s not cycling she is teaching high school history and eating pizza with her husband and son.

IG: @sascycycling

colorado springs mountain biking

Malorie Gage has been mountain biking, road, gravel cycling for many years. She lives in Colorado where she’s raising two tiny humans and balancing biking and motherhood.

kristen bonkoski

Kristen Bonkoski is the founder and owner of Femme Cyclist.

An avid cyclist for a few decades now, she took to cycling during her late teen years — a time when she needed something to help boost her self-esteem and confidence.

Mission accomplished, the sport has become an important part of her life.  Kristen’s favorite disciplines are mountain biking and bike commuting, although you can also find her cranking out a century on her road bike and touring with her husband and son.  If it has to do with two wheels, she enjoys doing it.

Kristen is a certified USA Cycling coach, and she runs Rascal Rides, a website about biking with kids.

IG: @kristenlbonkoski

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