For the last couple of seasons, I’ve been looking for something to wear over my winter tights when the temps/wind chill takes an extra nasty turn. Everything I found either ended up being too bulky, especially in the lower leg/ankle area, or they were too warm (i.e., snow pants). Earlier this winter I got an e-mail from Ibex about their winter clearance. While browsing what they had on sale, I came across the Equipo pants . Since these were intended for climbing and other active winter sports, they looked like they might do the trick so I loaded them up in my e-cart, handed over my cash, and waited from them to arrive.
Upon arrival, the first thing I noticed was the build quality and materials. As with other Ibex products I own, construction and fabric quality are top notch. These are really nice pants. The fabric is Climawool/Schoeller stretch wool (basically a soft shell wool with a nice merino wool lining) with a DWR finish. As I mentioned previously, these pants are meant for mountaineering/active winter sports so the fit is a bit on the slim side, (especially through the seat and quads). However, since the fabric has a bit of stretch, this works out perfectly for cycling. They are snug enough through the thigh as not to be too bulky and they are straight cut through the lower leg so they don’t interfere with pedaling. While just a little bit long in the inseam for me*, these pants were exactly what I was looking for. The waistband is elastic in the rear and gives enough to keep the pants in place but not enough to be constricting. They are cut a little high but since I am using these for cycling, this works out well since you don’t want them riding down, especially in the winter. The ankles have 16” zippers and an internal gaitor that fit nicely over my Lake winter boots. There are four zippered pockets (two front, one back, and one leg) to stow some small items if you feel the need. Additionally, the inside of the ankles have reinforced Cordura scuff guards, which will help with crank rub.
Cold weather performance has been excellent. I’ve ridden these in temps in the lower teens and wind chills approaching zero over winter cycling tights and they have been perfect. I’ve used them several times in temps in the lower to mid 20s with ¾ knickers and they have performed great with this combo as well. In the dozen or so rides I have used these pants, they haven’t shown any wear from saddle chafe or crank rub and the material is quite while pedaling (i.e., none of that annoying swooshing sound). While a little on the pricey side, especially when not on sale, I’ve been really pleased so far and would recommend the Equipo pants to anyone looking to add another layer to gain a some cold weather protection.
*Note on fit: I initially ordered a medium. I normally wear a 33” waist and a 30-32” inseam depending on brand. As I said, these fit a little snug in the waist/seat and quad areas so I ended up ordering another pair in large to see if I liked the fit better. The large ended up being less snug in the waist and quads but were way too long. I would have had to shorten them by 4-6” to get them to fit. With the ankle zippers/gaitors this just isn’t possible. In the end, the medium was the right choice since a little snug for cycling apparel is preferred an I think the large would have been falling down as I rode.