Because of their mixed variety of material there’s something vaguely superhero about the Tiger.2 bibtights. And that’s apposite because, if you’re out there the cold and dark, that’s what you are.
I was really fond of the K-Dry Shark Bibtights that I tested previously. They were warm, comfortable, shed even heavy rain and were extremely hard wearing. Looking back on them now it’s worth reflecting, and this was a similar comment I made in relation to my Vita review as regards the Mossa, they weren’t perhaps as modern looking as some of their competitors. That doesn’t really matter very much if they do the job. They did, they were hard wearing warm and very very comfortable. They were among the best bibtights I’d tested.
The Tiger.2 are a real improvement in terms of that modern aesthetic, indeed I reckon they’re perhaps the freshest looking bibtights out there with that mix of materials, subtle stealth branding and that anatomic fit. Oh, that anatomic fit. It’s no good looking good if you can’t feel good, and the Tiger.2 have that in spades.
The Tiger.2 are available for €179 direct from Parentini and, when I last checked, they appear to come with free shipping too. That’s not cheap, of course, putting them in direct competition with the Assos Mille and Castelli Sorpasso at RRP. The Shark.2 are about 30 euros less and slightly less superhero looking, but, slightly lesser pad aside, will also be excellent. So, there’s no getting away from this being a premium placed and premium priced product, so let’s see if they cut the mustard.
The pad in the Tiger.2 is Parentini’s top of the range C6 Flou Elastic Carbon. It’s a triple density pad for high performance and long distance. Basically it’s beyond reproach and as good as any pad out there. If your winter ride is in the order of hours and hours, you’ll get on very well with this pad. It’s placed well and you forget it’s there. That’s really all you can ever want from a pad.
The tights themselves are, of course, a thermo roubaix material. They are supplied by the thermal masters at MITI fabrics. There’s also thermolite, a hollow core fibre that traps warmth. The temperature rating here is -5 to +20c. I might not push them quite all the way to 20, but you could certainly see out a ride in those temps. I’d not be at all afraid of taking them down to -5 though. They’re perfect in sub zero temps. I’ve done just that, in fact. And while at -5 you might initially feel a slight chill, once you’re on the go they do a fantastic job of keeping you warm.
They’re not intended to keep you dry. For that you’ll need the K-Dry shark bibtights. That said, I was caught short in some rain showers one dark evening this week and they seem to keep the worst off and dry out pretty quickly. They retained their warmth even when damp.
That anatomic fit is important. They’re pre-cut and curved to fit your body shape. The result is just perfection. The cut on the belly is very high, in fact we’re pretty much into extra layer territory. That means a long zip for comfort stops. Much of this is personal, I like it. There’s definitely more going on here to keep your abdomen warm on the longest rides. It also helps keep that winter weight in check. Think comfortable corset.
The back section is perforated and, as is the case with all of Parentini’s bibs and tights the straps are laser cut and perfectly sized. The straps and foot loops (see below) are laser bonded so any uncomfortable stitching is avoided in that area. The rest of the tights are traditionally stitched but, even though that stitching is not flat lock they are still supremely comfortable.
There are reflective strips at the rear of the tights for that bit of added visibility too. Ankle wise these are terminated with foot loops. It makes getting them on a bit more of a chore but, for that added security and fit, I do like a set of foot loops. This next bit is probably unimportant but I will say it. They’re black and they should match anything but I do think that the modern aesthetic of the Vita and the Tiger.2 are a particularly good mix. They really are a great looking pair of bibtights, accepting that the beauty of bibtights is a particularly unique thing depending on your point of view. I’ve also been rocking the matching Vita overshoes this week too, and they are as good a pair of overshoes as I’ve ever worn. No need to spend 500 words on them, but they are warm and have a fantastic overall fit.
Writing a bibtight review is actually quite difficult, lots of words about something that really only has one job. It really boils down to do they work, do they feel nice to wear and are they worth the money when there’s so much choice out there. The answer to each of those questions is, in my view, unequivocal. They are a fantastic pair of bibtights and while cheaper alternatives are available they just feel that bit more special. That they also contribute to that superhero aesthetic (in a good way) is just a bonus really. My new favourite bibtights? Yes, I think so. Four words should do it then.