- “Nature call” panel and bib straps (women’s version)
- Breathable and moisture control fabric
- Windproof Supra WindDry blocks cold air
- Articulating knees for unrestricted pedaling
- 5” zipper for easy on/off
- Reflective elements strategically placed
- Available with or without a chamois
- Not great for temps below freezing
- A little short for my 34” inseam
Price: $179.99 (with chamois); $139.99 (without chamois)
Sizes: XS – 2XL (women’s); S-2XL (men’s)
How Obtained: Review sample from company
Availability: Online via company website, retail
RBR Sponsor: No
Tested: 10 hours
Garneau’s New Winter Bib Tight Hits the Mark
A couple of winters back I reviewed the Garneau Elite 2 Bib Tights and gave them a 3.5 star rating. I am excited to see that a few of my concerns were addressed with the new Providence 2 bib tight. Garneau improved the upper panel coverage, chamois and proportions, plus added “nature call” panel and bib straps (women’s version) for an excellent winter bib tight. These tights come in men’s and women’s version as well as with or without a chamois. I tested the women’s version with a chamois.
Garneau has designed the Providence 2 bib tights with the perfect combination of fabrics and are more of a winter tight than the Elite 2 version. There’s windproof fabric where you need it for heat retention, as well as breathable and quick drying panels. The panels by the upper back (kidneys) and abdomen come up higher for more coverage and protection from the cold/wind. There’s also a splash protection panel at the upper back to keep you dry on those sloppy days.
I tested the bibs in temperatures where the ride started at 21 degrees F and quickly rose to above freezing during the ride. For most of my test rides, if the sun was out then I was warm enough in these bibs, but on cloudy days I was chilled after an hour of riding if the temps were below 32F. Cold tolerance is different for everyone, so some people may be plenty warm in cloudy below freezing temps. My tolerance for cold is low… and you wonder why I live in Chicago?
My preference is to wear bibs year round, but in the winter nature breaks can be downright frigid. Having to remove multiple layers in a cold outhouse with nowhere to hang anything is not my idea of fun. Many manufacturers have developed women’s summer bibs that simplify nature breaks, but until now I haven’t seen winter bib tights with this feature. Garneau’s new design uses special panel fabric and stretchy bib straps that allow you to pull down the tights without removing the straps. Definitely helps you stay warmer if nature calls.
The added features like articulated knee panels with a wind barrier, 5” offset ankle zippers for easy on/off and reflective elements for better visibility in low light round out the Providence 2 bib tights.
My one complaint is with my 34” inseam these bibs were a little short for me. I mitigated the problem by wearing longer socks.
Improved Chamois Comfort
The tights come with and without chamois. The version with a chamois use the Motion Airgel. It is an improvement in comfort and breathability over the Elite 2 bib’s 5Motion chamois. The top sheet fabric is treated with an anti-bacterial solution and the multi-thickness perforated high-density foam provides better moisture management. Garneau uses beveled edge molding technology to eliminate drastic drops in heights from one area of the chamois to the other. This results in a smooth transition without pinch points thus eliminates chafing.
For the men’s version there’s a central channel in the chamois shaped to relieve pressure from the urethra.
Garneau’s Providence 2 Bib Tights are a great option for men or women. They are warm and comfortable with the added benefit of the “nature call” panel and bib straps for women. No longer do you have to take all your layers off to use the restroom. The combination of fabrics Garneau uses keep you warm, dry and comfortable making winter riding much more enjoyable.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women's cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri's full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.