I hate tights. They never keep me warm and seem to muck up my pedaling mechanics. For cold (mid-Atlantic, that is) weather, the only alternative I’ve had was to wear my Showers Pass rain pants. These work fine but they are rather heavy and restrictive.
Last fall I stumbled upon an alternative. REI’s Junction Hybrid Pants. They look like pants but they feel like tights. They work perfectly with the bike shorts liners I normally wear with an outer shell during warm weather. They have a zipper at the bottom of each leg so they go on quickly. There is a reflective stripe along the zippers for visibility. The waist closes with a drawstring.
I found these pants great in windy conditions, much better than tights. I haven’t ridden them in a hard rain, but I imagine they’d be up to a light mist or drizzle.
I have worn these pants in temperatures from 30 degrees to 60 degrees and felt comfortable. That’s a pretty good temperature range for my neck of the woods. I didn’t wear them below 30 degrees because I retired from cold weather cycling when I quit work.
There are a couple of minor drawbacks to these pants. They they lack pockets. Since I always wear them with a jacket or vest, this isn’t much of a problem. And, there is no zipper for making water. Ay god, Woodrow. Then again, the shorts I wear underneath don’t have a pee pee hole either so no big deal.
They sell for $90 which sounds like a lot but I have worn one pair since November and they still look new. The salesperson at the REI store said she liked them so much she bought three pairs. She gets a discount so she can afford this. After a couple of months I ordered a second pair, discount be damned. These pants are good stuff.
One odd note of warning. The REI site didn’t have the men’s pants listed. I used the google to find the link on the REI site.