I've had a few months to really use and abuse two women's specific items from Pactimo: the Summit Raptor Bibs, and the Cascade Jacket. First off, let me state that I'm pretty hard on my cycling clothing. I ride in horrid conditions. I sweat a ton. I'm sloppy with my sunscreen, embro and chain grease. I usually don't follow the manufacturers guidelines for washing and drying. But most importantly, if something doesn't fit right, I'm likely to rip it off during a ride and pitch it to the side of the road for comedic effect. Luckily none of these things were an issue with these items.
Let's start with the Summit Raptor Bibs, $155.
The Raptor fabric looks like genetically engineered black shark skin (only better and way less creepy than that sounds). It's stretchy and soft, on the inside, but looks like it could cut someone who gets too close in a crit on the outside. So in other words, when the velcro from my glove grazed my thigh, there was no snagging. Bonus.
The bibs have a Flash coldblack® feature--(black on the outside, grey on the
inside) hydrophobic “water-fearing” technology. This is just their fancy way of saying it reflects UV rays and helps push your sweat away from your body and out...maybe on the person riding behind you. I used these bibs when it was a toasty Fall day up Lookout Mtn and loved them. Nice and cool in a black set of bibs. That was enjoyable.
Here's where I am usually skeptical of "women's cut" bibs. I am 5'10" and weigh 150 pounds. Bibs usually don't work for me. I typically end up with what I call "Plumbers bib"--an unsightly gap between my jersey and the cut-outs at the sides of the bibs. Or, I have to rip the stitching a bit at the shoulders to make it so I can ride in any position other than standing. Too short. Always too short. If I revert to mens, they immediately fall off my shoulders, sag and bunch in...areas that I don't want any sagging or bunching. Not the case with these bibs.
HANDS DOWN I'm a huge fan. Pactimo uses a t-back design. I love it. No more straps falling off the shoulders. In the front, the bib is designed to go on the outside of the bulk of your chest. I like this as well since I felt like I could still breathe without a ton of fabric bunching against a heart-rate monitor and a bra. The inseam is long enough for me, so that I don't have to pull my knee warmers up to my crotch in order not to have a freezing gap. Regardless of your height however, what I really like is that the legs on the Raptor bibs are...flattering. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. At 37 years old, I do not have any need for a muffin top at mid-thigh. We've all been there. It's caused by painfully tight leg bands, or the wrong compression, or whatever. These fit my legs perfectly. Just two little ebony sharks with an ultra-soft gripper. Happily pushing my pedals. Whistling, even.
Next up? The Cascade Jacket,$140.
This jacket is soft. Soooooofffft. It's got a dual layer which makes it supple and toasty. Milano fleece in the back and underarm panels = maximum breathability (remember, I'm a sweater). There's a water-proof (BIG) pocket in the back with zipper to scale so you can easily grab your phone or food with gloves on.
This is now my "go-to" jacket. For everything. I wear it when I ride, I wear it when I commute, I wear it when I walk with my kids to school. I even wore it snowboarding a few weeks ago on one of those warm days. It's sleek and black and not freaky-branded. In other words, as an outerwear item, it matches any kit I own and I can still look like a somewhat normal person when I ride to the grocery store. The cuffs are long and stretchy, so no more messing around trying to tuck my gloves into wretched elastic bands. The collar is high and soft with a little notch in the middle for my pony-tail (which I think is just plain fantassssssssssssssstic).
- Heavy, easy to grab zippers.
- Reflective trim all around for safety.
- Good for rides down to 30°
- It just feeeeels nice.
There you have it. If you are looking for some quality retail pieces to wear year round, I would give these a try. You can't possibly abuse them more than me. THAT's me in the picture. See? Giant.