While winter has been unseasonably warm here in South Florida, Old Man Winter did have one surprise up his sleeve for us a few weeks ago when the temperatures took a dive into the low 40’s. In fact, one Saturday morning ride was particularly cold with a wind chill of 38 degrees. And for us Floridians, that’s pretty extreme.
Fortunately for us, Pearl Izumi had sent us a pair of their women’s AmFIB Cycling Tights last fall. Now was our chance to finally give them a try.
The AmFIB is PI’s warmest cycling tight, designed for extreme winter weather. When we first pulled on the AmFIB, the first thing we noticed was the fabric—both inside and out. Our multisport editor described the outer fabric as a slightly thicker, protective shell, and that’s exactly what PI was going for with its AmFIB Softshell fabric. This advanced fabric is designed to protect the front of your legs from elements like rain, wind, and snow. The tights’ back panels are lighter, designed with PI’s Thermal Fleece fabric.
Inside, the tights are also lined with fleece, which was a bit concerning at first. You’d think fleece-lined tights would leave you feeling damp and uncomfortable, but in this case, nothing could be farther from the truth. PI explains that their fabrics are designed with an active moisture management system, which keeps heat in and allows moisture out. And we can agree that, in our case, this system worked exactly as advertised.
The AmFIB tights also feature articulated knees, which was a perfect call on PI’s part considering the Softshell fabric did add a bit of thickness to the front of the tights. This feature made the tights much easier to ride and move in. The waistband was wide and sat comfortably on the hips. However, our multisport editor did find that they slipped from time to time throughout the ride. Although we think this could possibly have been remedied by going down a size. Our multisport editor ranges between an extra-small and small, depending on the manufacturer. This particular pair was a size small, so in the future, she would probably opt for an XS in the AmFIB. Speaking of sizes, the AmFib is available in sizes ranging from XS to XXL and runs $145.
At the bottom of each leg you’ll find a 7-inch zipper, which must be opened first to slip on the tights. We found the bottom of each ankle opening to be a bit on the small side, even when fully unzipped, but fortunately we’ve had plenty of experience shimmying into wet suits. So this was nothing new. Another nice detail included in the design is the zipper garage, which helps to keep the zipper tucked away, and wind out. One thing to note—the zipper may not fully zip down when you’re pulling the tights over your warm winter cycling socks. Although we didn’t find this to be an issue since we were able to lock the zipper in place where we needed it.
There were some reflective element include on the fabric as well just above each of the zippers on the lower legs, which was a nice touch for those of us riding in the early morning or nighttime hours.
And finally, the AmFIB features PI’s women’s ELITE 3D Chamois built in. Anatomically designed for female athletes, the chamois features breathable 4-way stretch fabric as well as Pressure Relief Technology (PRT) for optimal comfort. PI even takes blood flow into account when it comes to the design of their chamois, which for anyone who has suffered from issues with numbness can be a big plus. We typically prefer a more minimal chamois, but we were surprised at how well this one worked for us.
Overall, the tights did their job perfectly. Our multisport editor was warm and comfortable throughout the duration of a three-hour ride. Temperatures never rose above 50 degrees, but the cold never found its way past the AmFIB’s barrier. And for those who can’t afford to let a littler winter cold slow them down, we’d definitely recommend investing in a pair.