Posts Tagged ‘base layer’

Altura Base Layer

Posted: January 4, 2011 in 2011, Product Reviews
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I should have written up a straight comparison with the Paramo base layer but to be honest, I forgot! This garment has been in regular use for almost as long as the Paramo.

The Altura Cyclone, long sleeve, base layer is marketed as a cycling specific, technical, shirt designed to wick away moisture and keep you dry, allowing the other layers to maintain body warmth… very much the same as the Paramo.

It is cut much smaller and therefore acts like a second skin without being too clingy. It is lightweight and like all similar products, packs away into a very compact space. As with the Paramo, there is little obvious thermal benefit although it must contribute something.  My main criticism is that it is cut so short. Maybe I am just too tall but if I wasn’t wearing bib shorts, the shirt would ride half way up my back and I’d probably get hypothermia by the time I got home. It keeps you dry although not as dry as the Paramo but it has yet to take on the distinctive aroma of say a Helly Hansen or indeed, the Paramo. To those of you unfamiliar with this smell, believe me it is a “good thing”!

Both shirts dry rapidly and can be ready for use in no time for those “wash and go” moments.

You can pick these up for £20.00 now and as such represent a cheaper garment than the Paramo.

The good points have to be the closer fit and the absence of putrefying pilchard post ride stench. Wicking properties are good but not as good as the Paramo. The bad point – it is cut way too short to cover your lower back.

Buy it as a cheap base layer if you use bib shorts or are particularly short in the body otherwise, look for something else a lot longer.


Paramo Base Layer

Posted: January 1, 2011 in 2011, Product Reviews
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I have had this for getting on a year now and I think I have had it long enough for this to qualify as a long term product test.

The garment is very light, with almost a silky texture. It is a little irritating because it seems to snag on any cuts or dry skin on your hands but I can live with it.

The shirt is not cycling specific and is cut more like a normal T shirt than a cycling top i.e. there is no drop down “tail” to cover your back when on the bike. Best used then with bib shorts!

I bought this as a warm base layer but to be honest I am not really sure how well it scores here because I never really notice it. Is that a good thing? Probably! I have started to use windproof tops more now so windchill is minimised. So what does this T shirt actually do? The best thing I can say for it is that after a long hard and sweaty ride, although it smells like a rancid kipper, and is as wet as a very wet thing, I am totally dry. From what I am told, this is a major factor in keeping warm… i.e. if you stay dry, you get cold more slowly. In this respect it is fantastic.

Colour options are a bit dull, the cut is loose and you wouldn’t want to be seen walking down the street wearing it as a top layer but, as a super lightweight, technical garment I really rate it.

Would I buy another one? Well they are a bit expensive but to be honest, it performs the basic functions so well, the answer is yes… it is better than many so called cycling base layers that it is on my list for the next time I want a long sleeved base layer.

I think you can usually get them at outdoor/mountaineering/walking shops.