Swedish brand Craft doesn’t have the biggest presence in the UK, and is better known in cross-country ski racing circles, but that background gives the firm great insight into building a decent base layer.
The lightweight, stretchy fabric gives a very close fit, meaning the fabric is best able to wick sweat away from your body. There’s no real compression from this base layer, but those of a slightly self-conscious persuasion should be wary of wearing this top alone in public - every ripple and bump is exposed. Flatlock seams aid comfort and it's nice to find that the torso section is completely seamless.
The slightly ribbed material makes the top warmer than you might expect from such a thin base layer, helped by the high neck, which keeps heat trapped. That said, I didn’t find the top too warm under a rain jacket in early winter conditions.
The material wicks sweat well, with my skin staying pretty dry under the top, while the outside of the arms were a touch damp – transporting the moisture away from the skin. On the bike, the arm length is excellent, our only complaints are that the torso is a touch short and we’d like a little more coverage at the back.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.