Looks can be deceiving – and you shouldn’t judge this Aclima base layer’s performance on its somewhat distinctive appearance. The 120g merino number might never appear on a catwalk, but the well designed garment deserves a place in your wardrobe.
We’re not always fans of merino base layers, as they do hold moisture longer than synthetics and can feel less breathable. What’s noticeable about the mesh merino here is that the air pockets allow the jersey to breath a lot better than we’d expected, while offering a decent amount of warmth.
These pockets of air also enable to the top to dry a lot quicker, so there’s less of the damp claggy feel that we’re used to with merino. On the bike, this results in a base layer that doesn’t feel too warm, but keeps the cold at bay very well. The wool is also smell-resistant and washable at 40 degrees. Handy.
The fabric’s mesh does leave it open to snagging, so this is very much a top to be worn underneath other garments, but higher-wear areas, such as the elbows, are reinforced. Flatlock seams aid comfort, while the deep cuffs at the wrists prevent them from riding up.
The cut is incredibly generous though. Our size large felt more like an XL or XXL, both in terms of length of arms and torso, and the fit around the torso. As such, we’d recommend sizing down on your usual choice.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.