As an avid bike rider, you know that a little cold weather isn’t enough to stop you from hitting the road or the trail. However, if you want to stay warm and comfortable the whole way, you’ll need something like this base layer form Altura. Although it does it offer excellent warming capabilities, it doesn’t leave much to the imagination when wearing it. Fortunately, since it is a base layer, it’s not like you’ll be wearing it by itself (unless you want to show off).
- Material: Polyester and Synthetic Yarn
- Fit: Performance Fit (Snug)
- Size Options: Small/Medium, Large/X-Large
- Overall Weight: 108 grams
- Works well at regulating body temperature
- Four-way stretch means it’s not restrictive
- Moisture-wicking technology ensures you stay dry
- Hugs your body for optimal performance
- Fewer seams so it will stay together longer
- Pricey compared to other base layers
- Sleeves can ride up during your trip, exposing your wrists and forearms
When trying to ride in cold weather, it can be more than a little challenging to find the right base layer. In most cases, the material will make you too hot and sweaty by the end of your ride, or it will barely contain your body heat, meaning that it’s a little better than a t-shirt. Fortunately, the ThermoCool Long Sleeve Base Layer from Altura strikes the perfect balance. No matter how treacherous the ride is, this should be your first line of defense.
That being said, this product is a little pricey, so you want to make sure that you’ll get plenty of use out of it during the colder months of the year. Let’s break down the various highlights you can expect with the ThermoCool.
As you already know, riding means that you’ll be shifting a lot in your seat. Even if your route is mostly flat streets, you’ll have to move around to ensure that you get the right leverage on turns and straightaways. With some base layers, all of that moving around will cause them to bunch up and start riding up on your midriff. By the time you get to a stop, you have to readjust to keep the layer from rubbing and chafing too much.
With the Altura ThermoCool, it stays in place really well. A big reason for this is the patented “four-way” stretch design. This means you can shift and move as much as necessary without having to move the layer back down afterward. If your ride is on uneven or hilly terrain, you’ll appreciate this feature even more.
Although the primary material for this base layer is polyester, Altura has embedded some super-secretive yarn in there as well. The company is very hush-hush about the details, but whatever they got going on, it’s working. As the name of this shirt implies, it’s all about that thermoregulation life. When you’re riding hard, you won’t get too overheated and sweaty. When you’re on a casual straightaway, your body heat will stay close.
Realistically, you can wear this base layer with other light clothing and be just fine. However, if the weather is frigid (i.e., snow and ice), then we recommend pairing it with a thick jacket so you don’t get too cold during stops and breaks.
Altura Dry Technology
These days, it seems that everything is billed as “high-tech.” Usually, it’s nothing more than a buzzword, but Altura has concocted an excellent material that wicks away moisture with the best of them. One of the worst parts about riding in the winter is that your body is so insulated that you wind up sweating more than you do during the summer months. While we can’t say that you’ll be 100-percent dry after a long ride, the ThermoCool will keep you more comfortable than the competition.
When you look closer at the material, you’ll see that it’s a tightly woven mesh. This allows air to flow through, but it also insulates your body heat when you need it to. You’ll also notice that the mesh changes in the high-heat areas (below the neck and around the pits). This is to ensure you get sufficient airflow and breathability where it counts the most. Overall, this is one of the best base layers we’ve seen.
As you hold up the Altura ThermCool Base Layer, you’ll notice that it seems a bit smaller than it should. The abdomen even curves inward below the chest – surely, this will feel like a girdle once you put it on, right?
Fortunately, “Performance Fit” just means that it hugs your body like a clingy lover, but in a good way. Most body types can fit well, although the shirt does leave little to the imagination. If you plan on wearing it and nothing else over it, be prepared to get some stares. Overall, though, you won’t feel constricted – it’ll be more like a second skin.
Who Should Wear the Altura Men’s ThermoCool Base Layer?
Anyone who loves to ride in colder weather will appreciate the high-tech R&D that went into making it. However, a word of warning – the sleeves tend to ride up. Unfortunately, the elastic around the wrists is a little too loose, so plan on having to pull them down periodically. Also, if the outside temperature is too chilly, it can make your hands and arms cold as well. We highly recommend riding with gloves if you want to avoid frostbite.
Bottom Line: This Base Layer is Thermo Cool
In the world of base layers, we have to say that Altura really knocked it out of the park. Short sleeves aside, you’ll love riding in fall and winter weather with this shirt on your body. If you used to avoid biking during the colder months, now you don’t have any excuse. Also, because it’s light on seams, you can wear it over and over again without worrying about loose threads or rips and tears.