The Altura Thermocool is an extremely comfortable short sleeve base layer at its best in cool to mild conditions.
The Thermocool is the most expensive short sleeve base layer in Altura’s range at £39.99, and it’s also available in a long sleeve version for a fiver more at £44.99. It’s a synthetic piece made from a 73 per cent polyester, 22 per cent polyamide and five per cent elastane mix, as opposed to a natural fibre like merino wool.
It’s received plenty of use over the past two months, through spring and the early days of summer, and it’s thoroughly impressed. The fabric itself is soft and very comfortable next to the skin, and flatlock seams also help in that regard.
It’s super-stretchy, too, with a well-dialled fit, and so it sits close to the body, thus allowing the base layer to effectively do its job in wicking sweat away from the skin. We’ve been testing several items from the Altura range, including the Raceline bib shorts and short sleeve jersey, and have found that most come up a little big, forcing us to move down a size to a small, but the Thermocool base layer has offered a snug but stretchy fit in M/L, one of three sizes available alongside XS-S and XL-XXL.
The base layer’s Thermocool construction is billed as a ‘temperature regulating fabric’ and it’s worked well to wick sweat away from the skin and facilitate moisture transfer through layers. It’s fast-drying, too, when the fabric does start to get damp. The material is lightly perforated but it’s still reasonably thick and so the base layer is at its best in cool to mild temperatures, from approximately 12 to 20 degrees. Cooler than that and we’d likely be reaching for a long sleeve base layer, and much warmer and we’d prefer a lighter mesh undervest. The exact temperature range that works for you comes down to the rider, however.
Polyester base layers can tend to whiff a bit once they get sweaty but this one has been spun with ten per cent anti-bacterial ‘Bodyfresh’ yarn and that helps keep it fresh for a few rides, though it’d soon find it’s way into the wash basket after that.
A base layer is an essential item in a cyclist’s wardrobe throughout the year and offers the first line of defence against both cold and hot weather. The Altura Thermocool fits the bill as a soft, stretchy and comfortable base layer for spring and mild summer conditions.