Craft Pro Zero Zip base layer
Craft Pro Zero Zip base layer £28
Craft, founded in 1977, has been working long and hard at researching and developing different fabrics for the simple goal of keeping cyclists warm and dry when out on the road and has arrived at the Craft Principle – a simple three layer approach to optimum performance.
This 'principle' centres around layer one, commonly known as the base layer. We all know the importance of a good base layer, and it's something Craft clearly take very importantly, as a look at their website reveals a quite comprehensive range. They’re all graded by the temperatures they’re designed to work best in, with most temperatures you’re likely to encounter covered. RCUK tested the Pro Zero, designed to work when the temperature is 15 degrees Celsius or below, which covers a good deal of the average British winter and neighbouring seasons nicely.
First thing you notice when slipping this base layer on is how incredibly well the seamless torso design hugs the body, and just how soft the material is. The fit is not far from perfect, with no restrictions around the Raglan shoulders or high zipped neck. The material features a textured filament yarn, the ribbed construction of which is supposed to help channel sweat away from your skin and upwards for the next layer to deal with.
A couple long rides in the past few weeks has taken this tester into the wide range of winter temperatures you're likely to experience in the UK. And I can report that Craft really know their base layers. Even on a cold day and working hard, there was absolutely no unpleasant build up of sweat around the torso and arms, and comfort remained high throughout. Interestingly, there was little stench even after a long ride, meaning it could possibly be used on subsequent days, ideal for commuting.
There's a non-zip version for a little less money but the zip actually came into good use on a couple of occasions.