With the Giro high on our agenda throughout May, and, by extension, Italian cycling, we called in clothing to test from one of bella Italia’s most established brands: De Marchi.
You can take a look at our early inspection of the Contour PRO short-sleeved jersey, and the Contour PLUS bib short here. We also cast a discerning eye over the SL undershirt, a very light, summer base layer made from a synthetic fabric known to De Marchi as Polypropylene.
Astonishingly, the British climate has already provided sufficient occasions to test such a lightweight garment, perhaps one we’d pack for a summer trip to southern France, so here, without further delay, is our review.
The SL Undershirt provided the closest fit of any of the three De Marchi garments called in for test. It required a slight effort to put on, but once in place, fitted like a second skin. This may or may not match your preference. It suited us.
The close fit was most apparent in tightness across the back, and also pulled the seams into the arm pit, further diminishing the cover afforded by the very short sleeve. This was notable when pulling on the SL undershirt, but escaped our attention on the bike, largely due to the irritant-free flatlock seams, and a surprising degree of movement given a fit De Marchi describe as “ergonomic”.
Consider a size larger if such closeness of fit isn’t your thing, because to dismiss the SL Undershirt on its cut would be to miss out on its excellent performance. We wore it beneath De Marchi’s Contour PRO jersey on some of the warmest days of recent weeks (mid-teens) and enjoyed its impressive ability to shift moisture from the skin. Most of this quality stems from the thousands of minute perforations, we’d imagine.
The benefits of such a close fit became apparent when adding another layer. The SL Undershirt slid unobtrusively beneath the Contour Pro Jersey, itself a garment with little spare material, and when bent over the drops, the closeness of the base layer prevented the collar from falling away from the chest and opening a channel to the wind – undesirable when worn beneath an unzipped jersey.
The De Marchi Contour Light Base Layer SL is available in seven sizes from XS to XXL, in white, and costs £37.99.