Affordable merino which performs as well as more expensive rivals
The Oneten brand from Chain Reaction Cycles aims to offer well-priced and functional clothing, and this Merino Long Sleeve Jersey (Oneten may call is a jersey, but it’s essentially a base layer) does the job admirably. It’s warm, comfortable and easy on the wallet.
I generally choose merino over a synthetic fabric when it comes to base layers, preferring the natural warmth it offers, and the wicking, odour-resistant and anti-bacterial qualities of wool. The main downside is that merino holds on to moisture longer than a synthetic base layer but, despite that, this Oneten base layer only serves to reinforce my preference for wool.
The insulation offered by merino wool comes down to the shape of the fibres – like small rose thorns – and the fact that they don’t compress as much when wet, unlike cotton. That helps maintain the air-filled gaps between the fibres, working to retain warmth.
Oneten have used a 185gsm merino wool, so it’s not too heavy, and the base layer works well in milder temps of around eight to 13 degrees under a winter jersey and at lower temperatures when paired with a heavier jacket. It’s not a base layer for warmer temperatures but it’s a versatile piece across winter, early spring and late autumn. There’s also a short sleeve version.
The cut has a straight forward shape, slightly tapered on the waist and offering a close but unrestrictive fit. It’s a very practical cut – not too tight but not too baggy, and the base layer doesn’t bunch up when worn with tights, jerseys or jackets. The cut also means the base layer lends itself well to use away from cycling and it comes in five sizes, from small to XXL.
The base layer is well finished with flat lock seams to avoid irritation and I found it to be itch-free. The sleeves and cuffs are a suitable length to ensure a good glove to sleeve overlap when on the bike – there’s no point having a great fabric is the arms are too short and you catch a draft. Otherwise it’s a no-nonsense piece, with just a couple of subtle logos.
Oneten’s merino long sleeve base layer offers a good level of warmth for general winter riding, with a practical cut and, despite a price which is nearly half of some other brands, without skimping on quality .
– Warm for cool to cold conditions
– Natural qualities of merino
– Practical cut
– Value for money
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