Kymira Sport claims to be the 'world’s leading producer of infrared performance sportswear' and the Men’s 2.0 Core Top is one of three base layers in the British clothing firm’s range. Infrared sportswear sounds a little Star Trek, but the company claims there are tangible, real-world benefits to using it.
Base layers these days usually work pretty well and don't offer anything wildly different from one to another beyond temperature control and moisture wicking, so this Kymira base layer stands out from the crowd by adding something new to the mix. Can an infrared base layer really help you push harder on the bike and recover quicker?
Let’s deal with Kymira Sport's scientific claims first, because they are key to the brand. The main element is something called Celliant, which incorporates micro-sized particles, made up of 13 minerals, into 50 per cent of the base layer's fabric (the other 50 per cent is made up of regular polyester and elastane).
- Price: £80.00
- Sizes: XS-XL
- Size tested: M
- Website: Kymira Sport
Kymira Sport claims the technology 'captures wasted energy and converts it to a specific wavelength that has been proven to have beneficial effects your body'. Those benefits include increased blood circulation, tissue oxygenation, and cellular metabolism and energy production - all of which, it’s fair to say, could be useful to cyclists.
They are fairly big claims, though Kymira Sport says it works with third-party research institutes to rigorously test its products. What we can do is hit the road and see how Kymira’s Core base layer stacks up against the dozens of others we've tried.
Kymira Sport recommends the base layer is worn for half an hour before exercise and then an hour after in order to reap the full benefits of the infrared technology. The pre-ride time is easy enough (for the most part), but sitting around in a base layer post-ride isn't my idea of fun. Still, I did it for the sake of testing.
The fit is generally pretty good - close, as a compression garment should be, but still with plenty of flexibility and no restriction on movement. However, it’s not a cycling-specific garment - I’d describe the cut as ‘athletic’ - so if you’re fairly lean, it'd be worth sizing down for a closer fit. I found I had a hint of bagginess on the lower waist and midriff. Otherwise, the neckline is close without being too high, while the arms are long enough to ensure there is no cuff gap between glove and wrist.
Style may not be high on your wish list for a winter base layer but there’s an element of interest to Kymira’s top, with a Belgian lion graphic on the reverse and bold logo at a jaunty angle on the chest. All the seams are triple-stitched and the actual fabric has a really robust feel to it.
Out on the lanes and roads, performance is reassuringly good. The material is warm, as you’d expect for a long sleeve base layer, and also regulates temperature well. I stayed near dry and always comfortable through most testing conditions, from freezing up to 15 degrees. I also did a turbo session, where it handled the unavoidable moisture better than most.
What about those infrared claims? This is undoubtedly a functional base layer, and the material performs well in a cycling environment - in fact, as far as temperature regulation and moisture wicking are concerned, it has performed as well as, if not better than, most base layers I've ridden in - but I can't say that I felt like I recovered better or faster as a result of the infrared material technology.
Kymira Sport’s Men’s 2.0 Core Top is an excellent long-sleeve base layer for cycling or general multi-sport use, but the jury is crtainly out over how effective the infrared infusion is for regular riders like you and I. The Kymira Sport website does offer a deeper explanation of the science involved, and a quick online search offers up some fact-based research that offers credibility to the infrared return used in the Celliant polyester, but it’s difficult to quantify any tangible real-world, on-the-road benefit. Ultimately, if you want a high-performing (but pricey) winter base layer, this is a good option, but we can't vouch for anything beyond that.
- Fast-wicking base layer
- Robust fabric
- Unquantifiable infrared benefits