Best run base layers review 2015
Although probably more common on the bike for tackling windchill at increased speeds, a base layer is still a versatile and affordable (we’d say pretty darn mandatory) purchase for running through the autumn, winter and spring seasons.
We used the five here under the same single run t-shirt for testing in November and December and graded the base layers on fit, feel, how much warmth was provided and breathability. Base layers need to perform the dual act of keeping you warm on the run but also providing plenty of breathability to stop an excessive build up of sweat.
To do this, the base layer has to be vented and in contact with your skin, but not too close to prevent wicking. That said, excessive wicking will keep your body producing more and more sweat, so ideally a thin layer of moisture should be maintained.
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Price: £25 from www.adidasspecialtysports.co.uk
Whether it’s down to the 84% polyester/16% elastane composition or any placebo effect of wearing white, straight out of the box the Techfit Base from Adidas oozes lightness. This litheness continues onto the run with a snug yet unrestrictive feel when running, although we didn’t feel any of the purported upper-body compression benefits touted by the German heavyweights.
Adidas claims its Climalite fabric ‘sweeps sweat away from your skin’, and possibly it does this too well, as the Techfit Base remained noticeably damper and clingier once out on the trails than the Gore and Falke offerings, especially on the back region.
The perforated panels on the shoulders are successful at providing more breathability (these would’ve been a welcome addition on the back to fight the sweat patches), and the seams remained chafe-free throughout.
Verdict: Warm, well-priced and unrestrictive, but we would’ve liked more breathability, especially on there back, 82%
Gore Essential Base Layer Long
Price: £39 from www.goreapparel.co.uk
The Essential Long may be Gore’s cheapest base layer, yet it still oozes high quality, with the 88% polypropylene material feeling so soft on the skin that it also entered our casual clothing range as well.
Once out on the trails in cold December conditions, the microfibre composition was up there with Tenn, Dhb and Falke as the quickest-drying on test, and the base layer didn’t produce any nasty cold sweat patches during our runs.
Again, the top was close-fitting but didn’t restrict our arm movement. The Essential, however, was the only top on test where we felt chilly well into the run’s duration, especially on exposed stretches and tackling winds on hill tops (all the base layers were tested in similar conditions and dealt well with the cold), so we’d definitely opt for something more insulated in the depths of the winter.
Verdict: Not the warmest on test, but a fine and well-made companion for spring and autumn running, 84%
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