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Verdict: 
A wardrobe essential with fantastic fit and excellent function
Weight: 
111g
Contact: 
Altura Dry Mesh Baselayer
9 10

Simple and effective, the Altura Dry Mesh Baselayer should be an essential part of every cycling wardrobe. The benefits of wearing a baselayer are well known among amateur and pro cyclists alike, which is why you'll see racing cyclists on Alpine climbs, jerseys open with a mesh layer on show. The thin open mesh approach to baselayer design allows for increased evaporative cooling when exposed or beneath a layer or two of clothing, cutting down on the time that perspiration sits next to the skin, creating more comfortable riding conditions.

Altura has created something here that is both inherently simple but wickedly effective. This sleeveless version pairs very well with the Podium Elite Jersey, which I tested at the same time. I think I would have struggled to get the short-sleeve version under the tight sleeves of the jersey, so worth thinking about if you're considering which to go for. Other than that, there are simple logos front and rear, with washing instructions woven into the waist hem – a nice detail that cuts down on the need for superfluous labels.

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In use, the baselayer is fantastic. On both cooler mornings and stinking hot days it performs admirably, regulating body temperature and keeping sweat away from skin. Top layer clothing was noticeably drier than when worn without this baselayer underneath. This was helpful when testing the Altura Podium Elite Jersey as it really helped improve wicking across the chest area.

Fit is close, as you would expect, but not in the same league as a compression vest. I didn't experience any pinching or rubbing, it's hardly noticeable when on, and at no point during hot weather rides did I feel the desire to remove the baselayer; if anything, you can really feel the benefit, especially when riding with your jersey zip open.

Altura Dry Mesh Baselayer - back.jpg

Altura Dry Mesh Baselayer - back.jpg

Arriving in a box, the packaging is fully recyclable – another tick for me. The white-only garment option could be improved on – surely someone out there will want a black version? Having said that, it's washed very well and hasn't greyed despite being washed with all colours of cycling clothing. Let's face it though, the manmade fabrics of road-race orientated clothing don't tend to run in the wash.

> Find more road.cc reviews of baselayers here

At £35 it isn't cheap for a baselayer, but it's worth every penny. It does appear that it will be good for a long time yet, too, which is good as I've grown rather attached to this unseen unsung hero.

Verdict

A wardrobe essential with fantastic fit and excellent function

road.cc test report

Make and model: Altura Dry Mesh Baselayer

Size tested: Small/Medium

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

This is aimed at anyone who wants a baselayer that will wick away sweat and improve on-bike comfort. Also good to provide that bit of extra protection on mild early-morning summer rides when temperatures are forecast to increase.

Altura says: "Our tubular knit air flow base layer uses engineered body mapping open mesh knit construction and Altura Dry™ moisture management technology to deliver superior breathability and comfort – a perfect summer base layer garment."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

* Altura Dry™ technology is engineered to move excess moisture away from the skin, keeping you dry and comfortable

* Altura tubular body mapping construction for improved air flow

* Available in sleeveless and short sleeve options

* Fitted

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
10/10
Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight:
 
9/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
10/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

The RRP is probably more than I'd like to pay, but it's worth every penny, and not dissimilar to others on the market.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Washes very well and dries rapidly too. Washing instructions on the hem are great.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Works fantastically. The amount of sweat it wicks away is impressive and it makes for much more comfortable riding, from short and fast to longer rides.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Everything! This is my number one wardrobe essential – all other summer baselayers have been resigned to dark corners of the kit pile.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing!

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

I dithered as to whether to give this a 10, it's so very nearly perfect. Given other people's preferences, I would like there to be an additional colour offering for those who want more choice.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 34  Height: 183  Weight: 80kg

I usually ride: Kinesis Racelight T (winter) Cervélo S2 (Summer)  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking

3 comments

Avatar
mike the bike [921 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Thirty-five quid for an aertex vest strikes me as rather expensive. I remember when this type of fabric was invented, I think it was for an Everest expedition, but I don't remember it costing quite so much.

Avatar
sizbut [26 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

Impressed - Aertex dates from 1888. Do you get a card from the Queen every year?  1

Avatar
mike the bike [921 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

1888? Why, I were already down t'pit in 1888, working a treble shift and walking the 200 miles home every neet in me bare feet.

But nevertheless, I stand corrected and bow to your superior knowledge sir. Although I definitely remember publicity for the fabric just prior to an Everest attempt. Up until then they wore newspaper under their tweed jackets I believe.