The Ekoi Thermal Aerocomp might remind you of another one-piece winter garment, combining as it does a long-sleeved jacket with tights stitched together around the back, giving a faux-skinsuit. It's a neat idea that makes for comfortable and surprisingly practical winterwear. I'd take issue with Ekoi's description of the fabric as being windproof, though, and I'd prefer a design that wasn't quite so plastered with logos.
Racers have been wearing skinsuits since not long after Assos created the first in the late 70s, sacrificing practical details such as pockets and being able to get in and out easily in the name of aerodynamic advantage. Castelli was possibly at its innovative best when it came up with the Sanremo speed suit, and later the winter version, combining most of the advantages of a skinsuit with a healthy dose of practicality. And it's clear that French bikewear brand Ekoi was taken with the idea too – the Aerocomp is put together in a similar fashion to the Sanremo, with the tights and jersey stitched together around the back but not the front.
The Aerocomp is a bit easier to get into than a full skinsuit, as the top half isn't attached to the front of the tights. When you're in, there's a couple of inches of overlap between top and bottom half at the front, enough to avoid draughts or the unwanted reveal. Toilet stops are even easier than when in bib tights.
I tested a medium, which was a fairly tight fit to get into but amply long enough and not restrictive once on. Ekoi doesn't have a size guide for this item – the website suggests calling them for advice – which isn't particularly helpful. I'm typically a medium for tops and a large for legs, so I'd say this sizes roughly in line with most non-Italian brands.
If you're going for a close fit, you may have to put up with the black outer layer revealing the white beneath in the areas where it's most tightly stretched – as is visible around our model's thighs (above). The collar is cut fairly high and close to the neck, as befits something for the colder months. It certainly stops draughts, but a zip garage would have made it more comfortable on the neck. There are zips on the leg openings, to make it easier to get in and out.
The fabric used is a Miti Lombardia, a chunky Roubaix-style material. Ekoi describes it as "windproof and breathable" but I'd have to say that only the latter is really accurate. I found the wind cut right through it when going quickly, and at anything less than 10 degrees out I needed a windproof baselayer to avoid the downhill chill. Certainly compared with something like the Gore Windstopper material used by Castelli in the Sanremo Thermosuit, it's much less effective at keeping the wind out.
Unlike the Sanremo, there's no real water resistance here, so this is definitely best worn on cool, dry days, ideally paired with something like this Craft baselayer.
The Thermal suit uses Ekoi's own gel pad, with varying thickness and density. It's in the right place with the thickest parts located where you want them, right under the sit bones. I found it comfortable for three hours or so – I could ride longer without suffering particularly but I wouldn't put it on a par with my very favourite pads, which can keep me comfy all day.
Around the back are two large pockets, with plenty of space for food and general cargo. In general I find it easier to organise stuff when there are three pockets, but these are of a good size. There are no reflective details at all, which is a shame for winter clothing.
I think the aspect I found hardest to like of the Ekoi onesie was the aesthetics. The designers have really gone to town with logos, cramming as many as they can across torso, legs and arms. It's not even a particularly good logo (in my opinion), and I particularly object to the Aerocomp graphic with the 'e' borrowed from Ekoi and the inexplicable 1 inside the 'o'. At road.cc we don't generally factor aesthetics into our overall scores, though, as they are very definitely a subjective area, so you can make your own mind up about them from the pictures.
What we have here, in summary, is a notably more affordable onesie than Castelli's. The concept might be similar but the performance of the fabric is not – there's no water resistance here, and less wind protection than promised. However, it's comfortable and among the most aerodynamic options for cooler months.
Winter onesie that's more affordable than some, but without much protection from wind and rain
road.cc test report
Make and model: Ekoi Thermal Ekoi Suit Aerocomp
Size tested: 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 gear prevents from cold air in (effective to 5° with first layer technical clothing)
- LOMBARDIA MITI lined fabrics windproof & breathable (thermal insulation from cold & humidity)
- Very soft & warm fiber
- No straps for an improved comfort
- Skinny aesthetic look
- Gel pads
- Pee-stop possible without removing the gear (opening on the front)
- Road, cyclocross or mountain bike
- Efficient with an Ekoi technical first layer to 5°
- Skinny gear (slim fit)
- Thermal insulating & breathable MITI fiber
- High Collar
- 2 back pockets
- Zippers at ankles
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Lycra MITI TEC lombardia 240 grams (made in ITALY)
- 85% polyamide + 15% spandex
Certainly aerodynamic, but less good at keeping you warm than I'd expected. Below 10 degrees and you certainly want a windproof baselayer below it. Unlike the Gore-Tex fabric used in Castelli's Sanremo thermosuit, there's no rain protection here.
It comes up slim and long. I tested a medium which was amply long on me and pretty close-fitting.
Ekoi's website doesn't have a size guide – it just suggests phoning to find out. Surely it's not that hard?
Pretty much in line with what you'd expect.
Others have eulogised over how the absence of bib straps makes for unparalleled upper-body comfort. I can't say I noticed a massive difference. I was comfortable, although the pad wasn't one I'd be that keen to spend all day sitting on; fine for 3-4 hours though.
It's a more affordable option than the Castelli Thermosuit which kicked things off, that's for sure. Price is reasonable when you think of the cost of equivalent tights and jersey.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Went through my normal 40-degree wash with non-bio detergent without any issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It was comfortable and aerodynamic, which are the primary reasons why you'd buy it, I think. I was expecting more windproofing, though, given that Ekoi describes the fabric used as windproof, and suitable for use down to 5 degrees.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I've rarely felt this aerodynamic in winter get-up.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There are too many logos. I mean, waaaay too many.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Potentially
Use this box to explain your score
Three stars is "better than average" and if your goal is to make quick progress on cool days then this is a decent choice. If you're a hardy soul who rides come rain or shine then it's not something you'd pull out of the drawer for a rainy one, and I was disappointed that the advertised windproofing was not in evidence.
About the tester
I usually ride: On-one Bish Bash Bosh My best bike is: Rose X-Lite CRS
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels. His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding.