The Merino wool base layers from dhb come in many different forms: with or without zip, high or round neck, long or short sleeve, thick or thin fabric (190g or 150g) , male or female cuts.
We reviewed a dhb Merino long-sleeve base layer back in October. http://road.cc/content/review/25150-dhb-merino-long-sleeve-zipneck-base-... That was the male version, with thicker fabric, and it had a zip.
For the past couple of months I've been road-testing the long-sleeve-no-zip-round-neck ladies cut in the 150g fabric. It's certainly had a good test with some of the cold days we've all enjoyed this winter. But it passed the test with flying colours. This is by far the best base layer I've ever worn.
It fits perfectly. Nice and stretchy, and close to the skin all over, but not too tight anywhere. It's light and not at all bulky. The stitching is neat, and there are no ridge-seams to chafe. Being made of 100% wool (even top quality merino wool), I was expecting it to be a bit scratchy, but it's beautifully smooth.
Most important, it's beautifully warm too, and the wicking properties easily handle the relatively steady riding I've been doing recently. On getting home after a ride, the base layer has been virtually dry, while the racing jersey I've been wearing as a mid-layer is more damp, proving that the base layer's fabric is doing its job of conducting the moisture away from the skin. (As an outer layer I've been wearing a full-zip windproof cycling top and sometimes a nylon gillet as well.)
For harder rides in warmer weather, when we all tend to sweat more, merino wool sometimes struggles to wick everything away so effectively, but for less-strenuous jaunts at this time of year , this base layer is perfect.
I've worn it a lot, and it's been washed about 20 times. So far, it seems to come out of the washing machine (economy wash - 90 mins at 40 degrees) unscathed, and holds its shape when drying (quickly) on the airer. It's like putting it on as new afterwards.
All in all, this base layer is a lovely item of clothing. I've become so fond of it, I sometimes wear it as a top even when not on the bike, and I even slept in it on some of those really cold nights in mid January.
The price is a bit high compared to other (non-merino) base layers, but it compares well to the price of other merino products, and the premium is worth paying for the extra performance.
Warm, light, comfortable and effective. What's not to like? Perfect for steady winter rides.
road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Ladies Merino L/S baselayer
Size tested: 10
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?
The dhb website says, "Unlike many synthetics, wool isn't quick to smell and always feels soft and warm against the skin.' That's certainly true.
The website goes on to say: '... all seams are flatlock stitched to avoid unsightly seam marks when removed.' That's also true, although when I'm taking off a sweaty vest, there's usually not that many people around to check my unsightly seam marks.
Did you enjoy using the product? yes
Would you consider buying the product? yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes
About the tester
I usually ride: a classic steel touring bike My best bike is: another classic steel touring bike, with lighter wheels
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every week I would class myself as: Novice
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, general fitness riding, the occasional audax