The Polaris Torsion is a decent base layer for keeping you dry and comfortable during off-season rides.
It's mostly polyester (70%) with nylon (24%) and elastane (6%) added in there. Polaris use a looser, more absorbent weave in the areas where you sweat most – under the arms and down the centre of the front and back
I've been using this base layer over the winter and it has done a pretty good job of keeping the moisture level down. I have base layers of a similar composition from the likes of dhb and, to be honest, it's difficult to tell them apart in terms of performance.
This base layer isn't as soft or as warm to the touch as a Craft base layer, say, but it's a solid, everyday option. It's doesn't provide a whole lot of insulation so you might want to swap to a thermal base when the temperature drops really low, although sticking with it and adding an extra mid-layer does a similar job.
The Torsion is designed to act as a compression top, the idea being that it supports your muscles during exercise and helps with recovery. But can upper-body compression benefit a cyclist? I'm taking that one with a huge pinch of salt – possibly the whole cellar. I buy into the idea of compression clothing for the legs but I certainly wouldn't be buying this top – or any other top – for its compressive qualities.
The fact that it's a close fit is certainly useful, though. The fabric sits right next to your skin at all times so it's always ready to shift dampness away, and those looser-weave sections I mentioned really do help transport sweat away from your body. I've known other base layers that move moisture better, but this one does a good job, especially for the off-season when the temperature means you won't sweat as much as in the height of summer.
The Torsion is very stretchy so it feels perfectly comfortable despite the body-hugging fit. The body section is a tubular knit and the seams on the shoulders and arms are all flat-stitched so they don't bother you in the slightest.
Several weeks in and the Torsion is doing okay in the good old sniff test too with no residual odours when it comes out of the washing machine.
It's also available in a short-sleeve versions for £37.99
Close-fitting base layer that deals with moisture effectively during off-season rides.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Polaris Torsion Jersey Long Sleeve Baselayer
Size tested: Black, Medium/Large
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?
Here's what Polaris say:
"The Torsion LS Jersey is a long sleeved base layer designed to be worn tightly next to the skin.
Elastane is used throughout the garments as a stretch recovery yarn, giving better anatomical fit
The Torsion Jersey creates muscle support, aids recovery and helps temperature control
The tubular, seam-free construction of Torsion garments reduces the amount of seam rub and reduces abrasion
Also available in short sleeve"
A pervious version of the Torsion used polypropylene; this incarnation doesn't.
It's well made, the body section being a tubular knit so there are no seams to bother sensitive folk, like me.
Chances are it's going to be covered up most of the time but the fabric is very resistant to abrasion so it should last well.
There are only a few seams and they're all flat-stitched. The fabrics are very stretchy so they don't feel tight. It's not the warmest feeling fabric, though, so it's not the one to go for if you're after loads of insulation.
It's an okay price, but not amazing for a polyester/nylon/elastane mix.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It shifts sweat well although the fabric doesn't feel as warm to the touch as others. That might or might not be good news, depending on the conditions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Close fit, lack of seams, pretty good sweat-shifting performance.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, it's a pretty good base layer.
Would you consider buying the product? There are other base layers I prefer.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly.
About the tester
Age: 41 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.