As autumn turns to winter, it's important to wear the right kit, such as this Corefit long sleeve base layer from dhb.
With a silky feel, it's very comfortable next to the skin and it definitely helps keep you warm – whether you're tootling about on the Sunday clubrun or racing into an Arctic headwind.
As with many dhb products, this base layer comes in numerous varieties: male or female cut, long or short sleeves, high neck (with zip) or round neck. Under test here is the male cut, round neck, long sleeve version.
The fabric is polyester, and very smooth to the touch, while the seams are all flat-stitched which further adds to the comfort.
The fit is on the loose side. On the dhb website they call it 'relaxed'. I'd call it baggy. Personally, I like base layers to be figure hugging. First because it's more comfortable under two or three other layers, and second because it's more effective with no spare fabric. There's also no danger anyone will actually see my figure under the aforementioned two or three other layers.
To be fair, dhb say the Corefit is designed to be loose so you can use it as a stand-alone garment – maybe for running or to put on as a casual T-shirt after exercise. But I'd recommend ordering a size down if you want to use this base layer as, er, a base layer.
Niggles over sizing aside, this is an excellent piece of kit. The primary purpose of a base layer is not to provide warmth per se (for that you add another mid or top layer of clothing to trap warm air), but to move (or 'wick') sweat away from your skin, effectively over-riding the body's natural cooling mechanism. And the Corefit does this very well indeed. Out on the bike it definitely keeps me cosy, even when forced to stop to fix a flat at the side of the road.
The wicking properties are then further demonstrated when I get back home. Taking off a wet middle layer, the Corefit base layer feels only slightly damp. Not dry, admittedly, but definitely not as sopping as some of my vests get after a few hours hard riding. And one more benefit: the base layer fabric is odour resistant. Just as well.
On price, this dhb Corefit long-sleeve round-neck base layer (and most of the other varieties) retails on the Wiggle website at £27.99 or a couple of quid more for the zip-necked version. This may seem a lot for a vest, but it compares well against other manufacturers, most of whom charge £40 to £60 for similar products.
Does exactly what a base-layer should do: help keep you warm on cold days. Very comfortable and a good price too.
road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Corefit Long Sleeve Baselayer
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 product is a base-layer designed to be worn next to the skin. On the Wiggle website (dhb is the in-house brand of Wiggle) the garment's key features include:
* Polyester fabric is soft, lightweight and durable
* Anti odour treatment
* Moisture wicking
* Flatlock stitching
* Seamless side detail logo
* Fit: Casual
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Wiggle website goes on to say 'The new Corefit garments are made from a more lightweight polyester fabric .... The fabric is treated at yarn level to take care of moisture transportation and odour control. This means the fabric will help to keep you comfortable as the effort level increases. Perspiration is drawn away from the skin's surface through the fabric to keep your skin dry and prevent the chill effect. The anti odour treatment prevents the build up of bacteria and the nasty smells that go with it.'
Construction of this garment seems excellent. All the stitching was neat and tidy.
Performance was excellent. This base layer does exactly what a base-layer should do: help keep you warm on cold days.
It's too early to say for sure, but durability is likely to be good going by the construction quality and assuming you wear the Corefit as an undergarment, but the material is thin, so maybe not as long-lasting as similar products from other manufacturers - although these cost twice as much. And also assuming you wash this base layer after every use (as the salt in sweat can wear away at fabric very quickly if it's not rinsed out).
Comfort is very good indeed. I prefer a close-fitting base-layer so found the fit too baggy, but that's a matter of personal choice and not a problem with the garment itself.
Value is excellent. Similar garments from other manufacturers cost a tenner more - or more than double the price of the Corefit. This garment may not be as durable as some other items out there, but at half the price you can't complain.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Corefit does exactly what a base-layer should do: wick away the moisture to help keep you warm on cold days.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Silky feel, light weight, effective wicking.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not a dislike as such, but I prefer a close fit on a base layer. Make sure you buy the right size according to your own preference.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
The combination of performance and price makes this garment exceptional, and so it earns a well-deserved 9.
About the tester
Age: 51 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp, or an old steel classic My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex (can you see a theme here?)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,