Solo Merino short sleeve base layer  £50.00

7/10

Slim-fitting merino base layer that puts in a solid performance

Weight 130g   Contact  www.paligap.cc

by Mat Brett   March 10, 2013  

Solo Merino short sleeve base layer

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The Solo Merino Wool base layer is a slim fitting and comfortable option that comes with the usual merino benefits of being naturally antibacterial and odour-resistant.

I guess you already know whether you're a wool-wearing type of a rider or not. Nine times out of 10 I'll go for a synthetic base layer, although I'll opt for merino when I want a little extra warmth or I'm likely to stop somewhere civilised mid-ride and don't want to sit there humming. Merino is definitely a winner on that score. There are plenty of other people out there who use merino as a matter of course.

This base layer puts in a good performance. For a start, the wool is superfine. Even after quite a few washes (40° in the machine, no worries there) it doesn't feel at all scratchy to me. In fact, it's among the most comfortable merino tops I've ever used.

It's a medium weight merino – 150gsm, if you speak that language – which is the same weight as Rapha use for theirs. The seams are flat-stitched and side-panels that extend to the underside of the arms ensure a good fit. The back is a little longer than the front – not massively, but enough to keep you well covered back there. The cut is slim so most skinny riders will get a close fit, and tons of stretch means it's not a problem if you have a bit more meat on your bones.

Merino naturally wicks sweat from your skin and Solo's base layer is no different from the norm in that respect. Like any merino, it can get heavy if you sweat loads and it doesn't dry especially fast compared to a lightweight polypropylene, for example, which is one of the reasons why I wear it selectively. It'll keep you much warmer and more comfortable than a synthetic will if you do overload it, though.

In terms of price, the Solo base layer is cheaper than Rapha's (£60 for short sleeve, £55 for sleeveless, and £65 for long sleeve) which, I would say, is a similar quality. DHB's 150gsm merino short sleeve base is considerably cheaper at £30.99.

Also available in a sleeveless model for £46.

Verdict

Slim-fitting merino base layer that puts in a solid performance

road.cc test report

Make and model: Solo Merino short sleeve base layer

Size tested: XL

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?

Solo say, "Constructed from 150gsm super fine 100% merino wool, this baselayer is perfect for all season riding. It features a cycling specific cut and comfortable flatlock seams throughout. It's exceptionally warm and breathable and has all the natural benefits of merino wool: anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and odour repelling.

Note: There is a lot of stretch in the baselayer so each size covers a much bigger range than standard cycle jerseys."

Yep, I can't argue with that description. It doesn't have any amazing design features but it's a fine grade of merino and it's close fitting.

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

Merino can absorb a lot of water. Unlike cotton, though, it retains its warmth when damp.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Flatlock stitched throughout with side panels that extend to the underside of the arms.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

There are no special features here but merino is a great option for certain types of riding.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Keep away from moths.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Not as expensive as Rapha, not as cheap as DHB.

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

It puts in a good performance

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The super-fine fibres and the skinny cut.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing comes to mind.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 7/10

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,

 

2 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I don't want to be Mr Grumpy, so I've removed my grumpy comment!

posted by crikey [106 posts]
11th March 2013 - 9:54

like this
Like (18)

Any info on wool sourcing? I.e. ZQ.. (whatever it is) farming standards? I think it's an important distinction to make when comparing the higher cost merino - I'm happy to pay for high quality in terms of product and animal welfare, but not just for brand.

G-bitch's picture

posted by G-bitch [302 posts]
11th March 2013 - 10:21

like this
Like (21)

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