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Verdict: 
Excellent base layer for keeping you dry and comfortable on off-season rides
Weight: 
120g
Contact: 

The Craft Active Extreme Crewneck baselayer is an excellent option for keeping you dry and warm during off-season cycling.

In my opinion, Craft's off-season base layers are the best by far. If I have a big ride coming up at the weekend, I always make sure I have a Craft base washed and ready to go, and this one is the best of the lot for most conditions.

The Craft Active Extreme base layer is comfortable as soon as you put it on because it's thin and lightweight and there are no seams in the body. The seams around the shoulders and down the arms are flatlock stitched so you're barely aware of them.

The polyester fabric is ribbed and super stretchy so pretty much everyone will get the close fit that's vital for a base layer to work effectively. I'm tall and pretty skinny and I found the arms and body to be long enough to avoid exposed skin.

The best aspect of the base layer's performance is its ability to keep you feeling dry during a ride. Craft reckon this is down to the six-channel fibres they use against your skin and the hollow fibres on the outside that transport moisture to your next layer of clothing.

I couldn't vouch for the mechanisms involved but I can tell you that the base layer does a great job of shifting sweat away from your body.

It also helps provide a decent level of insulation although, to my mind, that's not such an important consideration because you can always adjust your outer layers to get the level of warmth you're after. I might swap to a warm merino base layer in really cold conditions – when the temperature is very close to freezing and I want all the warmth I can get – but I find the Active Extreme works brilliantly above that level.

Verdict

Excellent base layer for keeping you dry and comfortable on off-season rides

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Craft Active Extreme Crewneck 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?

Craft say:

Comforts your body in zones you need it

- Soft and breathable crewneck

- Seamless torso, ergonomic fit

- Thin, lightweight and extremely elastic

- Flatlock seams that follow body movement

- Perfect cool and excellent dry effect

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

Craft have this to say on the fabric:

EXTREME PERFORMANCE

Active Extreme is made of a thin, lightweight and elastic fabric that keeps you dry and fresh throughout any workout in fair and cold temperatures. Its ergonomic 3D construction ensures a perfect fit and optimal freedom of movement for extreme performance.

HEXA AND HOLLOW

A HEXA channeled fiber (six channels) against the skin enhances moisture transport and cools the body down, whereas a hollow fiber on the outside of the fabric offers insulation and transports moisture to the next layer.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
10/10
Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

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

It performs superbly. Definitely my favourite off-season base layer.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Its ability to shift moisture away from the body.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes, and I have in the past.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

This is an outstanding base layer; easily the best of its kind available, to my mind. It comes at a decent price too.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 43  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: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,

 

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, 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 winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

13 comments

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andyp [1609 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

is that blue steel or magnum?

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ronin [280 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Agree, excellent bit of kit. Nice and warm, nothing to complain about. I think I got mine for £20 or less.

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EarsoftheWolf [75 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

I'm looking into getting one of these, and noticed that Merlin Cycles are selling them for half price (£16) at the moment...

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amawby [91 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

I would add that Craft baselayers (of which I am a fan and have many including this one) are cut long and thin - though are very stretchy - so are a particular bonus for the taller, skinnier rider, who usually struggles to find kit that fits properly. I would highly recommend them all.

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mingmong [328 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

10 quid for the short-sleeved version on Halfords www!

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Rich71 [52 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

There will never be an opportunity to war any of this cold weather gear,its just not cold enough anymore,waste of money

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MaxP [81 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

One persons 'warm' is another persons 'OMG I'm freezing'

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bdsl [201 posts] 5 years ago
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Not just the short-sleaves - you can get the Craft Active Extreme Crew Neck - Men's, White, Medium (apparently not the black or other sizes though) for £9 on Halfords www. It's shown as £10 but they take 10% off when you add it to the basket.

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Mathelo [23 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Love mine as well. Craft is always by base layer. The lighter weight stuff during the summer and this kit when it turns cool to cold. With layers it works fine below freezing.

And I'll actually use this under a short sleeve jersey instead of arm warmers. Effective as warmers but doesn't overheat as the day warms up.

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pedalpowerDC [380 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

I found Craft baselayers to be disappointing. The arms were cut quite short for me (Rapha is the only one I've found that comes close on arm length with a decent fit on torso), and Craft seems to fail to use a more technical fiber blend that won't smell horrible right away.

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Super Domestique [1622 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes
amawby wrote:

I would add that Craft baselayers (of which I am a fan and have many including this one) are cut long and thin - though are very stretchy - so are a particular bonus for the taller, skinnier rider, who usually struggles to find kit that fits properly. I would highly recommend them all.

Totally agree. I love mine.

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KiwiMike [1435 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Any comparison with the whole string vest vibe that's going on?

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andystorey [25 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Prendas have excellent stocks of this garment for £19.95.

http://www.prendas.co.uk/craft-active-extreme-crewneck-long-sleeve-under...

Sizes M and L - free P&P - plus good customer service too!

https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.prendas.co.uk