Proving that merino baselayers don't need to cost a fortune, the excellent Oneten Merino Long Sleeve can currently be bought for just £27 from Chain Reaction Cycles, the company behind the clothing brand.
Previous Oneten products have reviewed well on road.cc, and this merino baselayer proved to be no exception.
It's made entirely from 185gsm (the weight of the fabric) merino wool with flatlocked seams throughout. I favour merino wool for baselayers because it's soft next to the skin and very insulating for cold rides. Its other great appeal is that it's naturally anti-bacterial and odour resistant, so it never stinks, and it's very breathable so you don't risk overheating.
The fit, always important for a garment designed to sit close to the skin, is really good. It's available in five sizes from S to XXL which should cover most body shapes. Oneten recommends a hand wash or cold machine wash, but I had no issues putting it through a 30-degree machine wash.
As the weather warms up it won't get as much use, but on cold mornings and throughout winter – apart from the very coldest rides – it provides about the right level of insulation when paired with a decent jersey or jacket. There's a short-sleeve version too, currently £24.99.
Affordable merino baselayer not lacking in quality or performance
road.cc test report
Make and model: Oneten Merino Long Sleeve Baselayer
Size tested: M
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?
Oneten says: "Renowned for its exceptional properties, Merino wool is the ultimate in high performance fabrics. 100% natural, it has excellent insulation properties. Naturally high wicking and odour resistant, the Oneten Merino Baselayer is the perfect choice for athletes.
"Merino wool, with its high warmth to weight ratio and a natural breathability, helps to maintain your body temperature. Unlike other wools, Merino is itch-free and with fully flat locked seams, your comfort is ensured."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
100% Merino wool, 185gsm
Natural antibacterial properties make your garment highly odour resistant
Naturally breathable, with excellent moisture wicking properties
Itch free, with fully flat locked seams
Helps maintain body temperature
Hand wash or gentle, cold machine wash recommended
This is where the Oneten baselayer really scores highly, merino often costs more than this.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy if you follow the instructions. I didn't, but the baselayer has been just fine.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Provides good warmth and keeps you dry and comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good performance at a good price.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Can't really find much to fault.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
It's a good quality merino baselayer, and gets an extra mark for its affordable price.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.