Lusso's Race Base Mesh Base layer is a great performer, seriously helping to wick away that summer sweat.
I've always sworn by a baselayer; even when I completed the Etape du Tour in 2013 in mid-30-degree heat, I donned a layer to help me regulate my body temperature. A well-designed layer can seriously help you achieve a more comfortable ride, and the Lusso mesh variety is certainly worth its (light)weight.
The short sleeve variety I tested is top drawer in many respects: it's the perfect length to sit seamlessly around your hips, doesn't ride up, and moulds to your individual body shape thanks to shaped (rather than seamed) fabric. The mesh also seems to be of the same ilk as you'll find from high-end brands such as Rapha.
There's no chafing – always my fear when it comes to mesh baselayers – and it stays remarkably dry, acting as a conduit to transport moisture rather than absorb it. That means in 30-degree heat you're kept very cool, yet the fabric sitting against your skin remains relatively dry. Salt marks on my jerseys were common, indicating that it performs its job well.
My only complaint is that, having slightly bigger arms than your average keen road cyclist, I found the hems of the sleeves a little tight. It's a shame there isn't a sleeveless option, as that would also get around the problem that a lot of my jersey sleeves are shorter than the baselayer's (I don't particularly like the newer fashion of elbow-length short sleeves) – and how tight my jersey sleeves tend to be with a baselayer squeezed underneath...
You could always buy a size up (an Italian-esque fit applies, so you're already aiming a size higher than normal), but then you risk having too much length in the body, making the hem visible at the rear of your bib shorts.
Thanks to its extreme light weight, it washes through easily, although you need to take care – I stuck to a delicate treatment. Do this and it comes out as new, which is good as it's going to be the layer that sits against your skin, and you want it remaining soft and smooth.
It's good value, too, at £22.99, when you consider (decent) baselayers from mainstream manufacturers such as Nike or Adidas can cost twice as much. This makes it an attractive buy for the summer months, or if you happen to run particularly hot, your current cotton or merino blend baselayer just isn't light enough.
A very good performer for hot summer days – if we get any…
road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Race Base Mesh Base layer
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?
Lusso says: "After 12 months testing and working with Italy's leading Fabric supplier Lusso's task was to create something super lightweight, high moisture transfer and important 4 way stretch for the perfect body fit and achieving the most breathable base layer possible in todays market."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- High Breathability
- 4 Way Stretch
- Soft Touch
- Quick Drying
- Anatomically Shaped
- Italian Multi-Filament Yarns
- White Only
- Made in UK
- Machine Washable
Solid, and resists snagging - a comfort with such a lightweight garment.
Super-cool, and wicks moisture brilliantly.
It's still in perfect condition, which I'm delighted with considering how lightweight it is.
Great for cyclists, without any annoying rolling/gathering going on at the hem. Sleeve hems are a little tight.
Comes up a touch small on me – but it's bearable. If buying, I'd probably go with a large (I tend to go medium with baselayers).
I can't imagine that if the garment were any lighter I'd notice.
Very comfortable, with no chafing – always a worry for me with these mesh/netting style baselayers.
£22.99 is pretty decent for a baselayer that works this well. If you find it for around £18 or below, snap one up quickly.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
It hasn't shrunk or lost its softness – but I've stuck to a delicate wash for this.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well – I'm impressed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Lightweight, very cool and great moisture wicking.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No black option, and I'd like to see a sleeveless version.
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
Does what it says on the tin, and impressively, too.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding