It's just about cold enough to make the switch to long sleeve base layers. The skin tight Sportful 2nd Skin Long Sleeve T High Collar is comfortable, warm and copes well with sweat. It's a good investment for the winter.
Sportful divides its base layer range into four temperature and physical effort levels, which they call Climate Control. This one is tagged '2' which is suited, according to the literature, to a temperature range of between 2 and 12 degrees. Any such indicated temperature range is merely an indication, but coincidentally we've had just that temperature range in recent weeks, and the 2nd Skin base layer has delivered.
It's made from 60% polyproplyene, 27% polyester and 13% nylon. Sportful has used body mapping to add in mesh fabric in key areas, to help with temperature regulation. You can't really see it in the photo, but it's there. Next to the skin it's really rather soft; the seamless construction helps a great deal here. It's a second skin fitting base layer, but not at all tight or restrictive. That's because it's extremely stretchy so easily conforms to your torso, arms and around the shoulders.
The 5cm tall neck feels a bit uncomfortable at first, but after a few moments you really don't notice it. That high neck is really effective at keeping the lower neck covered up and stopping cold air sneaking in around the collar.
Worn with a softshell jacket or long sleeve jersey over the top, it provides a good insulating base layer. Work up a sweat and the fabric pulls it away from your skin, and it does keep you dry. The extremely close fit really is key to the base layer keeping you dry, and it's noticeably better than looser fitting base layers. Man made fabrics can sometimes kick up a stink but I've not experienced any bad odours from this base layer.
For autumn and early winter then this is a fine base layer that is comfortable and keeps you dry. A decent base layer is a sound investment in your cycling kit for the winter, and at £40 the Sportful 2nd Skin Long Sleeve T is a good choice.
Comfortable and warm base layer that copes well with sweat.
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Make and model: Sportful 2nd Skin Long Sleeve T High Collar
Size tested: s/m, black
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?
Second Skin Active 100 is the Second Skin solution for moderate temperatures. It keeps your skin dry, yet adds only minimal insulation. Parts of the garment include a mesh knit to help move air and moisture away from your skin and keep you at a comfortable temperature.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
It's made from 60% polyproplyene, 27% polyester and 13% polyamide. They've used body mapping to add in mesh fabric in key areas, to help with temperature regulation.
The seamless construction really helps with comfort, there's no irritation anywhere. It disappears under your other layers.
In a typical temperature range it's a good choice, when worn with suitable over layers.
Chucked it through several regular washing machine cycles and it's standing up just fine, it's easy to look after.
The stretchy fabric and lack of seams, and the general softness of the material, makes it lovely and comfortable.
It's a high performance base layer at a decent price, making it a solid investment for any cyclists wardrobe this winter.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Delivered on its intended temperature range.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The comfort next to the skin and how it stays dry even when I'm riding as sweatily as I can.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing to dislike.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
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, mtb,
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.