The Galibier Echelon baselayer performs extremely well when it comes to comfort and moisture management, and it's a very attractive price.
Galibier claims that the Echelon is a year-round garment, despite its AirMesh construction, and while it is the sort of baselayer I would usually reach for in the warmer months, I ended up testing it over winter so was able to layer it beneath some heavyweight kit to see how it measured up.
Pulling on my size medium, it felt immediately comfortable and a snug fit, cut longer at the back than the front to work on the bike, and with no rubbing from the flatlock seams. All of that enables you to quickly forget you're even wearing it.
I paired it with a long-sleeve jersey and winter softshell for most rides, adding an emergency jacket when things turned very cold. As part of that layering system the Echelon did everything I would want. It isn't there to add insulation the way a merino layer might, but it helps to regulate your body temperature by ensuring you don't get too clammy on milder days or during periods when you're working hard.
Made from 100 per cent polyester, it doesn't incorporate any 'wonder' materials, but the AirMesh construction allows good air circulation and wicks effectively. I didn't have any issues with excessive levels of post-ride whiffery, and although I was wearing it in colder temperatures that meant I sweated less, Galibier claims the fabric is treated to be odour-resistant and I'd be inclined to believe them.
Galibier's kit is always competitively priced for its quality, and I'd say that applies here too. Fabric-wise there is nothing special going on, which perhaps helps to keep costs down, but the construction and fit make it a baselayer that can compete with more expensive offerings from the big brands.
Although I didn't get to test it in temperatures above 14 degrees or so, I have no doubt that the Echelon would make a good summer baselayer, with its moisture management properties helping to keep you cool on the way up and warm on the way down, wherever you get to ride this year.
No-nonsense lightweight baselayer at a great price, and one that can be used year-round if you choose
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Galibier Echelon Short Sleeve Base Layer
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Galibier says: "Mesh garment to be worn next to the skin in summer and manage moisture"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Galibier claims: "Our Base layer is designed to be worn next to the skin. The main body of the jersey is made from AirMesh, a perforated, polyester performance fabric; which is designed to help regulate body heat in all conditions and all seasons.'
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
It's been washed a few times at 30 degrees and is still a snug fit.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I used this as a moisture management layer under winter wear and it worked well; I feel confident it would perform in summer.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great fit and competitive price.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The chest graphic is something I could live without.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Priced to compete with offerings from the likes of dhb and Craft, Galibier maintains its reputation for quality and value. A similar baselayer from Rapha could set you back twice as much, likewise Castelli.
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 overall score
This is a good looking and great functioning product that performs at a level beyond its price point.
About the tester
I usually ride: Genesis Equilibrium My best bike is: Look 585
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, The nursery run!