The Velocio Women's Radiator SL Base Layer is designed for warm and hot weather use, to wick moisture (and therefore heat) away from the skin for more effective temperature control. It's comfortable and stretchy, with offset seams, but it's actually quite warm when worn over a sports bra and under a jersey.
The concept behind a baselayer like Velocio's Radiator is that in hot weather, a thin technical layer worn under a summer-weight jersey can improve the movement of moisture away from the skin, allowing it to evaporate more quickly and effectively from the fabric of the jersey. On changeable, breezy days, it can also add just a little to next-to-body insulation for those times when a gilet would be too much, but a lightweight jersey just too little.
The Radiator SL is extremely comfortable to wear. The knitted-feeling Polartec Delta mesh fabric, made from a polyester/Tencel/Lycra mix is soft, stretchy and contours to the body nicely. I found there was plenty of length in the torso, too, so this should accommodate even moderately tall women, and the stretch fabric means it should fit comfortably on most body shapes.
Off-set seams at the shoulder area and no labels mean that there are no rubbing problems under bib short straps, and the neckline is high enough to preserve modesty no matter how low your front zip goes.
The fabric does a great job of moving moisture away from the skin, to help maintain a steady temperature, but I did find this was slightly undermined by the top being an extra layer. Few women can get away with wearing a singlet like this as their only undergarment and so it will always likely be paired up with a sports bra or crop top as well; this fundamentally undermines the effectiveness of the top's purpose and instead creates an additional layer which traps heat rather than getting rid of it.
Out on the bike on even only moderately warm UK summer days it felt warmer than just the jersey on its own. This does mean that the usefulness of such a layer as a warm (or even hot) weather baselayer is more limited – BUT it does make the top a useful addition to a cycling wardrobe for slightly chillier or breezier days. For that purpose, I'd reach for it time and time again, for breathability, moisture wicking and a bit of extra warmth.
Price-wise, it's looking expensive when compared with the likes of the Morvelo Cols Women's Short Sleeve Baselayer and Mavic's Hot Ride Sleeveless Tee, both £35 at rrp, but if you consider it more as a year-round option than just a hot weather garment, then it's perhaps more versatile, and better value than it first seems.
It's comfortable, well made and wicks moisture effectively and quickly, so if you're looking for a three or four-season technical baselayer then it's money well spent. For purely summer use, it struggles somewhat with being doubled up with a sports bra.
Effective and comfortable baselayer, but warm for its intended hot weather purpose, and expensive
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Velocio Women's Radiator SL Base Layer
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Designed to wick moisture away from the skin and increase evaporative cooling of the body in hot weather conditions, to help maintain a steady body temperature even when working hard.
Velocio says, 'A totally new take on the summer base layer, the Radiator uses a unique mesh fabric developed by Polartec, made of polyester and a natural fiber derived from wood pulp called Tencel. The fabric regulates body temp far better than synthetic fiber alone. Hence, the Radiator keeps you comfortable through evaporative cooling, by absorbing moisture (Tencel) and drying (polyester) over the surface. The result is a supremely comfortable base layer that performs throughout the summer months and warm to hot climates.
'Mesh structure and flat lock construction make for the perfect ultralight summer base layer, designed to be worn in conjunction with our jerseys and bib shorts for the best combination of comfort and performance.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made from 51% polyester/45% Tencel (derived from wood pulp/4% Lycra
Machine washable at 30
Flat lock seams
Well made with a nice finish and good quality, soft fabric.
If used as a strictly hot weather layer it was too warm when worn with a sports bra/crop top, but as a three-season type layer it performed very well.
Washed well, good levels of stretch and a colour (off-white) that won't suffer for long term use.
Comfortable, stretchy and plenty of length in the body.
Super-stretchy and very accommodating.
Very comfortable on changeable days, but slightly too warm for hot weather use when used with a sports bra/crop top.
Expensive when compared with similar products such as Mavic's Hot Ride Sleeveless Tee or the Morvelo Cols Women's Short Sleeve Baselayer, both £35. It's possibly more versatile as a year-round baselayer than either of these though.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy, machine washed well at 30.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Too warm for hot weather use when worn with a crop top or sports bra, and most women would need to do this as the baselayer top has zero support on its own.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Soft stretchy fabric, moisture-wicking abilities.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Off-white colour, price, too warm for hot weather use with a sports bra.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly. More likely in the sale.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your overall score
Well made and effective at wicking moisture but a little on the warm side for its intended hot weather use when taking into account that most women need to wear a sports bra or crop top under it as well, therefore creating an extra layer.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.