WHAT IS A BASE LAYER?
A base layer, by simple definition, is the first layer of clothing you wear against your skin before you put on any other layers. It is the “base” of your outfit. Typically, a good base layer will be made of high-tech synthetic fabrics, and it will wick sweat away from your body. Sometimes they are like loose fit t-shirts, some are tight, some are compression fit, some are thin, and some are thick.
We suggest either a tight fit or compression fit base layer. To do its job, a base layer should be snug against your skin. A loose fit base layer will serve as a rash guard to prevent sun burn, but will not work to wick moisture. The thickness of the base layer will depend on when you wear it.
WHY SHOULD I WEAR A BASE LAYER?
WICKING & DRYNESS:
Synthetic fibers allow moisture to be pulled away from the body and to the outside of the garment to evaporate faster than traditional fabric such as cotton. The wicking combined with specialty woven technology ensures proper body temperature control. This is why you need to select products made with proven fabrics such as Coolon®. All of the ATHLETE™ products are made with patented Coolon® fabric.
BODY TEMPERATURE CONTROL:
This is an important function and goes with wicking & dryness. The type of fabric will determine if moisture will evaporate quickly or not. In cold weather, a base layer provides an extra layer of insulation. When you sweat or get wet, winter fabrics evaporate moisture as quickly as possible to keep dry, thus sustain heat from your body.
On warmer days, you do want certain level of moisture so that it takes heat from your body to cool down. Thus, the summer fabrics are designed to evaporate moisture different than winter fabrics. The light-color base layers can also prevent increase of body temperature from sun’s radiation.
Base layers can save your skin from road rash. They protect much better (both UVB and UVA) than general sunscreen lotions that only blocks UVB. Good quality base layers should have the UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) Ratings at least 15 and above.
- UPF 15 - 24
- UPF 25 - 39
- UPF 40 - 50+
- Very Good
% UV RADIATION BLOCKED
- 93.3% - 95.9%
- 96.0% - 97.4%
- 97.5% - 99%+
Also, if you fall off your bike and slide or roll, your jersey will catch the asphalt, but your undershirt will keep sliding within the jersey. And sliding on an undershirt feels marginally better than sliding on bare skin. Obviously, this won’t save you from everything. It definitely won’t prevent broken bones. So, do not expect miracles, but a slightly reduced friction is worth wearing a base layer.
Compression base layers are designed to regulate body temperature and reduce the build-up of lactic acid by compressing the muscles before, during and after physical exercise. This can delay muscle fatigue and increases performance.
Last but not the least, they look fabulous as they are becoming very popular daily casual and urban active wear.
WHEN DO I WEAR A BASE LAYER?
You need multiple layering for either in cold or changing weather conditions so that you can always stay comfortable. However, you can wear a base layer in just about any weather conditions year-round. Cold days, hot days… summer, spring, fall, winter… training rides, jogging, races, yoga, hiking, workouts, gymnastics, fishing, hunting, football, camping.....