Four Awesome Base Layers to Get You Through Winter

Warmth, moisture management, and comfort highlight this quartet

Winter Craft Trees

Base layers are a key apparel item during winter rides. Photo courtesy of Art’s Cyclery

Editor’s Note: This article is courtesy of the team at Art’s Cyclery. The original post can be found here.

The humble base layer may not be the flashiest piece of cycling gear on the market, but anyone who’s worn one on a frosty winter ride knows how big of a difference it can make. There are quite a few different base layer options out there, and to the uninitiated, they can all look pretty similar. But look a little closer and you’ll see that’s far from the truth.

Craft Active Extreme

Craft Active Extreme

Craft has converted many a base layer skeptic, and the Active Extreme is their flagship model for a reason. No matter the weather, the Active Extreme always seems to magically keep your body temperature in just the right place. A light channel knit fabric with strategically placed diaphanous mesh gives this base layer the unique ability to stay viable over a huge range of temperatures. Whether it’s an icy morning or sunny afternoon, you’ll be glad you’re wearing the Active Extreme.

Assos skinFoil_spring/fall

Assos skinFoil_spring/fall

Assos is known as one of the most extravagant (read: expensive) cycling brands around. Luckily, their skinFoil_spring/fall base layer is only a little bit pricier than other manufacturer’s top-end offerings, and it still comes with that crème-de-la-crème Assos quality. The skinFoil_spring/fall is masterfully crafted all around, but where it really stands apart is the materials. Assos’ specially engineered Skinfoil fabric is lighter, softer, and better at insulating than anything else out there.

Castelli Prosecco

Castelli Prosecco

Castelli has quite a few quality base layer offerings, but the focus here is on the Prosecco because of its lightning-fast sweat wicking properties. Of course, any thermal base layer worth its salt should be able to wick away moisture, but only the Prosecco was built for moisture management above all else. And it’s no slouch in the “thermal” department either. The Prosecco is an easy choice if you want to stay warm, dry, and comfortable all ride long.

Capo Torino 3D

Capo Torino 3D

Capo’s Torino 3D is a newcomer to the base layer scene, and it offers some technology unlike anything else on the market. The strange mesh striping may look a little funky, but it was designed and tested to provide maximum airflow where you need it most, without compromising insulation. This “Body Map” tech makes the Torino 3D uniquely proficient at maintaining a stable body temperature in almost any weather range. If you’re ready to try a base layer that’s on the cutting edge, you won’t be disappointed with the Torino 3D.

Check out more Road Base Layers here.

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About the author: Arts Cyclery

This article was originally published on the Art's Cyclery Blog. Art's Cyclery is dedicated to offering free expert advice, how-to videos, and in-depth product reviews on to help riders make an educated decision when selecting cycling gear.

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  • Pablo says:

    After years of trying different layers, I’ve found that merino wool short or long sleeve undershirts work best. They seem to work best with a range of temperatures and wick dampness away from the skin quickly.

    I use non-cycling specific merino shirts because that it what I tried first. There are few cycling manufacturers using merino probably because it’s not seen as ‘technical’ clothing.

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