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Isadore Merino Long Sleeve Base Layer review

15 Feb 2018

Less technical than most baselayers but just as effective

Cyclist Rating: 
Soft, warm, good fit, thumb loops
Wide neck

Buy the Isadore Merino base layer from Wiggle here

While many brands are tempted into the use of complex materials and even more perplexing words to construct their base layers, Slovakian brand Isadore has kept it simple with its merino long sleeve base layer, and it's worked.

No room for 'active material' or 'smart technology', the team from Isadore has stuck with the coat of Merino sheep and in doing so has produced a product that easily competes if not surpasses its technical rivals.

Beyond anything else, the Isadore merino base layer offers comfort in abundance.

Soft to the touch, when it is worn underneath a long sleeve jersey or winter jacket on a cold day it hugs your upper half keeping you in a state of total comfort for your entire ride.

Whether a one hour or four hour ride the layer failed to become irritable, something that I have experienced with base layers made from unnatural materials. Even after a few washes, the base layer keeps its fluffy feel and that hugging sensation is yet to go.

To keep comfortable on a ride, you also have to be kept warm and dry, something that this base layer also does.

I quickly learned that for any rides under 5°C would need a long sleeve jersey and jacket and anything upwards of 5°C towards 15°C would need just a jersey such was the clear cut warmth that this base layer provided.

In terms of keeping me dry, while it was never exposed to the rain - as I usually wore it underneath a waterproof jersey - I can vouch for its wicking properties.

When I started to sweat the base layer would absorb it and take it away from my body which helped to keep me dry and also prevented me being dowsed in cold sweat on long descents.

One slight discomfort I must admit is the low cut collar. The collar sits away from the base of neck closer to the collarbone leaving more skin exposed than desired.

This gives an entry point for cold air especially on longer descents. This is only a slight annoyance but nonetheless it is persistently noticeable especially when your jersey is not fully zipped up.

A quirky inclusion from Isadore are the thumb holes that finish the sleeves. 

Besides you being able to pull the sleeve over your hands and hug yourself in an angsty 1990s RomCom fashion, it also helps in keeping the base layer in place.

Threading your thumbs into the holes, you are constantly pulling down on the sleeves meaning that they will not ride up, something that we have probably all experienced with a base layer while riding.

Isadore is the brainchild of former professional cyclist Martin Velits, one half of the Velits twins. Much of his product is made of merino wool for a clear reason.

He believes that as a material not only does it keep your body warm, dry and breathing but it also offers sustainable, renewable and biodegradable method to ethically produce cycling clothing.

If that's the case then Isadore will be a brand I turn to often for my cycling apparel. Just make sure you don't chuck it in the tumble dryer, it'll probably shrink.

Buy the Isadore Merino base layer from Wiggle here

€60 (£52 approx)

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