Snowy-bikeBase layers are a must. Simply layering Tshirts and jumpers under a jacket won’t keep you as warm and can be too bulky, restricting movement. The best option is a technical thermal base layer: these work by having a multi-layer construction, with the top layer designed to keep the cold out and the rest of the garment to insulate, regulate the body’s temperature and also to manage moisture build-up. There are plenty of motorcycle-specific base layers available.

Here’s what to look for when choosing a decent base layer set:

  • Thin and close fitting so they feel snug but not overly tight.
  • Long sleeves on tops that are either generous in length or featureanextended back section (to tuck in properly).
  • Insulating material such as merino wool, microfleece or3MThinsulate. The more air amaterial traps in a given space, the greater its insulating value. Microfibres are far finer than other fibres so trap more air in less space – much better than a couple of cotton T-shirts.
  • Breathable and moisture-wicking properties.
  • Top layer construction that provides windstopping ability (most are also waterproof/water repellent). Look for extra windchill protection in vulnerable areas like chest and front of neck.
  • Easy to care for: should be machine washable, anti-shrink, offer antibacterial properties – somelayers areimpregnated with body odour controlling technology.
  • Have flat seams or be of a seamless construction for comfort and non irritation of skin.

Base-layersTop tips

  • If you’re really strapped for cash, a normal thermal vest and longjohns will do a similar job, or you can try a tight fitting long sleeved T-shirt and a pair of ladies woolly tights, although you won’t have the same thermal advantages.
  • Mid layers are also a good investment. Yes, a jumper does the trick, but can be too bulky and might cause problems when trying to do up the neck on your jacket comfortably.
Tony Carter

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