Reviewer: Mikko Nieminen // RRP: Base layer £54.99, mid layer £59.99 // Sizes: Base layer S-3XL, mid layer S-2XL // Colours: Black/grey // Info: www.planet-knox.com
With all the winter jackets and trousers filling the shelves at the bike shops it’s easy to forget the base and mid layers.
The Dry Inside base layer from Knox is made from MerinoPerform™ Advantage – a combination of soft Australian Merino wool and fast-drying synthetic fibres – designed to move vapour and sweat away from the body quickly, keeping you dry and cool on warmer days and providing insulation when the temperature drops.
I like how the base layer top feels soft on the skin and the high collar offers a bit of extra warmth. You can tell it’s made of high quality materials and the claims about it being odour resistant are not just an empty boast; to my wife’s horror, I wore the top on my commute for a week without washing it and at the end of the week it could still pass as a clean top (in my view, anyway). It’s a great item to have on a cold day, and I have used it both on and off the bike.
The Cold Killers mid layer features a Softshell fabric construction: a three-ply laminate, with a tough and tightly woven stretch fabric on the outside, a laminated membrane, and 3-D fleece liner.
The three-layer system acts as a barrier against the wind and allows warm air to circulate round the skin. It’s also water repellent and breathable. The material is thin and flexible, eliminating the need for bulky extra layers and allowing freedom of movement.
The mid layer is a nice bit of kit that doesn’t restrict movement on the bike, despite keeping the wind at bay. It also doesn’t take much room in your luggage, so I have packed it with me on longer rides just in case the weather turns while I’m out.
On the really cold days I have worn the Dry Inside base layer, a t-shirt and the Cold Killers mid layer under my riding jacket, and I have been nice and warm even on longer trips. Because the layers are thin they don’t feel bulky. They do the job they were designed to do, and they do it well.