09 October 2007

bikefix Review: Descente D-Vente Sleeveless Baselayer

Sleeveless baselayers are something that few people really consider. Long-sleeve jerseys and arm warmers seem much more popular, and it's a shame, really. Lately, temperatures have been dropping below what is comfortable for short-sleeved jerseys (particularly in the morning), but a windbreaker or long-sleeved jersey has seemed a bit much. This, for us, is baselayer weather. A good baselayer, for us, is sleeveless (or long-sleeved), moves sweat well, and adds just enough insulation to keep us comfy for a few extra degrees.

Descente's D-Vente Sleeveless Baselayer hits the nail on the head. Ours was made in Canada of a fairly tight, but still open, mesh material and cut very snug (perfect for a night clubbing, we would imagine). The tail is on our Large sample is long enough to tuck in nicely without adding too much bulk under Lycra shorts. What sets this piece apart from others we've tried, though, is the fabric. Because of its open-ness, the mesh fabric traps loads of body-heat-saving air when covered by a jersey, but let a nice breeze through when that jersey is unzipped. Its stink-resistant enough to wear to work for a week (in the morning- packed in the bag in the afternoon). After over a year of spring & fall use, ours shows no signs of wear. At about $30, its not cheap, but very reasonable for something so useful and well-made.



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