I love merino, and my wardrobe is home to numerous examples of this remarkable natural fibre. But it can be pricey, so when I noticed that the Altura Women’s Merino Base layer retails at just £39.99, I thought it worth investigating.
This short-sleeved base layer possesses all the wondrous qualities of merino – it wicks sweat away from your body, stays warm even when damp and manages to remain pong-free far longer than base layers made from other materials.
Under a jersey, it kept me very toasty, maybe too toasty for this time of year, but worn alone it made a very comfortable top for mountain biking. It allows plenty of movement as it’s very stretchy and doesn’t stick to the body.
It’s just the right length; long enough to tuck in, but not overly lengthy. It’s cut slightly longer at the back, so it doesn’t ride up and leave a chilly gap.
Purple contrast stitching looks good against charcoal grey. I found the fit to be really flattering, cute even, which is not what I expected from a base layer. The ergonomic side panels give the top a feminine shape and the top is a really good fit around the shoulders. My size ten is spot on in terms of size.
Flat lock stitching means that seems are smooth, but I did find this top slightly itchy, which is really not ideal. As of writing, it’s only had a couple of washes, so time will tell whether this wears off. On the plus side, the shape is unchanged after the rigors of the machine.
The only other thing to let down this good value, cosy base layer is the logo under the neck, which looked a bit rubbish straight out of the bag, and then cracked and stretched immediately. I’m tempted to just pick it off, as I do like this top and it would look better without it.
Doesn’t feel clammy when you sweat
Slightly itchy so far.
Price: 31.49, available from JW Ethan Sports.
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