The dbh Aeron women’s short sleeved merino base layer is a great shoulder-season underlayer that washes well, dries quickly and has a soft feel against the skin. It retains its shape well too, though it's on the thin side for serious winter use.
The dhb (from Wiggle) baselayer is made from 160gms merino (65% merino/35%polyester) which proves the perfect weight to slip under a long sleeved outer on coolish days, or with a long sleeve and a waterproof when it's raining hard. It might be a tad thin to keep you warm in the depths of winter without needing too many layers on top, though.
The merino feels smooth against the skin and is still soft and stretchy a few months into the test. It's been thrown in the machine with the rest of my muddy kit frequently, and has fared very well indeed, still maintaining its shape.
The merino mix wicks sweat well, and it dries quickly too. I felt comfortable and warm in this jersey all day long without getting too chilly if standing around when sweaty.
The Aeron gives a slim fit with a nice round neckline, and the black fabric keeps it unobtrusive under anything but the lightest colour jerseys. There’s nothing I hate more than an off-white base layer sticking out the top of a jersey like a pair of elderly pants...
Yes, this is from the Aeron road range, but don't be put off. It's good for mountain and gravel riding too, with a dropped hem and raglan sleeves – the same features you’d see on any off-road baselayer or jersey. For reference, I’m a dress size 8 and tested a size 10 for a slim yet comfy fit.
Seams are flatlocked all around, and dhb guarantee the wool comes from a non-mulesed source... mulesing, it turns out, is no fun for sheep as it involves carving off chunks of wrinkled skin while they're alive. Animal rights supporters should have no concern with the Aeron's merino.
The humble base layer might be underrated in general, but it’s a key piece of kit an invaluable from September onwards. I’d honestly be happy with a drawer full of these simple short sleeved layers from dhb – they're versatile, hard-wearing and well-priced for merino at £38, especially when (as always) you'd struggle to ever pay RRP for a Wiggle product. At the time of writing, the Aeron SS is on sale at £28.50, making an absolute bargain.
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