Helly Hanson’s Dry Stripe T is based on their original baselayer design from 40 years ago, and gets a lot right. It’s comfy whether wet or dry, is very light – just 92g in Medium – and is extremely effective at wicking away sweat. The only thing it really lacks is versatility, as while it’s excellent as a first layer, it’s not ideal worn on its own.
It sizes up small. Even if you’re at the lower end of the recommended sizing, fit is skin-tight. Combine that with a fabric dotted with ‘pores’ and its slight transparency only increases when stretched. If you have tattoos, hair or (heaven forbid) nipples, they’re going to show through. If you are brave/smooth enough to wear it on its own, the fabric provides useful protection from the UV in sunlight. It’s also allergy-neutral and non-itchy.
That skintight fit is comfy because the ‘Lifa’ fabric is extremely stretchy, while flatlocked seams and the inability to bunch up make it one of those garments you barely notice you’re wearing. And as it’s available in eight sizes from XXS to XXXL, you have the option to easily go up one (or more) for a relaxed fit. Doing so will also give you useful extra length, as despite the dropped tail, the Dry Stripe T is marginal on staying tucked into shorts.
The Dry Stripe T dries fast, doesn’t smell even after multiple rides without going near a washing machine, and is just right for its stated mild-to-cold range. It’s available in black or white for £15.