While a base layer isn't perhaps the first item you think of with Nukeproof, this straightforward merino wool, long-sleeve base layer is a super soft, well-made layer that offers no-frills performance and comfort.
The properties of merino are well recognised, providing warmth with good regulation, it also holds off the dreaded post-ride stink, as its anti-bacterial, for a good while. This is made from an Australian Merino, and I couldn't confirm if its ethically farmed - some other brands have animal standards.
It's a very soft superfine 18.5 microns and is super comfy against the skin, and I think the only reason you’d not like it is if you don’t like wool as a fabric. It sits on the lighter to medium end of thickness, it's not see-through light, but its also not so heavy its too warm - this top works well as part of a layering system when cooler. I wore it in below freezing with a thicker jersey and jacket, and on its own with a windproof or waterproof jacket in milder temperatures.
Its cut with a open crew neck, and raglan sleeves in a decidedly more relaxed fit - mountain bike friendly. Size down if you want a closer fit for optimal warmth. The relaxed fit is great for movement whilst riding, and there is a degree of stretch, so combined with the fit it never presented any problem with movement on the trail. I liked the fact the sleeves weren't too short as well.
The sleeves feature thumb loops - which I only ever used post ride if I’m warming up, as I don't like the fabric sitting under my palm whilst riding, but great if you want to prevent the jacket glove gap that can happen, keeping any skin covered. All the seams are flat locked stitched, which is comfortable against the skin and also a robust finish.
I’ve used this across two day bike packing trips and uplift days, and its a great core piece of kit for two-three seasons in the UK. It provides regulated warmth, and breathes super well, and I often run it under a hard shell jacket, with no other layers if the riding is more continuous and faster.
I also liked the grey colour for super practical reasons that it doesn't show up dirt too much or like white base layers, quickly become really grubby. I found the wicking to be effective and only got sweat build up on long climbs or sustained downhills where you are working hard - stands to reason really - but the fabric wicks the sweat away and keeps warm even when damp. There are some subtle graphics on the back of the neck and a small tab on the front, keeping the look very minimal and clean.
Some obvious downsides are that wool snags pretty easy, and isn’t going to hold up to crashes too well, but its usually underneath other clothing so mostly well protected. The obvious pluses of the base layer are its simple construction, which minimises seams, so making it more likely to last a bit longer. It will shrink if you don't wash it at the right temperature but that's just reading the instructions. The price is also quite competitive, and coupled with the reliable performance of the fabric, the decent cut and build, its a good choice for your riding wardrobe.
You might also like: