Soft, comfortable, warm and breathable base layer ideal for transitional seasons
- Wide size range
- Comfortable and warm
- Nice long body and sleeves
- Exceptionally soft hand-feel
- Wicks sweat effectively
- Lack of colour choice
- Fabric susceptible to pulling
The Velocio Women’s Merino Mesh base layer provides three-season layering that’s great for transitional seasons, providing warmth and wicking sweat. Designed to be layered under a jersey, it has plenty of stretch and a close-but-not-tight fit, which allows plenty of freedom of movement without compromising performance.
Design and aesthetics
The Velocio Women’s Merino Mesh base layer is part of a trio of merino mesh base layers in its women’s kit line-up, which includes a vest and short-sleeve option. All are only available in the slightly off-white/pale grey colour seen here, which may be a love-it-or-hate-it colour, though since it’s designed to be worn under other garments the colour is possibly less of an issue.
Designed with raglan sleeves and a crew collar, the fit is close but not tight in the size XXL we tried on our reviewer's size UK18 frame. The neckline has a slight scoop so there’s a bit of room at the neck, but is also high enough to keep the chest covered which is welcome additional protection against cold breezes when down on the drops. The lack of tags on the neckline is also a simple but nice element, so there’s nothing there to irritate the skin.
Both the sleeves and body are cut long, which we really like. On our tester's 5ft 9in / 175cm frame it was long enough to reach down over the hips and tuck securely into bibs or shorts, keeping the lower back covered. It also didn’t slide or roll up while riding.
We found Velocio's base layer to outperform one of its direct competitors - the Rapha Women's Merino Base Layer - in terms of fit, feel and performance. The Rapha offering doesn't have quite the same softness, nor is the fit as comfortable as Velocio's. Plus Velocio's size range is more inclusive, going up to XXL/UK18.
The mesh itself is made of a mixture of 51 per cent ultrafine merino wool which provides the natural antimicrobial properties and warmth, while 49 per cent polyester supplies the stretch. It’s got a good deal of stretch to it, which is great for a variety of body types as the base layer will stretch to fit, but - depending on the size chosen - without feeling tight or restrictive. It also holds its shape well and doesn’t stretch or go saggy after several hours of riding.
Velocio offers this base layer, like the rest of its range, in sizes ranging from XXS to XXL, covering equivalent high street dress sizes from UK6/8 to UK18/20. However, we were particularly interested to see that Velocio makes their size recommendations based on a chart that incorporates both height and weight, and offers a range for each garment size.
In action, the Velocio Merino Mesh base layer provides a great blend of insulation and sweat-wicking abilities. On cool mornings, the additional insulation is great for keeping in warmth and providing another barrier against the breeze. When working hard, climbing or just when things warm-up, it’s also effective at wicking sweat away so it never feels damp and clingy next to the skin.
The softness of the merino mesh is remarkable. There is none of the prickliness that we’ve experienced with other merino base layer products, just an exceptionally soft feel, to the extent that we hardly noticed the layer at all which is a big selling point in a garment like this.
We’ve put this garment through the wash a few times following manufacturer's guidance, and so far it’s held its shape and hasn’t shrunk or wrinkled. However, it’s worth noting that the fabric is very susceptible to pulling so keep anything that could catch and pull threads well away from the same wash, and ideally also keep an eye out while wearing it, too.
The Velocio Merino Mesh base layer was so soft and performed so well that it’s become one of our go-to pieces of kit for autumn and spring riding - it’s just so darned comfortable.
At £77/$89, it’s not a cheap item, but it is highly versatile, will add warmth or wicking to your wardrobe over several seasons and should, with care, last a good few years. It’s an investment piece, and as the owners of several good quality merino garments, we reckon they can be worth their weight in gold - and not just for cycling.
It’s also impressively light and packs down small, so for bikepackers or for those who like to travel light, it’s a great addition to the kit list, particularly since that merino wool means it’ll stay smell-free for several days.
Finally, that size range is a major draw. It’s great to be able to talk about an item of performance cycling kit that’s actually available in larger sizes as well as smaller ones.
Tech Specs: Velocio Women’s Merino Mesh long sleeve base layer
- Price: £77.00 / $89.00 / AU$106.00
- Material: 51% merino wool, 49% polyester
- Sizes: XXS to XXL
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.