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  5. Donkey Label Unisex Base Layer

Donkey Label Unisex Base Layer

Dan Cavallari /
  • RATING 8.5/10
  • PRICE $55.00
  • SIZE M
Photo: Brad Kaminski | VeloNews.com

I wear a base layer year-round. That may seem counterintuitive on exceptionally hot days, but I find a base layer helps me regulate temperature better, and it generally keeps bib straps from rubbing uncomfortably. So it’s vital for me to have a base layer that’s thin, snug-fitting, and laid out in such a way that seams feel invisible. Donkey Label’s Unisex Base Layer checks all those boxes for three-season use.

It’s made from a four-way stretch breathable material that consists of 65 percent recycled polyester, 25 percent Nylon, and 10 percent Spandex. It’s form-fitting but has enough give to be comfortable throughout your torso and over your shoulders. The V-neck is a nice touch and prevents a bunching sensation around your neck when wearing several jersey layers in cool weather.

The sleeves extend low on your biceps, which is fortunate if you’re among the many riders who find themselves constantly pulling bunched-up material out of your armpits. The sleeves stay in place, but if your jersey is a race-cut, the base layer’s sleeves may extend beyond your jersey’s sleeves. Fortunately, Donkey Label also makes a sleeveless version, which I prefer because I generally don’t like that much material restricting arm movement. In the cooler autumn weather, the sleeveless layer is ideal because it won’t interfere with arm warmers.

But if you need that biceps-warming feel, you’ll probably like this base layer because these sleeves are rotated slightly forward. When you’re in the riding position, there’s no bunching or creeping. This base layer essentially disappears while you’re wearing it, which is pretty high praise.

Because it’s got a distinct color pattern, I reach for it more often than other base layers, if for no other reason than I can see it clearly in my drawer among the endless layers of black and white clothing. It looks cool, so you’ll enjoy unzipping on hot climbs to show it off. And it’s printed and sewn in Minneapolis, right here in the USA. Bonus.