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It was a good time to test out the Sugoi Carbon LS Long Sleeve Base Layer. It has been freezing out on the roads, so I was happy to have a warm base layer to review.
The LS Carbon Base layer works effectively. I was impressed with many parts of it, but there are a couple of aspects that stop it from gaining full marks.
One of the most important aspects of any base layer is how warm it keeps you during exercise. In this regard, it is very effective. I found that I could wear this and a wind proof jersey down to around 0 °C, which is impressive. It's made from FinoPro fabric, with an antibacterial element that comes from having carbon threaded throughout.
This allows it to avoid odour after use, which is certainly useful if you're commuting in it and so, needto be use it twice in one day without a wash.
While keeping you warm it also allows for a good amount of sweat wicking, moving the sweat away from your skin, something that at this time of year is vitally important if you want to maintain decent body temperature. To achieve this, Sugoi have used FinoPro Wicking Materials, which are fairly effective and comparable to merino wool or similar found in other base layers.
The fit is certainly in US sizes. Having been a large for almost every brand cycling kit, this came up very large on me, I would say that it is closer to an XL. It is therefore well worth trying it on before buying.
It has thumbholes and contoured sleeves, which are designed to create a secure fit and extra warmth when needed. Although I can see the logic in this, and despite me having a size that was slightly large on me, I found that the thumbholes would sometimes pull on the webbing of my thumbs. Although this is not a major flaw (after all you can just not use them) it does becoming irritating after a couple of hours in the saddle.
I think that one of the main causes of this is simply that this is not a cycling specific base layer, so it is not designed specifically with the constant bend in the arms that you have while cycling.
In terms of where it sits in the market, it is is priced well at £35, which is certainly cheaper than other base layers that I own, while easily matching them for performance.
Overall, I have been impressed with the Sugoi Carbon LS Base Layer. As a base layer it does everything that it needs to. It keeps you warm while wicking sweat effectively and also maintains antibacterial elements thanks to the carbon weave. The only downsides are the sizing, which means that you would not want to simply order this online, and the thumbholes that can be irritating after a few hours in the saddle.
Warm base layer, but could do with being more cycling-specific
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Make and model: Sugoi Carbon LS baselayer
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"Multi-purpose long sleeve tee is a comfortable, technical layer for year-round fitness."
I wouldn't say this is necessarily the case, it is a warm and very effective bottom layer for cold conditions, but I certainly would not want to wear it during hotter conditions for anything particularly physical.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
FinoPro - A double jersey knit made with a PPT (1,3-propylene terephthalate) yarn which provides a 360.
FinoPro Wicking Materials - Keep sweat away from the body for a dry comfortable performance.
Contoured Sleeves - With thumb holes for a secure fit with extra warmth when needed.
Flat Seam Construction -For increased chafe free comfort.
Fabric - FinoCarbon.
Fabric Blend - 100% Polyester.
Well made, strong stitching throughout with good flex within the material.
Keeps you warm and wicks sweat effectively. Only reason it loses points is due to the thumb holes and non-cycling specific design.
With the antibacterial treatment combined with strong construction, this is likely to last.
Soft and comfortable throughout the body and arms. Only discomfort comes when using the thumbholes for extended periods.
Sits nicely in the market alongside others of similar quality and performance.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It worked well. I stayed warm and it kept the sweat off my back, couldn't ask for more from a base layer.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The lack of any odour after use. It kept it fresh, so all I needed to do was hang it up and could use it twice in one day.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The thumbholes and non-cycling specific design meant that I got a bit of discomfort on my hands after a couple of hours of use.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, as an all rounder.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Great base layer for multiple uses, would definitely benefit from having a more cycling specific design though.
Age: 27 Height: 6 ft Weight:
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,
George is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between.
Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.