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Sleeveless baselayers work well with thin summer jerseys to keep you happy on cooler rides, and dhb's Aeron Body Map Sleeveless Baselayer does a great job with a good fit, thoughtful design and a soft, warm feel.
The Aeron is knitted as a tube, so the only seams are at the edges, despite it incorporating three different fabric types. The 'panels' are strategically placed according to how much the various areas of your torso sweat, dhb says, with a lumpy 'Tuck Knit' in the sweatiest.
These lie in a large cross over your chest, plus over your upper back and beneath your armpits. It's tricky to say how effective they are over 'regular' weaves, though unzipping (and exposing the chest) does provide rapid cooling. Another clue is that, post-ride, the Aeron was damp but never soaking. The fabric is relatively chunky, but wicks well.
I used it mainly for mild/cool rides down to around 12°C, under thin summer jerseys, but even with temperatures in the mid teens I never felt like I'd boil over. It's probably too warm for days when the sun might come out properly, though. It's on the thicker (and heavier) side for a baselayer.
The lower third gets a micro rib knit for a 'light compression' effect, though this didn't feel any different from the rest to me. The fit all over is bodyhugging without being tight or restrictive, and with no movement, bunching or even labels, comfort is high. It's soft against the skin, too.
The only niggle is the generous length, especially at the front – the seams can show as obvious lines through your shorts, and you may find it reaching your lap. I found it OK but borderline, despite being quite long in the torso.
It comes in four sizes, from S to XL, but just this one colour (a white option could be useful). You're not spoiled for choice elsewhere, of course, with dhb itself producing a high-scoring contender with the Blok Mesh Sleeveless Baselayer. It's lighter, cheaper and features a dropped tail.
For less heat (and thickness) the Pearl Izumi Transfer scores very highly at £30, while if it's looks you're after, then Alé's recently tested £35 Intimo Velo Active impressed as much with its style as its performance.
The dhb Aeron Body Map Sleeveless Baselayer is a no-nonsense choice that's comfortable, usefully warm and well made, and it enjoys near-constant discounting on Wiggle's website – it's currently available at £15. Stocky riders may not get on with it, but taller figures will find it a versatile, pleasing and useful bit of kit.
Relatively warm and thick with a slim performance fit; it's very comfortable, though length may be an issue
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron Body Map Sleeveless Baselayer
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says: "Using body mapping technology to enhance your performance, this seamless base layer from dhb's Aeron collection is a must-have piece of kit."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
dhb says: "This base layer uses a circular knit construction method. This means that the body can be knitted in a single tube. The circular knit process also allows for changes to be made to the structure and yarn composition of the knit at different areas of the base layer, without having to sew in different panels. The result is a closer, more comfortable next-to-skin fit and feel."
Solid knit and strong seams.
Warm, comfortable and effective at wicking sweat.
Solid build and fabric bodes well.
Nice tight fit without feeling restrictive, but just bordering on too long.
Just right for the given chest size, though size up if you want a relaxed fit.
Around 25g heavier than the average sleeveless baselayer.
Fit and forget.
Clever knit stays warm and comfy whether wet or dry, and lack of bulk around the shoulders means it's versatile. Wiggle is well known for large and regular discounts, too.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washes up as new, while the antibacterial treatment (and lack of armpits) mean it's good for multiple rides.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great for adding warmth on cooler rides as it doesn't interfere with thin summer jerseys. Just as valuable as a winter layer of core protection.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Simple and works.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Could be a little long at the front if you're short in the body.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's neither budget nor high-end – it sits right at the median (until you include Wiggle's near-constant discounting).
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
This is a well-made example of a simple garment, at a good price. It's an easy call for a solid 'very good' 8.
About the tester
I usually ride: GT GTR Series 3 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mountain biking