Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Altura Thermocool Base Layer



Probably the most comfortable man-made base layer I have used to date

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

What the scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

Available in long or short-sleeved versions, Altura's Thermocool base layer has radically improved my default perception of man made, mid priced technical wear.

Not only does the temperature-regulating fabric decide whether to retain or disperse, it also ensures a faultlessly smooth and confidence inspiring profile beneath snug fitting race jerseys. Admittedly even the best polyester/nylon/Lycra mixes can't quite pip natural fibres to the post when it comes to outright comfort but then again, they're less likely to emerge from an accidental boil wash fitting the neighbour's Siamese cat.

Basically the idea is to keep you cool as you warm up but retain warmth when the air temperature drops and this is as significant when blistering along Pyrenean mountain passes in the height of July as soldiering through the Surrey slush. The downside of base layers made from synthetic fibres is that they can get a bit whiffy here though antibacterial yarn helps prevent things turning funky should you all pile in for a mid ride meal at the Dog and Duck.

Altura employ a form of body mapping technology; which tailors material density according to where you sweat most-thinner beneath the arms and sides, thicker around the shoulders, chest and back area to protect these regions from chill, resulting in a mesh- but- not- quite look. Flat locked seams prevent unsightly branding while going unnoticed against the skin. Aided by our old friend Lycra, the clever cut ensures optimum comfort when stretched out on the drops, or more extreme cross-country mountain bike cockpits. To be frank, this all comes together rather well.

Watching vampire flicks on the telly, strapped to the trainer and with the oil fired heating going strong, it took a fair while for things to get noticeably soggy- especially beneath the arms and around the lower back but never to the stage where it was matted against the skin and the wicking comes to the rescue pretty quickly, leaving me relatively dry after forty-five minutes. Out in the real world, worn beneath other polyester layers, moisture trafficking has been remarkably good in varying temperatures without discomfort or unsavoury odours.


Probably the most comfortable man-made base layer I have used to date

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website test report

Make and model: Altura Thermocool Base Layer

Size tested: Black M/L

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?

"New high tech short sleeve base layer with advanced moisture wicking and temperature regulation".

Does exactly what it says without fuss or fanfare.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?


Temperature regulating fabric

Spun with 10% antibacterial Body Fresh yarn

Close stretch fit

High wicking properties

Fast drying

73% Polyester (Thermocool Eco) 22 % Polyamide (Nylon) 5% Elastano (Lycra)

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Altura Thermocool regulates and disperses heat with remarkable efficiency, retaining an ambient, odour free inner climate-even worn beneath less sophisticated jerseys/training jackets. Not quite on par with natural fibres perhaps but very easy to care for and tolerant of accidental tumble drying.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Fit and comfort were bang on.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing given the design brief.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,


Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

Latest Comments