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The Altura Tempo Seamless Short Sleeve Baselayer is very soft, lovely against the skin and highly breathable too. The 'seamless' part of the name is a bit misleading though as there are plenty of seams – just fewer than you'd find normally. It's more 'fewer seams' than seamless.
Right, so the whole seamless thing. It's not. There are still seams around the shoulders, but I think the point Altura (and other brands) are trying to make is that the torso is one single, seamless section. It's 3D knitted as one big tube rather than using front, rear and side panels like many baselayers do.
Panels are typically used to create a tailored close fit, as the more contact the fabric has with your skin the more efficient it is at removing sweat. The Tempo still has that close fit thanks to the stretch in the material, and the wicking really is impressive – so much so that I have used it both outside and indoors on the turbo.
Out of the packet it looks small, even in the correct size, but as it stretches over you without too much compression the Tempo never feels restrictive.
The softness of the material is really pleasant against the skin. Under a waterproof jacket this baselayer did get damp when I was working hard on the climbs, but with the jacket open a bit and the pace dialled back, it soon dried and I felt fresh. If you are wearing a more breathable outer layer, this baselayer does extremely well.
Altura stuff always shapes up realistically to UK sizes, and that is no different here, although the stretchiness means that getting a perfect size isn't quite so critical.
At £40 the Tempo is at about the right sort of money when looking at the competition, and it works well in various layering setups. Quality is also good; everything looks tidy, although it does hitch easily so be a bit careful around sharp edges or spiky foliage.
The Endura Engineered baselayer is only available in a long-sleeved option, but it is 3D-knitted like the Altura. I was impressed with it overall, despite the higher price of £54.99.
Specialized's Seamless LS Baselayer also only comes in long sleeves, but again the construction is the same. It's a bit more heavyweight compared to the Altura though, being only suitable for winter. It costs £65.
The Tempo offers a great fit and impressive wicking. The fabric is soft against the skin, and while it may not really be seamless there is a lot to like here.
Feels great against the skin, while breathability and wicking performance is great
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Tempo Seamless Short Sleeve Baselayer
Size tested: Medium/Large
Tell us what the product is for
Altura says, "A SEAMLESS BASELAYER CONSTRUCTED TO MAXIMISE AIR FLOW AND BREATHABILITY."
Could you speak a bit quieter, Altura? It's our neighbours, we worry.
"Our Altura Tempo Unisex Baselayer collection has been developed using a seamless construction which not only minimises yarn and fabric wastage but also reduces the amount of water required for the dying process in turn helping to reduce the envionmental impact of the production. The Short Sleeve and Sleeveless baselayers use a single needle construction to create an engineered 3D knit that provides high air mobility and a more open knit to key areas where extra breathability is required. A must have essential for any cyclist who wants to layer up."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lightweight single needle knit construction
Engineered 3D seamless design
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues with washing, it remained the same size and came up clean after each washing cycle.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A close fit helps keep you dry.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Material can snag easily.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Other 3D-knitted baselayers we've tested are more expensive, even when you take into the account the extra material for the long sleeves.
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
The Tempo offers a great close fit while feeling very comfortable against the skin. The performance is very good as well, and the price is on point.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for road.cc, off-road.cc and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!