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For such a thin piece of kit dhb's Aeron Polartec Long Sleeve Baselayer delivers surprisingly well on warmth, and its breathability is good too, while the close cut will suit those looking for a performance fit.
Arguably, your baselayer is one of the most critical choices when it comes to your riding kit; it's the first layer in removing sweat and heat away from your body. Pick the wrong one and it doesn't matter what you wear above, you could end up a hot and sweaty mess.
The Aeron is very good when it comes to wicking and breathability, and warmth is also impressive for such a thin fabric.
dhb has used Power Dry fabric which, according to its manufacturer, Polartec, has a bi-component knit construction that uses a hydrophilic (attracted to water) interior layer that pulls moisture away from the skin before passing it to the outer layer for dispersal, keeping the garment dry.
In practice I found it to work well, even when riding hard on tough gravel track slogs. I'm not going to say I found it a game-changer over many other 100 per cent polyester baselayers, but I was impressed by its performance nonetheless.
The only time it struggled was when I was wearing a waterproof jacket that really isn't very breathable at all. This meant the Aeron held onto my heat and sweat so it did get quite wet, but I never really noticed while I was riding as I stayed warm. It was only when I returned home and took the jacket off that it became apparent.
Even when it's overwhelmed, odour doesn't become an issue and you could wear it for a fair few days on a bikepacking trip, for example, without people giving you a wide berth.
One thing I really like is the cut. The dhb Aeron range is aimed at performance riding, so the Polartec sits close to the skin and is shaped to fit right when on the bike.
It's not quite as tailored as something like Endura's Engineered baselayer, but I didn't find any excess material or bunching up of the arms or anything.
The sleeves have plenty of length to tuck into the cuffs of your gloves, and the slightly dropped tail gives extra lower back coverage should you be wearing tights or shorts without straps.
There is also a decent amount of height to the neck to stop a cold breeze getting in.
Its rrp of £40 is on a par with other good quality baselayers, and that's exactly what the Aeron is. The finish of the manufacturing is neat and tidy, with all the seams looking robust and durable.
The Endura Engineered has a slightly better fit and delivers great levels of breathability, but it'll set you back another fiver.
The Aeron is the same price as Lusso's Merino long sleeve baselayer but reading Jamie's review suggests the dhb delivers a better performance.
For a penny under 40 quid there is also the Cycology 8 Days baselayer, which Matt also found to be a good quality garment.
Overall, I wouldn't say there is anything massively ground breaking about the dhb, but it delivers on all of the points that a quality baselayer should, and for a decent price.
Lightweight performance baselayer that delivers on keeping you warm and dry
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron Polartec Long Sleeve Baselayer
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says, "dhb's Aeron Polartec Long Sleeve Baselayer harnesses the most advanced moisture management technology of Power Dry™ to eliminate the chill of lingering sweat, keeping you warm, dry and comfortable in cold conditions."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
High-performance winter baselayer
Polartec® Power Dry™ moisture management
High neck for added warmth
Dropped hem for race position
Sizes - XXS to XXL
It's a close-fitting garment but I found dhb's size guide to be realistic.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
It has had countless washes over the last couple of months, and following dhb's guidelines I have had no issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Depending on your layering choice the Aeron will cover a good three seasons of your cycling year.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good levels of breathability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing really stands out that I would criticise it for.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's in the right sort of area when you compare it to the likes of Lusso, Cycology and Endura's offerings mentioned in the review.
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
Overall, there is nothing to really fault the Aeron Polartec on. It's well made, delivers on warmth and breathability, and it's comfortable. It's very good.
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,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!