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The PAS Normal Studios men's sleeveless baselayer is a high-quality product. It's light, comfortable and great at regulating body temperature during hot-weather rides, and its highly breathable technical mesh construction helps to wick away moisture effectively.
I have a number of baselayers in my collection to cover all weather conditions – both warm and cold. A baselayer is a piece of kit that's become essential, helping me to stay comfortable despite Britain's variable and often inclement weather. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, the addition of a layer under your jersey really does help – wicking sweat away from your body when the temperature ramps up.
During the summer months and its extended heatwave I was wearing a Castelli jersey with tight-fitting aero sleeves. This looked the part but it was a nightmare with other short-sleeved baselayers, as their sleeves tended to ruffle up underneath the jersey. This is where PAS Normal Studios' sleeveless baselayer came in so useful – eradicating this issue and proving extremely comfortable.
It's made from a stretchy polyester and elastane fabric that is soft, comfortable and highly breathable, making it good for moisture transfer and regulating heat. The vest has the PAS Normal Studios logo written on the centre of the chest, with 'road to nowhere' running down back.
It's a smart piece of kit that absolutely looks the part – though it will probably never be seen of course, unless you're dragging yourself up a climb, jersey unzipped like a pro.
I found the label with the washing instructions irritating at first, as it rubbed on the side of my stomach, but a few seconds with a pair of scissors sorted this out. Even during the heatwave's hottest days with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees, this layer did a great job managing sweat transfer. The open-mesh construction promotes cooling through the evaporation of your sweat, yet it weighs so little you forget you're wearing it.
You want any baselayer to be tight fitting and the PAS Normal's fit is 'anatomical' – it does size up small, so do check the size guide carefully.
I found the baselayer easy to wash. I chucked it in the machine at 30 degrees and it was absolutely fine, with its low-bulk construction drying incredibly quickly. It has retained its shape well and kept the bright white look without any yellowing around the neck and arms, which can happen with baselayers.
But if you don't want to take a risk with white, it's also available in navy, magenta, olive and black (the women's baselayer is available in the same five colours and at the same price).
There's no avoiding the fact this is quite expensive. Yes, it's a great bit of kit but £46 for a vest is steep compared to alternatives such as the Craft Cool Mesh Superlight that Jez tested and rated very highly. This has an RRP of just £30 and is available for less.
Minimal weight, excellent comfort and great sweat control – but this quality doesn't come cheap
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Pas Normal Studios Men's Sleeveless Base Layer
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
PAS Normal Studios says: "The technical Sleeveless Base Layer offers maximum comfort through the warmer months of the year. The lightweight, anatomically-fitted mesh garment is extremely breathable and effectively disperses moisture to regulate your surface body temperature and keep you dry.
"A technical base layer for the warmer months of the year, designed to be comfortable and highly breathable to help regulate body temperature."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
This technical baselayer is stretchy, soft and comfortable while and wicks moisture effectively. It so good you forget you're wearing it – exactly how a baselayer should be.
Bunging it in the machine on a cool wash has been fine and it dries very quickly.
I wore this throughout the summer, including in the heatwave during which temperatures reached more than 30 degrees, and this baselayer performed flawlessly – durable in construction and effectively dispersing moisture. This kept me dry and helped me to regulate my body temperature during the very hottest days.
It held its shape well throughout several months of testing, remaining a bright white colour with no yellowing around the arms or neck, which can happen with some baselayers.
It's designed to be a tight, anatomical fit but it definitely comes up small – so do check the size guide closely.
An anatomical tight fit that sizes up small.
It's a sleeveless base layer, it's 40g. Enough said.
The soft technical fabric was extremely comfortable. The anatomical design worked well, with my only complaint some irritation from the label – this was quickly sorted with a pair of scissors.
There no avoiding the fact that £46 for a base layer isn't that cheap – though you can pay more for a baselayer.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Cool machine wash has been fine and it dries really quickly, ready for the next ride.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great design, stylish and a very capable baselayer for use during the warmer months.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort and construction.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It's pretty pricey.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The PAS Normal Studio base layer sits towards the top end for a mesh baselayer, but it's far from being on its own at this sort of price. It's slightly cheaper than the Assos Summer NS Skin Layer for example, which will set you back £50, but much dearer than the Craft and Nopinz products mentioned in the review.
Did you enjoy using the product? Absolutely
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, if I had the budget
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if they were prepared to pay the price
Use this box to explain your overall score
While you can find other mesh baselayers costing much less, the PAS Normal Studios base layer is a great option because of its comfort and how well it wicks sweat away
About the tester
I usually ride: Focus Izalco Max Disc 8.8, Tern GSD My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives,