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Nikwax BaseFresh is a deodorising conditioner for baselayers and it works really well, removing smells and restoring breathability.
At this time of year baselayers are, for most of us, an absolute necessity regardless of when or where you're riding. The problem is, after a few rides they will begin to smell no matter how often you wash them. This is where Nikwax BaseFresh steps in. As a deodorising conditioner, its aimed at removing the bad odours and renewing the qualities that made your baselayers great when you first bought them.
It's simple to use: you can add it in like a fabric conditioner with your regular wash or use it as a separate treatment. I tried it both ways and was impressed with the results.
It's quite remarkable how baselayers I previously avoided because they smelt or would begin smelling quickly, suddenly didn't. I used it on different materials, from 100% synthetic baselayers to merino wool, and it worked really effectively on all.
Nikwax claims it increases breathability and wicking, too, and I did notice an improvement in both, though I can't put a number or percentage on this. Given that you tend to lose this over time, it was more noticeable on older garments and really was an 'Oh yeah, this is what it used to be like!' moment.
That makes the £4 for a 300ml bottle (I tested sample sachets) a really good price, not just against the price of normal fabric conditioners but because you don't need to replace your favourite baselayer because it stinks. It is honestly difficult to find anything bad to say about it. It's a really good product for anyone who likes to wear a baselayer.
A great way to bring baselayers back to life and remove nasty smells
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Nikwax BaseFresh deodorising conditioner for base layers
Size tested: 300ml
Tell us what the product is for
A conditioner for baselayers which aims to bring back breathability and wicking while also removing the smells that build up over time.
Nikwax says: "Deodorising conditioner for all technical underwear and wicking clothing worn next to the skin.
"BaseFresh® effectively deodorises, inhibits the build up of body odours, accelerates drying and improves cooling efficiency of all base layers."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Nikwax BaseFresh® refreshes your base layers by deodorizing and maintains freshness by preventing odor build up when in use.
Nikwax BaseFresh® enhances and revitalizes the wicking properties of base layers and everyday clothing, increasing breathability. This helps the fabric to spread sweat, dry quickly, and keep you more comfortable in all conditions.
Nikwax BaseFresh® treated fabrics are more resistant to stains and day-to-day soiling. Should soiling occur, fabrics treated with Nikwax BaseFresh® are easier to clean.
Nikwax BaseFresh® allows base layers to be cleaned with standard laundry using conventional detergents, removing the need for a separate wash.
Nikwax BaseFresh® allows the use of aggressive detergents and cleaners to remove stubborn stains, such as chain oil, without compromising the performance of base layers.
Does exactly what it says it would: removed all smells from my baselayers and brought back breathability and wicking ability.
In terms of the effect on clothing, it lasts well – baselayers that previously began to smell quickly, didn't.
Slightly more expensive than regular fabric conditioner, but when it saves the much larger expense of a new baselayer, the value improves dramatically.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. It got rid of all smells and brought back breathability and wicking capabilities nicely.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The way it removed smells from baselayers that I have used hundreds of times.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
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
Does exactly what it sets out to do with whatever material I threw at it, very impressive.
About the tester
I usually ride: Mercian King of Mercia or Cinelli Gazzetta My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between.
Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.