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The Nopinz Souplesse Base Layer is breathable, sits comfortably against the skin, and has a really useful temperature range that makes it especially practical at this time of year.
I tend to find dressing for cycling at this time of year a bit of a challenge, especially for commutes, given that in the morning you can easily be riding in temperatures under 5°C and cycling home in over 15°C. A versatile baselayer that can cope with a range of conditions is one of the most useful bits of kit you can have to manage this, and the Souplese is designed to be exactly that, with thermal regulation being one of its strongest points.
Key to this, as with most underlayers, is its ability to quickly move moisture away from the body and keep the skin dry; it does this impressively well.
Nopinz has used the same mesh material throughout, whose four-way stretch enables it to sit close to the body without any wrinkles or folds, essential for being able to wick moisture effectively.
I used the baselayer in a range of conditions – under several layers as well as below just a single jersey that was halfway unzipped. It worked well however many layers sat on top, keeping me dry and comfortable.
Its comfort is helped by the minimal labels and seams, so there isn't much to irritate the skin; and the label it does have is soft silicone with instructions to remove it. There are also some graphics that are heat applied, so, again, do not irritate the skin at all.
At £29.99 it's a decent price, too – the same as the Lusso Pain Cave Eco Summer Base Layer that Shaun reviewed last year, though that appears to be aimed more towards higher temperatures and it's also made out of recycled PET bottles.
The Chapeau Mesh Base Layer Sleeveless is three quid more, having gone up to £32.99 since Stu reviewed it last year; he found it similarly comfortable and effective at wicking.
Overall, this is a very good baselayer that keeps you well regulated whether you're trying to keep warm in the cold or cool in the heat. It's a particularly good choice for this time of year, when temperatures can vary so greatly.
Effective and versatile baselayer that regulates your temperature well
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Nopinz Souplesse Base Layer
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Nopinz says: "What's underneath is just as important as what's on the outside. The Souplesse Base Layers are made of highly breathable, four-way stretch fabrics that combine to form a a lightweight, ultra-comfortable, performance under-layer that you'll forget you're wearing.
"Low-profile seams are used throughout to further enhance the garment, while heat applied oil slick graphics provide a premium finish to matches the rest of the Souplesse range."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Nopinz lists these features:
Improved thermal regulation.
Four way stretch.
Heat applied oil slick graphics.
Low profile seams.
Use all year round to help stay drier and more comfortable.
Well made with strong seams and a good choice of material.
It does everything you need from a baselayer, wicking well and keeping your temperature well regulated.
Its four-way stretch allows it to sit close to the skin and wick moisture effectively.
The large fitted as I would expect.
It's very comfortable to wear even on the longest rides, helped by flatlocked seams and a lack of labels.
On a par with similar types.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy, I washed it at 30 and despite loads of sweating it got rid of all odours effectively.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, it kept me warm/cool and dry in a variety of conditions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The wicking works well.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing major jumps out.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's on a par with similar: £3 less than the Chapeau Mesh Base Layer Sleeveless that Stu reviewed, and the same price as the Lusso Pain Cave Eco Summer Base Layer, though that appears to be aimed more towards higher temperatures.
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
It's very good: an effective and comfortable baselayer that is useful for changeable conditions.
About the tester
I usually ride: CAAD13 My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: 10-20 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,
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.