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The Q36.5 Base Layer 2 Short Sleeve is very nicely made, but it's expensive, and though it's made for the summer, it feels very warm for a hot weather baselayer.
For more options, for all seasons, check out our guide to the best cycling base layers.
When I looked on the Q36.5 website for information about this baselayer, I was amazed to see that it's recommended for temperatures above 22°C. Wearing this in the heat, I definitely found it to be too warm.
Wearing a baselayer in summer might sound counterintuitive, but actually a light (usually mesh) layer can keep you more comfortable than going without.
I always find myself gravitating towards a mesh baselayer as I find them more comfortable across a wider temperature range than more solid designs.
As a Brit who isn't amazing in the heat, I was happy to wear this up to around 15°C when paired with shorts, jersey and arm warmers, and a couple of degrees warmer without arm warmers, but anything above 20°C and I found it too warm.
It's worth noting that Q36.5 is an Italian brand, and Italy generally has hotter summers than the UK, but I enjoyed this baselayer a lot more when I wore it in temperatures around 10-15°C.
I found it most useful when it was reasonably mild out, worn along with a thicker jacket so I didn't need the properties of a thermal baselayer but wanted something comfy against my skin. Q36.5 has certainly made a comfortable piece of kit for that.
The construction is excellent. Q36.5 boasts that it uses a Karl Mayer knitting machine in its manufacturing, which results in the layer being almost seamless, with only a seam on top of each shoulder – unlike some 'seamless' baselayers that still have hidden seams around the arms.
This manufacturing method also means that while it's thin for a baselayer of such a design, Q36.5 claims it is 'a much tougher and less fragile lightweight material', and weighs only 81g on the road.cc Scales of Truth.
Q36.5 has used a honeycomb knit throughout, and the manufacturing method means that different areas can be made be thinner or thicker; the back, for example, uses a thinner mesh to allow more breathability.
It's also a tight-fitting yet stretchy material that's very comfortable against the skin.
The baselayer doesn't have any hems, and Q36.5 says it can be cut and modified by the user to fit them perfectly, which is a nice bonus for people with shorter torsos, to avoid having any wrinkling without the fear of unravelling thread.
As well as being a bit too warm for the quoted temperature range, a bigger drawback for me is the price. At £76, this is not a cheap piece of clothing.
You can pay more for winter baselayers – it's still £9 less than Rapha's Pro Team Thermal Base Layer – but if you compare it with other summer baselayers such as Lusso's Dryline and sleeveless Pain Cave Eco Summer, both £30, the price feels quite extreme.
One area that I do really like is the sustainability that Q36.5 claims in its manufacturing – everything is made within a 350km radius of its headquarters, helping to cut down on the pollution created during the manufacturing cycle.
Overall, this is a nicely made baselayer, but it's quite hard to work out who it's aimed at. If you're looking for a little more than mesh on those intermediate days, and have £76 to spare, then it's certainly very good quality. But I would only happily recommend it if it was slightly thicker and aimed more for the winter months.
Comfortable, but expensive and too hot for the summer, for some
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Q36.5 Base Layer 2 Short Sleeve
Size tested: Small-Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Q36.5 says: "Knitted on Karl Mayer machines for the purest expression of seamless technology. Body temperature stability guarantee >15°c.
Exploiting the possibilities of cutting-edge Karl Mayer Seamless knitting machines, Q36.5 has developed a technologically extreme vision of the traditional seamless base layer. Even riders who are already familiar with high performance seamless base layers will immediately be able to notice the new feeling introduced in this product. Most notably:
* Significantly greater elasticity and lower resistance to movement in all directions, given by the Karl Mayer machine's ability to construct multiple tubes without any seams (most 'sleeveless' base layers still nevertheless are technologically obliged to be sewn around the armhole, for example). The removal of all seams (with the exception of two short joining stitches at the shoulders) obviously also greatly increases the comfort of as tight-fitting a garment as a base layer.
* A much tougher and less fragile lightweight material, since unlike other seamless machines Karl Mayer machines are able to develop a true rip-proof mesh. The base layer's fabric is left un-hemmed, which further removes stitching from the garment: in fact it can be cut and modified as the user wishes, without compromising the durability of the product and no risk of unraveling threads.
* The 'honey-comb' pattern of the knit is deployed in various different densities, along with open-mesh sections, mapping the thermal requirements and regional sweat rates of an athlete's body. Not only does this allow for the best rider comfort and protection, it also allows for the volume of the product to be significantly reduced where possible.
The result is a startlingly pure and minimal base layer. Weight is 75g (result of the design, not an objective) and is best used above 22°C."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Body Temperature Stability Guarantee = Above 15°C
The temperature range for this baselayer is odd: it isn't designed for cold weather, but is quite thick for the hot rides it's aimed at.
The fit is excellent; nice and snug with no bagginess.
Comes up true to size, and being able to cut it and adjust it means it should fit very well.
Rate the product for comfort:
It is super comfortable.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy to clean, and washing has left no damage.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's comfortable around 15°C, but seems too warm for the 22°C recommended wear.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's super comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The price, and for me it's too warm for the hot weather it's aimed at.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's very expensive compared with summer baselayers from the likes of dhb and Lusso.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, it is too expensive.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Probably not.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Q36.5 has made a comfortable baselayer for milder days, but I found it too warm for the claimed temperature range, which makes me question its usability. It's not thermal for colder days, so ends up suiting quite a narrow window – and the price is also very high.
About the tester
I usually ride: Canyon Aeroad My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,