I want to write a post about Under Armour’s Base Layers as this is something I own myself and other people ask me what they actually do and if it is even worth buying. I am sure there are thousands of people out there such as yourself who wonder why athletes wear these base layers and I want this post to answer this question for you and hopefully give you a better insight whether buying one would benefit you or not.
The reason I am writing about Under Armour is that these are one of the top and most popular brands when it comes to base layers.
These base layers can be worn in any sport or activity not just cycling. You have probably even seen on the TV that footballers wear these under their shirts, motor sport racers under their racing gear or even people who are in the gym.
Base layers can also be worn all year round, they aren’t just for winter used to keep you warm, they can serve a purpose in the summer when it’s hot also which I will cover so you can gain a better understanding of how these work.
About Under Armour
Under Armour began their journey back in the 90’s and started off with just 1 prototype t-shirt called “the shorty” which was designed to be different from any other, skin tight and draw sweat away from the body faster than any other shirt out on the market.
By 2002 the t-shirt was a huge success with athletes and Under Armour’s name was at the top of the athletes must have list during all kinds of physical sports.
In 2005 Under Armour decided to move away from the standard cotton material and along came their “UA Tech” which is now one the most favorable fabrics on the market, engineered to feel more like cotton.
2006 and Under Armour were providing athletes with more than just base layers, they provided everything an athlete needs from head to toe with hats, gloves, trousers, boots, you name it.
Year 2011, Under Armour up their game with development for athletes again, this time by introducing “Charged Cotton”. This technology consisted of a unique blend of hydrophobic and hydrophilic fibers which is a mix of fibers that love water and fibers that hate it. This was game changing fabric which absorbed sweat from your skin and spreads it to the surface where it can evaporate faster, a lot faster than just ordinary cotton. They also released waterproof clothing which was practically weightless and breathable.
2013 they up their game in thermal wear with “Coldgear Infrared” which is a soft thermo-conductive lining which absorbs and retains your body heat, so you stay warmer for longer with no extra weight pr bulk.
2014 they brought out their running shoe which was the first running shoe ever made in an apparel factory.
Come 2017 and Under Armour have invented their “Rest, Win, Repeat” which is a soft bio ceramic print on the inside of the fabric which absorbs natural heat and reflects “Far Infrared” energy back into the skin to help the body recover faster and promote better sleep.
As you can see, Under Armour have had an amazing journey and have come so far with developing their products and technology. I personally always look for Under Armour when it comes to base layers or thermal wear.
What Is A Base Layer
In brief, a base layer is an item of clothing which you wear against your skin, under any other items of clothing. They act as an extra layer to keep you warm and comfortable in the winter, but they can also keep you comfortable and cool in the summer too when building up a sweat.
For summer uses, a base layer would be made from lightweight synthetics and usually in a vest type shape or a short sleeve and a polo neck.
For winter, you would usually wear a long sleeve base layer with holes in the end for your thumbs and with a high neck.
The main job of a base layer is to keep you dry when you’re sweating and it does this by drawing sweat away from your skin. This is why athletes wear these during the hot summer days as it helps to provide comfort. Another job a base layer is to provide another layer of insulation.
Fitting And Shape
For these base layers to do their job effectively, the material should fit flush with the skin. The fabric is stretchy so it should be nice and tight but comfortable and shouldn’t put any strain on any movements.
One of the things to look for in base layers is the seams, you don’t want these to be rough which could cause some discomfort while carrying out any exercise, so look for smartly placed seams.
You need to ensure the sleeves are the right length on the long sleeve base layers. You don’t want these to be too short but you also don’t want them to be too long that they end up bunching up under your jersey or jacket.
You will find that some base layers are longer in length to overlap with your bib tights to provide extra insulation around your lower midriff. Some are also lower at the back to remove any exposure of your skin while in a crouched position over your handle bars.
How To Care For Your Base Layer
Most base layers are OK to be thrown in the wash with your ordinary washing. You would need to check the label on this though as some may instruct that you have to wash them on a lower temperature wash. They will also say if the base layer can be tumble dried or not, just make sure you read the label first as you don’t want to wash your beloved base layer and then find that the thing has shrunk 3 sizes!!
Do I Really Need A Base Layer?
It is really down to you personally on whether you need a base layer or not. If you just commute or ride casually and not really breaking a sweat, then I would say no unless you want one for the winter as an extra thermal layer. Otherwise, if you cycle often and like to push yourself and break into a good sweat in the summer and the winter, then I would definitely recommend investing in an Under Armour base layer.
When I first tried one it did feel strange at first but I was surprised how comfortable they actually are and how they work is amazing!! I have tried cheaper base layers before and thought they were great, but once you have tried Under Armour, your standards are then set very high!
Please feel free to comment below on any questions or any reviews on Under Armour base layers below that you would like to add.