Autumn appears to be upon us! As the temperature drops in the UK it might be time to consider a windblock layer. But when you’re travelling, a baselayer like this one is ideal; one multi-function item of clothing that doesn’t take up a lot of space, that can keep you warm, block wind and keep you cool in the heat.
This ARMR-moto shirt is actually of multi-layer construction. The back is the more common stretchy synthetic material used in a thousand undergarments. It wicks well, is breathable, but doesn’t absorb water and stick to you when you’re exerting yourself, like pushing the bike through snow or mud.
It’s at the front of the garment that the really trick stuff happens. Next the skin there’s a napped insulating layer of fleece which is comfortable and also wicks well, keeping moisture off the skin. The extra warmth is obvious immediately, but fleece is not windproof, so the ARMR shirt incorporates another outer layer to the front and down the sleeves, which is.
You can feel the effects of this wind-proof, goretexlike layer most starkly in the longjohns which are made the same way. Just riding with these and a pair of Kevlar jeans means that even twenty miles in temperatures hovvering around zero, is quite possible. So far I’ve done a couple of very cold 300 mile days (with my waterproofs on) and it was only my feet that suffered – shame they don’t make socks…
This integral windproof layer does mean that the whole garment, whether top or trouser, doesn’t fold up as small as some others, but this is clothing you could wear every day on a trip, as it’s easy to wash and will dry overnight, so it wouldn’t be in your pannier anyway. For years I layered up and failed to embrace modern synthetics and the static electrical lightshow when you remove them, but it really was daft. Less is more when you’re on the road.
Cuffs and ankles of the ARMR-moto kit are deeply elasticated, so there’s no annoying ‘ride-up’ and the stitching throughout appears more robust than I’ve seen on many motorcycle jackets. Inside of the collar on the shirt is a kind of soft-shell material which is very comfortable, but it’s next the only complaint I have: The quarter length zip that goes to the collar, could be finished better. It’s doubled over and stitched down on the inside and therefore rubs on the front of my neck if it’s zipped all the way to the top.
That’s a very small gripe and one which can’t detract from garments which make a lot of sense in all but the hottest of climates. The sizing is generous for both the shirt and ‘pant’ which is something you may wish to consider. For someone who usually takes a ‘large’ T-shirt, I feel I should have got the ‘medium’ shirt. There doesn’t seem to be a female specific fit available yet.
Priced at £29.99 each, ARMR-moto have dealers all over the country, check here for more details.