We test the merino baselayer from Chainreaction's in-house brand Oneten. It's got all the benefits of merino at a really good price.
Merino wool has become the fabric of choice for winter baselayers. It’s got a lot of warmth for its weight, manages moisture well and unlike synthetic baselayers is odour resistant. It’s also very comfortable. On the down side it’s usually quite expensive and has to be washed more carefully.
How to dress like a cyclist
Oneten’s merino baselayer addresses these potential problems with merino very well and is a much cheaper alternative to the leading brands’ garments. Oneten is the in-house clothing brand of Chainreaction Cycles and is sold exclusively through its website, so it can be offered at a lower price. At £29.99 it’s very good value for a merino garment and competitive with synthetic alternatives.
The Oneten baselayer is cut quite high around the neck and fits well, so you don’t get any draughts down the front and it’s got stretchy cuffs and waistband so that it fits closely there too. It’s a close weave and mid-weight and comes with raglan cut flatlocked seams which are unobtrusive, so there’s no irritation from rubbing when worn under multiple winter layers.
Sizing is quite generous and it’s cut to fit a typical UK build, so if you are on the skinny side you might want to size down: there’s plenty of length in the body and arms.
The Oneten is not quite as silky as its more expensive peers though and feels quite heavy for a baselayer. It does cope well with sweat though, although worn under windproof outer layers it will get damp, it does not feel cold and there is minimal odour build-up.
Buyer’s guide to winter cycling clothing
The baselayer can be hand washed, but I’ve been cold machine washing it and line drying. Although it doesn’t look as silky-smooth as it did, it’s still holding up well. It’s also available as a short sleeved version if you want something to wear through into the spring.
Comfortable merino baselayer with good features and cut at a very competitive price.