Café du Cycliste's Cosette Ceramic base layer is the French brand's most technical base layer, but does it live up to the claim?
Within the Café du Cycliste bundle of clothes sent out to CW Towers, the immediate standout product was the Cosette Ceramic base layer.
For starters, it looks great. The light grey body matched with the darker arms and back make this as much a fashion piece as a technical item of clothing.
Then there’s the high neck – not something you regularly see on cycling base layers. But after months of winter use, it has become something I can’t really live without.
Not only does it keep the chill out, it also makes wearing other layers more comfortable, stopping any rubbing or annoying labels reaching the skin.
The rest of the layer is good, too. It ticks all three of the most important boxes: comfort, softness and warmth.
No doubt this success is partly due to the extra thickness of the base layer. The Cosette Ceramic is definitely chunkier than other base layers I’ve worn. So much so, that Café du Cycliste suggests you could wear it by itself, or with just a jacket on top.
Watch: Buyer’s guide to cycling winter clothing
I’m also sure that plenty of the warmth is provided by the Merino blend from which the Cosette Ceramic is made.
In my book, Merino is something of a magic material. It’s warm, breathable and never seems to get smelly. This latter property being something that all cyclists should hold in high regard.
In fact, it’s something I value so much that the Cosette Ceramic has become my go to base layer for every ride – that is, until I finally wash it for the sake of public hygiene.
For me, though, the icing on the cake has to be the fact it fits my long arms, which instantly makes it a hit.
My only real gripe was with its fit on the torso. It’s billed as having a race fit so I was expecting it to be figure hugging, but I think it could be tighter still. Certainly, other base layers I’ve worn, such as the Altura Thermocool, sit closer to the body.
Ultimately, this is a really impressive base layer. The Merino blend makes it soft, warm and stink-free while the high neck has become a must-have feature of base layers. It's perhaps a little bit baggy, especially considering it's supposed to have a 'race fit'.