The Caratti thermal base layer is a good value bottom layer that will keep you warm and dry, but is let down by a poor fit and limited choice of size.
Nice and warm
Limited choice sizes
A good thermal base layer will run the fine line between keeping you warm, whilst preventing you from overheating and wicking sweat from the skin. This is quite a lot to ask from a 20 quid piece of clothing, but, in general, the Caratti Thermal Base Layer does a pretty decent job.
Caratti aren’t making any bold claims that their base layer is some sort of vast leap forward in breathable thermal technology. Indeed the information on Caratti’s website contains almost no information on the fabric whatsoever.
What the Caratti thermal base layer lacks in marketing blurb, it makes up for in warmth. Of course this is partly dependent on what you wear over the top, but when the cold began to bite elsewhere we never felt the chill on our torsos. It’s just a shame that Caratti don’t offer a long sleeve version for really bitter mid-winter days.
The warmth of this base layer was enhanced by the decent job it did at moving sweat away from the skin. Admittedly things got a little sticky when putting in hard efforts or when overdressed for the conditions, but this would only be a real point of criticism for a more expensive competitor, and for a £20 thermal base layer the Caratti did an admirable job.
The main issue we had with the Caratti thermal base layer concerned the fit. Perhaps the root of the problem is the strange decision to only offer two choices of size: S/M or L/XL. Our slim 6’ tester took a S/M which fitted fairly well around the neck and chest, but was simply far too long. This left us with a good couple of inches of material at the bottom of the base layer to be stuffed into bibtights, causing an unsightly bulge around the midriff. Perhaps a smaller size would have solved the issue of length, although this could mean an overly tight fit around the chest.
For more details visit the Caratti website (opens in new tab).
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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
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