A high-quality and sensibly-priced base layer that allows you to ride with the same garment on consecutive days but with a different colour thanks to its reversibility feature. Sizing was an issue that consequently affected breathability, but this could be avoided by choosing the correct size.
Wicks away sweat very well
Invani’s summer sleeveless base layer comes in black and blue, and so excited I was by the ability to change my appearance with their reversible function, riding with my jersey flapping open to reveal the colour of the garment beneath became a way more regular occurrence this summer than it usually would be.
Predominantly riding in very hot weather, I require a good base layer to wick away sweat and keep my torso comfortable and free from dampness. Invani’s product came up trumps.
Invani men's reversible sleeveless base layer: construction
Invani have designed this base layer for hot summer rides, a perfect accompaniment to myself for guiding in southern Spain and Greece in the height of summer (and, whisper it quietly, but early morning runs, too).
Using Italian fabric that is made up of 83% polyster and 17% elastane, Invani boast that the base layer wicks away sweat well and keeps the body comfortable even against soaring temperatures.
Behind the company’s intentions is a desire to reduce the requirement for so many clothes, and the reversible element certainly helps in that regard.
I opted for an extra-small size (90-94cm across the chest).
Invani men's reversible sleeveless base layer: the ride
Truth be told, I found that the base layer was a little too tight and on occasion my body would be tugging at the seams of the garment.
But that almost certainly is the result of choosing an XS instead of a small, yet even with that sizing issue, I found its performance to be high-standard. I’m sometimes loath to use a base layer when the sun is emitting its ultra-strength rays and the tarmac responds with an extra 10 degrees.
But every time I pulled on this base layer, I not only wanted everyone riding with me to see the reversible garment I was so fashionably sporting in a throwback to my childhood excitement, but it did exactly what it ought to: it kept sweat away and there was no discomfort.
Due to the sizing error, I found the base layer scored poorly for breathability, but even then it never felt oppressively tight.
I did find that after returning from a long ride, the base layer would often be quite damp, but impressively it never felt wet against my skin
Invani men's reversible sleeveless base layer: value and conclusions
I almost exclusively tested the base layer in hot and often sticky conditions, but on one cold day high in the French Pyrenees with the mist preventing me from seeing more than five metres and descending into what I was sure was near-certain hypothermia, the base layer added up as a warm layer underneath my jersey, before wicking away the sweat that followed when I descended into the warmer valley below.
Coming in at a very reasonable £30, it’s a cost-effective base-layer that does exactly what it intends to do on summer days. And, providing you chose the right size for you, I am convinced it would be a suitable addition to one’s clothing choice in spring and autumn conditions.
Colour: Black and navy
Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.
Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.
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