Needless to say, we get excited any time that a new item is added to Castelli's Rosso Corsa line. However, we know that our cycling love runs especially deep when that item is a base layer. In our defense, though, a proper base layer is one of the single most important pieces of winter apparel that you should own. Knowing this, Castelli created the Flanders Long Sleeve Base Layer to be its most sophisticated winter base layer to date.
To start, the Flanders base layer features multiple fabrics in multiple locations. In other words, Castelli was dedicated to applying the right tool for the job. At the body, the base layer uses a multi-denier (multi-weight) polyester composition. This material was created with a rib-knit, 3D structure that enhances mechanical moisture wicking, while also creating a stretchable, conforming fit around the torso. However, it's important to note that this design essentially creates channels that keep the fabric largely off of your skin. Ultimately, this reduces, if not eliminates, the threat of abrasion.
At the underarms, a natural evacuation point for excess core heat exhaust, Castelli placed a perforated mesh polyester. And, as you probably guessed, perforation equates to ventilation. As a result, your body temperature remains well-regulated, which prevents the threat of overheating. For the sleeves, Castelli retained the lightweight polyester theme of the base layer, only the fabric used here features a four-way stretch. This way, you're guaranteed an uncompromising freedom of movement.
Further along with the construction, you'll find that Castelli only used four-needle flatlock stitching throughout. This construction method equates to a lower-profile seam and a flat stitch. And, as a result, the base layer lays closer to the body, which makes for increased moisture management and no chafing. Lastly, Castelli sought to ensure that your body obtains total coverage, and to do so, it incorporated a mock turtle neck and an elongated back.
The Castelli Flanders Long Sleeve Base Layer is available in the color White and in six sizes from X-Small to XX-Large. Please note that Castelli recommends this base layer for a temperature range of 35-68 degree Fahrenheit.
This base layer is spectacular at wicking, consequently I stay warm, but not overheated, on cold rides. How spectacular? At the end of a ride, this base layer is soaked, the inside of my mid-layer or jacket is damp, and my skin is dry. This is after anywhere from a 30 minute ride to a 2 hour ride, in temps from 30F to 50F. Unbelievably effective.
The only downsides are that it must be washed after every use since I'm apparently a Sweaty Betty, and the neck-hole is tight. What's the opposite of "damning with praise"?
Did I mention how good this base layer is?