by Brian Hancock
In the fourteen years I’ve been cycling, clothing options have come a long, long way. And in cold weather ’cross, I don’t know if there is any other piece of clothing that can do as much work as a good baselayer. One way to help extend the temperature range of skinsuits is by wearing them with different baselayers underneath. While sleeveless, lightweight baselayers may work just fine in October, by the time winter rolls around it’s nice to have a few warmer options.
The Louis Garneau Compress R LS Baselayer is a new product designed to aid in muscle recovery and help move moisture away from your body during those hard, cooler ’cross workouts. Out of the box, this is a fantastically stretchy article of clothing. That’s a good thing since, when I first looked at it, I thought I was testing the kid’s size extra large instead of the adult size extra large.
The Compress R LS Baselayer uses a smooth, stretchy fabric that does a good job keeping moisture off your body. It’s odd, but one of the characteristics of quality cycling clothing is that you’ll forget it’s even there when you’re wearing it. I’ve had that experience with helmets before but never with baselayers. There is always something that bugs me about them 10 or 15 minutes into a ride.
This baselayer is a good example of one of those items you’ll forget about once you’re on the road or trail. It isn’t until after you flop yourself in your car and peel it off your body that you’ll find just how much sweat it took away from your skin. It won’t bunch up your back when you hop on and off your bike during a race. It doesn’t even look that fancy or have a boutique brand name. It just does what it is supposed to do, and that’s a good thing.
The extra large size I tested only measures 26” from the neck opening, but easily covered my long arms once stretched. The torso length was adequate compared with other baselayers I’ve worn, though this model doesn’t have an elongated back like many other similar products do. Even without the longer tail, I never noticed any bunching in the front or lack of coverage in the back, and that was probably due to the super stretchy nature of the fabric.
So with the temperatures falling every day, take a look at expanding your baselayer collection to include the Louis Garneau Compress R LS. Whether you’re cycling, running, skiing or doing yard work, this is a quality piece of clothing that just does what it’s supposed to do.
Louis Garneau Website