I road tested this Falke sports top on my daily 20-mile bike commute with my usual light waterproof over the top. Temperatures were hovering around the 4 degrees mark during testing, and this layer was substantial enough to keep the worst of the cold off, but I still felt a bite when it got windy. It’s sold as a mid-weight base-layer, and that’s spot on as a description. It feels a bit more substantial than underwear, but lightweight enough to be worn through 3-seasons (the colder ones).
I tested a size Small, when realistically I’m more of a medium. It was a bit tight on the hips, so in that respect the sizing seems spot on.
There are different panels of material in the areas where you’re most likely to sweat, and I certainly felt it did a better job of keeping me cool than warm. It dries quickly too – I hung it up and it was bone dry within a couple of hours after being soaked.
One of my favourite things was the generous length of the sleeves. I’m not sure if I have unusually long arms, or if sleeves are generally cut a bit on the short side in ladieswear, but there were no such problems here. The sleeves tucked comfortably into my gloves, meaning no exposed, frostbitten wrists by the time I got to the office. (Speaking of the sleeves, they’re marked with a ‘L’ and ‘R’ at the wrists. I’ve never had a problem identifying my left and right before, but it could be a bonus for some!)
Another feature that got a thumbs-up from me was the half-zip at the neck. Zip up when you want a bit more warmth, unzip when you’ve worked up a sweat. An open zip is always going to be the best way to moderate your temperature on the move.
The Naima is constructed in what’s called a circular knit, which is to say that there are no seams at the sides which could, I suppose, chafe over long distances. It’s also styled in a very fitting fashion, which means that it wicks sweat efficiently, and looks great.
The logo on the rear, and on the left breast, are printed in reflective ink, which is a nice touch for when running on dark evenings.
SUMMARY: An all-purpose base layer that’s cool, comfortable and has the added flexibility of a zip. Not particularly warm on its own, but enough to keep the chill off on a moderate day. Like the Falke socks I reviewed recently, it’s a bit beyond my usual price range for this kind of item, but by paying a bit extra you get some sleek styling and extra features beyond your bog-standard base layer. I’d definitely be happy wearing this.