Review: Velocio Men’s Radiator SL Base Layer
The Velocio Men’s Radiator SL Base Layer is designed for summer use, with a clever fabric from Polartec to keep you at optimum temperature and as comfortable as possible. After a month of warm weather use I’ve been impressed with its cooling and wicking performance. I also found the fit excellent – but this quality doesn’t come cheap.
Pulling on the baselayer for the first time, I was immediately impressed with the fit – it’s tight but in no way restrictive and in my opinion it’s the perfect length. The material doesn’t feel as quite as soft as some baselayers, but when out on the bike this didn’t really cross my mind.
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The shoulder sections of the baselayer are quite wide, which means that the straps of bib shorts can sit nicely on top without discomfort. It is worth noting that the wide shoulders come higher up the neck than other baselayers, so it can look a little odd when paired with a low-cut aero jersey.
Seams have been kept to a minimum, with the shoulder seam placed slightly forwards to avoid discomfort from bib strap pressure points. The seams are flatlock stitched to further aid comfort, although I could feel the join where one shoulder seam meets the collar seam.
I was happy to find that there are no labels in the baselayer, as these are a sure way to ruin the comfort of a garment. Instead, the washing instructions are printed inside the collar along with the materials used…
Now for the nerdy bit. As I mentioned earlier, the fabric has been developed by Polartec, a brand synonymous with high-performing fabrics. This particular blend of 51% polyester, 45% Tencel and 4% elastane uses its construction to work its cooling magic. Many summer baselayer fabrics, such as the Castelli Prosecco’s, rely on a treatment to aid their cooling ability. Although this is claimed to last ages it will degrade over time, whereas the Velocio’s Delta cooling fabric should go on forever.
So how does it work? Basically, the polyester doesn’t like moisture and the Tencel does, which means that the moisture (sweat) can be used to evaporate and cool you while being held away from your body to avoid that clammy feeling.
Out on the road that translates to a comfortable ride. The past month has been uncharacteristically warm, and the Velocio baselayer has done a good job of keeping my temperature in check during intense climbing efforts. Although it isn’t as fast drying as some, it does a brilliant job of wicking the sweat away from your skin.
Velocio describes the Radiator SL as ‘ultralight’ but at 73g it’s heavier than some summer-weight sleeveless baselayers we’ve tested on road.cc, such as Castelli’s Pro Mesh Sleeveless baselayer at just 50g, and the Alé Intimo Velo Active baselayer at 49g.
> Buyer’s Guide: 19 of the best cycling baselayers
Although I’ve been impressed with the cooling of the baselayer, at £55 there are cheaper alternatives out there, such as the Lusso Race Base Vest which also performed brilliantly and costs £23. Alé no longer makes the Intimo, but its Summer Mesh Sleeveless Jersey is £50.
The Velocio is cheaper than the Castelli mentioned above, though, which is now £60.
Overall, the fit and wicking ability make the Velocio Radiator SL an attractive proposition, but there are other great baselayers out there for less.
Good summer baselayer with clever fabric and great wicking ability, but pricey
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Make and model: Velocio Men’s Radiator SL Base Layer
Tell us what the product is for
Velocio says: “A totally new take on the summer base layer, the Radiator uses a unique mesh fabric developed by Polartec that regulates body temp far better than synthetic fiber alone.”
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fabric: 51% Polyester / 45% Tencel / 4% Lycra
Made in: Italy
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Flatlock seams are good and no loose threads.
Rate the product for performance:
Wicking/evaporative ability is great.
Rate the product for durability:
Feels more durable than some summer baselayers, and using fabric construction rather than treatment should mean it retains its cooling ability for longer.
Rate the product for fit:
Impressive – fit is tight but not restrictive, nice length but the wide shoulders don’t work with every jersey.
Rate the product for sizing:
Rate the product for weight:
Light, but some are lighter.
Rate the product for comfort:
Material isn’t as soft as some but not uncomfortable. I did notice some of the seams, though.
Rate the product for value:
It’s not alone at £55, but there are lots of cheaper options.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Been washed many times with no adverse effects.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It works well in the heat at keeping you cool.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Some of the seams are less comfortable than others.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
You can buy a very good Lusso baselayer for £23; Alé’s Summer Mesh baselayer is £50; Castelli’s Pro Mesh is £60.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It does a good job on hot days, but the competition is strong and you can find some great baselayers for less. It does fit well, though, and feels durable.
I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019 My best bike is:
I’ve been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,