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With the bad weather we’ve had lately in the UK, winter training rides have been more a battle of survival than getting those steady miles in the bank.

I’ve never really suffered from cold toes and hands whilst riding, but often get a chill when descending or the first 15 minutes when starting out early in the morning. The key to winter clothing is of course layering. As good as the proper winter jackets are nowadays you still need a base-layer and a mid-layer to remain comfortable over long rides. When one of these ProZeroExtreme layers was put on my desk I quickly ‘borrowed’ it and as I was already familiar with the fabric from other garments – it seemed like the ideal winter base layer.

I’ll keep it brief, but Craft originally started producing underwear for Swedish Air Force pilots. The unique fabric wicked moisture away from the body keeping them comfortable, especially when ejecting! Cross-country skiing was the next foray and this is where you’ll most often see the Craft 3-dot logo:

The distinctive Craft logo

The distinctive Craft logo

This is how the good people at Craft describe the fabric:

Pro Zero Extreme

When we set out to develop pro zero extreme underwear, our goal was to develop an underwear fabric that allows zero moisture against the skin. And let’s face it, most athletes be they a top competitor or a weekend warrior they like to have a dry layer next to their skin while training or racing. So after 30 years of taking care of athlete’s micro-climates, we’re confident in saying pro zero extreme will keep athletes perfectly dry no matter the temperature and no matter how strenuous the sporting activity is.

An added plus to pro zero extreme is that along with keeping athletes dry it also provides them with climate control. Say a runner overheats on a hot day, pro zero extreme’s fabric cools them down. Conversely, if a cross-country skier gets too cold, the pro zero extreme fabric will keep them warm.

O.k. so what’s the secret? Pro zero extreme combines two high-tech fibres from AdvanSA. Next to the skin are hexa- channelled fibres to pull moisture off skin. This fibre is made with Coolmax Fresh FX technology to prevent the garments from smelling. On the fabric’s outer layer are Thermolite hollow fibres that ventilate at the same time as they use a capillary action to pull moisture further away from the skin.

The active athlete’s new climate control system has arrived with pro zero extreme underwear.

Coolmax Fresh FX technology to prevent the garments from smelling.

First impressions are very good, this PZE fabric manages to feel as soft as cotton while being packed with technology. It’s also cut nicely, long enough to cover your kidneys fully and the fit is ideal for sitting comfortably underneath upper layers.

Out riding it really makes a difference and I haven’t shivered while descending since! Also early morning blasts aren’t uncomfortable either, once warmed up you seem to stay there throughout the ride without too much zipper adjusting. It leaves you more time to concentrate on the ice and keeping both wheels travelling in the same direction. The coolmax FX is odour-proof  (although I’m sure it has limits) which if you’re busy commuting and training on a regular basis is a great benefit.

Craft PZE base-layer

Craft PZE base-layer

PZE Base Layer

PZE Base Layer

Good points:

  • High collar to keep drafts out.
  • Looks very cool.
  • Cut long in the body for good coverage without being baggy.
  • Fabric stretches and returns to its original shape again and again.
  • Yellow contrast logos and stitching on one side.
  • Soft feel fabric and ‘body hugging’ fit make it comfy underneath winter layers.
  • Odour-proof fabric.
  • Seems to work well down to at least 1/2°c and overheating when the sun does shine hasn’t happened yet.
  • Would also suit runners, skiers and any other outdoor activities where you need a technical base layer.

Down-sides:

  • I only have one!!

Grab yourself one by clicking here

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