Summer baselayers might sound llike an oxymoron, but some seriously cool clothing tech means that they can help you regulate your body heat in temperatures up to 40°C
We all know about the benefits of wearing a quality baselayer in the autumn and winter, but in the summer? Surprisingly, it’s true: with the right bit of kit, a baselayer will keep you cool, calm and collected even on the hottest, sweatiest summer runs. How? We talked to Zerofit, whose design team in Japan has been developing a whole range of products designed for warmer weather. They tell us about the tech, and what to look for when we’re shopping for a summer baselayer.
“Our new Weave collection consists of a trio of baselayers: Thermo Weave, Cool Weave and Zero Weave” says Mr Koji Higashi, founder of Zerofit. “They’re progressively lighter and more breathable to match a natural increase in temperature as the cold season gives way to spring and summer. We also have a standalone Cold Skin baselayer that has been designed to offer an instant cooling effect.”
The fabric that the baselayer is made of is key when it comes to keeping cool. “Our Cool Weave baselayer is constructed using EVACOOL fabric, which creates a cooling effect during exercise,” explains Mr Higashi. “As the temperature increases, the fabric’s water-absorbing polymer shrinks to diffuse sweat quickly, promoting transpiration and thereby creating that cooling effect. It’s ideal for runs in temperatures between 15°C and 35°C.
Compression is also a factor – baselayers designed for winter tend to focus on compression. “The Zero Weave utilises super-stretch properties rather than compression to ensure that the athlete says comfortable for the duration of exercise,” says Mr Higashi. “It also has a knitted mesh structure which removes sweat more efficiently, so it’s suitable for high-intensity exercise up to 40°C.”
Some baselayers are designed not just to regulate your temperature, but to actually cool you down as you run. “The Cold Skin baselayer feels cold from the moment it touches your skin,” says Mr Higashi. “It’s made using special fibres that absorb heat and spread it over the body surface quickly, as well as rapidly dispersing sweat.”
One final thing to look for: UV protection. Even if your arms are covered, the sun’s strong rays can still penetrate clothing and potentially damage skin. “The arms and neck of our Cool Weave have a UPF50+ rating, while the same areas of our Zero Weave top has been designed with a finer knitting process to limit the reach of the sun’s rays,” Mr Higashi explains.
For more details on the Cold Skin (£40), Thermo Weave (£55), Cool Weave (£50) or the Zero Weave (£55), visit www.zerofit.co.uk.