The Rev’it Ladies Airborne LS Base shirt in dark grey is a good looking base and it does really feel as good as it looks.
It slides on over my head smoothly and immediately I get positive feedback from the material against my skin. I particularly like the knit pattern, which apparently follows a body mapping principle − they flatter the appearance and provide technical wicking ability. Not a bad double.
I didn’t wear base layers when I first started riding; I used to just go for a long-sleeve cotton tee with perhaps a short-sleeved one over that. Then I started to ride long distances and experienced broad-swing temperature ranges in a single day and I had to consider technical garments to cope comfortably.
I knew this might happen on my recent trip through Europe so it was an excellent opportunity to try out the Rev’it Airborne long-sleeve base layer.
As I left home early in the morning it was still dark and there was a low, chilling fog. The temperature gauge read zero degrees − a great chance to test the warming features of the Airborne.
Photography: Ellie Hoskins
I have to say they definitely were an improvement on two cotton layers, though I did need a mid-layer and a small stint with my heated jacket too (because I’m a bit of comfort seeker and feel the cold a lot), but the benefits were immediate. It was good not to have the extra bulk and constriction of my usual tees as well.
Later in the same day, in the middle of France, temperatures rose to nearly 30°C, but I was still comfortable.
Normally at this point I’d be thinking about how I don’t want to take my jacket off in front of anyone for a while, but this time the wicking function did its magic and I was feeling pretty dry − not bone dry I have to say, but there was no familiar trickle of moisture down the small of the back.
I had ditched the mid-layer a few degrees back and felt OK riding in the heat. At least my top half was − the rest of me was not as comfortable and I wished I also had the matching Airborne base layer trousers. Oh well, next time.
I like the small v-neck design, it’s not too plunging as to create a style over substance issue, ie it needs to cover your torso adequately to provide the benefits. I ordered a medium (I’m a UK size 12) and I would say it comes up slightly on the large size so if you’re bordering between two sizes I would go smaller.
The material is a multi-yarn construction made of polyamide, polyester and elastane. I particularly like the black stitching around the shoulders and ends of sleeves, this is one place where the different materials meet and it’s done stylishly. The round-knit weaving technology meant no seams to rub against the skin either.
Reflective inserts give increased visibility, but I would always wear a jacket with armour over the top so I question the purpose of reflectors on a base layer. Perhaps it’s useful if you were walking out at night off the bike. They look pretty cool though, along with the logo on the back and the reflective brand lettering on the front.
All in all it’s a very good base layer that did exactly what was intended and kept me cooler and warmer at the appropriate times. I would imagine it lasting quite well, but loss of shape would probably be the reason I’d change it, before any loss in functionality.
Fit & Comfort
A very comfortable, soft base layer. The elastane ribbing on the forearms felt snug on the body and made my jacket easy to put on without ruffling the sleeves up.
The shirt performed as it was intended to and was comfortable to ride in even when chugging through hot, long tunnels in the Italian Alps.
I noticed the difference immediately I put on the Airborne − it was like wearing an extra layer in addition to my usual base.
The multi-material construction looks good and provides a combination of wicking, cooling and stretchable functionality.
No material fraying or degradation even after wearing and washing several times. The shape became a little less fitted after washing a couple of times but still looks good and looks like it will last for several seasons.
You can read more from our reviewer Louisa Swaden at her blog site, The Existential Biker.