In addition to wearable body armour, Forcefield has also produced a couple of very effective sets of base layers, including the predecessor to these, the Tech 2. I’m very familiar with the Tech 2 predominantly summer base layers, having worn them extensively for the last couple of years.
I have found them extremely effective in warm conditions though they do sometimes feel a little heavy and cumbersome. However, this latest version of the range addresses this issue while retaining all the features and effectiveness of the previous versions and improving performance further.
The first thing you notice is the lower weight of the new versions - not necessarily actual mass but the overall feel; the material feels thinner and more lightweight.
The older versions were very good at wicking moisture away from the skin – the prime objective of a set of summer base layers – but their thicker material had a tendency to retain moisture longer than you would ideally want and as a result, even though the skin felt dry, the outer surface of the garments could feel damp, depending on the breathability of the outer layer you were wearing.
These newer versions are also excellent at removing moisture from the skin as you perspire while riding but now, thanks to the lighter construction, they not only wick that moisture away but seem to dissipate it more effectively. This means that you feel drier throughout your ride and as a result, much more comfortable.
Like the predecessors, they are designed with a compression fit, which means they are worn skin-tight to maximise contact as well as help support the muscles while riding. However, the lighter weight material makes this feel less constrictive and more comfortable in use. Different materials and construction techniques in key areas perform specific tasks, such as promoting blood flow and ensuring the material remains in contact with the skin as much as possible.
The result is a pair of garments (or indeed, a one-piece suit if you prefer) that is sized to fit like your normal clothing, i.e. if you usually take an XL jacket, then order an XL top – it will fit as it is supposed too.
As a garment, they are formed on seamless looms so there are virtually no seams against the skin and those that are present (joining sleeves to the torso, for example) are formed flat, so you don’t feel them in use at all. Fit for me was perfect – tight across the chest and arms with the length of the arms just right, though the length of the body was a little excessive, but it easily tucks into the pants.
The waist and seat area of the pants were also perfect but as I have fairly short legs, I found that these on the Tech 3s were a little too long for me. But, as the material is so thin, it didn’t cause any problems with rucking up. There are well-defined areas of material that fit around the elbows as well as the knees so you know when you have them on properly and the extra length in my legs was at the ankles.
Forcefield’s Tech 2 base layers were my go-to warm-weather wear – they were comfortable and effective and the compression fit design helped to keep everything working as it should.
However, they occasionally felt a little heavyweight but these latest versions address that directly. They are much lighter weight in feel yet fit just as well and perform the same muscle support and moisture-wicking as the predecessors. They are incredibly comfortable and help keep you as cool as possible while riding.
• Compression fit for maximum contact and muscle support
• Lighter weight construction
• Excellent wicking
• Not cheap
More base layers on MCN
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