Oxford Advanced base layers review

All-year round base layers that will work for any ride and under any clothing

Oxford Advanced Base Layers

by Jim Blackstock |

These base layers from British kit giant Oxford Products seemed to sneak onto the market like a pair of ninja pyjamas which, by strange coincidence, is exactly what they look like. Though in fairness, most base layers tend to look just like pyjamas.

The concept of layering up should be nothing new when it comes to preparing your riding kit and the base layer is exactly that – the one that sits next to your skin. I use base layers all year round – and long-sleeved ones at that – as I hate the feeling of getting sweaty and sticky in say a cotton T-shirt and of skin sticking to the inside of my jacket sleeves.

I also hate the feeling of peeling off a jacket after a warm ride and any moisture that my body has produced (and generally there is a fair bit of it, in the form of perspiration as well as moist breath which causes all sorts of issues for helmet misting but that’s a different story) has soaked into that cotton T-shirt, making it wet with the consequential cooling if it is breezy and a less-than-attractive aesthetic.

In winter, we all know that a set of base layers is the beginning of the layering principle to stay warm but in summer, for example, it’s more about getting that moisture away from the body and out so that the jacket can get rid of it.

Generally, there are three kinds of base layers: winter ones, that help keep you warm; summer ones, that help keep you cool by promoting airflow and wicking moisture away and year-round ones that do a little of both so you only need one set. They work well in summer while in winter, though not as warm as a dedicated set, they can work well when paired with a mid-layer to bring the temperature up.

I’ve been wearing these ones from Oxford for a full year – they were prototype versions sent to me before production was finalised, which is why they don’t have the small blue tag but other than that, they are exactly as the items on sale now. I say I’ve been wearing them for a year and I mean a year – I started last winter and here we are, heading in this winter of discontent and I’m still in them. In fact, I’m actually wearing them as I write this at my desk.

Oxford Advanced base layer top in use
©Photo: Bauer Media

I tend not to need winter base layers or a mid-layer unless the mercury drops into the negative numbers and these suited me fine last winter. I generally ride in a Furygan airbag vest as well, which tends to add some warmth as it limits moisture wicking somewhat and as a result, on occasion the Oxfords have felt a little damp where the vest compresses them against the skin and they cannot dissipate the moisture.

However, on the odd occasion that I have ridden without the vest – on a trackday in particular – they have done a great job of shedding moisture effectively. When things get a little cooler, I also don’t find them wanting; again the airbag vest adds a little heat but generally, these underneath a textile jacket with the thermal liner in and I’m good down to close to freezing.

Related: Best summer motorcycle base layers

They are so comfortable that when I’ve finished my commute and arrived in the office, I no longer subject others to horror scenes by stripping off but just chuck a pair of jeans and a T-shirt over the top and crack on. The don’t interfere at all and remain all-day comfortable and virtually as cool as not wearing them at all.

Oxford Advanced base layer flat lock seam
©Photo: Bauer Media

The seams are all flat-lock so you don’t feel them when you’re wearing them and the sizing seems bang on – they are designed to be worn next to the skin but they are not the compression-fit type that supports muscles, promotes blood flow and so on. They need to touch skin to be able to remove moisture from it.

The legs on the pants are very long – presumably so you can tuck them over your heels if you want and the neck on the top is, if I’m being really picky, a little low for me but for this kind of money, you really can’t complain.

Verdict

For a set of base layers to keep you separated from your clothing and keep you dry and warm until it gets pretty cold, these are great. They are excellent value, superbly comfortable and do everything you could ask of a pair of year-round base layers, including remaining comfortable for eight hours at your desk.

Oxford Advanced base layer pants in use
©Photo: Bauer Media

Pros:

Extremely comfortable

Genuinely year-round

Excellent value

Cons:

Neckline a little low

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