Best summer motorcycle base layers

Base layers are just as important in summer as in winter – here are our favourites

Riding motorbikes in the summer

by Jim Blackstock |

Just as they are in winter, base layers are key to your clothing system in summer. While they may be intended to carry out a slightly different role, there are several similarities and indeed, properties that are shared between the two.

One of the key requirements of a summer base layer is to wick moisture – sweat – away from the skin and allow the clothing you are wearing to dissipate that moisture.

You might be wearing breathable textiles and the membrane will allow the moisture vapour to escape or you might be wearing vented or mesh clothing and direct airflow will carry it away.

Whichever form of outer clothing you are wearing, then the base layer will carry that moisture away from your skin.

They will also make it easier to get clothing on and off, particularly if you are wearing leathers on the road or you are doing a trackday, for example.

Damp skin can stick to the inside of all sorts of clothing and it is rarely a pleasant feeling and if you are wearing long-sleeved tops, for example, then you may also get less irritation from seams and material changes than in a T-shirt.

Related: Best mesh motorcycle jackets

There are generally two forms of base layers; compression fit and against-the-skin. Compression-fit layers generally are very tight and use that tightness as well as potentially different textures and materials to provide support to the muscles, which can be useful on longer or more strenuous rides, such as off-road.

Against-the-skin items, on the other hand, are not as tight though they do need to be touching the skin as much as possible to wick the sweat away. Size is key with these to make sure that they contact as much of the skin as possible.

Here is a selection of summer base layers we reckon are worth a look.

1. RST Coolmax


RSTu2019s Coolmax top and pants are made from nylon and Lycra for a stretchable semi-compression

RST Coolmax

There is a tall collar and the arms and legs appear long compared with the size of the torso. They do a good job of wicking moisture away and dissipating it though.

2. Knox Dry Inside Dual Active


The Knox Dry Inside range is a next-to-the-skin design, so itu2019s intended to fit snugly but

Knox Dry Inside Dual Active

3. EDZ Wicking Suit


This one-piece set of wicking base layers from EDZ is also available in a two-piece set and while

EDZ Wicking Suit

Made in polyester, it can feel slightly thicker than pure summer base layers but it is designed to be used with additional layers in colder climates and does a good job of removing moisture.

4. Oxford Cooldry


This top from British kit giant Oxford has what appears to be a more solid outer layer but wicks

Oxford Cooldry

It features flatlock seams for comfort and the matching pants are also a loose fit but come with stirrups to help keep them in place.

5. Dainese D-Core Dry Ladies


This is the ladiesu2019 version of Daineseu2019s D-Core Dry base layers and there is also a

Dainese D-Core Dry Ladies

6. Forcefield Tech 2


Itu2019s not cheap but these technical garments from Forcefield are very good indeed. If you like

Forcefield Tech 2

7. Alpinestars Ride Tech Suit


Another one-piece suit that is also available as separate top and pants, this garment from

Alpinestars Ride Tech Suit

They tend to come up smaller than other brands so consider sizing well but once on, they do a good job of removing moisture from the skin though they can feel constrictive for some people and arms and legs can seem a little long.

8. Rukka Mark


This two-piece set from Rukka is designed specifically to wick moisture away from the skin and

Rukka Mark

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