I’m just about to begin testing some very interesting baselayers from Brynje of Norway. If you’ve been paying good attention to your cycling magazines over the last year or so, you may have noticed some very positive pieces of coverage on various Brynje base layers in magazines from Singletrack to Cyclist. In fact base layers from Brynje have featured in several issues of Cyclist magazine already and it’s not been going for that long.
Brynje were started way back in 1887 and remain a family business to this day. Brynje invented the baselayer with holes concept back in 1949 and in fact the companies base layers were used by my late compatriot Sir Edmund Hilary when he conquered Everest in 1953. A few years earlier Brynje had cracked how to make wool soft and comfortable – not something that had been achieved before.
Since Hilary’s day Brynje base layers have been equipping (and still do) all sorts of mountainous expeditions all over the globe in extreme temperatures.
By the mid 1970s Tour de France teams had discovered and embraced Brynje base layers too. Here in the UK, cyclists are the fastest growing customer group for Brynje’s base layers, so I’m delighted to be trying them too.
These days Brynje offers both Merino and synthetic base layers and I’m lucky enough to have been sent 3 different models to try.
The Brynje concept is based around mesh and in turn around the fact that the best thing to have next to your skin to regulate temperature is air. When you bring these two elements together the logic may first seem counter intuitive – for more warm you need a bigger mesh (i.e. bigger holes) and for less warm you need a smaller mesh (smaller holes) – so the warmest Brynje base layers have the largest mesh holes to give you more arm to keep warm next to you skin and less material to either move the water away or soak it up. Synthetic fibres are better and moving the water off your skin than wool, which soaks it up.
So the theory is that the vest Super-Thermo base layer I have should be the warmest, especially if I were to combine it with a mid layer to move all perspiration too/through leaving the warm air next to my skin.
I won’t be able to try that in earnest until the winter but I am most definitely looking forward to it.
I have two Super-Thermo base layers one with a large mesh (sleeveless) and one with a smaller mesh (white short sleeved). I also have a Brynje Merino base layer with a micro mesh which should provide a nice balance between keeping warm and moving moisture away from the skin. It should also be good over a wide range of temperatures.
Right now we’re at that time of the year when the question is – do I wear a base layer at all. Speaking to Rhodri from NordicLife who import Brynje and reviewing the material on the Brynje website, I’ve decided to try them all and see what I learn. Brynje say all three products are fine for year round use – as does Rhodri, who also notes that there is a personal choice element.
My last ride in the sun was without a base layer – my next ride will be with a Brynje base layer – probably the Merino one to begin with.
I’ll keep you posted.
My thanks to NordicLife for the samples. You can find more information on them here:
Both Brynje and NordicLife are also on Facebook if you’d like to check them out there too.
Thanks for reading…