The winter days are really starting to bite with mornings as I write this review hovering around zero degrees in my neck of the woods. I’m not running at the moment due to a badly sprained ankle sustained on a dark evening run a couple of weeks ago, but that doesn’t mean I am not out and about. A spot of gardening with the outside temperature at one below freezing seemed like the perfect opportunity to test the Eskeez long sleeve base layer.

The Eskeez base layers are designed for a range of activities including equestrian and even everyday wear, and I’d suggest the Eskeez long sleeve base layer is absolutely perfect for mildly strenuous work in really cold conditions.

It was ideal for three hours of gardening when the temperature went from one degree below freezing to one degree above. It might work really well as a cycling layer on those really cold days when there’s a serious wind chill factor around your torso and I’d imagine it would be great as everyday wear for those really cold days when you absolutely have to venture into the cold outdoors.

The Eskeez long sleeve base layer is a unisex item and is sold on the basis of chest size. Obviously enough, men’s and women’s chests are rather different, as are the general shapes of our torsos. I was a little concerned that I might find the fit awkward. After all, for ‘unisex’ I find you can often infer ‘designed for men but we don’t mind selling to women too if they want to buy’.

As I’d imagined, the unisex design translates in this case as ‘straight sided’ so there’s no shaping around the waist or hips area, and the garment is a little long. Depending on your own body shape women may find the fit comfy or tight. I’m quite short so I found it a little long but otherwise pretty comfy to wear largely because it expands well and fits snugly without feeling pinched. And that length is actually a boon as it stops the garment from riding up.

I was horrified when I saw the polo neck design because I hate anything round my neck, but I barely noticed the soft material in this case and had no trouble at all with that aspect.

The material this base layer is made from is 93 percent polyester and 7 percent elastane, a synthetic fibre that you might recognise better if I give it one of its other names – spandex. If you don’t know a key property of spandex, then the fact that it is an anagram of ‘expands’ might help you work it out. It is the elastane that helps ensure the stretchiness of this garment, and ensures its good fit.

It is a wicking fabric, so it takes sweat away from your body, and it is water repellent. The sleeves are tapered and they fit snugly even around my notoriously small wrists. The inner seams are soft and not chafing.

The performance of the Eskeez long sleeve base layer neck really is superb. I wore it with a loose fitting top and between the two I was kept cosy without feeling overly warm. It’s a combination I’d use again for gardening or just walking whenever the temperature hovered around zero or lower.

Your buying choices are kept to a real minimum with no colour options at all – the Eskeez long sleeve base layer is black and if you don’t like it, bad luck. (It has to be noted here that I was sent a dark brown version, and I verified the colour with someone else. But what’s on sale online is definitely, I am told by the company, black).

In fact, the minimalism maybe goes a step too far. Looking at the Eskeez web site I rather preferred the zip neck option. It’s still a polo neck, but with a little more flexibility. But this is only available in large sizes and it is I am told, being discontinued.

There are two additional real plusses of the Eskeez long sleeve base layer. It is lightweight so easily packed down into a rucksack or bag if you are travelling, and it washes at a mere 40 degrees.

Eskeez also make beanies, long and short leggings and socks. I’m keen to try the beanie. Watch this space!

Conclusion

t is hard to fault the Eskeez long sleeve base layer neck. Ok, it only comes in one colour and style, and that’ll be black or black (notwithstanding my brown review sample). But it’s a base layer, so nobody is going to see it very often, right? It is inexpensive for a technical layer £45. It’s not appropriate for seriously sweat making outdoor activities in my view, but it is multi-purpose, lightweight for travelling, and very, very effective.

Pros:

  • Superb fit
  • Non chafing stitching
  • Lightweight for travel
  • Very efficient at keeping you warm

Cons:

  • No colour or design choices

 Score: 9/10

Manufacturer:  Eskeez

SRP: £45