By Mike Dayton
"Super soft 270g Merino wool provides a terrific base layer for early and late season cycling. Cut long in the back and tapered slightly in the front, we've got you covered where you need to be. Ample, long cuff fits snuggly to stay in place under your jersey or trainer. All stress seams reinforced and safety stitched; 2 1/2-inch length cuff. 100% Merino wool. Made in the USA. Athletic Fit."
The Joneswares shirt, featuring a flat weave, was soft and warm right out of the bag. The shirt has a reasonably snug fit that was comfortable from the moment I slipped it on.
Like the Boure base layer, this one has a longer tail. It also has hefty cuffs, something lacked by my base layers from another maker. The result is that the sleeves of those shirts have stretched over time and are three inches longer.
I have several years of experience with Merino wool products, and I don't need tea leaves to predict the future for the Joneswares shirt. It will soon be in heavy rotation as part of my winter wardrobe, both on and off the bike. And I'll not be surprised when that heavy use robs it of its shape.
The Bour base layer remains something of a mystery. Has that outfit found a way to curb the inevitable stretching? There's only one way to find out.
Remember to heed care instructions. These shirts are machine washable, but both companies recommend cold water, the delicate cycle and line-drying. That's probably not very different from how you handle your good cycling clothes.
Each shirt comes in at just under $70. That will be money well spent if you ride in colder temperatures from fall into spring. With proper care, both of these base layers should work well and last for years.