Craft Active Extreme Concept Piece Base Layer Review
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The key to any cold-weather clothing system starts with having the right the base layers. Swedish brand CRAFT has been pioneering functional apparel for serious athletes since 1977, focusing on the optimization of innovative material and construction technologies. This focus comes together in the Active Extreme Concept Piece long sleeve baselayer, designed for perfect functionality and total freedom of movement for cyclists.
Craft Active Extreme Concept Base Layer Performance
There are two different fabrics that comprise the Craft Active Extreme Concept Piece: Zero Extreme fabric is used to keep chilly temps at bay while targeted panels of Superlight Mesh allow heat to escape where needed. Craft uses what they call “body mapping” to determine the best locations for each material, and the concept seems to work. Despite the ultra-light weight of the material, this base layer feels warm on my skin in cold weather. I’ve been wearing it on “dawn patrol” mountain bike rides in Colorado during the months of December and January, and the warmth difference between this base layer and others is noticeable. And when the effort gets really high and I start to sweat, I can feel the Craft Active Extreme Concept Piece pulling perspiration away from my body. Staying dry in cold temperatures equals winning.
Fits and Feels Like a Second Skin
My girlfriend and I took to calling the Craft Active Extreme Concept Piece the “Naked Shirt” because it fit so snugly, plus you could see through the mesh parts. It’s a thin base layer and truly fits like a second skin, very ergonomic with a slight amount of compression to it. The material is extremely comfortable, soft enough to the touch that it doesn’t chafe or rub harshly. And while it does fit tightly, the material stretches readily and doesn’t feel constrictive. I’m 6’2″ and roughly 190-195 pounds and the XL fits me, with plenty of length as well as enough width to accommodate my fairly wide shoulders. The only criticism I have of this base layer is the neck. It has a wide, low neckline that isn’t like any other base layer (or shirt) I own, and took some getting used to. It still isn’t completely comfortable to me, but I realize others probably won’t have this issue at all. Craft also included their Moving Wing panel design in the Active Extreme Concept Piece, which allows ambulatory freedom based on a cyclists movements, and even though the fit is tight I can feel the difference in shoulder and arm movement.
Last Pass on Craft Extreme Base Layer
At nearly $80, the Craft Active Extreme Concept Piece long sleeve base layer is certainly not the least expensive base layer you can buy. But it is a solid performer for cyclists looking for an edge in cold weather to race faster than ever. For more info on the Extreme Base Layer and other Craft gear, visit www.craftsports.us or www.backcountry.com/craftsports. The Active Extreme Concept Piece is available in black and white.