When you buy a special item to add to your collection it is a nice bonus when it arrives in its own custom box. I see this leaning towards a nice stocking filler for a grown up cyclist!
The Castelli Flanders Base Layer features perforated 100% polyester mesh underarms for additional cooling. On my first test ride it was 9 degrees Celsius which isn't overly cold, but cold enough to layer up, and I found that the mesh does allow your arms to breathe.
As with most base layers, not many people will actually see it when you're wearing it, which is a shame as this is some seriously stylish underwear. The detail on the back has the same attention as you would expect from a jersey.
This top has a very long body which is just what you want from a base layer. There's nothing worse than a cold midriff when your top rides up as you're cycling! The fit is snug and follows the contours of a typical cyclist's frame.
As this top is so lightweight it is very quick to dry; I put it on a radiator and it was dry in a few minutes. The lightweight design also means that you will forget you are wearing it so it isn't big and bulky under the rest of your cycling wear. It dos not feel like a thermal item of clothing if that is what you are used to and if you are riding in deep winter, you'll want to wear two of these. As Castelli recommend, doubling base layers is very effective.
Flanders is a town in Belgium that acts as the perfect location for cyclists of all levels and abilities. Visit in spring for the Tour of Flanders, famous for the cobbled climbs. Riding that takes in history, beautiful scenery, and plenty of climbs and amazing roads. If you visit in the spring or winter be sure to take your new matching Castelli base layer.
Overall this is an excellent top. Take care removing it when you are hot and sweaty as it clings to your skin. It is pretty thin and I can imagine if you pull it off in a hurry it could tear.