Rain or shine, warm or cold, a base layer is what every solid layering system should start with. Still, while it’s important in the summer, it’s really the winter when the right base layer is vitally important. Choose right and you can extend summer gear deeper into the cold months or add another layer when you’ve got every piece of clothing you own layered on top. Whatever your need, there are a lot of options. For that reason, we’ve got a solid lineup across a wide range of uses in our best cycling base layers buyers guide.
One, less common, class of base layer is the integrated deep winter design. The idea is to integrate needs that often require multiple pieces of gear and it’s a style that I tend to search out for my coldest winter rides. PAS Normal has a new entry into this category called the Thermal Long Sleeve Windproof base layer and I had a chance to put it to the test. Not only that but as luck would have it, I had my hands on this piece during an atmospheric river. With winds high and rain dumping down, I settled in for some testing. Keep reading to see what I liked, or didn’t like, about this new PAS Normal base layer.
Design and aesthetics
Realistically, the PAS Normal Thermal Long Sleeve Windproof Base Layer is a simple design. The colours offered are Navy (seen here, but it looks a little grey) and Olive and the patterning isn’t complex. There’s a front panel and a rear panel that meet at the shoulders plus there’s a single panel for each side. The sleeves are both a single piece of fabric as well. The rear has a bit of a drop tail and there’s also vertical text that reads “Road to Nowhere” from top to bottom. All the seams use flatlock stitching and the hems are simply folded over before receiving a seam.
The fabric is the first detail where things start to get a little more complicated. PAS Normal uses a Polartec fabric called Power Wool. The skin facing side has rows of lofted merino wool. It has a certain natural quality to the feel but it’s also soft and warm. Then, for the outer, Polartec uses a synthetic material. This “bi-component” design lends the durability and shape retention of the synthetic but keeps it feeling like a natural merino wool fabric.
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