Craft Active Extreme Crewneck test

A high quality base layer is an essential item of clothing if you’re going to tackle wintery conditions and the Craft Active Extreme is a very good example of the breed you need. It’s insulating and regulates body temperature well, stays dry and is soft next to the skin.

Craft Zero Extreme Crewneck base layer – David Arthur’s been testing one of these for two years! That’s devotion folks.
The 2013 model is called the Active Extreme, Dave’s reluctantly retired this one in its favour and has found it every bit as good.

Craft, as a Swedish company, know a thing or two about dealing with the cold, and this shows in their excellent range of clothing. The base layers are their standout products and the Extreme Crewneck is an excellent choice for winter conditions.

I’ve actually been wearing these base layers for a couple of years (previously called the Zero Extreme, but they’re the same), so it’s a proper long-term test. I’m usually a merino wool fan, but the Hexa channeled synthetic fabric that Craft use is amazingly soft next to the skin. The fabric has hollow fibres that along with the channels help to pull sweat away from the skin and pass it to the next layer to deal with. Despite the hardest riding I can manage the base layer remains dry, where other base layers would be saturated from the efforts.

The fit with Craft’s base layers is on the ‘second skin’ end of the scale. Tight but very cosy.

A base layer needs to fit well to work, the material needs to be in full contact with the skin for it to work effectively. In this regard the Craft is excellent, with a snug fit enhanced by its seamless construction and flatlock stitches. It’s not the most flattering top if you’re carrying a few extra pounds, but no one is going to see it when it’s hidden under a jacket anyway.

The arms are a good length, the waist is low enough for overlap with your shorts and it’s a bit lower at the back, plus the high neck keeps drafts out without being uncomfortable.

Hexa channeled synthetic fabric works brilliantly and is soft next to the skin.

Verdict

One of the best base layers I’ve tested. Insulating, comfortable and very effective in keeping winter conditions at bay

Price: £42.00
More information: Craft Active Extreme Crewneck

Pros

Comfortable
Wicks sweat very well
Reasonable price

Cons

None that I can think of!

What Craft say:

- Comforts your body in zones you need it
- Soft and breathable crewneck
- Seamless torso, ergonomic fit
- Thin, lightweight and extremely elastic
- Flatlock seams that follow body movement
- Perfect cool and excellent dry effect

  1. Steve

    I have the version of this with the windstopper front panel. Agree with all of the comments about plus for Road cycling the winstopper panel really prevents the cold getting to your chest on long descents.

    An excellent top.

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