Heavy Rotation: Short Sleeve Base Layers for Indoor Training

We’ve been riding indoors a lot in the past few weeks. We suspect you might be putting in a sizeable amount of time on the trainer, too. We tried riding in just bibs for a while—no jersey, no baselayer. But we quickly abandoned that idea after sweat ended up dripping everywhere. We’ve since moved on to wearing a baselayer, and have come to really prefer ones with sleeves over tank tops for indoor training. Because all home training spaces are different, some with access to heating and cooling, and others in garages or basements with less control over temperature, here are some of our favorite sleeved base layers for a variety of climates.


Pearl Izumi Merino Base Layer


The long sleeve version of this Pearl Izumi base layer was a hit for us this winter, and the short sleeve version is impressing us just as much. This base layer blends together two different fabrics, Merino wool and polyester, integrating each fabric where it naturally excels. The Polyester is next to the skin for optimal moisture wicking, while the wool faces toward the jersey for heat retention in cool environments and odor control. Regulating temperature well, this base layer is surprisingly adaptable, and we’d use it even on warmer days. It also looks the most like a traditional workout shirt, allowing it to do double duty for cross training if needed. (We wouldn’t try showing up to a gym with a mesh base layer, but that’s just us.)

$80; pearlizumi.com

Giordana FR-C Pro Short Sleeve

The FR-C Pro is Giordana’s most high-end and lightest base layer. We’ve spent plenty of time with this layer on the most scorching, humid days of the summer, and it has always performed admirably. Starting at 65 grams for the smallest size, this race-tight base layer is also hardly noticeable while riding, perhaps the best compliment you can give a base. Occupying the top end of Giordana’s range, it’s not cheap though.

$110; giordanacycling.com

Pactimo High Grade Wool Base Layer 

Pactimo makes an excellent collection of base layers for all seasons. One of our longtime favorite winter to early spring base layers from this Colorado-based brand is the High Grade Wool. It pairs well with winter jackets to help you handle temperatures from 30°F to 60°F, but on its own we find it breathable enough to be perfect for trainer sessions in rooms that are into the 70°F range. And like the Pearl Izumi Merino base layer, the High Grade Wool looks more like a traditional workout shirt, and could potentially be used for other cross training while you’re stuck inside.

$80; pactimo.com