Base layers are a critical component to layering for cold weather riding. They serve the dual purpose of providing some insulation while wicking sweat away from your skin to keep you dry. I own several base layers for different conditions, but my favorite for cold weather riding is the Craft Active Short Sleeve.
This isn’t a new product, but it does have a new name. Craft’s legendary Pro Zero products will now be known as Active for 2013 and beyond. this base layer is made of a thin, lightweight and extremely elastic fabric that is ideal for a wide temperature range. The fabric and weave are designed to hold heated air next to your body just long enough to keep you warm, but not long enough that your skin gets wet with perspiration. I wear it with a jersey and arm warmers for temps in the high 50s or low 60s. I’ll add a vest if it’s in the low 50s and a jacket for anything below 50. The fit is skin-tight and hardly adds any bulk so it fits under any jersey. Also check out Active Extreme products, which breathe better and aren’t quite as warm as Active base layers, making them even more versatile. But for truly cold winter rides, Craft’s Active Base Layer is always the first thing I pull out of my closet.