Are you looking for technical multi-sport active wear? Base layers that work for winter sports and watersports, in the hot and the cold and when exercising or chilling out? Then read this Burnt Custard base layer review, as it might be the product you are looking for.
Introducing Burnt Custard
Burnt Custard are a British brand based in their manufacturing unit – called Custard Mountain – in south west England. Uniquely in today’s day and age, not only is all of their technical active wear made in the UK but the materials they use are manufactured in Britain, just 150 miles away. This vastly reduces product miles and CO2 footprint.
The founders of Burnt Custard are into adventure sports and were fed up with paying for overpriced base layers, that only work for one sport, all look the same – black anyone? – and do not do the best job possible. So they decided they could do better and set about revolutionising the base layer industry.
They set out to make a multi-sport base layer that offers value for money whilst being highly technical, environmentally friendly, fashionable and unique. Tough but laudable goals, and part of the reason I was keen to do this Burnt Custard base layer review.
Meryl: Technical multi-sport active wear
When I first read about the MERYL® MICROFIBER material used by Burnt Custard I thought they had found something new. But it has been made in the UK for around for 60 years. I thought it was one of those things that had somehow passed me by, before releasing it is often referred to as just MicroFibre or Polyamide.
Firstly, I want to cover what is probably the only downside to Meryl. It’s a man-made polyamide fabric, which means it created in a similar way to Nylon that’s not particularly eco-friendly. But by using materials manufactured 150 miles away, the carbon footprint is vastly reduced compared to most performance fabrics that travel 10,000 miles.
From here on in it is pretty much all good news. Meryl has a soft and natural feel, it is lightweight – 25% less than cotton – but at less than 10µ thick the fibres are very fine. When woven together they provide a very durable fabric that offers high – UPF 80 of the UV 801 Standard – UVA and UVB sun protection.
Importantly for a base layer, Meryl® Microfiber is breathable, and has a high capacity for moisture transfer with only 4.5% absorption. This ensures moisture is moved away from the body to keep you dry, while maintaining a balance between ambient humidity and the optimum body temperature.
This also means that Meryl is quick drying – three times faster than the same weight of cotton, meaning it is ready to perform for you again quickly. It is also anti bacterial so you can avoid any sweaty stench, plus it’s easy to care for with no special wash cycles required.
Importantly for technical multi-sport active wear the fabric has four way stretch so it flexes with you and won’t inhibit movement. It’s elastic recovery means this technical multi-sport active wear won’t go out of shape. Finally the material provides compression, which improves performance, aids recovery and helps avoid injury.
Burnt Custard base layer review
For this Burnt Custard base layer review I have worn the top and bottoms snowboarding for around 10 days. I have worn the top when hiking and mountain biking, I even went running in the full outfit over the winter. Now that summer has arrived I have worn the top paddle boarding and kayaking.
When I first put them on, I found the Burnt Custard base layers very soft and comfy plus not as cold on the skin as some man-made fibres. They were a little on the snug side – you’d expect that with compression – but had plenty of give so were not restrictive.
While I probably would not have chosen turquoise and bright orange for my base layers you don’t have to. There are plenty of other colour options that diverge from the traditional black baselayers without being quite so in your face…
What I really like is you can custom design your own Burnt Custard technical multi-sport active wear. With eight colours to choose from you pick what you want for the left sleeve, right sleeve chest and back. For the bottoms you can choose left and right legs. This gives you 1000s of colour combinations.
Burnt Custard base layer review: Winter sports
My most common activity during this review was snowboarding. The tops and bottoms became my go to base layers in the 16/17 season. I wore them in everything from bitterly cold minus 15 degrees to stupidly hot 25 degree conditions.
In the really cold weather they give great insulation. Being tight they act as a second skin trapping a small amount of air which heats up and keeps you warm. When you do get sweaty the moisture is wicked away which stops you getting wet and cold.
When snowboarding in the Pyrenees – in hot temperatures we rarely achieve in a British summer – I wore the Burnt Custard base layers under a shell jacket and shell trousers. Although I was hot – in was 25 degrees! – and sweated profusely my skin felt dry, I felt much cooler in the Burnt Custard base layers than I did in my merino wool base layers.
The only down side for skiers and snowboarders is the bottoms only come in full leg, I much prefer 3/4 length bottoms. Tucking baselayers into your boots is not recommended, so I ended up rolling mine up over the knee. Fortunately the ankle elastic is not overly tight and had plenty of stretch so this was not a huge problem and I never noticed them when riding.
Burnt Custard base layer review: Sport and adventure
To keep fit I tend to go trail running at least once a week. During the winter this can be in some pretty dire conditions. So on an 8km run in wind and rain I wore the full Burnt Custard baselayers. Although the top was covered by my running jacket I was wearing shorts to the legs were open to the elements.
I found the Burnt Custard base layer bottoms did a good job at cutting out the worst of the wind. They also kept my legs feeling pretty dry considering the driving rain. Under my running jacket things got hot and sweaty, but again the top did a great job at moving the sweat away from my skin to keep me dry.
I have not worn the BC baselayers running more often purely because I don’t run in leggins very often. I have also worn the top on it’s own for hiking and biking during in cooler weather. They did a great job at keeping me dry and maintaining temperature, while also protecting me from the sun.You’ve been Tango’d…..
Burnt Custard base layer review: Water sports
Meryl microfibre is often used for bikinis and swimming costumes so it is safe to say it is good in water. To me the Burnt Custard top felt a bit like a rash vest for surfing, I did a little research and found some of these are made using Merly and similar Nylon microfibres.
Having said that, it still felt weird to wear my snowboarding base layer for watersports. But in the recent heatwave I wore the top when paddle boarding and kayaking. The material top did a great job at protecting me from the sun, and from the wind.
Inevitably, I ended up in the water and even with complete submersion the material did not feel soggy or get heavy like a cotton top would. Importantly, despite the water being cold the top still protected me from the wind, so I didn’t get the cold clothing feeling you can get wearing wet clothes.
Conclusion: Technical multi-sport active wear
In this Burnt Custard base layer review I set out to test if this active wear was suitable for a range of sports. I am pleased to say they most certainly do. From winter sports to water sports and sweaty days to low intensity activities they do a very good job.
With Burnt Custard being a British company, making clothing in the UK using British materials, I really hope they achieve their goal to revolutionise the base layer market. Their baselayers are excellent quality, but they’re not just technical multi-sport active wear, they also look funky and can be customised to fit your style.
We hope you found this Burnt Custard base layer review useful. If you are looking for technical multi-sport active wear then you won’t go wrong with these. Find out more at: www.burntcustard.com