The best base layer tops for horse riders need to be smart enough to work as an outer layer on sunny days, as well as being suitably fitted to work as an under layer when it is cooler. The choice of fabric is key as these items will be worn against the skin so should be comfortable and not chafe in any circumstances. Materials that wick moisture away from the skin and avoid the build up of bacteria, which can lead to unpleasant smells of body odour, are a bonus. Some base layers also offer UV protection from the sun’s rays.
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Horse & Hound has been working with a number of professional riders, trainers and yards to put a range of products to the test in a busy yard environment. And here are the results…
Meet the product tester
The tops in this group test were trialled by Harriet Rimmer, who has previously evented to BE novice and competed in dressage up to advanced medium level. Harriet now spends her time running a livery, schooling and sales yard with a particular focus on hunting.
Horse & Hound’s pick of the best base layer tops 2018
* BEST IN TEST *
“This is a particularly cool top that is very breathable and hangs off your body well. The anti-bacterial fabric meant I could ride out 6-7 racehorses and not smell at all afterwards. I loved how breathable, lightweight and comfy this top is. The design is very simple, but it performs brilliantly.”
* BEST VALUE *
“The top fitted really well with plenty of movement around the shoulders and arms. It was slightly thicker than the others and as a result was warmer. The crystal zip and reflective part on the back of the neck were really smart added extras. It’s better suited to winter wear.”
“This top is brilliant for day on the yard in the winter. I even have worn it away from the yard as is fits so well and I love the colour of it. It is fitted but it is not clingy and it didn’t ride-up or chaff. It has nice long arms and is a good length.”
“This top is very breathable and keeps you dry. It was very good to cover your arms in the warmer months. The diamante back really grew on me and I got a lot of complements while wearing it. The fit was flattering, close to the skin and looked good tucked in or pulled out.”
“This is a flattering and nicely tailored top that is very breathable. But I found the zips on the cuffs and neck did get in the way, were rather uncomfortable and offered no real benefit that I could see.”
“This top is really well made, was warm and was more like a jumper than your typical riding base layer. The sizing did come up quite big and it is less fitted than some of the others in the group test.”
Horse & Hound is in the process of testing a wide range of equestrian kit, clothing and equipment, the results of which will be published on HorseandHound.co.uk
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