Craft Cool Mesh Superlight Sleeveless Shirt For Summer Sports

24 Jul

One of the nice things about living between Chicago and Milwaukee is that our summers are usually pretty mild. However, last summer was one of the hottest on record and there were many days I had to go riding at 5:00 in the morning just to avoid the heat. This year has not been as hot, but the humidity has been unbearable. As a result, I have looked at ways to stay cool while cycling in hot weather and one of my favorite “discoveries” has been the Craft Cool Mesh Superlight Sleeveless Shirt.

Craft Cool Mesh Superlight Sleeveless Shirt

Craft Cool Mesh Superlight Sleeveless Shirt

The Craft Cool Mesh Superlight Sleeveless Shirt is a base layer—an extremely lightweight sleeveless shirt that you wear under your regular cycling jersey (or running jersey if you are so inclined). The shirt is made of 95% Polyester and 5% Lycra and woven into a lightweight mesh. Since the shirt is slightly “puffy” it forms a thin airspace between your skin and your jersey and Craft claims that this shirt will make you feel 6 degrees cooler than you would otherwise feel.

Craft Cool Mesh Superlight Sleeveless Shirt

Craft Cool Mesh Superlight Sleeveless Shirt Base Layer

How well does the Craft Cool Mesh Superlight Sleeveless Shirt work? Well, while you are moving it is incredible, but if you stand still in the direct sunlight for very long you will begin to heat up (so keep moving). The idea behind this product is that if you wick moisture away from the skin and then run air over it the process of evaporation will cool your skin down. This shirt has flat seam contour construction that reduces chaffing and the fabric resists odors (but when you get home your regular jersey will still stink).

Craft Cool Mesh Superlight Sleeveless Shirt

Close-up Of The Mesh On The Craft Cool Mesh Superlight Sleeveless Shirt

The first time I wore this base layer was on a day when the temperature was in the 90’s (33 degrees Celsius) and the humidity was around 85%—it felt like I was riding directly into a hair dryer that was set on high. I wasn’t sure if the shirt was doing anything for me until I stopped at a rest area—after a quick “nature break” I got back on the bike and it felt like the temperature dropped by several degrees! If you unzip your jersey about halfway it will scoop in a lot of air and make the process of evaporation cool you down a noticeable amount. When I got back from my ride I immediately ordered a second shirt so I would always have a clean one to wear!

The Craft Cool Mesh Superlight Sleeveless Shirt comes in five sizes (S, M, L, XL, XXL) and appears to be true to size. This shirt retails for $45, but I was able to get mime from for under $39. Craft also offers this shirt in a style made for women.


Posted by on July 24, 2013 in Product Reviews


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18 responses to “Craft Cool Mesh Superlight Sleeveless Shirt For Summer Sports

  1. sizbut

    July 24, 2013 at 6:25 AM

    Thanks for remembering to convert the temperature to real money values for us european types. Whilst adding another layer seems oxymoronic it does work.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 24, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      I try to remember to offer the conversions — but sometimes I just forget!

  2. timscyclingblog

    July 24, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    I have heard this before, I’ve never bought or tried a summer base layer. I think my biggest problem is airflow, I’m fine until I stop or hit a big slogging hill. I doubt this base layer would help me in that case, but I hope to buy one next year to try it. Half length zip jerseys are nice, you get to show off a bit of chest without any nipple. Lady cyclists should try it :-D

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 24, 2013 at 4:01 PM

      As long as you are moving fast enough to generate a bit of air-flow the shirt will work. Ans I also like being able to unzip the jersey without offending other people!

      • timscyclingblog

        July 24, 2013 at 4:48 PM

        I guess stripping off the outer jersey when ride complete or long break would work well for me too.
        It’s offensive to do anything, someone will get upset, likewise not doing something, but there’s nothing upsetting about my chest :)

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          July 24, 2013 at 10:22 PM

          My bare chest looks fine — as long as you appreciate the Wooly Mammoth look.

    • st sahm

      July 25, 2013 at 9:03 AM

      ^ haha I was wondering when a male cyclist would suggest that. The mesh would be very revealing for lady cyclist ;)

  3. the drunken cyclist

    July 24, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    I got one of these bad boys a few years ago and love it! Almost worn out now, though….

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 24, 2013 at 4:01 PM

      Glad you like it! I wish I would have had one last year when the temperature was even hotter than this year!

  4. Richard E Marion

    July 24, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Learned in 2003 working on sun broiled asphalt an undershirt is useful all year round. That particular item must roll up real SMALL. Elegant Minimalism.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 24, 2013 at 10:20 PM

      Sun broiled asphalt? WOW! That must have been one hot job!

      • Richard E Marion

        July 25, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        MHT: Airport Security. Year 2003 was when the Good Jobs were exchanged for Thirty Silver Coins. It was even worse for the Paving Contractors, who had no issues revealing body components.

  5. Charles Huss

    July 25, 2013 at 4:58 AM

    This would probably nice to have here in Florida.

  6. Still a Runner

    July 25, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    The tech improvements in clothing are amazing. BTW, when passing through the Midwest this summer, I heard a number of radio spots on Illinois upgrades to accommodate transportation for cyclists. I’d be interested to here from someone – like you – on whether you are seeing a change. You do have great tails in Northern Il/Southern WI.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      July 26, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      Chicago has made a lot of improvements to the infrastructure, but since it is still Chicago the chances of getting shot by a local thug or having your bike stolen is still very high! I live north of Chicago and try to do most of my riding in Wisconsin — they have beautiful country roads with very little traffic (and not much of a gang problem, except for a few wayward Green Bay Packer fans).

  7. seongtaek

    July 26, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    There’s a 30 day guarantee on that model. The research has proven it to drop the temperature by 6 degrees after an hour of exercise.


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