Duofold makes a whole bunch of different kinds of base layer garments. This review looks at the Duofold Originals, which are more along the lines of traditional long underwear, only with a whole lot of improvements.
Wicking Power - Who'da Thought It?
The best thing that we found in our test of the Duofold Originals is its two-layer construction. The 100% cotton inner layer provides warmth, while the outer layer, a blend of cotton, merino wool and nylon provides a way to pull moisture out and away from the body.
Actually the whole concept seemed a bit nuts to me at first. I wore the garments as base layer for both commuter cycling and moderate outdoor activity (hiking) and I was a bit concerned that the inner cotton layer might hold more moisture than you'd want. But what happened was that the cotton layer actually stayed drier than expected, because the merino wool layer pulled the moisture through.
Saying it another way, when I got to work from my commute, a lusty 15-minute bike ride, the inner cotton layer was dry and the outer layer was what had drawn the dampness from my perspiration, which is exactly what you want to happen.
Comfortable Styling and Fit
Another good thing about the Duofold Originals is that you get what you expect. If you ever wear long underwear, you have a sense for how they should feel and ride on you. The Duofold Originals meet that expectation and actually surpass it in that Duofold has done a nice job in both the design of the waistband and cuffs, which are stretchy and yet snug, wide enough to hold and not be binding. Plus, Duofold has paid attention to the other details, including a fly design that allows you to actually take care of your business when the time comes. I've worn other long underwear that Harry Houdini wouldn't be able to get himself out of, if you know what I mean. The flap is nice and long enough to be openly accessible, without being droopy or revealing.
Summary - Duofold Originals Are a Winner
For the right kind of activity, Duofold Originals are going to be a very good choice. I'm talking here about normal longjohn stuff, hiking, camping, light commuting, etc., just being outdoors in cooler temps. The bulkier nature of the two layers means its not going to give a particularly sleek fit, but that's also part of what makes it so warm. Plus, unless it's a very cold day, if you're going at it with any serious and extended effort, you'll heat up quick in these and quite possibly get too warm. A nice choice for a thinner garment if that's your thing for instance, is the Duofold Varitherm, a high-tech blend of wool and synthetics that is a lot like a warmer version of UnderArmor.
Regardless of what you choose, keep in mind that these base layer garments are not designed with cycling-specific activity in mind. They are a good choice for moderate cycling activity in cooler and cold weather, i.e., wearing under normal clothes for an easy commute or relaxed spin on your bike, where you're out for a casual ride and want to stay warm but not get too hot.