Dave Lomax explains the importance of starting your ADV Layering with a good base layer

One of the most versatile pieces of equipment on any of my trips is a simple tube of material often called a ‘Buff’. In fact they are so versatile that these are one of the few pieces of equipment that carry 2 of!

Used to clean goggles, keep your neck warm, keep dust out of your mouth whilst riding, keep you head warm (as a hat), keep your head cool (as a base layer) and protect my white neck from the sun. Use two of them, one for your face, one for your head. Use them around your knees to protect from knee armour rubbing, use them as a makeshift sling, use them as a sweatband on your wrist...the list is endless and I am always finding new uses for them.

The ‘Buff’ should form the top part of your base layer system, something that is only too often misunderstood.

Your base layer system is the first layer of clothing you put on from being naked. Its job is a vital one. It’s responsible for enhancing your body’s natural ability to keep you cool when it’s hot and keep you warm when it’s cold. And here’s the really scary bit. If you use the wrong type of base layer it doesn’t matter how fancy or how much you spend on the other parts of your clothing system...THEY WILL NOT WORK properly!

So, what’s a good base layer system?

A good base layer system is one that in the cold weather traps warm air next to your skin, but still allows your body to ‘breathe’ and sweat normally. In hot weather when your body starts to sweat in a bid to cool itself, your base layers should help move your sweat away from your body to keep you comfortable, but also help spread your sweat droplets over a larger area than usual making it evaporate faster and thus keep you cooler. Oh, and it goes without saying, they should be super comfortable.

Effective base layers are usually made from either synthetic materials or merino wool. NEVER from cotton. There are many manufacturers of base layers and many different styles, whatever you do, make sure you choose something that will enhance your body’s capabilities and work with your other clothing layers. Saving money by throwing on an old t-shirt may well be the worst decision you ever make!


The Core Long Sleeve is a base layer designed for adventure motorcyclists. It features a longer body length that stays tucked into your trousers.

Odoo • Text and Image
What is ADV Layering?
Dave Lomax spent a month adventure riding in Argentina to test the new ADV Spec layering system