Grinta Gear Test - Drynamo Baselayer - By Roel van Schalen
Posted on January 25 2021
A completely new brand in a segment that is already well populated, that's interesting. Because to make a difference, you have to come from a good family.
Jos Ruiterman believes in any case and he brings a cartload of experience and knowledge from previous professional lives. He owned a British lace factory and worked for many years as a product developer / innovator at a major manufacturer in Asia, including Nike in its customer base. The close cooperation with the manufacturers of yarns and textiles and the insight into the most modern production techniques means that Ruiterman has all the tools in hand to go his own way. His aim with Megmeister is to make the very best undershirt on the market. Is that still possible, with all those good products that already exist? Ruiterman thinks so, because as a designer he did not give up all his ideas to the greater honour and glory of his employer, but kept some hunches to himself.
One of Megmeister's strengths is the fit. According to Ruiterman, sportswear is still perceived by many people as tight, and therefore less comfortable. To achieve an optimal fit, the best yarns for sport-specific underwear were sought together with yarn suppliers and the Dutch opted for a completely seamless construction. So no loose panels stitched together, but a garment manufactured without a needle and thread that is equally elastic in all directions and fits perfectly around the body. You feel that immediately when you put it on. The shirt is not tight anywhere and allows you complete freedom of movement. It is also noticeable that borders are missing everywhere. The neckline looks like it was cut from the fabric. There is also no standard collar or hem at the ends of the sleeves and the bottom, although the edges are less 'tight' woven than the rest of the shirt and still provide a finish. It all feels nice and invisible on your body, because there is nothing that can irritate your skin. Another form of comfort comes from the hypo-allergenic yarn: it does not retain bacteria and therefore does not smell stale.
The most important asset of an undershirt should be that sweat is quickly wicked away so that you maintain a dry feeling on your body. Megmeister weaves different layers into its shirts for this purpose. In my test shirt with long sleeves, there are clear zones on the back and under the armpits with a very openwork structure. Because the Drynamo fibres do not absorb moisture, sweat can quickly find its way out through those openings. It worked fine for me if the sweat production remained at a moderate level, in the cold of the morning for example. However, if the outside temperature is above ten degrees or if the body reaches operating temperature after the warm-up minutes and has to lose more and more heat while exercising, then the shirt can no longer keep up with my transpiration speed. Not that another undershirt has ever succeeded, but you always hope that the wonders are not over.
in the cold of the last few weeks, the Megmeister is so nice and warm at the start of the bike rides (it also feels much thicker than other undershirts) that the spicy morning cold cannot hurt you. You get to the right temperature comfortably and don't have to get through that sour apple from the first cutting kilometers on Sunday morning. But at the first supply post you quickly notice that well-known clammy feeling between your shoulder blades, which encourages you to continue cycling quickly, because you don't want to feel even more shivery.
Left: openwork areas on the back. Right: The brand name is on the left sleeve.
I also did a few endurance runs in the Megmeister long-sleeved shirt and I really liked it. When running, you get up to temperature faster (the effort is more intensive and the loss of body heat from airflow is less at lower speed, so it feels warmer from the start), so I didn't put on a jacket (only the undershirt). As a result, sweat vapour can immediately escape from the shirt, unlike with cycling, where a cycling jacket prevents the free passage of perspiration moisture. Because the Drynamo Winter Base Layer dries super fast, it takes a long time for the shirt to be saturated and you therefore keep a dry feeling for longer with running than with cycling.
An asset that Megmeister can / must develop even further is the design. That is not exactly exciting yet, although the logos / brand name is used in an original way. The brand logo is beautifully woven inconspicuously on the chest side, the brand name asymmetrically striking at the bottom of the left sleeve.
The best undershirt for cyclists is a title that cannot be obtained just like that. After all, great ambitions generate high expectations. And those must first become reality. Megmeister is doing very well as a debutant in cycling clothing, with a fit that forces abdication from the established order. Noticed entrant! However, do not expect groundbreaking moisture removal (as I secretly did) because Megmeister cannot fulfill that claim either. They can rightly claim that their Drynamo cannot absorb moisture and therefore dries super fast, thus offering the best possible moisture removal. But just as the claim of eyewear manufacturers that their lenses will never work again and again turns out to be utopian, Megmeister has not yet invented the miracle material that keeps your skin completely dry. That does not alter the fact that Megmeister has some moisture-wicking capacity on par with the recognised superpowers in the underwear segment, especially the brands from Sweden. The conclusion is that the undergarments world has a formidable competitor.