I was thinking of doing individual reviews for the base layers in my possession, but then I got to thinking that’s just overly repetitive and it would be easier for comparison purposes if I did them all together.
As time goes on, I will continue to update this page with new base layers in my collection.
So let’s get to it!
As always, I am not affiliated with any of these brands or companies, and all of these were bought by me with my money and these are my honest opinions.
LD EQUESTRIAN TECHNICAL BASE LAYER
RRP: $70AUD (approximately)
This was my first foray into base layer ownership back in 2016. LD Equestrian is a UK based equestrian clothing company that produces some nice, unique products. The base layer cost 40 pounds (hence the approximate AUD RRP) and was purchased to match my Le Mieux Benetton Blue close contact pad which I used when competing XC.
The sapphire colour doesn’t seem to exist anymore, but LD is still making this base layer in black and it is currently on sale for ~$25AUD (14 pounds).
This is what it looks like on me (your average non-model person with no filters):
Fit: I found this base layer to be relatively true to size, if not a bit relaxed. I like my base layers to be as form fitting as possible without being uncomfortable, so if anything, this is probably bordering on more loose than I find ideal.
Fabric: I didn’t notice this too much until now (because it was the first one I had and it is only worn sparingly), but the fabric is much thinner than my other base layers, and not just in a “technical fabric” kind of way. As in, the fabric feels more “thin” than “lightweight” if you’re picking up what I am putting down. Yet again, not what I consider ideal.
Extra things: What you see is what you get here, the base layer is very plain and simple. perhaps that’s because it’s from a while ago before they became the real thing they are now? They do have the little spangly LD Equestrian logo on the left breast area, but even with minimal wear I noticed these little sparkly doo-dads didn’t have a long life which is a bit sad.
AZTEC DIAMOND WHITE BASE LAYER
Aztec Diamond seems to have quite the cult following with their base layers and other riderwear. This is another UK based company, but this time I feel safe in assuming most people have heard of their products, if not tried them. There seems to be almost no where that you can buy the AD products in Australia, which meant I had to get this posted over from the UK during a Black Friday Sale, and let me tell you – postage was steep! So, whilst this might say the RRP was only about $70, I was really up for about $80-90 once that was factored in.
On the plus side, Aztec Diamond has a serious colour range, so if you’re looking for a specific colour, chances are they have it.
How it looks on me (some filters here because I can’t find the originals):
Fit: Unlike the LD Equestrian base layers, I find the Aztec Diamond ones to be very much on the small side despite following the sizing chart on their website. As I said before, I am all about the form fitting life, but if I could pick again I would size up. It’s fine for brief rides and stints at a comp, but it’s something I would change out of, as this does not fall into my “all day comfort” bracket.
Fabric: So far, no complaints about the fabric. I tend to wear this base layer with good regularity and the logo and details on the arms are still 100% intact. It’s lightweight without feeling thin, and the sides are a ventilated mesh type affair, a bonus no matter the weather.
The one downside here is that, at least in white, this base layer is pretty see-through.
Extra Things: The base layer may look pretty simple and plain Jane from afar, but the mesh sides and the arm logos/details keep things fun for me. I am a big fan of the overall design, I just wish the sizing was a bit more accurate (although I did note the website said “updated sizing” so perhaps they have fixed this issue) and didn’t leave me feeling like I have put on some KGs.
SCHOCKEMOHLE PAGE TRAINING SHIRT
Schockemohle is usually well above what I can afford to pay for everyday training wear, but I stumbled across this little number during some Boxing Day Sales and couldn’t say no. I don’t usually go for navy/pink – not because there’s anything wrong with that but I’m usually on a gelding and I got told off for putting a gelding in pink when I was 12.
You can’t undo that sort of PTSD.
This is definitely the most expensive one on the list, and here’s a quick TL:DR for you – I would not buy this at retail price. Unfortunately, I can’t even give you an idea of what this looks like on, because I can’t find any photos or videos of me wearing it which gives you an idea of how infrequently I will reach for this base layer.
Fit: Generally okay, but like the LD, I find the body of the base layer a bit on the loose side. Interestingly enough, the cuffs of the base layer are a bit small.
Like, don’t even think about rolling your sleeves up (which is something I love to do).
Not even a little bit.
So just, don’t.
Fabric: Again, much like the LD, this fabric doesn’t just feel “lightweight”, it feels thin. And for $110 I am expecting more than some thin drapey fabric that hides nothing and shows all the things and feels like if I wash it too many times it will disintegrate.
It hasn’t yet, so some credit there, but I do not rate as highly as the others.
Extra Things: For $110, I would think this top would have more, but it doesn’t. No mesh, no cool designs to make it stand out from all the other base layers, just the little Schockemohle horse on the left breast and some cuffs with thumb holes in them. If you like simple, then this will suit you fine.
However, as I mentioned in “fit”, the cuffs are really small, or a have some super fat thumbs, because I can’t wear it there. This bothers me not at all, because I am not much of a thumb hole person regardless, but if you take that away, there’s not much happening.
HLH SIGNATURE BASE LAYER
I came across HLH Equestrian when I was shopping at the Melbourne International Horse Trials in 2019 and they had a stand. Bonus: the owner does all their own designs and is also a high level eventer/show jumper herself, so not only are you supporting someone local and in the sport, but they know the clothes actually need to be functional. I didn’t buy any on the day, because at that point I still didn’t have B back with me and was pouring every other dollar into his rehab program. I bit the bullet over the hot weather in March and ordered this base layer and the sleeveless one below.
Also, like Aztec Diamond, they have a pretty impressive colour range to pick from.
What it looks like on me:
Fit: These base layers are my ideal fit. Form fitting, but will happily wear all day long without issue.
Fabric: These base layers definitely fall into the “lightweight” category. In terms of thickness compared to others on this list, they are sturdier than the LD and Schockemohle ones, but a bit lighter than the Aztec Diamond, without crossing into thinsville.
Extra Things: If you like extra details, you’ve come to the right place because these base layers have a smorgasbord of fun extras. You’ve got the HLH logo on the left breast and right upper sleeve. You also have white mesh on the underside of the arms, which I didn’t notice at all when I bought it and thought may be a bit too eye catching for my tastes, but when I ride it doesn’t seem to show up much in photos or videos which is great.
The back of the base layer also has the nice graphic design posted above which says “It’s all about the horse” and my personal favorite feature…
…Because as you can see in my photo, I desperately need this reminder.
Once again, I am not a big fan of the thumb holes and tend not to use them, but at least if I wanted to these ones wouldn’t result in an unintentional amputation at the end of the ride.
HLH SLEEVELESS BASE LAYER
I didn’t mean to, but I saved the best for last.
This sleeveless base layer is definitely my go to – even during the colder months because it fits perfectly under a jumper without having to manage the whole double sleeve situation.
You know, the one where the under sleeve always seems to get pulled down or up by the top jumper, demanding that you go in and fix it. Don’t play games with me sir.
Obviously some climates are much colder than AUS which means they need the layers, but I don’t care, if you need summer apparel do yourself a favor and try this one because it’s a dream come true.
What it looks like on me:
Fit: You’ve probably picked up that I have lots of feelings about this. Obviously not having sleeves really simplifies the fit issues down to just the bodice, but I have absolutely zero negative things to say about the fit here.
Fabric: As with the long sleeve, I seriously enjoy the fabric for it’s sturdy but lightweight feel. The back of the base layer has some sort of transfer/logo type affair and so far we are still at 100% perfection with repeated (and often careless) washing.
Extra Things: Much like the long sleeve counterpart, this base layer has the contrast white stitching in key areas and the logo on the left breast.
However, don’t let the lack of sleeve fool you, we still have some seriously cool design features happening, including a discrete mesh panel down the back and HLH Equestrian running down along side it.
A serious bonus considering the price point.
So, the current overall rankings from most favorite to least favorite look like this:
1. HLH Equestrian
This company does a lot of things right in my books.
The fit is both true to size, and for me, very consistent. There are some variations in sizing between styles but this is all expressed upfront on their website so as long as you follow the directions, they won’t steer you wrong.
Their base layers were also the most affordable when you factor in the retail price plus shipping.
Being Australian based allows me to support local business and also means I don’t have to wait long for it to arrive in the mail.
Winning all round.
2. Aztec Diamond
AD have a cult following, and it is not hard to understand why.
However, the lack of availability in AUS means the price of the base layers is super cost prohibitive for me. When I do happen to identify a company local that stocks it, the cost still ends up quite high and they never seem to have the full range.
I also dislike the small sizing, which makes me feel like I have stacked on the weight even though I know they just run small.
3. LD Equestrian
You don’t see LD around much here in AUS, and whilst my experience with them has been fine so far, it certainly hasn’t been enough for me to make a point of seeking them out again.
They’re nice, and if I came across one at a reasonable price I would most likely go for it. Until then, it’s unlikely you’ll see me reaching for more.
For the price at which my current base layer was bought, I can’t say I regret the purchase.
That being said, you will not catch me buying one of these again unless I find it at a similarly discounted price, and even then, I’d think long and hard about it.
What are your thoughts?
Anyone agree/disagree with my feelings here?
Any brands I absolutely must try?
Let me know!