Ready to get dirty.
Be prepared for your next 'cross race with Santini's DirtShell Cyclo-Cross Suit. Made for chilly mornings and wet, muddy racing, the DirtShell, as its name suggests, is made with Santini's AcquaZero thermofleece, which repels water and dirt so you don't spend your race shivering and uncomfortable. The treated outer layer blocks out continuous rain or snow for up to 60 minutes, while the fleece inner layer creates an insulating microclimate of warm air next to your skin to regulate your body temperature while you race. The fabric also works to continuously wick moisture away from your skin so it can evaporate at the surface, saving you from working up a damp chill a few laps into your race.
As you'd expect from a race suit, the DirtShell has a contoured fit designed to stay in place and adapt to the demands of a 'cross course whether you're riding through a sandpit or shouldering your bike to navigate a steep run-up. Santini's included GIT Chamois features variable cushioning and a signature twist gel silicone core to provide strategic support in the areas you need it most. A full-length zipper allows you to make temperature adjustments as you warm up, while the high collar blocks out errant snowflakes and raindrops.
- Item #SAN004B
- Q & A
Very Nice Skinsuit!
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
I've been looking for a new long sleeve skinsuit for cold weather layering and this one definitely fits the bill. I don't do cyclocross, just winter road rides, but this works just as well for that as a base layer.
The design is sharp without being flashy, and there's not so much branding that it makes you look like you're riding for the shop team. Fit is excellent according to the size chart, at least for the taller/heavier end. It really doesn't feel like I'm wearing anything at all, and at the same time it doesn't slip and slide around. It is a little hard to get over the shoulders, but that's typical for skinsuits, especially when they're new. Overall build quality looks great, stitching is tight and clean and nothing is mis-aligned or sloppy.
There's a flap behind the top of the zipper to prevent chafing, which is nice, though a full-length flap behind the whole zipper would be a nice additional touch to keep wind out. I do like that the zipper stops about 1 1/2" above the seam between the suit's top and bottom, which is usually a weak spot. The back pockets are a bit high and not super deep, because of the design constraints of a skinsuit, but they're snug so no worries about anything jumping out. I just wouldn't try to stuff a vest or windbreaker back there.
The chamois is actually one of the most comfortable I've ridden, at least for the 2 hours I put in on it so far. It's not too thick but it's dense so it has good support. I'm definitely impressed, since I usually feel some discomfort after just an hour.
Most importantly, this is for sure a warm skinsuit. As described it's all fleece-lined lycra. It's not a wind shell, but I'd say it'll work in temperatures 10-15 degrees colder than a typical lycra skinsuit would. It does repel water too. If you splash water on it you'll see it bead and run off. Time will tell how long that lasts after multiple washings. It does breathe well though, so you don't have to worry too much about sweating.
This is definitely a keeper, and it's reasonably priced for what it is.