Feeling the chill? In case you are anticipating on keeping your healthiness stable throughout these frosty and dim winter months, then you will need the right base layer for you. There are a lot of ways to maintain your core body temperature where it ought to be for a wide range of games and work out, or just for simply going ahead to the shops to purchase brandy.
Getting the right and the best base layer for men when partaking in any outdoors, or when on the slope, is very important. A good base layer is essential for maintaining the appropriate body temperature and will wick-off moisture from the skin to put a stop to cold and dampness setting in. A base layer can be both tops and bottoms.
For a potential buyer, a base layer is precisely what it sounds like. It is the layer you put on first before putting on any other thing and is responsible for keeping your body warm. Picking a base layer is not extremely complex. You have an option to choose synthetic, merino wool or a poly/wool mix. The merino kind has a tendency of being better at keeping you warm and dry and feel more pleasant against the skin.
In this article, we are going to discuss more on the base layer types available, the features to consider when buying a base layer, and we are going to take you through the reviews on some of the best brands available on the market today.
|Product Name||Material||Specific Features||Weight||Price|
|Icebreaker Oasis||100% Merino wool||Slim base layer, lightweight, breathable, naturally odor-resistant, offset shoulder seams, anti-chafe seams, drop-tail hem||12.2 oz||Check price on Amazon|
|Arcteryx Rho AR||100% Polyester||Trim fit, midweight dampness wicking fabric, flatlock construction enhances next-to-skin comfort, zip neck, taller neckline gives warmth, single laminated chest pocket||11.2 oz||Check price on Amazon|
|Tesla Coldgear||87% Polyester and 13% spandex||Fleece lining, great elasticity, moisture sensing, Quicktime dry, two-way air circulation, short-sleeved, loose fit shirts||3.2 oz||Check price on Amazon|
|Smartwool SW0SS603||100% Merino wool||Shoulder panels dispose of top shoulder creases for a form fit, Interlock weave, Flatlock seam construction intended to dispense chafing, 10″ (25 cm) focus front zipper||3.2 oz||Check price on Amazon|
|ColdPruf DPEXYBA||60% Combed ring spun cotton, and 40% polyester||Therma-choice system, flat seam, elongated tail and tagless for solace, true sizing for perfect fit, exceptional softness||9.6 oz||Check price on Amazon|
|Drskin 34MZB6||8% Spandex and 92% polyester||Water diffusive layer, moisture sensing, water metastases layer, heat retention in winter, water absorption layer, Quicktime dry, two-way air circulation, 98.8% UV blocking, cool in the summer||2.4 oz||Check price on Amazon|
|Coldpruf Enthusiast||100% Polypropylene||Tagless shirt with level seams, long sleeves, crew-neck base layer top, extended tail and two layers for added heat, accurate sizing, ColdPruf technical fiber polyester, Silvadur intelligent freshness||8.8 oz||Check price on Amazon|
|Helly Hansen Warm Crew||100% Wool||Non-itch, regular fit, inner Lifa strands guarantee that you remain dry in all conditions, low-bulk cuffs, outer layer of soft merino fleece includes warmth and comfort||8 oz||Check price on Amazon|
Features to Consider Before Buying
The basic importance of the base layer is actually to keep you dry when sweating, by wicking-off the sweat moisture away from your skin. They likewise give an insulation layer, and you can tailor the extent of insulation by the one you pick.
As the base layer has a close contact with the skin, the comfort is quite important, so, it merits putting resources into a superb base layer. You do not want to experience any form of irritation when you are performing your outdoor activities. In order to get a high-quality base layer, you need to consider the following basic factors:
Most base layers arrive with a wide range of materials, falling into 2 main categories i.e. natural and man-made materials. Merino wool is known as the most well-known fabric base layer. Merino wool is incredible in light of the fact that it adapts to wide temperature ranges and does not irritate you when you get sweat-soaked, and it is very soft when close to the skin. Base layer comes in various weights to suit various temperature ranges, from lightweight to warm insulation.
Not all the merino base layers are similar in nature, there are diverse merino weights, and some are made with 100% merino wool while some consolidate merino with some other material like polyester or polyamide to give additional stretch for a good shape and greater durability, so you obtain the best one, with the speedier drying period of the man-made fabric. Such kind of material blends is likewise easier to maintain than 100percent merino wool base layer types.
If you’re cycling every day, or you are doing it twice every day since you are traveling to the workplace, then a merino base layer type has the benefit that you can put it on for two or three rides before it needs to be washed. Simply hang the base layer outside to dry and it will definitely be ready again.
Man-made synthetic base layers such as polyester and polypropylene are generally better at wicking-off sweat and are typically much lighter, and most people do enjoy the way they feel when close to the skin. Such materials get to be malodorous when you sweat, however, so you absolutely can’t put them on for more than one rides, yet recent material advancements have seen this turn out to be less of an issue unlike what it used to be.
Man-made materials are generally better at really wicking-off from the skin. Though merino clutches the moisture (however, holds heat so does not get cold), man-made materials give amazing wicking features and don’t absorb much water. They dry faster, so are perfect for highly intense workouts. Man-made material base layers are additionally less weighty and typically give a nearer fit on the body compared to merino base layer types.
Aside from the choice of material, base layers are always available in an extensive thickness range, from lighter summer tops to stout Arctic-ready base layers. You have to consider the normal temperature that you are planning on performing your outdoors in, the intensity and duration of your activities, and what base layers you are planning on wearing on top, to help you choose what base layer is ideal for you.
Shape and Fit
For a base layer to carry out its job very well, the material is required to sit next to the skin. In case you are exercising at a lower intensity, than a loose-fitting base layer might be absolutely fine, however, for a higher tempo workout, when you expect to bring out a lot of sweat, search for a close-fitting base layer kind.
The more stretch a textile is, the better the fit. Additionally, search for astutely set seams, to prevent uneasiness, the base layer will direct the solace of your entire outfit so check the internal parts carefully. Comfort is quite essential and it is not only the material being soft beside the skin that is imperative, it is additionally worth searching for a base layer level seams and no names or labels, anything that can bring about inconvenience or irritation.
Most base layers possess necklines yet some much more heavy-duty base layers can have elongated necks to give more insulation on chilly days. Some base layers possess a zipped neck, which can be valuable to ventilation on longer trips or if you get yourself overdressed.
Additionally, check the arm’s length on a long sleeve base layer, you may not like them being short on your wrist, however, you likewise don’t need any material packing up in the sleeves of your pullover or coat. Another thing to take note of is the length.
There are some base layers that have more length in order for you to get a nice overlap with your kiddie apron tights, giving a touch of additional insulation around your lower waist. Some base layers are slightly lower at the back likewise to ensure there is zero chance of uncovered skin when squatted over the handlebars.
Base Layer Weights
With each season comes another program of outdoor exercises that require a specific clothing. Base layers come along in all sizes, shapes and, in particular, weights to accommodate the wide range of temperatures and activities.
Obviously, the thinner the base layer fabric, the better it wicks off sweat and also the speedier it dries. Most athletes incline to a light base layer against the skin, despite the fact that it gives minimal insulation level. In winter, a Nordic skier may prefer the combination of base layers by putting on a lightweight shirt, beneath a midweight or heavyweight layer.
Search for a cozy that likewise feels great against the skin. While lightweight base layers are intended to be a piece of a layering framework, they can, in any case, be worn as independent pieces in mellow to cool conditions to the extent of your high-intense exercises, for example, running.
These base layer will ordinarily go about as a first alongside skin layer, yet may likewise fill in as a second base layer of a lightweight material. Giving both moisture wicking and insulation, midweight materials blend well with layered clothing, while likewise giving protection tolerably icy temperatures when consolidated with medium activity levels.
Heavyweight materials are intended for cool conditions, regardless of how inactive or extraordinary your schedule might be. Not ordinarily worn first, heavyweight base layers have a tendency of accompanying lighter materials, including pure insulation.
Their wicking features are few since moisture regulation isn’t a top need. Heavy weight materials are thick and ordinarily fall freely on the body.
Layer for Your Activity
You also need to know what type of adventure you are planning on doing, as this also determines the final choice of the base layer you make.
Odor resistance is a very important issue, particularly on long outings. Climbing, hiking, Snowshoeing for quite a long time at any given moment is going to produce sweat and synthetic materials will start to sweat as you proceed on your trip.
Attempt to stay with wool as your base layer amid extreme outdoor trips. The material possesses a typical odor resistance, and in addition a unique capacity to conceal grime and dirt. The wool blend of breathable absorption and thick insulation, makes it the ideal alternative for keeping you dry while you are staying warm.
Recreational Snow Sports
As specified earlier, exercises that oblige you to walk through snow banks and rough landscapes will smolder more calories, so it is quite important that when you are out Snowshoeing or skiing over a snowy edge, you keep in mind to layer intensely.
Start with no less than two layers and add or remove depending on your activity level. Obviously, always keep no less than a single layer on, ideally something warm and thick, just like wool – simply ensure it is a cozy fit. Your second base layer can be looser fleece or, maybe, a synthetic material. It is never an awful thought to take along a day pack for keeping and shedding base layers as required.
Upper Body Activities
Making use of your upper torso, particularly when climbing, will certainly result in the lactic acid development in your muscles which therefore bring about swelling. Make sure that you pick a thicker fabric with a loose-fitting, similar to some wool, particularly in the chest areas and the armpit.
If you are inclined to a synthetic material, which would likewise be a satisfactory protection, search for makers who have altered seams to control chaffing – usually regarded to as flatlock seams.
Just in case the temperatures are moderately cold, your hiking base layer should be perfectly sized and warm. About all of the conventional base materials, excluding cotton – unless when it comes to a warmer climate – offer effective options. Bamboo provides extreme comfort and moderate protection. Silk is pretty much smooth to the skin and possesses remarkable wicking capacities. Also, both wool and synthetic base layers offer maximum comfort and warmth.
Discovering a backpacking base layer means recognizing a material that will meet the versatility of your particular adventure. If you hope to be in various climate ranges, pick a material that is likewise suited – both wool and synthetic base layers are highly recommended.
Disregard the breathability of your material, as the backpack is probably going to absorb sweat in any case, yet consider weight and comfort for longer trips. The ability of wool to retain much moisture without becoming noticeably clammy, makes it the most inviting options for long trips.
Warmth is a critical point of consideration when choosing base layers, however, it shouldn’t be the only factor. Obviously, if warmth were the only factors that mattered most, we would definitely be sweating excessively in down filled, one-piece jumpsuits. However, warmth must be joined with breathability to make a viable layer that can be worn serenely when resting or active.
The fit of the base layer can likewise have an expanded impact on the insulation it gives, with short or baggy fits being less viable than cozier, longer cuts. Take note of these factors while choosing the right base layer for men. High-intense exercises or hotter temperatures might be better appreciated in a lower warmth scoring item. Long underwear shouldn’t be excessively hot, or excessively cold, but rather right.
Breathability and warmth go hand in hand. While lying on the lounge chair, warm and comfortable attire is the bomb. In any case, when moving, your body begins to warm up, and that warmth needs to get away, or you will be caught in a bad dream of sweat.
Breathability is the capacity of a material (for this situation, base layer fabric) to enable moisture to penetrate through it, made conceivable by the typical movement of moist and hot air between your skin and within your shirt to a region of cooler, drier air at the outward part of your shirt.
Accordingly, a breathable shirt will enable the moist air created from sweat to go through the material and straight into the outdoor condition without soaking the fabric. A shirt that is not breathable will keep the moisture from circumventing, making it condense on the inner part of the clothing. A non-breathable base layer would certainly be hopelessly damp with sweat, and so, dangerous in chilly conditions.
Top Products on the Today’s Market
In this section, we will talk about the best products that are available on the market. All the important features of each product have been reviewed, and all you need to do is to find the one that best suits your personal needs.
Price: $40 – $90
Dimensions: 10.7 x 6.1 x 1.7 inches
Weight: 12.2 ounces
Specific features: 200 g/m2 merino fleece, 100% Merino wool, slim base layer, lightweight, breathable, naturally odor-resistant, offset shoulder seams, anti-chafe seams, drop-tail hem
Best use: Snow sports, travel and active lifestyle, outdoors and hiking
Description: The Icebreaker Oasis Crewe Top is as versatile as any other base layer brand. It is produced using 100% merino wool, it is extremely soft, and has a nice performance fit that functions well for cool-weather hiking and skiing. And as a result of the clean styling and wide range of colors and patterns, you can easily put it on as an independent piece.
This base layer brand, is comfortable, wick off moisture well, so you don’t have to worry about getting wet if your activities become more powerful and you start sweating more. Also important to mention that this base layer does not attract odor like synthetics.
However, one of the downsides of this product is that its dense weave doesn’t discharge hot air pretty much as efficiently, but still, it doesn’t make you feel muggy and irritating when you are working up a sweat. Additionally, this base layer gives brand gives a next-to-skin softness.
- Completely made of Merino wool
- Great insulation properties
- Highly wicking
- Rather expensive
- Not that breathable
Related: For a total body warmth during your winter outdoor activities, we recommend the Icebreaker 101266 Everyday Leggings. This way, your entire body will be insulated from the cold, yet it will still be able to breath and not sweat excessively regardless of the strength of your activity.
Price: $118 – $154
Dimension: 15 x 12 x 3 inches
Weight: 11.2 ounces
Specific features: 100% polyester, trim fit, midweight dampness wicking fabric, Flatlock construction enhances next-to-skin comfort, zip neck, taller neckline gives warmth, single laminated chest pocket
Best use: Hiking and outdoor traveling
Description: The Arcteryx RHO AR Zip Neck is a synthetic, midweight base layer top that can likewise serve as a mid-layer. It provides great warmth and has a comfortable and soft inside so that it really feels nice on the skin. It additionally features a fabulous fit without confining versatility.
It provides exceptional warmth and its wicking capability is unbelievably effective. Most people sweat when skiing and get cold from the build up moisture, and if you take a short break, and check how sweaty you are under the base layer, you will definitely think that in some 30 minutes, you will freeze.
That is exactly NOT the case with this product! The mentioned wicking ability will simply dry you off in no more than 15 minutes! The Rho model can definitely be seen as a cold weather base layer; lightweight, yet unbelievably warm. Bottom line, this model, in our book, and many satisfied users will agree, is has one of the best wicking properties on the market and it will definitely keep you warm during your winter adventures in the great outdoors.
There are a lot of things we like about this base layer model, but its near $150 sticker price is definitely excluded. However, when it comes to durability and layering ability, this top truly works best. The interior inward soft wool, flexible and insulating fabric and the bomber seams were really appreciated.
- Can serve as mid-layer as well
- Great fit
- Exceptionally warm
- Wicking effective
Related: Keeping your upper body and your legs warm comes easy when you can isolate yourself with layered clothing. But what about the head? If your head is not protected from the cold, no matter how good you are dressed below, it will not be enough. Therefore, we recommend this Minus33 3580 Cuff Beanie, to keep your head and thoughts, warm.
Price: Approx. $16
Dimension: 8.5 x 6.7 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 3.2 ounces
Specific features: Fleece lining, 87% polyester and 13% spandex, great elasticity, moisture sensing, Quicktime dry, two-way air circulation, short-sleeved, loose fit shirts
Best use: Indoors and outdoors
Description: This Tesla Coldgear Long Sleeve Top is designed for all season aside from warm season. It has a wide range of sizes for you to choose from. This base layer model gives a next-to-skin touch, so you will be able to feel the softness when you wear it. It is assured that you won’t in any way be irritated when you sweat extravagantly.
This base layer is tight, meaning that if follows the lines of your body just it is supposed to, and it is quite warm when you are in the outdoors, working in your yard, or doing any other winter activity, or it can be worn as the only layer if you are cold inside the house. Also, those who prefer the regular type of shoulder over the raglan shoulder, will love this model.
Furthermore, after your outdoor activities, it will help you recover well by regulating blood flow and forestalling being swollen. This shields your skin from UV rays, by more than 99% i.e. UPF 50+ in the outdoors. Fantastic elasticity with improved motion range.
- Three season wearable
- Keeps you warm
- UV protection
- Not so good for the cold winter winds
Related: Tesla also manufactures great base layer leggings and if you want to be completely on the safe side when winter outdoor adventures are concerned, we recommend checking out their Tesla 5H2OEQ Wintergear Base Layer Pants. The name is a bit complicated to remember, but the warmth they provide definitely isn’t.
Price: $95 – $115
Dimension: 11 x 11 x 2 inches
Weight: 3.2 ounces
Specific features: 100% Merino wool, shoulder panels dispose of top shoulder creases for a form fit, Interlock weave, Flatlock seam construction intended to dispense chafing, 10″ (25 cm) focus front zipper
Best use: Outdoors, hiking
Description: The Smartwool SW0SS603 Zip T is the entire package in a base layer. It is extremely soft next to the skin, offers the perfect measure of warmth, wicks off moisture, and resist odors. It is an extraordinary thermal choice for skiing and even features a UPF 50+ rating to be used as an outer-layer amid exercises like biking, hiking, and running.
This base layer model provides more ventilation when you are sweating profusely during an exercise. The greatest issues with this base layer model are durability and price. But when it comes to the provision of great performance and comfort, the Smartwool NTS Mid 250 is one of the best.
Furthermore, most users claim that this model really is high-quality made, and that the feeling on the skin is even better than the one cashmere provides. The weave is tighter, meaning that it fits perfectly and doesn’t squeeze your body, yet it doesn’t give additional bulk. As for the shape design, you will find that the torso is left longer, for exceptional warmth, and the same goes for the sleeves as well.
All in all, a really great looking, high-quality product that you will wear for years to come, and its warmth-to-weight ration definitely makes it worth the price. The only downside of this model might be that some users claim that it can be a little tricky to get out of it, but that is not an actual deal breaker.
- Very soft
- High UV protection
- Very breathable
- Can be tricky to get out of it
Related: For a full body protection from the cold weather, we recommend the Smartwool NP605 NTS Bottom, from the same manufacturer. This way, you will isolate your entire body from the cold and simply enjoy any kind of activities that involve cold weather and fun in the snow.
Price: Approx. $10
Weight: 9.6 ounces
Specific features: 60% combed ring spun cotton and 40% polyester, Therma-choice system, flat seam, elongated tail and tagless for solace, true sizing for perfect fit, exceptional softness
Best use: Hiking and climbing
Description: The ColdPruf DPEXYBA Basic Dual Layer garment has been designed to trap in the air between the fabric layers to give a natural warmth protection to keep you comfortable and warm. Outer and inside layers are built with a blend of 40% Polyester and 60% Combed Ring Spun Cotton for durability and comfort.
The base layer model has been intended for wear in cold to an extremely frosty climate with low to moderate activity. This base layer gives both warmth and comfort in all cold weather conditions, whether outdoors, on the job or at home.
Don’t let the low price fool you. Even though the high-quality products are usually with a much higher price tag, this model turned out to be a bargain because it offers much more than it costs. Most users claim that with the temperatures even below zero, this model, just with a sweatshirt over, kept them so warm that they were sweating, yet didn’t get cold because of the sweat. Of course, that wouldn’t last for long, but for some shorter outings in the freezing temperatures outside, this model will keep you on the safe side.
- Two layers keep the warm air trapped
- The wrists aren’t stretchy
Related: To make your purchase complete, and to enjoy all your winter outdoor activities, we recommend protecting the entire body. That can be achieved if you combine the reviewed product with these ColdPruf Platinum Dual Layer Bottom from the same manufacturer.
Price: Approx. $15
Dimension: 6.6 x 6.2 x 1.5 inches
Weight: 2.4 ounces
Specific features: Water diffusive layer, moisture sensing, water metastases layer, heat retention in winter, water absorption layer, Quicktime dry, two-way air circulation, 98.8% UV blocking, cool in summer
Best use: Skiing, training, snowboarding and all weather exercises and sports
Description: The Drskin 34MZB6 Tights Shirt Baselayer is a great base layer that comes with a fabric-aerocool-moisture diffusive layer, moisture metastases layer and moisture retention layer. All this is designed to guarantee your comfort and warmth. It is made of 8% spandex and 92% polyester.
For extra components, this base layer model has moisture sensing, speedy dry time and two-way air dissemination that cools you in the summer, and, on the other hand, it has warmth retention in the winter. No matter how wet or sweaty you get while performing exercises pre-amid or subsequent to training, this product assists you in regulating your body temperature in the best possible way.
With its UVA and UVB security – DRSKIN compression shields your skin against UVA and UVB radiation amid your outdoor activities. Regardless of how hard you have confronted after performing your exercises, this DRSKIN base layer will push your vitality up to the top level. This base layer model won’t baffle you. You will love spending your cash on it because it will keep you warm and dry or cool and dry exactly when you need it the most.
- Regulates the body temperature well
- UVA and UVB protection
- Quick drying
- Tight around the neck
Related: For a full protection from the outdoor weather elements, we suggest pairing up the upper layer with these DRSKIN M3RHI38 Tights Pants Baselayer from the same manufacturer.
Price: Approx. $12
Weight: 8.8 ounces
Specific features: 100% polypropylene, tagless shirt with level seams, long sleeves, crew-neck base layer top, extended tail and two layers for added heat, accurate sizing, ColdPruf technical fiber polyester, Silvadur intelligent freshness
Best use: Hiking, outdoors
Description: The ColdPruf Enthusiast Base Layer Top is a single layer fabric made completely with Polypropylene. This base layer design will offer you a close, comfy fit without the limitations in movement during any type of outdoor activities. Furthermore, the Enthusiast model is lightweight and has been intended to give thermal security in cold weather with moderate to high activity.
The enthusiast base layer offers moisture and warmth management performance, meaning that no matter how much you sweat, it will wick off the moisture and keep you dry and warm all the time. This is possible thanks to the extreme performance fabric that has been built with two layers of ColdPruf technology fibers for warmth, most extreme dryness, and odor-free properties.
Furthermore, it has been specially built with ColdPruf technology to attract air between the material layers in order to give a natural heat shield, meaning that even when the weather is hot, it will regulate your body temperature and isolate you from the heat. The Enthusiast base layer is excellent for wear in very frosty to a cold climate with moderate to high activity, but for activities during the warmer weather as well.
- Close fit
- Great wicking properties
- Keeps you exceptionally warm
- Tends to stretch and lose shape after several washes
Related: For keeping your entire self warm during your winter activities in the outdoors, we recommend checking out the Coldpruf PEY2TI Single-Layer Pant as well.
Price: Approx. $66
Dimension: 7 x 7 x 1 inches
Weight: 8 ounces
Specific features: 100% wool, 215g/m2, non-itch, regular fit, inner Lifa strands guarantee that you remain dry in all conditions, low-bulk cuffs, outer layer of soft merino fleece includes warmth and comfort
Best use: Outdoors, cycling
Description: The Helly Hansen 48877 Warm Crew is one of the best wool base layer for men. Combining the special LIFA fiber innovation alongside skin to keep you dry and warm, with a top notch merino wool outside, with unrivaled wicking and insulating properties.
There is a great deal to like about this lightweight base layer brand. With a price of just around $66, it is the one of the least expensive options in this rundown, yet it will definitely keep you dry and warm in many conditions.
The main feature is the Lifa fiber, which is produced using Polypropylene and invest in wicking off moisture from the skin. Alongside a pleasant athletic fit, this base layer model is awesome for active skiers and some other high-yield exercises like hiking and climbing.
Furthermore, most users like the design and the color combination and say that it can easily be worn as a long-sleeve T-shirt, thanks to the great fit and the mentioned color combo. All in all, this model offers great price-to-quality ration and is one of the best choices you can make, both warmth properties and design wise.
- Great design
- Keeps you warm quite well
- Size chart not that accurate, you need to be careful when ordering
Related: Now that you have the perfect base layer, and if you already have the base layer bottom, all you need is a pair of warm socks to completely protect yourself from the coldest of situations. Therefore, we recommend checking out the People Socks CCS0HC Crew Socks. They will keep your feet warm, dry and healthy thanks to their antimicrobial properties, all the time.
Wrapping It Up
Keeping a base layer clean is a task all by itself, yet its versatility worth the extra effort. The base layer fabric must be washed in cold water to prevent it from shrinking. Some producers will claim that their products are able to withstand a warm wash without being contorted, yet it is an easy win to utilize chilly water anyway. A wool base layer doesn’t react well to either fabric softeners or bleach, and their sensitivity to a warm dryer is like that of warm water.
Hang-drying of base layers is the best way to guarantee the continued integrity of their size and shape. As normal with recreational equipment and gear, it is highly advisable that you consider your intended activities and environments before grabbing up your first or next base layer.
We believe that we have been able to assist you in narrowing down your choices to best matches. For further inquiries, suggestions or recommendations, you can leave us a comment in the comments section below.