TOP GEAR PICKS

Best Women’s Long Underwear: Thermal and Best Base Layer

A woman wearing Helly Hansen's HH Dry Revolution base layer while hiking

Would you agree if we said that the best women’s long underwear should both stand-out in warmer weather and in colder weather as a base layer? Were you also aware that this is a versatile piece of clothing that will keep you comfortable in all sorts of adventures?

But, are you having problems finding the model that suits all your personal needs like size, color, material? Most of people have these problems as there are so many models on the market, but not all of them are high-quality and affordable.

However, you do not have to spend a lot of money to get the quality you are looking for. There are models that are affordable but also made of great fabric.

At the end, as long as it works as a thermal and wicking layer that keeps you warm, whether you are working up a sweat, sitting around the campfire, or you’re in the cold transition time in between, it is doing exactly what you bought it for, right? But, how to find such a model?

a woman wearing a gore-base-layer

In this article we are going to present you with the best models on the market and you will be able to compare the products and choose the right one for you. But, before we get to that part, you can check out the table of the models we reviewed, check their most important features.

After that, you can read the “Most important features to consider” section, where we explain what you need to keep an eye on to avoid getting the wrong model and how to end up with underwear that is absolutely perfect for you. Let’s start with the table, first.

Product NameMaterialSpecific FeaturesColorPrice
Smartwool NTS100% merino woolInterlock knit, UPF 50+, most efficient moisture management systemAubergine, berry, black, blue ice, charcoal, glacial blue, light gray, Lochness, mountain purple, potion pinkCheck price on Amazon
Patagonia Capilene 3100% polyester (93% recycled)Polartec power grid, double knit, Bluesign approved, long sleeve lengthBlackCheck price on Amazon
Kari Traa Underwear Top100% merino woolHalf zip, mock neck, quick drying, 4-way Stretch materials, long sleeve lengthWine, navyCheck price on Amazon
Under Armour Coldgear Infrared EvoThermo-conductive inner coatingThermo-conductive inner coating, dual layer, soft, signature moisture transport systemBlack, crystal, magenta shock, white, fuchsia roseCheck price on Amazon
Burton Long Neck93% polyester / 7% spandexQuick drying, stretch 360-degree material, Agion stink-proof finish, long sleeve lengthFeathers, true blackCheck price on Amazon
REI Mammut Klamath66% polyester / 34% woolUPF 35 rating, moisture wicking, quick drying, lightweightAtlantic mélange, graphite mélange, velvet mélange    Check price on REI    
REI Merino Midweight100% ultra-fine merino woolNaturally moisture-wicking, quick-drying, long-sleeve length, flat seamsBlack, graystone, Indian ocean, wild rouge, vivid viola    Check price on REI    
Icebreaker Oasis100% merino woolFlatlock seams, lightweight, breathableDawn shore, dawn sweet pea, matrix aquamarine, matrix cameo, matrix raspberryCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider Before Buying

Before you purchase underwear you should take into consideration some specifications. Here are some of the most important features to consider before buying underwear:

Moisture Wicking Fabric

Wicking fabrics take any type of moisture that comes in the form of perspiration or precipitation and transfers it from the inside of the fabric to the outside. It wicks sweat and moisture away from the body to keep the person’s skin dry.

Image showing the material of a Women’s-Long-Underwear

As a result, you will stay warmer longer and your body won’t experience serious temperature swings. Typically, this is made of wool or synthetic materials and not cotton. Cotton long underwear absorbs any moisture and does not dry. The water absorbed by the cotton fabric will stay cold.

Fit

The fit is one of the most important considerations in choosing long underwear for your comfort. Different garments have different sizing. Don’t settle for a top that doesn’t fit properly. Take your time to find something that will accommodate your size. A layer with longer length and stretch proved to do well in this area.

Care

Each fabric should be treated and washed in a different way. It is not the same if you put cotton in the wash machine and silk. Silk is the most difficult fabric to care for because it is sensitive and it can be easily destroyed unless hand washed.

A woman wearing a long underware in house

Cotton and synthetics are the easiest to wash and dry. Wool can be a bit tricky, but it is a great fabric with antibacterial characteristics.

Function

Function is very important because that is one of the main reasons why you need your underwear. You don’t want to buy a product that is meant for something completely different than you intended to use it for.

A woman insering a key into her long underwear pocket

Is it for casual events or physical activities such as running? If it is the latter, then your fabric needs to be warm and able to stretch. It should also be able to resist bad odors and it should dry quickly.

Design

And last, but not the least, you should consider the underwear that suits your taste. There is a huge variety of designs and colors that you can pick from on the market right now. And, logically, you should choose the design you like the most.

A woman wearing a long underwear on top of the moutains

However, when we say design, we don’t just mean the patterns and colors, we also mean the design of the shape, as not all models are suitable for every occasion. So, dig deeper until you are sure that the design you plan on buying is exactly what you want and need.

Top Products on Today’s Market

Let’s take a look at eight really great models of women’s long underwear that can come in handy while camping or exercising. Take your time so you can pick the right model for you.

Smartwool NTS Mid 250 Bottom Smartwool NTS Mid 250 Bottom

Price: $90 – $170

Size: Large

Specific features: 100% Merino wool, interlock knit, UPF 50+, most efficient moisture management system

Best use: As a base layer in colder weather, all sorts of winter adventures

Description: The Smartwool NTS Mid 250 Bottom is made of 100% Merino wool, which is a high-quality material and is one of the softest types of wool available in the market. It is excellent for regulating body temperature, especially when worn against the skin.

Unlike other fibers, this type of wool is a responsive natural material that adapts to your body’s temperature to regulate insulation and breathability. When you are hot, it keeps you cool. When you are cold, it will warm you up.

This kind of underwear is interlock knit, which gives the smoothest surface and the finest hand. It is extremely soft, firm, and absorbent that comes from both natural and synthetic fibers. Interlock shows knit on both sides of the fabric and is a thicker fabric because it is knitted with two stitches, one directly behind the other.

Furthermore, this product is made with UPF 50+. UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and indicates how much of the sun’s UV (ultraviolet) radiation is absorbed. UPF rating 50+ is the highest rating that is determined on providing the excellent protection from UV radiation.

Definitely worth mentioning is the fact that these Smartwool underwear offer the world’s most efficient moisture-management system. It is covered with an elastic waistband for your comfort, flattering fit, and breathability. It doesn’t shrink after washing, even if you washed it a hundred times, it will still fit the same.

PROS:

  • Comfortable
  • Breathable
  • A great fit

CONS:

  • The price

Related: The Smartwool Women’s NTS Mid 250 Crew goes well with this model because it is soft and warm and you will cover your entire body when combined with the bottom. It is also not expensive and easy to care for.

Check the price on Amazon

Patagonia Capilene 3 Zip-Neck Top Patagonia Capilene Zip-Neck Top

Price: Approx. $70

Size: Large, X-large

Specific features: Polartec power grid, 100% polyester (93% recycled), double knit, Bluesign approved, long sleeve length

Best use: Any kind of occasion that requires warm, long underwear

Description: The Patagonia Capilene Zip-Neck Top is made of 100% polyester. It does not absorb moisture but does absorb oil. This quality makes the perfect fabric for the application of water, soil, and fire – resistant finishes.

Furthermore, it is even safe against stains, as it is naturally resistant because of the low absorbency. This kind of fabric resists shrinking and will not stretch out of shape.

This underwear model is constructed with a Polartec Power Grid fabric that was designed to keep your skin dry when you sweat. It creates two different surfaces; one that is optimized to move moisture away from the skin, and the other is to dry quickly.

It has a smooth face for easy layering. The fabric is highly breathable and it does not restrict the movement of moisture vapor. Unlike single component fabrics, Polartec Power Grid fabrics move at least 30% more moisture away from the skin. It enables to dry at least 2 times faster than cotton.

The Patagonia Capilene is Bluesign approved which means that it offers the highest level of consumer safety by employing methods and materials in its manufacture. It conserves resources and it minimizes impacts on people and the environment.

Furthermore, this product’s fabric hits the sweet spot of weight, breathability, and wicking, that can either work alone or with additional layers. Even you will wear it during high-exertion activities from cool to moderate temperatures, you will still keep dry and comfortable.

PROS:

  • It is comfortable
  • Smooth
  • It dries fast

CONS:

  • It is a bit pricey

Related: Make sure to take a look at Rocky Womens Thermal Long John Underwear because it compliments this zip-neck perfectly. It is also very beautiful as well a easy to take car of.

Check the price on Amazon

Kari Traa Rose Half-Zip Top Kari Traa Rose Half-Zip Top

Price: Approx. $110

Size: Small, medium, large, extra large 

Specific features: 100% Merino wool, half zip, mock neck, quick drying, 4-way stretch materials, long sleeve length

Best use: Everyday activities, exercising

Description: The Kari Traa Rose Half-Zip Top is made of 100% super soft merino wool delivering extreme smoothness and comfort. It excellently regulates the body’s temperature, especially when worn against the skin. It keeps you cool when you are hot, and it warms you up when you are cold.

This long underwear top provides optimum warmth on cold days. It is shaped with a feminine design that will adapt to women’s expressive moves as she maintains her elegantly sporty style statement. Surely, it is breathable and comfortable to wear. It also has a mock neck, which adds to the coverage of your neckline.

Kari Traa Rose is made of 4-Way Stretch materials, which means it stretches in both crosswise and lengthwise directions leaving more room for the body. It is very important for those people who like to do outdoor exercises to have a comfy top that can dry quickly and resist bad odors.

PROS:

  • Very warm
  • It stretches properly

CONS:

  • Only two color choices

Related: Check out the matching pants Kari Traa Rose Womens Long Underwear Pants. They are comfortable, stretchy and warm, and a great match for the top.

Check the price on Amazon

Under Armour Coldgear Infrared Evo Top Under Armour Coldgear Infrared Evo Top

Price: $30 – $60

Size: X-small, small, large

Specific features: Thermo-conductive inner coating, dual layer, soft, signature moisture transport system, flatlock seaming details, long sleeve length

Best use: Running, camping, hiking

Description: The Under Armour Coldgear Infrared Evo Top uses a soft fabric that is breathable and so comforting to the body.

This long underwear top uses a thermo-conductive inner coating which absorbs and retains your body’s heat. It prevents the substrate from giving up the internal heat or absorbing heat from an external source.

EVO ColdGear is made of dual-layer forming fabrics. It is more dimensionally stable but less stretchable. It provides a durable, slick and fast drying exterior, which has the excellent drainage property. This top also dries quickly, which comes in handy if you sweat a lot. Also worth mentioning is that the underwear top is very soft.

It has brushed inner layer that traps heat for all-day warmth and comfort. It also has a Signature Moisture Transport System which wicks sweat to keep you dry and light all day. The wicking fabric pulls moisture from the body to the exterior of the shirt where it can evaporate more easily.

PROS:

  • It is affordable
  • It is comfy
  • Very soft

CONS:

  • Should be careful when you choose the size as the chart is not standard

Related: If you need matching pants to go with this outfit, check out Under Armour Women’s ColdGear Authentic. They are stretchy and comfy, and will provide you warmth and protection from the sun’s radiation.

Check the price on Amazon

Burton Midweight Long Neck Top Burton Midweight Long Neck Top

Price: Approx. $55

Size: Small, large, X-large

Specific features: Quick drying, stretch 360-degree material, Agion stink-proof finish, long sleeve length

Best use: Cold climate, any activity

Description: The Burton Midweight Long Neck Top is made from 93% polyester and 7% spandex. This material combination gives a perfect fabric. Polyester does not absorb moisture but does absorb oil.

This quality makes the perfect fabric for the application of water, soil, and fire resistant finishes. This kind of fabric will not stretch out of shape. Spandex known for its exceptional elasticity is stronger and more durable than the natural rubber.

This underwear is Burton Dryride Ultrawick which makes use of microscopic fibers that pull moisture away from the skin and to the outer layer of the material, allowing it to evaporate easily. It is designed to be stretchy and smooth, for your comfortable movements.

Also worth mentioning is that this product is highly breathable with a supercharged stink-proof finish. It has quick drying performance. It stretches 360 degrees material for unlimited mobility.

Furthermore, the top has long neck coverage that transforms into a neck warmer. Simply unfold it chin height and the long neck design with breathable face panel adds critical protection from snow, sun, and wind.

PROS:

  • Very stretchy
  • Smooth
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • Does not absorb moisture

Related: Burton Women’s Midweight Pants are recommended as a nice choice for this top because they are comfortable and soft, and you will keep your entire body warm.

Check the price on Amazon

REI Mammut Klamath Underwear Top REI Mammut Klamath

Price: $44 – $62

Size: X-small, small, medium, large, X-large

Specific features: UPF 35 rating, moisture wicking, quick drying, lightweight, long sleeve length, Polartec power grid fabric, flatlock seams, long sleeve length,

Best use: Snow sports

Description: The REI Mammut Klamath Underwear Top is made of 66% polyester and 34% wool. This top underwear for women is extremely comfortable to wear. Due to the combination of wool on the inside and synthetic on the outside, this top has the excellent moisture management.

This women’s long underwear top is constructed with a Polartec Power Grid fabric that was designed to keep your skin dry when you sweat. It combines natural and synthetic fibers in a bi-component fabric that ensures the achievement of technical advantages.

The fabric is highly breathable and it does not restrict the movement of moisture vapor. Unlike single component fabrics, Polartec Power Grid fabrics move at least 30% more moisture away from the skin. It enables to dry at least 2 times faster than cotton.

Furthermore, the underwear is made with UPF 35 sun protection. UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and indicates how much of the sun’s UV (ultraviolet) radiation is absorbed. With the UPF rating of 35, this product is determined to provide the very best protection from harmful effects of the UV radiation from the sun.

Whatever activities you’re doing, this top delivers warmth, temperature regulation and odor-fighting properties in a base layer. It also has flatlock seams which offer extra elasticity and prevent abrasion.

PROS:

  • It is very durable
  • Comfortable
  • Warm

CONS:

  • Runs big

Related: The Fleece Thermal Underwear is a good choice that goes well with this top and it will keep you warm, especially if you are into winter sports.

Check the price on REI

Rei Merino Base Layer Top REI Merino Midweight

Price: $60 – $120

Size: X-small, small, medium, large, X-large

Specific features: 100% ultra-fine Merino Wool, naturally moisture-wicking, quick-drying, long-sleeve length, flat seams

Best use: Sports, winter activities

Description: The REI Merino Base Layer Top  is made of 100% ultra-fine merino wool. It offers excellent softness without any itchiness. Merino is a high-quality material and is one of the softest types of wool available in the market.

It is excellent for regulating body temperature, especially when worn against the skin. Unlike other fibers, this type of wool is a responsive natural material that adapts to your body’s temperature to regulate insulation and breathability.

When you are hot, it keeps you cool. When you are cold, it will warm you up. This fabric does not wick away sweat, but also resists odors.

This women’s ultra-fine fabric top is fitted to hug the body for optimum performance. It was designed with a tall neck that extends coverage and zipper with chin guard that lets you adjust ventilation which means your skin will be able to breathe in it. It has flat seams that eliminate chafing.

PROS:

  • It is very soft and warm
  • It is resists odors
  • It has ventilation
  • It is affordable

CONS:

  • Maybe even a bit too fit so be careful when choosing the size

Related: The Icebreaker Women’s Vertex Leggings are the perfect matching pants that go with this model. They are comfy and trendy.

Check the price on REI

Icebreaker Women’s Top Icebreaker Women’s Top

Price: $40 – $90

Size: X-small, small, medium

Specific features: 100% Merino wool, flatlock seams, lightweight, breathable

Best use: warmer weather and as a base layer in colder weather, all sorts of adventures

Description: The Icebreaker Women’s Top is made of 100% merino wool, which means that it will resist bad odors and sweat.

This type of fabric is one of the softest types of wool available on the market, and it excellently regulates body temperature to regulate insulation and breathability, which keeps you cool when you’re hot, and warm you up when you’re cold, and the top is naturally wicked and quick-drying, meaing that it will keep you comfortable year-round.

Furthermore, the Oasis Crewe long sleeve top has flatlock seams to prevent chafing, and that offers extra elasticity and prevents abrasion. It also has offset shoulder seam that prevents pack rubbing.

The best part is its breathability that allows your skin to breathe and not sweat too much. This means that you would not feel clammy inside or be cold when you should be warm. The material dries quickly and it is very affordable, so this top is a good choice for any outdoor activity.

PROS:

  • Very warm
  • Breathability
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • Not fully body fit

Related: If you wear Icebreaker Women’s Everyday Leggings with this top you might find your workouts even more comfortable because they are super stretchy.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrapping Up

To sum up, we have talked about some of the best best women underwear that would make your everyday activities more comfortable. You can even wear them beneath warmer clothes in the winter to protect yourself from the cold.

Want a comfort boost on your next outdoor adventure? Ditch that cotton long underwear you have, and upgrade to a moisture wicking base layer. You can choose the above-recommended underwear based on the climate and activities you will go through, and based on the fact that a certain model you like, has all your desired features.

Happy woman on top of the moutains wearing a long underware

Now that you have the choices of long underwear, you can choose the right and the perfect for your needs. Just always remember the important things you should determine:

  • Choose the moisture wicking fabric that will make you stay warm and will make your skin dry when you sweat.
  • Choose the right fit that will accommodate your body properly. Comfortable and breathable.
  • Choose the excellent features at your best. Depending on the activities you will go through and on the climate, you are about to tackle.
  • Choose the colors and styles you gravitate to the most.

Get ready to experience all sides of Mother Nature with confidence and comfort with the long underwear recommended above! Do you think we have left out any of the great products out there? If so, please let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebecca J. Crawford
Rebecca J. Crawford

Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favourite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another passion of Rebecca is ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy.

  • Rebecca J. Crawford

    One more thing, these bottoms don’t shrink at all, even with numerous washings! A lot of women love how it fits them to a T and keeps them warm and comfortable, as well. These are not bulky at all, which makes it quite amazing! Worn under a pair of jeans or under skirts or dresses, it won’t bulk under.

  • Mark Grey

    My girlfriends recently bought some Icebreaker Women’s Oasis Long Sleeve Crewe tops and she will not stop talking about how comfortable they are on her body. The part she loves most about these tops is that they are adaptable- she can easily wear them with vest inside on a sunny day and not feel too hot and during cold weather, they are slim enough to put inside a sweater.

  • Rebecca J. Crawford

    I love this product! Made from Merino wool, it’s soft on the skin and excellent in regulating body temperature. It is also very lightweight and easily dries, which is a plus in my book! 🙂

  • Mark David

    I have bought three of SMARTWOOL WOMEN’S NTS MID 250 BOTTOM for my wife last year. She wore
    one almost every day and described these as very warm and comforting. At times she did yoga in them and even slept in them. Earlier she used to wear pants…now she wears skirts because of these leggings.

  • Rebecca J. Crawford

    One more thing, these bottoms don’t shrink at all, even with numerous washings! A lot of women love how it fits them to a T and keeps them warm and comfortable, as well. These are not bulky at all, which makes it quite amazing! Worn under a pair of jeans or under skirts or dresses, it won’t bulk under.

  • Robert Smith

    I picked up three Under Armour Coldgear Infrared Evo Tops for my mother last Christmas because she has been complaining about feeling really cold during the winter and she could not stop talking about how warm and comfy it is. Since then I have never heard her talk about being cold, so I’m glad that it solved that problem. I will not be surprised if I get more like these at her place this Christmas.

    • Rebecca J. Crawford

      Merry Christmas to you!

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