Staying warm is incredibly important. Whether you are skiing in the Alps, enjoying the outdoors or just getting through the winter months, staying warm is essential.The key to warmth starts with a good base layer. But with all the different types available, it’s hard to understand what is right for you. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to choosing your perfect base layer.
What are base layers?
Base layers are the foundation layer of clothing, designed to provide temperature regulation. They should move moisture away from your skin, keeping you dry as you sweat and cool down while you rest. It’s important to understand that base layers are not insulation. They help regulate your temperature, but the clothes you layer on top will keep you warm.
Choosing the right base layer
When choosing the right base layer for you, there are many different factors to consider.
Firstly, base layers can be made from different materials. The typical materials you can choose from are:
- Cotton: Cotton is affordable, but is a bad base layer material. It can add a bit of warmth, but only if it’s heavy and thick. Cotton will also soak up any sweat or moisture, making it cold, clammy and uncomfortable to wear.
- Silk: Feeling great on your skin, silk is great for layering under your clothes. Silk also works great when you need to squeeze into pieces of form-fitting clothing, such as shoes or a helmet. Unfortunately, silk is not great at regulating temperatures. In warm conditions, silk can be too hot or uncomfortable to wear.
- Synthetic: There is a big range of synthetic materials used in base layers. In general, synthetic materials are breathable, dry incredibly fast and can add warmth. Most synthetics are not resistant to bacteria and can build odours.
- Merino wool: This type of wool is very soft, great at regulating your temperature and resists odour. Coming from the New Zealand Merino sheep, this wool is a pricey option for some.
Your base layer needs to be comfortable, but tight-fitting. Having a tight-fitting base layer traps air next to the skin, helping insulate and regulate your body temperature. It’s also a great idea for the shirts to be long enough to tuck into your trousers. This will avoid any cold spells while bending over, and help retain the trapped layer of air. Generally, most base layers are made to be tight-fitting. So, stick to your normal clothes size when ordering your base layer.
Base layers can come in different styles, with short- and long-sleeve variations. The perfect style depends on your activity, climate and personal preferences. Generally, if you are exposed to colder conditions, long-sleeved based layers will be right for you. On the other hand, more active or warmer conditions will prefer shorter sleeves.
Choosing your perfect base layer depends ultimately on your unique needs, activity and weather conditions. Need more information on choosing your base layer? Our experts can help you choose your perfect option based on your unique requirements.
Ready to choose your perfect base layer? Browse our selection today: