The Top 5 Base Layers For Cold Weather
Getting thrust into any adventure can be thrilling.
For some, there is literally nothing better than the moment our blood gets pumping in our veins and our adrenaline starts flowing. Whether we’re taking up hiking or skiing on some of the best mountains in the world, we’re sure to have an experience to remember.
If that activity gives us a workout we’re also pretty sure to get a little warm along the way. Even when you’re skiing, the heat and power of activity can soon offset the chill of cold conditions. At least, it can if you prep with a decent base layer before you start.
Undeniably, adrenaline and activity can make us warm in the outset whether we have a base layer behind us or not. The trouble is that, without a decent undergarment made out of a warming material, that warm effect won’t last long.
Once sweat builds on your body and soaks into your clothing you can bet even vigorous activity won’t be enough to keep you warm. You would then have no option but to turn back or continue without enjoyment.
No one likes being cold, after all. For obvious reasons, neither of these options appeal to the adrenaline junkie in you. Make sure you don’t face them, then, by reading up on these reviews of a few base layers which won’t ever let you down.
For those of you in a hurry, our choice for the Best Base Layer For Cold Weather is the 7EVEN Hooded Long Sleeve.
Best Base Layer For Cold Weather
To help you find the perfect base layer to prep for outdoor adventure in the cold, we looked at a number of the products available. From combing through that collection we’ve settled on these picks for best cold weather base layer:
Let’s kick things off with a prime offering by 7EVEN, shall we? With 100% Australian Merino wool, the 7EVEN hooded long sleeve promises never to let you down. This is some of the best quality wool available, after all; renowned for its softness. As such, this could be the ideal garment to wear right up against your skin. Comfort aside, this material also offers the benefit of being breathable and easy to dry. Even if you were out kayaking, then, this could keep you plenty warm. If you want to get real value for money, it’s also worth noting that you can wear this item as a standalone piece if you want to. It looks that good! That should come as no surprise when you consider the flatlock seams and stand up collar of this design. Of course, it’s sure to serve you best when operating for its intended purpose, and its intended purpose is to keep you warm. Which, by the way, it’s sure to do pretty well. The manufacturer states this product is ideal as a warm-weather base or a cold temperature mid-layer. That ensures it can serve you all year round. Bear in mind that some customers have commented on sizes coming up large, so you may want to consider that when ordering. All in all, though, this offering from 7EVEN promises to look and feel amazing, while keeping you snug as a bug in all weathers.
- 100% MERINO WOOL There’s no limit to what you can do in this men’s Merino Wool Hooded Pullover from 7EVEN Clothing Co. Made from 100% Australian Merino wool, it keeps you looking and feeling good. Australian Merino wool is some of the finest in the world and renowned for its soft feel and inherent odor control and moisture wicking properties. The wool pullover is also naturally quick drying and breathable, helping you adapt to changing weather conditions without missing a beat.
- BETTER FIT Active guys need a wardrobe that can keep up, so we took extra care to make this pullover meet your needs. Smooth flatlock seams stop the seams from rubbing harshly against your skin, while the contoured elbows and gusseted underarms enhance your mobility. Stitched thumb holes at the cuffs secure the long sleeves in place, and a standup collar keeps the wind and cold off of your neck. Stay active and stay comfortable for longer in a 7EVEN Merino wool pullover.
- ALL SEASON USE Weighing 190 gsm, this quarter zip top is lightweight yet surprisingly warm. Wear it as a light base layer in warm weather and a heat-trapping mid layer in colder temps.
- FOR ANY ACTIVITY Whether you’re on a hunt or on a run, this athletic pullover can do it all. It’s perfect for hiking, cycling, camping, fishing, golf and any other outdoor activity. This stylish piece of sportswear can also be worn to work or while you travel. It never goes out of style and keeps you seriously comfy.
- ZIPPERED ARM POCKET When you’re working out or exploring the great outdoors, you don’t want to be bothered by your bulky wallet. But don’t worry, our pullovers let you store a bunch of stuff inside a large arm pocket. It zips shut for secure storage so you can stash your cash, card and key inside and go on your way. With so much to offer, this pullover will immediately become a staple in your wardrobe. Grab yours or get a few as gifts!
From Australia, we’re heading to a product made with equally comfortable New Zealand-based Merino wool. Merino 365 make a note to only use 100% New Zealand wool, from farms they select themselves and know to be the best available. Again, then, your comfort when wearing this garment is pretty much guaranteed for all uses. Whether you want to wear this a stand-alone garment or a base layer as suggested, it’s sure to be an enjoyable experience. The crew neck and sewn thumb loops also make this the ideal option for wearing under clothes. Unlike other choices with hoods or collars which could get in the way, this is sure to sit flat and invisible under your clothing. That makes it ideal for light exercise options such as outside work or hiking. Merino 365 also boasts of ‘no stink’ on their base layers, with one customer corroborating to no smell after a three-day hiking trip. If you want a base layer which keeps heat in without letting your sweat stink, then, this could well be the ideal product for you. As if that weren’t enough, Merino 365 has made sure that this option is easy enough to wash if you do need to freshen up. Unlike other wool garments, you can happily stick this product into your washing machine or even tumble dryer without worry.
- Perfect for anyone spending time outdoors hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, climbing, anything outside, merino is the smartest thing you can wear
- Machine wash and dry normal; Made from 100% New Zealand merino; Perfect baselayer for next to skin
- Temperature regulating, this shirt will keep you more comfortable longer, it will amaze you
- Merino 365 merino is sustainable, ethically produced, so if you give a care about the environment then stop buying gross inferior poly based fabrics and buy mind-blowing merino
- Made in Fiji, New Zealand, and China. Merino 365 sends out New Zealand bought merino to areas around the world to be ethically produced
Cold Snap claims to have a focus on three f’s – fabric, fit, function. One look at the Cold Snap Merino is enough to prove all three of those correct. This stylish base layer with a ¼ zip has an astonishing 82% five-star rating on Amazon. It seems that customers can’t get enough, and you too may well want to get in the queue. Again offering 100% merino wool, Merino 365 has, according to some customers, found the ideal gap between high-end choices and affordable options. The cut is so stylish that you’d probably be happy to wear this as a fashion statement, let alone a sure way to keep warm. Still, the dual neck guard design and natural temperature regulation make the latter inevitable. This design even comes complete with flat-locked seams for smooth movement. Merino 365 themselves state that this is the ideal garment for any winter sport you can imagine. And, again, you needn’t worry about odors here. One customer wore their garment for an astounding two weeks with no smell. The guard design around the zip also makes this the ideal option to get stuck in, as it ensures your zip never comes into contact with your skin. That means you can get going with the most vigorous sports possible and still stay comfortable. When it comes down to it, though, it’s the high levels of customer satisfaction which really highlight this product as an option well worth your time.
- Merino wool naturally wicks away sweat and moisture, keeping you comfortable and warm. Natural anti-odor properties of merino mean less washing and longer wearing
- Cold Snap cuts out the middleman and sells a robust 210 gsm 100% merino wool product for a better price. No quality is sacrificed. You get the best merino for the price
- Unique dual neck guard design ensures the zip never comes into contact with your skin, eliminating chafing and rubbing
- Flat locked seams ensure ultimate comfort, allowing you to participate in active sports without restriction of movement
- Our most popular men's longsleeve crew. Ideal for every day use
Up until now, we’ve been all about the merino-only options. And, as you may have guessed, there are endless benefits of going down that route. For one, merino wool is soft, odorless, and looks amazing. But, wool does have some obvious downsides when it comes to vigorous activities. As much as the above options are breathable, 100% wool is sure to get a little sweaty if you aren’t careful. While it may not smell, it could get uncomfortable. That’s why Helly Hansen is coming in with a base layer which consists of 57% Merino Wool and 43% Polypropylene. This two-layer construction has a 100% wool outer layer for warmth. All paired with the benefits of polypropylene. This can move moisture away from your skin and prevent sweat absorption for maximum warmth. Customers find this garment particularly useful for skiing trips and other such activities where heat is vital. As if all that weren’t temptation enough, this garment is available in a variety of fifteen color schemes. Given that many of the other options mentioned offer one color alone, this could be the perfect selection for the fashion conscious. Appearance matters, after all, no matter whether others can see it or not. The only real downside to this one is the price. You will need to pay a little more, but that should come as no surprise when you consider the extra materials used in manufacturing.
- A 2-layer construction with flatlock seams, 100% wool exterior and the unique properties of technical lifa technology
- Lifa technology interior provides superior moisture management to ensure you stay Dry and warm
- Flat lock seams for max comfort
- A great baselayer for cold weather
We’re ending by heading on back to our trusty 100% merino wool options, and a more reasonable top-end price. A trusted company since 2004, Minus33 are entering this race with their ¼ zip mock-neck thermal. It’s the mock-neck on this design which draws the eye. This provides neck heat in a way only the 7EVEN hooded option has before it. However, the sleek design of this neck means that it isn’t too bulky. That makes it ideal for wearing under clothes during day excursions. Again, you can expect to see flatlock seams for movement. There are also eight color choices to keep yourself on trend. Minus33 are also making use of a simple yet unique benefit in that they offer tagless items. That means you don’t need to worry about unwanted rubbing while you enter the wilderness. 85% of customers also claim that this product fits as stated. Some expressly warn against opting for a larger size. With options ranging from XS to 3XL, that shouldn’t be a challenge in any way shape or form. With a stylish exterior and affordable price point, you could do a lot worse than this for a solid base layer.
- QUALITY MIDWEIGHT BASELAYER: 100% Merino Wool soft and comfortable. Easy care technology means your merino is machine washable and dryable. Versatility and warmth make this three-season merino wool 1/4 zip thermal an essential part of your outdoor gear.
- CRAFTED TO FIT: Sizes XS to 3XL in a regular fit. Minus33 offers a great size selection. Outfitting anyone from the Hard-at-Work to the Hard-at-Play.
- EXPERIENCED BRAND: Although there are many copy-cats on the market today, Minus33 has been a trusted brand since 2004
- IMPORTED: As the legacy of a 100+ year old USA based woolen company, Minus33 knows quality and comfort in Merino Wool. We are committed to bringing you the best Merino Wool products at a reasonable price.
- TECHNICAL DETAILS: 100% 18.5 Micron Merino Wool 230 g/m2 Interlock knit construction. Garment Weight Size Large = 12.8 oz. (363 grams). UPF Rating 50+
How To Choose A Base Layer
Here is a great video explaining the differences between different types of base layers, and how you should choose one:
As you can see, many of the base layers on the market offer much the same benefits. Merino wool in itself is to thank for this, due to its soft feel and easy-to-clean properties. The question of which base layer would work best for you, then, comes down to the small things. For instance, each option works better for certain activities. Equally, cost and general appearance may play a part. Think, then, about which trips you take most often, and what exactly you need to stay warm on them.
Also, a base layer is only part of the puzzle to keeping warm during winter activity. You might want to check out our guide to the best ski gloves.