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14 Best Base Layers For Hiking, Skiing & Adventure

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Base layers are crucial when combatting cold weather, especially when you’re skiing. When you don’t invest in quality base layers and thermals, you can kiss a great ski season goodbye and say hello to hypothermia.

To ensure you don’t put yourself in danger, make sure you get your hands on base layers that not only offer exceptional insulation, but ones that are going to effectively wick moisture away from your body & be a dab hand are prevent odour build-up. Oh, and you want stretchy, comfortable materials too.

To help decide which base layer is going to be best for you, you need to learn about the different weights of base layer you can expect to find. Most manufacturers will label their base layers as either lightweight, mid-weight or heavyweight (although the criteria for each can differ from brand to brand).

Lightweight base layers are designed to be worn next to the skin. You can choose to wear a mid-weight or heavyweight layer over the top if you wish, but if you’re in slightly cooler temperatures, you can wear it on its own, with a hoodie or ski jacket over the top.

Mid-weight base layers can also be worn on their own, or over the top of a lightweight layer. They will offer slightly more warmth than a lightweight layer, and are perhaps the best option for resort skiers.

A heavyweight base layer is usually worn over the top of a lightweight layer. Their main purpose is to provide extra warmth, and don’t offer much in the way of moisture management. A heavyweight base layer over a lightweight could be a good option for après-ski, and if you’re skiing somewhere exceptionally cold, it will be a must under a ski jacket.

Though it may seem daunting, we’ve uncovered some of the brands producing incredible base layers right now, ensuring you can create a quality layering system geared to be high performing and protective.