If you grew up around harsh winters, you can probably still hear your parents telling you to put on another layer. It’s no secret that layering is important in cold weather conditions, but base layers are often overlooked as essential winter clothing. Think you can just throw on another long sleeve cotton t-shirt? Think again.
Regular cotton holds in perspiration, which can leave you even colder in harsh conditions. While cotton has its place, if you plan on working up a sweat in the cold, you may want to explore other options. It’s important to choose a moisture-wicking fabric that draws perspiration away from the skin.While base layers come in a variety of moisture-wicking materials, the most popular fabric is polyester because it dries quickly. A majority of Carhartt’s base layers, for instance, are made from polyester and use FastDry® technology to help keep you drier, longer.
Along with material, another important aspect to consider is a fabric’s weight. You must take into account not only the temperatures you will be working in but also your level of activity.
Lightweight (4-4.5 oz)
Going on a Spring skiing trip? Hit the slopes in a lightweight base layer. These are best for use in cool temperatures while doing strenuous activities.
Midweight (5.3 or 5.4 oz)
Taking a leisurely hike on a cold winter day? Midweight base layers are the way to go because they will keep you warm in cold weather at moderate activity levels.
Heavyweight (8-9.5 oz)
Planning an ice fishing trip? Don’t forget the heavyweight base layers! These are used for cold weather when you are doing little activity or long work days outside in more extreme conditions.
Need multiple layers?
Yukon Quilted Base Layers are a great choice for extra insulation. Layer these on top of your thermals for even more warmth in super cold weather!
Lastly, don’t forget about the fit! Cold weather gear should fit more snug in order to trap heat closer to the body, while a looser fit is better for warmer weather conditions.