The cold weather has arrived and you still want to go out, possibly even on a short break, somewhere – a long weekend- so what do you wear? The answer is proper layering. This is when thermal underwear comes into play.
You will also need to factor in the activity you’ll be doing, the weather conditions, and your personal preferences. Here’s a breakdown of some top options based on different needs.
For Everyday Warmth and Comfort:
- Merino Wool: This natural fibre is incredibly soft, warm, breathable, and odour-resistant, making it ideal for everyday wear in cold weather. Brands like Smartwool, Icebreaker, and Wool & Prince offer great merino wool thermal sets for both men and women.
- Midweight Synthetic Blends: These offer a good balance of warmth, breathability, and moisture-wicking ability, making them comfortable for various activities like running errands, lounging around the house, or going for a light walk. Patagonia Capilene Cool Lightweight and Outdoor Research Echo Light are popular choices.
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For High-Intensity Activities:
- Synthetic Base Layers: Designed to wick away sweat and dry quickly, these are perfect for workouts, skiing, snowboarding, or any activity where you’ll be moving around a lot. Look for options from brands like Under Armour ColdGear, and Helly Hansen Lifa.
For Extreme Cold:
- Heavyweight Merino Wool or Wool Blends: When the temperature really drops, you’ll need something extra warm and insulating. Look for heavyweight merino wool options like Smartwool Merino 250 or Minus33 Merino Wool Base Layers. Wool blends with synthetic fibres like Capilene Thermal Wool from Patagonia can also be a good choice.
Thermals for skiing
Choosing the right thermals for skiing is crucial for staying warm and comfortable on the slopes. Here are some factors to consider to help you pick the best ones:
- Merino wool: Considered the gold standard for ski thermals. It’s naturally insulating, moisture-wicking, and odour-resistant. However, it can be pricier.
- Synthetic: A more affordable option than merino wool. Offers good insulation and moisture-wicking properties, but may not be as odour-resistant. Blends of synthetic and merino wool offer a good balance of performance and price.
- Silk: Luxurious and lightweight, but not as insulating as merino wool or synthetics. Good for warmer conditions or as a thin base layer under thicker thermals.
- Lightweight: Ideal for warmer days or active skiers. Provides light insulation and good moisture-wicking.
- Midweight: Most versatile option for a range of temperatures and activity levels. Offers good insulation and breathability.
- Heavyweight: Best for very cold conditions or less active skiers. Provides maximum insulation but can be less breathable.
- Snug: Important for optimal moisture-wicking and insulation. However, shouldn’t be too tight to restrict movement.
- Crew neck: Good for layering under mid-layers and outerwear.
- Turtleneck: Provides extra warmth around the neck.
- Long sleeves: Essential for keeping your arms warm.
- Flat seams: Reduce chafing.
- Thumbholes: Keep hands warm and sleeves in place.
- Anti-odour treatment: Helps control odour build-up.
Here are some popular brands for ski thermals:
- Consider the fit: Thermal underwear should fit snugly but not too tight to allow for proper insulation and movement.
- Think about layering: Pair your thermals with other layers like fleece or down jackets depending on the temperature and activity.
- Choose the right features: Some thermals come with thumbholes, hoods, or flys for added comfort and convenience.
Remember, the best thermal underwear is the one that keeps you warm and comfortable in the specific conditions you’ll be using it in. Consider your needs and preferences when making your choice, and don’t hesitate to try out a few different options to find your perfect match.