The perfect layering system not only protects you from adverse weather but also keeps you comfortable. The base layer is the most important part of any layering system as it lies next to the skin. Some people may wonder why layering is needed at all. The answer is simple; a quality layering system keeps you warm without overheating your body during activities. Layering your body with thin layers of breathable warm clothing is better than wearing bulky thick clothes as it won't provide the comfort and breathability. Layering eliminates bulky clothing to ensure free movement of the body. Giving optimal insulation without the additional weight of clothes is the primary job of a good layering system. In the following section, we have given information on choosing a perfect base layer for your wintertime fun activities.

Types of Base Layers

The ideal base layer does the job of balancing breathability, warmth, and moisture management. A base layer could be lightweight or heavyweight. It performs the task of picking moisture from the skin to evaporate into the surrounding. This keeps the skin feeling cool and dry during high-intensity activities. Heavyweight base layers keep you warmer compared to lightweight and are suitable for extremely cold weather. The base layers are mostly either made of synthetic fibres or using merino wool. Some base layers use a combination of both materials. In the following sections, we have given the main features of base layers made of these materials. This will make it easy for you to pick a base layer that suits your requirement.

Merino Wool Base Layer

Base layers made of this material have a high ratio of warmth to weight and thus offer optimum insulation in lightweight construction. Its moisture-wicking capacity is lesser compared to the base layers made of synthetic fibres. These base layers feel soft to the skin and are more breathable compared to the synthetic fibre base layers. These base layers are expensive and require careful washing and drying for maintenance.

Synthetic Wool Base Layer

These fabrics are not as warm as the merino wool base layers but have more moisture-wicking capacity. They are easily available and durable compared to their woollen counterparts. Synthetic base layers are easily available and cheaper to produce and hence are an ideal choice for people who are on a limited budget. Cleaning and maintenance of these base layers require less effort. These layers may not be as breathable as a woollen base layer, but they will do the job for you during high-intensity activities. These base layers are the perfect choice for skiers sensitive to woollen products.  

Now being familiar with the pros and cons of different types of base layers, you can decide which one you need based on your preference. You can pick the ideal one depending on the intensity of the activity you want to carry out wearing them. If you want to feel comfortable with high breathability than go for base layers made of merino wool. If you want a base layer that wicks moisture quickly and requires less maintenance then go for a synthetic base layer. You can also go for layers featuring a blend of both these materials and see if they fulfil your requirements. One final advice, keep your comfort and budget in mind while choosing the ideal base layer for your winter wardrobe.