FAQ base layers

All you need to know about base layers

Thinking about going skiing without a base layer? Think again! And let us tell you why.

A base layer, like the name, might hint, is your base. And it helps to regulate your body temperature by leading sweat away from your body.

This way, you will stay dry. And staying dry is the most important factor to keep warm while doing any snow activity.

And then, of course, your base layer will not just lead sweat away and keep you dry, it will also add warmth in combination with your ski jacket / snowboard jacket.

You should more or less always be wearing a base layer when you’re heading out to do any snow activities. Even on a warm day, the base layer will lead that sweat away and keep your body temperature at a more enjoyable level.

Let’s answer some of the most common questions about base layers

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What kind of material should a ski base layer be made out of?

Your base layer needs to be made out of a material that leads moisture away from your skin. Polyester, nylon, polypropylene or blended synthetic fabrics are some common ones that do the trick. Merino wool is the most common material that is not synthetic that still does a good job.

Watch out for silk, it might feel nice against your skin. But performance wise it can not hold up against synthetic or merino wool.

How Often Should You Wash Your Ski Base Layer?

This is individual and depends a little bit on the type of base layer and how often you use it. But, a good rule of thumb, when it smells bad it is probably time to wash it. Just read up on the washing instructions.

Make sure to let it dry every time you get it sweaty or use it, that way it will keep alive longer.

What is a base layer shirt

A base layer shirt is your top. The most common is to buy a base layer that is consisting of two parts. One base layer shirt and a pair of base layer pants. These two together make your base layer.

What are base layer pants?

Your base layer pants are your second part of the base layer. Just like it sounds, it is a pair of pants. Together with your base layer shirt, it makes a complete base layer.

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What Is The Warmest Base Layer Clothing?

The thickest base layer is also usually the warmest one. Pretty simple. But, with the small detail that the warmest one might not actually be the one that keeps you the warmest.
The base layer also needs to breathe and lead sweat away from your body. So be sure to read the answer to question #1 before choosing. What material should a base layer be made out of?

What To Wear Over A Base Layer?

Over your base layer comes your second or mid layer. That is the layer that should add warmth. The insulation layer. Polyester fleece, down insulated or synthetically insulated products, is what you should look for here. 

What Is The Difference Between Compression Base Layer And Mid Layer?

A compression base layer fits tightly against the skin with compression fit garments that give a bit of muscle support and increased blood flow. It should not fit so tight that it restricts freedom of movement. A mid layer base does not offer any compression. 

What does a base layer entail for hiking?

A base layer for hiking and snow activity is pretty much the same thing. The difference can though be in terms of warmth. If you go for a warmer hike, you might want a base layer that only leads moist away without adding too much warmth. A thinner layer might be your best choice then.

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Can you wear two base layers?

Simply, yes. Wearing two base layers can be an effective and flexible part of your layering.  If you are out in very cold conditions. Wearing two base layers can be really helpful. And if you get to warm, removing one of the base layers is easy. So give it a go the next time you’re out on really cold adventures.

What base layer Should Be Used for skiing?

There is not one base layer that is the best one, but there is one that is the best for you. If you know what climates and what kind of skiing you are doing, that can help you to choose the thickness of your base layer. But for most, a mid-thick synthetic base layer is the best and most flexible bet.

What is the best base layer for snowboarding?

Just like with skiing above, there is not one best base layer. But for most, a synthetic mid-thick base layer would be the best and most flexible bet.

How About Some More Related Reading?

If you enjoyed this piece about base layers, maybe you will enjoy these two about what to wear for spring skiing and a in-depth guide about softshell jackets?  

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