Want to stay warm but dry on the hill? Then getting your baselayer right is absolutely key
Find out why getting your baselayer right is crucial with our Buyer’s Guide.
1. Arc’teryx Phase AR zip neck, £60
A Gear Guide stalwart, and rightly so. This is a great choice for tourers and freeriders due to its low-bulk thermal regulation and impressive moisture management, which is enhanced by the figure-hugging fit. Bonus features include odour-control treatment, flatlock construction, gusseted underarms and a laminated chin guard.
2. Falke Skiing Wool Tec zip shirt, £90
Merino goodness blended with polyamide and elastane for a close, comfortable fit. It insulates those areas that tend to lose heat easily (i.e. your core), while at the same time ventilating warmer areas (i.e. under your arms). It’s also quick wicking, fast drying and can be worn for days on end without stinking thanks to its natural anti-bacterial properties.
3. Falke Skiing Wool Tec long tights, £70
Pre-formed knees, anti-bacterial properties and excellent moisture management make these a good choice for advanced skiers. We’re especially impressed by the way the tights keep areas prone to coldness warm while also keeping hotspots well-ventilated.
4. Helly Hansen Warm Flow Ullr top, £80
Functionality and comfort combine in the Ullr series, which uses Helly’s own Warm fabric and Lifa Stay Dry Tech. It’s insulating, breathable and fast wicking all at once. We like the no-chafe flatlock stitching and cosy thumbholes too. The half-zip lets you manage how much fresh air reaches your body, making it an all-seasons pick.
5. Icebreaker Zone One Sheep suit, £150
This features BodyfitZone technology, which maps fabric to relevant body parts. Ventilation panels keep you cool, and there’s a back flap in case nature calls… The key ingredient is merino, so it’s warm, breathable, soft and lightweight.
6. Odlo Blackcomb Evolution Warm L/S Facemask, £80
For 2015/16 Odlo has released a new range called Blackcomb, which seamlessly blends fashion with function. Beyond the subtle jaquard pattern lie knitted zones providing insulation and temperature regulating mesh made with 30% recycled polyester. We’re not surprised it won an ISPO Gold award.
7. Ortovox 206 Merino Ultra hoody, £149
Don’t be put off by the price, this is actually a two-layer hoody, acting as both a base and mid-layer at once. The big news is the use of an innovative process which spins fine wool fibres around a nylon core to create a more comfortable, elastic and durable fabric which dries five times faster than standard merino.
8. Skins A200 Thermal compression top, £70
A blend of polyamide and elastane combines abrasion resistance with breathability and softness. The brushed interior releases heat back to your body, while the compression element aids circulation, bringing fresh oxygen to muscles, with the aim of staving off tiredness or chilliness. Extras include mesh underarms for venting and a silicone stopper to prevent the hem riding up.
9. Smartwool NTS Mid 250 asymmetrical crew, £85
This is 100% merino wool, so expect great breathability, lightweight warmth and softness. The garment uses Smartwool’s Interlock knit to offer UPF50+ protection. There are shoulder panels and flatlock seam construction to minimises rubbing and chafing as well.
10. X-Bionic Acc Evo UW round-neck shirt, £110
A very technical baselayer from X-Bionic’s Energy Accumulator series, featuring compression areas for better circulation, plus a system of ventilation channels which carry away moisture and warm air. Defined shoulder zones feature a wave-like structure that keeps the whole body warm.
Read all our gear reviews in the 2015-16 Fall-Line Gear Guide, out now