Top 5 Base Layers 2017
Whether your outdoor lifestyle is more active with mountain trails, mountain runs, or even local jogs, it’s important to find the right base layer gear to improve comfort and performance, to make the most out of your adventure. With capacity for indoor sports and training at the same time, we’ve chosen 5 of our favourite base layer pieces from the internet with different attributes to help you make an informed choice whilst still showcasing our favourites.
With two main types of base layers, different clothing is suitable for both cold and hot weather. Hot weather gear usually wicks moisture away from your skin as you sweat, whereas cold weather base layers are ideal for providing insulation to keep you warm, whilst working as a layer if needed. Whether you’re looking for a loose or tight fitting garment, there’s a wide range available that all provide different features. Generally, compression garments are close-fitting, which enables synthetic fabrics to effectively wick moisture away from the skin to keep it cool and dry, or keep heat in during colder weather. Other technical base layer tops have been created to increase blood flow and efficiency by supporting and compressing muscles for efficient recovery.
Our top base layer tops for 2017 have been tested on walks, hikes, and even climbs to give you the best informed choice prior to your next outing.
Helly Hansen Lifa Merino Crew Base Layer
Merino wool exteriors are becoming increasingly popular as a prime material for base layers, and Helly Hansen’s take on this combines with a Lifa technology interior to make the most of a 2 layer construction. The 2 in 1 base layer is ideal for a range of different aerobic activities with the excellent moisture management properties, making this suitable for everything from sports training to climbing, skiing, and even sailing. The flat lock seams reduce irritability and increase comfort, and the Lifa construction has been created to make the garment dry quickly, whilst still staying super-lightweight and breathable. All Helly Hansen base layers include the Lifa Stay Dry technology, meaning they’ve had 40 years to continually perfect the ingredient.
Smartwool Merino 150 Long Sleeve Base Layer
Merino wool is ideal as a year-round base layer, and the 150 makes this Smartwool’s lightest, most versatile layer to create enhanced breathability and durability during both warm and cool weather. The wool material is ideal as a solo layer in summer, or as a base layer in colder weather, with Merino fibres that wrap around a nylon core for premium durability without sacrificing on comfort. With the no-stink properties and body temperature regulation, this is an ideal garment for active and fast-paced hikes and outings. The soft merino wool combines with with the smooth flat lock seams that minimise chafing, and the wide seams and raglan sleeves provide the maximum range of motion and durability without any scratching.
Montane Sonic Zip SS Mens Base Layer
If you’re looking for a base layer that provides an easy on-off system, a half zip top is an ideal choice to combat tight fitting garments. The unique Apex-Dry fabric in the main body of the layer has been created to be an extremely lightweight, anti-static, high performance piece ideal for any fast mountain activity. Aside from high performance, the fabric wicks away performance, dries fast, and provides a UPF of 50+ to protect the skin. With a mesh fabric under the arms, there’s fantastic air permeability where this is needed most. With polygiene odour control, and a tailored fit for next to skin comfort, a low-rise collar that fits perfectly with a backpack, and flatlock sewn seams throughout, thought has been put into every inch of this premium garment complete with reflective detailing.
Icebreaker Everyday SS Crew Mens Baselayer
Icebreaker’s Everyday Crew is the ideal shirt for taking out on every trip. The 200gm rib fabric is soft and warm whilst still staying lightweight, meaning it is perfect for packing for overseas adventures, as well as comfortable enough to wear on longer journeys with the odour wicking merino wool fabric. As a great layering piece for cooler weather, this acts as an insulation layer under a shell meaning you don’t need to pack heavy or thick coats with you, and flat lock stitching with raglan sleeves is ideal for comfort and freedom of movement.
Mountain Equipment Eclipse Hooded Zip Mens Baselayer
Mountain Equipment’s Eclipse base layer has been specifically created for winter use with a Pontetorto Tecnopile fabric which means this base layer is warm without needing to be bulky, and dries exceptionally fast even after long and active pursuits. The unique close fitting hood creates full facial protection, and still works perfectly under a helmet for climbs. This is the only one of our five choices crafted from 187 fleece for premium warmth without the bulk, and 154 fleece panels in key areas. Anti-microbial technology fuses with a Bluesign, environmentally friendly odour control for premium innovation and technology. With a close fitting hood with an offset closure for great protection, overstitched seams for premium comfort, a Napoleon pocket with a mesh back to store your gear, and low bulk cuffs with integrated thumb loops, this base layer incorporates every piece of detail.
With a range of different choices for a variety of outings that require base layer tops, we hope this has given you an idea of which fabrics and styles are ideal for you. Whether this is your first technical clothing, or you require a new style for your next walk, we’ve given 3 awards to different pieces to help you decide which is the perfect option for you.
Best Performance – Mountain Equipment Eclipse Hooded Zip Mens Baselayer
All of these products are ideal for warm or cold temperatures, but Mountain Equipment’s baselayer range goes the extra mile with added features. With thumb loops, a pocket, hood, and a warm yet lightweight fleece outer, this base layer incorporates everything you need for a comfortable trip.
Best Looks – Helly Hansen Lifa Merino Crew Base Layer
Baselayers generally put technical features at the forefront which means colours and design take a backstep. This means most styles are generally plain colours perhaps with reflective strips for substance. However, Helly Hansen’s range incorporates extra aesthetic elements into their designs, and the Lifa Merino Crew Base Layer combines minimalist and simple designs with different colourways to stand out.
Best Value – Icebreaker Everyday SS Crew Mens Baselayer
Icebreaker’s Everyday Crew does exactly what it says. With odour control allowing for multiple wear, a short sleeve lightweight fabric that allows this to be worn on its own in the summer, or as an insulating layer in colder temperatures, and a simple, packable design, this is ideal for holidays, or an everyday piece for daily trips.