How to Choose a Base Layer

Choosing the right layers when on the slopes or taking part in any outdoor activity is crucial. A good base layer is necessary for maintaining the right body temperature and will wick away moisture (often caused by sweat) from the skin to stop dampness and cold setting in.


A base layer should be tight fitting so it traps air next to the skin and insulates the body from the cold.  We would recommend that you buy base layer clothing in the size you normally wear as they are made slightly smaller with this in mind.

Type of Base Layers

Different types of fabrics work in different ways to keep your body at the optimum temperature when out in the cold or when exercising.

Polyester Thermals

Polyester base layers keep the wearer warm down to about -8 to -10 degrees when worn in combination with ski clothing. Our Talus base layers are made with IsoTherm fabric which offers heat retention to keep you warm, as well as high wicking and quick drying properties to keep you dry.

Merino Wool Thermals

Merino Wool base layers are naturally antibacterial so can be worn for extended periods of time without smelling too badly! They can easily be used for a week long ski break, giving you even more space in your case!

Merino Wool thermals can also be worn in a greater range of climates as they regulate the body temperature and work with it to stop you getting too cold but also to stop you overheating when you do prolonged vigorous exercise. They generally work at keeping you warm down at -15 to -20 degrees but can also be worn if it’s hotter than planned i.e. spring skiing. They have natural UV resistance which is ideal for cold but sunny resorts. One the best thing about merino base layers is that they retain heat and their thermal properties even when wet. Great if you get snow up your jacket from a fall!

Active Base Layers

If you are a particularly active skier/boarder or are looking for a layer to exercise in you may not need a thermal to insulate but something just to wick away moisture. An active layer, like our Climate or Endurance t-shirts, or a merino base layer are ideal. These are designed to keep your body at a comfortable temperature no matter what weather you are out in.

Skiing vs Boarding Base Layers?

First time skiers in a lesson will be standing and less active so a polyester base layer is ideal. This would also be suitable for milder resorts like Bulgaria, or at warmer times of the year too. It tends to not be as cold in December or April, however, January and February are traditionally the coldest /windiest months.

First time boarders will be constantly up and down to stand up/fall over and bending to fasten and unfasten bindings so a thermal that works more in tune with the body like a merino is more suited. It’s likely you’ll also get a bit sweaty so an anti-bacterial baselayer will keep you smelling sweet!

Active skiers would also benefit from the properties of a merino base layer as would those heading to colder resorts like Canada and Scandinavia.

Handy tip: Layer two base layers together to get the benefits from each and cut down on wearing as many bulky mid layers gives you more freedom of movement. For example, merino next to the skin for the antibacterial property and then a thermal layer on top for added warmth- then simply add a microfleece on top. All three layers are very thin so will not restrict movement.


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