Choose the Right Thermal Underwear & Base Layers for Winter

  • Post author:
Choose the Right Thermal Underwear & Base Layers for Winter

There are many layers of clothes that people would wear in winters whether to go outside for a walk or do activities. The layer system usually consists of baselayer, mid layer, and outerwear; it is more effective to wear multiple layers than wearing just one thick layer because it traps air against the skin. However, there are a variety of base layers out there. We will give you some guidelines how to choose, so you have some ideas and be ready for upcoming winter.

The characteristics that the thermal underwear or baselayer should have.

  • Keep warm or maintain the body’s micro temperature
  • Keeps you dry when you sweat inside
  • Soft touch as you need to wear it directly on your bare skin
  • Odor resistance
  • Durable

As mentioned above, there would be 3 key focuses that need to be taken into consideration; materials, fabric weight, shape and fit. In this article, we will only focus on materials, as it is the main key of these three.


Merino Wool – No one would make an objection that, wool is the best material for winter wear because of its thermal performance . It gives the skin friendly touch and is breathable. Wool is also highly and naturally resistant to odor-causing bacteria. On the other hand apart from being very expensive, it is not as durable as synthetics and takes longer to dry. So, generally you can find merino wool mostly likely being blended with synthetic fibres for better performance and price.

Acrylic – This synthetic fibre was invented to mimic wool. Therefore, its thermal insulation is outstanding and is widely used in sweaters and winter accessories. Unlike other synthetic fibres, acrylic resembles the look and feel of natural fibres; it is light weight, durable, and have good moisture wicking. It has similar pilling resistance as other synthetic fibres, although anti-pilling variants are available. It is more expensive than polyester.

Polyester – Polyester is a very versatile fibre and is also quite inexpensive It is durable, quick dry, light weight, and easy to care for. On the contrary, it gives the synthetic touch, which many users feel uncomfortable to wear.

Silk – For low-key activities in moderately cool weather, silk would be another option for thermal underwear. It gives luxuriously soft texture without adding bulk and it is reasonably warm for its weight. Similar to wool, silk will slowly take away moisture from the body. It is not easy to take care of as it requires hand-wash and also lacks of breathability.

Cotton – Although cotton is well-known for breathability and comfort, but it is the least preferable when it comes to thermal underwear and base layer. Cotton absorbs sweat rather than wicking it away, this results in making you feel chilled and wet. If the weather is cold outside, you will get cold quickly if you wear cotton underwear and base layer, which eventually leads to hypothermia.