There are a ton of base layers out there, and with all those choices, you might be tempted to just grab one off the shelf. But there are some details worth paying attention to, such as the type of fabric, and the weight, thickness, warmth, and wickability of a particular piece.
To narrow things down a bit for you, and to clarify some of your options, we’ve listed some of our favorite base layers that we wear on any given day in the mountains or around town.
We’ll be adding to this index going forward, but it should give you a head-start in shopping for a new layer.
We’ve split these products up into loose categories based on their material—ranging from pure merino wool, to merino / synthetic blends, to fully synthetic fabrics. We’ve also included an underwear section at the end, with our take on some more athletic underwear options
Also note that most of the wool and wool-blend base layers have a fabric weight listed. This should give you a relative sense of how thin or thick those pieces are. (A fabric with a weight of 150 g/m2 is quite thin, while a 250g/m2 piece will be quite a bit thicker and warmer.)
NEXT: Wool Tops and Bottoms