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Best Base Layers For Men In 2019

It can be a bit hit or miss making an attempt to choose the perfect base layer for males. Have a learn by means of our base layer guide and check out our range of suggestions.

Whether you’re out for a winter stroll or mountaineering to cold temperatures at excessive altitudes, there’s an ideal number of men’s base layers to choose from.

In this text we record our one of the best base layers for males in 2019. After that, when you’re totally new to buying base layers, we stroll you through a number of the key things you could contemplate when buying a men’s base layer to meets your wants.

If you just don’t have time for that and simply need to know what our top choice is, we advocate the SmartWool Men’s NTS Mid 250 Crew, it’s our primary selection for the perfect men’s base layer.

Best Base Layers for Men

We’ve selected five of one of the best base layers, of varying thicknesses and fabrics, so no matter your preferences, time of yr and activity degree, you’ll will discover one that’s made to fit your needs. Here’s our best base layers for males.

#1 Smartwool Merino 250 Base Layer Crew

Check out the Smartwool Men's NTS Mid 250 on Amazon

Get the SmartWool NTS Mid 250 Crew on Amazon now!


  • 100% natural Merino wool
  • Shoulder panels for elevated comfort carrying a backpack – no shoulder seams
  • Wonderful temperature regulation
  • Doesn’t hold odors
  • Interlock knit with flatlock seams for consolation and ease of movement


  • Costly
  • Weighs quite a bit when wet

This slim-fitting, 100% merino wool crew from Smartwool is our favorite base layer for when temperatures drop.

The superb thermoregulatory high quality of merino wool means you’ll keep heat in the cold, but you gained’t heat up an excessive amount of during times of exertion.

Get the SmartWool NTS Mid 250 Crew on Amazon now!

Because of the wool’s superior wicking and fast-drying nature, any perspiration is moved away from your skin, protecting you dry and heat. As with all Merino wool garments, this base layer does not maintain on to odors because of the wool’s pure antibacterial properties.

So, whether you’re sporting it for onerous summit hikes or for days on finish throughout extended backcountry trips, you gained’t want to fret about washing it out or placing up with the stench of dried sweat.

This additionally helps to extend the garments longevity as you actually can put on it for longer between washes.

This base layer is second warmest on our record. Because it’s heat sufficient to wear alone in addition to a base layer, this makes it one among our most versatile pieces and its attractiveness mean you can even wear it out and about.

As a thicker base layer, it is naturally less breathable than thinner ones, nevertheless, because of its thermoregulatory qualities and wonderful wicking properties, it keeps moisture nicely away, putting it virtually on a par with extra breathable models.

Nevertheless, in contrast to more breathable models, this crew supplies you with added warmth and wind protection so once you pause for a break, you gained’t instantly really feel chilly.

Snug and non-itchy, this base layer is slim becoming without being too tight. The interlocking knit and flatlock seams add consolation and ease of movement.

In contrast to some other base layers, this one is lengthy sufficient to maintain you absolutely coated when shifting about, even with overhead stretches. The shoulder panels substitute shoulder seams for additional comfort when carrying your backpack.

The primary draw back is the worth, nevertheless, take care of it nicely and it’ll final. It also becomes heavy when moist, like all wool, though because of its odor-resistant nature, you’re extremely unlikely to wish to scrub it on the path.

#2 Rab Merino+ 120 LS

Check out the Rab Merino+ 120 LS on Amazon

Get the Rab Merino+ 120 LS on Amazon now!


  • Wonderful breathability with Rab’s 37.5 know-how
  • Snug and lightweight
  • Second pores and skin match with unresisted mobility
  • Tapered sleeves and full-length gusseted underarms
  • Warmth for delicate winter circumstances or colder with intense activity


  • Skinny merino and polyester material is just not very durable

The Rab Merino+ 120 LS is a popular light-weight base layer created using a mixture of merino and polyester fibers for excellent results.

This mix makes for a heat base layer that’s appropriate for delicate or chilly circumstances with more intense exercise, because of its superior levels of breathability.

Get the Rab Merino+ 120 LS on Amazon now!

Rab’s excellent 37.5 know-how enhances moisture capture and evaporation on a molecular degree to keep you warm and dry. For those who take pleasure in holding lively year-round and tougher hikes, then this might be one of the best base layer for you.

Highly breathable and very quick drying, the Rab Merino+ additionally has the warmth, thermoregulatory and odor-resistant qualities of a pure merino wool prime, supplying you with the easiest of both worlds.

Its stretchy, light-weight material matches like a second skin for unhindered ease of motion, important for elevated consolation levels, especially on more technical hikes.

The complete garment-length gusseted underarms permit this base layer to maneuver with you and its long torso gained’t depart you uncovered when stretching or bending, while its tapered sleeves make it excellent for layering with ease.

The shoulder panels mean you gained’t have shoulder seams digging into your pores and skin beneath the load of a totally loaded backpack.

Should you have a tendency really feel the cold and don’t typically work up a sweat if you’re out, then the Rab Merino+ 120 is probably not the proper base layer for you. Additionally it is not as sturdy as some of our different suggestions, though with excellent care it should nonetheless last for fairly a while.

When you want a cushty, extremely breathable base layer that matches like a glove, then this really is the one to go for.

#3 Underneath Armour Coldgear Reactor

Check out the Under Armour Coldgear Reactor Base LAyer on Amazon

Get the Beneath Armour Coldgear Reactor on Amazon now!


  • Four-way stretch development for higher ease of movement
  • Mesh aspect panels for enhanced breathability
  • Light-weight, quick drying and breathable polyester and elastane material
  • Mushy brushed aspect subsequent to skin for breathable warmth
  • Anti-odor remedy prevents odor buildup


  • Neck might be tight to get on
  • Not as heat as merino wool

The Coldgear Reactor base layer by Underneath Armour is an effective selection for staying lively in colder climate.

This polyester and elastane mix gained’t give you the same degree of warmth as a merino or merino blend base layer, nevertheless, in case you’re in search of a sturdy, artificial base layer for average to intense exercise, then the Coldgear Reactor would make a sensible choice.

Get the Beneath Armour Coldgear Reactor on Amazon now!

Highly breathable, this base layer wicks sweat and dries extraordinarily shortly. For these of you who don’t need to have wool subsequent to your pores and skin, the delicate brushed inside supplies additional insulation and a warming sensation towards bare pores and skin.

Breathability is additional enhanced by the aspect mesh panels, so when you easily build up a sweat, this might be a very good base layer to think about.

Whereas there’s an anti-odor remedy to stop the growth of odor-causing microbes, in contrast to merino wool, you gained’t need to be sporting this for greater than a day earlier than washing.

With its four-way stretch material and articulated cuff, the Coldgear Reactor matches nicely and strikes with you, though it’s close fitting neck is usually a little troublesome to get on for some.

The aspect mesh panels also permit for larger freedom of movement, whereas the shoulder panels make for snug sporting with a backpack.

Whereas this base layer lacks a number of the heat of a merino prime, it is a good selection in case you are in search of additional breathability with a superb amount of stretch and a cosy fit.

#4 WoolX Glacier Heavyweight Base Layer

Check out the WoolX Glacier Base Layer on Amazon

Get the WoolX Glacier Heavyweight Base Layer on Amazon now!


  • Heavy interlock knitted merino layer
  • Designed for excessive cold – 18.5 micron, 400g/m
  • Underarm gusset
  • Cuffs with thumbholes
  • Stays tucked with slight again drop


  • Heavy when wet
  • Much less breathable

In case you are on the lookout for a base layer for excessive chilly or for sporting when camping, then the WoolX Glacier is the warmest base layer in our selection. Its dense, interlock knitted development is extremely warm and can shield from the wind as well as the chilly.

In spite of its density, it’s also fairly breathable because of its 100% merino wool development, although it is higher suited to decrease depth actions the place you’ll actually benefit from its additional heat.

Get the WoolX Glacier Heavyweight Base Layer on Amazon now!

In the event you’re considering a chilly winter backpacking journey, then this base layer can be a super choice to hold you warm even whenever you’ve arrange camp for the night time, as well as during breaks on the path. Its wool development also stops odors from build up, even after several days’ put on.

Though denser clothes are naturally less breathable, because of its merino wool development, the WoolX Glacier still breathes surprisingly nicely and does an ideal job of wicking sweat away from your body.

When you in all probability gained’t want such a heavy layer for top intensity actions, this base layer is fairly adaptive because of merino wool’s thermoregulatory qualities.

Going from a steep ascent together with your absolutely loaded backpack to a well-deserved break at a windy summit gained’t depart you over heating then out of the blue shivering with cold.

The Glacier is a cosy becoming, comfortably smooth base layer that has been designed with outside pursuits clearly in mind. It stays tucked because of its slight again drop and adequate torso size.

The cuffs function thumbholes, making layering simpler and providing additional warmth and protection in your arms, while the underarm gussets supply complete freedom of movement, ideally suited whenever you’re maneuvering a heavy backpack.

There are shoulder seams, nevertheless, they don’t cause any discomfort. The one real downsides are much less breathability because of the thickness of this heavyweight base layer and the fact that it is extremely heavy when moist.

All in all, a fantastically warm base layer best for very chilly mountaineering and backpacking trips. You might additionally use it over a lighter, daytime base layer when temperatures drop overnight and around camp.

#5 Helly Hansen Lifa Thermal Base Layer

Check out the Helly Hansen Lifa Base Layer on Amazon

Get the Helly Hansen Lifa Base Layer on Amazon now!


  • Produced from polypropylene that shortly moves moisture away from your pores and skin
  • Perfect for top depth activities in chilly weather
  • Non-itch, allergy neutral material with flatlock stitching
  • Lightweight and quick drying
  • Limited lifetime guarantee


  • Not very warm if you cease exercising
  • Brief physique

When you’re on the lookout for a cheap base layer for intense hikes, where you’ll be creating lots of physique heat, then the Helly Hansen Lifa Thermal Base Layer could possibly be the one for you.

It’s lightweight and dries extremely shortly, wicking sweat away out of your skin immediately because of its polypropylene development.

Get the Helly Hansen Lifa Base Layer on Amazon now!

In case you typically are likely to feel scorching quite than chilly and prefer path operating or fast-paced, energetic hikes, then this base layer can be a natural selection for all seasons because of its wonderful breathability.

Although the Lifa is fast drying and breathable, it isn’t very heat once you stop shifting. It might make an honest base layer for milder seasons, nevertheless, in case you are not anticipating to be actually lively on the paths, your wants would in all probability be better served by one other sort of base layer.

Furthermore, the athletic minimize of this garment makes it a bit of on the brief aspect. The low-bulk cuffs and flat-lock stitching make the Lifa straightforward to layer, while the polypropylene material is snug towards your skin.

On the whole, the Lifa base layer is a cheap choice that will not hold you very heat in cold winter weather, however it is going to dry shortly, wick away sweat and breathe.

So, if your activity ranges and climate fit in with these major qualities, then the Helly Hansen Lifa might be made for you. It’s also coated by Helly Hansen’s limited lifetime warranty.

What are Base Layers?

Base layers are close-fitting undergarments which are worn subsequent to the pores and skin. They provide an additional layer of insulation helping you to stay warm. Additionally they have an necessary position to play in retaining you dry, especially during more intense activities.

The layering strategy to outside wear permits for a mixture of different garments that may be altered for various circumstances similar to weather, terrain and exercise intensity, while catering to individual needs and preferences.

Base Layer Features

Whenever you’re on the lookout for a brand new base layer there are some necessary options to remember. Above all you need to stay heat and dry, but ease of motion, consolation and resistance to odors are a few of the different base layer options chances are you’ll need to think about.


It’s necessary to pick a base layer created from a cloth that is suited to your wants. Listed here are a number of the most popular base layer materials and their fundamental qualities:

  • Merino wool – Tremendous mushy, snug and pure, Merino wool is very reputed for its wonderful thermoregulatory qualities, preserving you at a great temperature despite temperature fluctuations or an increase or decrease in exercise ranges. It’s also naturally odor resistant and will not construct up a stink like some artificial clothes do.
  • Synthetic/wool mix – This provides the perfect of each worlds, the warmth of wool and its thermoregulatory qualities with the breathability of artificial materials. Wool/artificial blends have a tendency so as to add larger sturdiness to woolen garments and make them extra appropriate for larger exercise ranges.
  • Polyester/artificial blend – Polyester or other artificial base layers are likely to perform poorly at protecting you warm in chilly circumstances. They do, nevertheless, present wonderful breathability and are quick drying. When you are likely to not really feel the chilly too much and are planning on high intensity actions, then a synthetic base layer will present additional insulation with superior breathability.


Base layers are available in either light-weight, mediumweight or heavyweight. The heavier the load, the thicker and denser the garment shall be, preserving you warmer.

Polarmax Mid Weight Double Base Layer Men's Long Sleeve Crew Tee

Colder temperatures and lower activity levels are higher suited to heavyweight base layers, whereas milder temperatures and more intense activities are higher suited to light-weight base layers, that are likely to breathe higher but maintain you less insulated.


Base layers should fit snugly. To effectively wick moisture away, they have to be touching your skin. You’ll additionally find them more snug and easier to layer when they are close becoming.

Nevertheless, you don’t want them to be as shut a match as compression clothes. Base layers insulate by trapping a small quantity of warm air near your body. So, they’ll want to fit intently but not too tightly.

You could choose to purchase a base layer that is barely longer than your common t-shirts, it will allow you to keep yourself absolutely coated when stretching out and your layer of warm, insulating air won’t be lost in the event you can hold your base layer tucked into your pants.

Long, comfortable and relaxed is the perfect match for an effective base layer. For some manufacturers chances are you’ll want to measurement down in the event you’re typically between two sizes.


It goes with out saying that base layers have to be snug as they sit next to your skin. Whereas Merino wool is of course smooth and cozy next to your physique, artificial materials might have a brushed interior face to enhance heat insulation and add a comfortable sensation.

The actual knit of the garment itself will improve consolation ranges, as will any stretchiness, allowing for higher ease of movement. Shoulder panels, flat-locked seams, printed tags, there are numerous features which may improve your comfort levels.

Consolation can also be dependent upon the article’s thermoregulatory properties, its means to wick away sweat and its breathability. Retaining you heat and dry is by far an important comfort that a base layer can achieve.


It’s essential to stay dry so as to maintain heat and cozy. Even low-intensity activities may cause you to perspire and if your base layer lacks breathability, you would find yourself uncomfortably damp which might lead to extreme cold and even hypothermia.


You’ll want your base layer to wick sweat away out of your body to maintain you heat, dry and cozy. This requires materials that dry shortly, enabling environment friendly moisture switch and evaporation.


Merino wool is naturally odor-resistant and might be worn a number of occasions without washing. Even after a number of uses, it in all probability nonetheless gained’t odor.

Artificial materials, however, will want washing after use to stop dangerous odors build up. Some artificial fabrics are treated to stop this odor build up. This could mean that they odor less, nevertheless, in actuality they typically can odor fairly dangerous, nonetheless.


Base layers are principally minimalist for straightforward layering, nevertheless, you might need to look out for underarm gussets and any panels which will assist improve ease of movement.

Thumbholes can be a nice addition and provide a bit additional heat on your arms, while stopping your sleeves from driving up. You also needs to take note of seam location, especially on the shoulders.

Neck types range from model to mannequin and actually come down to non-public choice, whereas extras similar to mesh panels for added breathability could also be of interest in the event you additionally take pleasure in high-intensity winter activities.

Choosing the Proper Base Layer

When choosing your base layer, that you must choose one that is best for you and your wants, considering your private preferences, your activity ranges, the temperature and site.

Difficult, intense activities will require breathable, lighter weight base layers or else you’ll danger overheating, whereas in the event you are likely to really feel the cold and are planning a winter leisurely hike with plenty of stops to admire the snowy scenery, you then’d be better off with a much less breathable but warmer, heavier weight layer.

A medium weight Merino wool base layer or a combined wool and artificial layer is a superb versatile all-rounder for climbing, the place you could have a mixture of more intense exercise for ascents, pauses and slower sections.

A medium weight will ensure you stay heat if you stop, without overheating on the tougher sections of path.


Finding the most effective base layer for males is all about figuring out what you need and prioritizing those needs, while taking private preferences under consideration and dressing for the event with a wide selection of complementary layers.

For some individuals a mid-weight merino base layer fulfils all of their wants, others want to have a heavier weight for the depths of winter and a synthetic blend for different seasons or faster-paced adventures.

Finally, whatever works greatest for you and keeps you warm, dry and cozy is the perfect base layer there’s!