Fri. Jun 14th, 2024
Base LayersBasic Guide for Choosing the Right Base Layers

Getting the right clothing for the right occasion is important; imagine wearing a jumpsuit and flip flops on a mountain hike? Or getting all suited up in a 3-piece tuxedo for a day at the beach? Sounds ridiculous right?  Well not only will you look ridiculous but you will not be able to maximize the experience.

One activity or set of activities that most definitely require the right type of clothing are physically exerting activities such as hiking, mountain climbing, biking and gym workouts. The most appropriate kind of dressing for these activities or similar ones are clothing known as baselayers; these are cloths that are closest to your body. They are designed to either keep you warm or cold depending on the weather conditions and your activity level.

In this article, we will discuss the basics of these types of clothing and how choosing the right one will determine how enjoyable your adventure or activity will be.

Understanding Base Layers

ase Layers
Understanding Base Layers

Base layers are pieces of clothing that are made from materials that are meant to keep the wearer comfortable during physical activity. The primary purpose of the material is to absorb and remove the sweat that’s released by the wearer in the course of physical activities. This activity is called wicking and it helps to keep the wearer warm and dry.

Some manufacturers also refer to their base layers as thermal clothing and they come in different styles and fabrics. These pieces of apparel can either be worn alone or underneath another set of clothing. In summer they are worn alone while in winter, they are worn underneath another set of clothing.

Like we mentioned, these cloths are made from different fabrics.  They can either be made from Merino wool or synthetic fabrics; some brands have even added silk to the list of materials used although this is not yet widely popular.  Whatever material you decide to go with, ensure that you find out the pros and cons so that you can make the right choice.

Find below the different materials that they are made from:-

Synthetic Fabrics

The synthetic fabrics that base layers are made from include nylon, polyester and polypropylene. These materials are manufactured through yarn technology that is designed to remove moisture from the body to the surface of the material. The moisture on the surface of the material then evaporates and the wearer is dry, warm and comfortable.

These materials are best for high level physical exertion that builds sweat, water sports in spring or summer and on expeditions where you need to pack light. Read this article for more information on synthetic materials.

Advantages of Base Layers Made from Synthetic Fabrics

The following are the pros of using this material:-

  1. They are breathable
  2. They are durable
  3. They are great at moisture wicking
  4. They are cost effective
  5. The can be washed with machine
  6. They dry quickly


  1. Prone to odour retention
  2. Takes a longer time to degrade

Merino Wool

This is a material gotten from wool from Merino sheep. It is widely used for thermal apparels due to its ability to effectively manage moisture. This material however, is not as durable as its synthetic alternatives which make it not as resistant to wear and tear.

This is one reason why many brands combine Merino wool with synthetic fabric in making their base layers.  The aim is to harness the best of both materials to deliver optimum durability, warmth and moisture wicking ability.

This material is best for use when on an activity that will take a long time such as a mountain hike, activities where you have to stop, rest and continue, low level energy activities and activities in extremely cold weather. 

Advantages of Base Layers Made from Merino Wool

  1. Adequate regulation of temperature
  2. Great odour control
  3. Easy maintenance
  4. Clothing retains its shape for a long time
  5. Non itchy
  6. Wrinkle resistant


  1. Doesn’t last as long as synthetic fabric
  2. They are more expensive
  3. Doesn’t dry as fast as synthetic materials

Visit this site  for more insight on Merino Wool.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Base Layer

Having seen the materials that’s most commonly used for making these thermal wears, here are additional considerations when shopping for them:-

  1. Protection from the sun
  2. Odor control
  3. Your activity level
  4. Durability
  5. Ease of maintenance
  6. Cost


From the basic information that we have shared in this article, you can see that having the right wear for an activity determines whether you will fully enjoy the activity of not. Getting the right base layer for an activity is crucial not only for maximum enjoyment of the activity but also for health reasons. There is no one option fit for all occasions; this means that you will need different base layers for different occasions/activities.

We believe that the information we have shared here will help you make an informed decision when you go shopping. Bear them in mind so that you can get the best buy and therefore enjoy your adventure.