How to choose the best Base Layer?

Choosing the right base layers layers when hitting slopes or taking part in any outdoor activity is crucial. A base layer is so important for maintaining the right body temperatures and a good base layer will wick away moisture from the body that is often caused by sweat. This eliminates dampness and cold setting in while participating in any outdoor activities. Base layers can also be referred to as thermal underwear and you can wear them on your body and on your legs.

We’ve shared our insights to choosing the right base layer for your next snow adventure, including fabric thickness, warmth, material, and finding the perfect fit.

Fabric Thickness

Base Layers generally fall into three categories:

1. Light Weight

2. Medium Weight

3. Heavy Weight

Most retailers will share this specification on their products, although there is no real standardisation which is why some retailers choose to leave this detail out.It’s recommended to consider the type of sport or activity you’ll be wearing the base layers for - and then make a decision on the type of fabric thickness that would be best.

Finding Your Perfect Fit

It’s also essential to find the perfect fitting base layer to provide optimal comfort, breathability, and performance. A high-performing base layer will retain or release your body warmth for ultimate temperature regulation, actively manages moisture and repelling sweat away from the skin, plus providing unbeatable comfort for all wear all day long.

Discover Arctic Eco-Sno’s Motion Base Layer Collection here. Each Motion Base Layer set is carefully crafted with 78% recycled fabrics or 24 recycled plastic bottles!

Different Types of Base Layers

There are many different fabrics for base layers and all work in different ways to keep your body at the optimum temperature when out in the cold or when exercising.

Synthetic fabrics (polyester) and merino wool are the most common and best fabrics used for base layers. Cotton should never be worm as a technical base layer as the fabric soaks up moisture and draws heat away from the body leaving the wearer cold and uncomfortable.

Learn more about layering
Polyester Base Layers

Polyester base layers are extremely quick drying, lightweight and very good at wicking away moisture from the skin to keep you dry and comfortable. Because they are a synthetic fabric they can made to feel extremely soft to touch and are when mixed with a spandex can be a very stretch fabric.

Normally using synthetic fabrics like polyester can be very harmful to the planet in the manufacturing process. However in our effort to address this environmental impact, Arctic Eco-Sno proudly uses recycled fibres that are made from recycled materials including plastic bottles and plastic ocean waste.

Recycling plastic bottles for fabrics offsets using new petroleum, emitting fewer greenhouse gases, and conserving water and energy - making a BIG difference for our future.The recycled fibres used for our collections undergo a process to embed properties such as moisture wicking, adaptive warming and cooling and water repellency to bring you reliable and durable base layers for your everyday adventures.

Merino Wool vs Polyester Base Layers

Merino wool is another alternative to synthetic fabrics however is does not wick away moisture from the skin as well as synthetic fabric.

Merino wool helps to regulate body temperature, the tiny air pockets in the wool help to draw away excess heat from the body which prevents you overheating when you participate in exercise. Merino wool is not as soft as synthetic fabrics and is often found to feel rough to touch and although a great insulator it is not the most comfortable item to wear as a base layer.

Merino wool is a natural resource as it comes from sheep, however if you look online your find some pretty horrific stories of farmers treating their sheep poorly. ‘Mulesing' is widely used by sheep farmers, this is the removal of large swaths of skin and flesh from area around the anus of a sheep. Sheep farmers do it to combat a blowfly infestation called ‘flystrike’ which can afflict the unnaturally dense, urine and faces encrusted skin folds around their sheep’s rear ends. Most merino brand say they take caution to only work with ethical farmers however you may want to thick twice before believing what they tell you.

It’s up to you to form your own opinion on whether merino wool is right for you.  PETA explain more on why wool is not such a great clothing alternative.

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