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Base layers for hiking and camping

How to choose base layers

Base layers are the best defense against the most feared combo – sweat and freezing temps. They wick moisture, keep you cozy and regulate your temperature. Made with cozy merino wool or a soft synthetic blend, there’s a few other features to consider when choosing your new base layers:

Consider the temperature, your activity level and what materials you like best when choosing base layer tops and base layer bottoms:

Material: Back to material, each type of material has its own benefits, like quick-drying properties and durability for a synthetic blend or excellent insulation and a natural odor resistance for merino wool.

Weight: Lightweight base layers work for light layering in the spring and as one of many layers in the chilly months, wicking sweat and regulating your temp; midweight and heavyweight base layers are a warmer layer to add under your ski jacket, keeping you a bit cozier while having the same sweat-wicking properties to keep you dry during high-intensity activities.

Other features like breathability, odor resistance and layering compatibility are things to look out for when choosing your new base layers from brands like MEC, Smartwool, Icebreaker, Patagonia and Kari Traa.