Whether you’re continuing your workout regimen or getting started on a New Year’s fitness kick, it’s important to wear the right clothing for the job. A good workout shirt is as essential as a good pair of sneakers, especially when its winter. That’s why you need a base layer. The next-to-skin layer wicks moisture, maintains warmth, and keeps you comfortable and chafe-free as you work up a sweat everywhere from the slopes to the track near your cul-de-sac. They also serve as great non-workout layers on exceptionally cold days. Here are our favorite options.
Patagonia Capilene Layer
Patagonia’s mid-weight Capilene top represents the gold standard in base layers. Soft, versatile, and warm, these top-shelf tops utilize a moisture-wicking fabric that helps keep the heat in and the stink out. As it comes from Patagonia, the top is also Fair Trade Certified.
L.L. Bean Silk Crewneck
L.L. Bean knows how to make a no-frills base layer. This simple option offers insulation without bulk and feels baby-soft against the skin. Layer it beneath a sweatshirt for a run or jacket on the slopes and you’re good to go on a frigid day.
Smart Wool Merino 250
For days when you can feel the cold in your bones, Smart Wool’s Merino 250 is an excellent choice. Consider it a thick, full-body sweater that wicks sweat and breathes wonderfully. Merino wool not only makes this top comfortable and warm, but, as it’s also naturally antibacterial, it also keeps odors at bay.
Uniqlo’s Heattech line has long been a favorite of ours, thanks to its solid construction and affordable price point. Designed by fashion star Alexander Wang, this layer is made from a moisture-wicking, stretchy fabric that hugs the body and moves along as you do. It’s also priced well.
Norrona Super Onepiece
When it’s so cold it hurts, you’re going to want a onesie like Norrona’s super Onepiece. Even though the Norrona gives you near full body coverage, it’s light enough to not weigh you down, stretches in all the right places, and dries rapidly so you don’t catch a chill after you work up a sweat.
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