When dressing for the cold, a mistake that people often make is to simply throw a fleece and a warm jacket over the top of their regular T-shirt. The problem here is that your standard cotton T-shirt offers very little in terms of insulation and – what’s worse – often has very poor breathability. Throughout the day the T-shirt tends to soak up any perspiration, leaving you with a cold, damp layer right next to your skin. It’s surprising just how much difference a decent base-layer can make to your overall warmth, and with the natural wicking ability of wool, you’ll find yourself dry and comfortable all day long. Here are three of our favourites:
1. Icebreaker Oasis T-Shirt
An extremely lightweight T-shirt made from 100% merino wool, the Icebreaker Oasis Short Sleeve Crew makes a fantastic base layer for year-round use. Thanks to the superfine merino wool used by Icebreaker, this base layer is softer against the skin when compared to many other woollen garments, making it suitable for those with sensitive skin. It has been ergonomically shaped for a more comfortable fit, resulting in the perfect base layer for active use such as cycling, running or hill-walking.
2. Woolpower 200g Turtleneck
We’ve stocked the trusty Woolpower 200g Turtleneck for over ten years now, and you’ll find one in the wardrobes of every single member of the Woodlore team (Ray included of course!). With full-length sleeves and snug cuffs, a high collar and an extended back, this is a highly protective base layer, yet is still amazingly light in weight. Highly recommended for those attending our winter expeditions, the Woolpower Turtleneck is also great for cold-weather use here in the UK. Chuck one of these on before heading out in the morning and you’ll feel like you never left your bed!
3. Brynje Arctic Zip Polo
A more substantial choice compared to the Icebreaker and Woolpower options, the Brynje Arctic Zip Polo is a durable and heavy-duty garment made from two layers – a merino wool outer for warmth, and a synthetic mesh lining for enhanced breathability. While it may sound like an odd combination, this mesh-lined system has been tested and proven in some of the harshest environments. In fact, Brynje clothing was worn by the adventurer Sir Edmund Hillary on his legendary expedition to scale Mount Everest in 1953. If the extra weight isn’t an issue for you, this base layer offers incredible warmth and improved moisture-wicking ability.
For the full range of T-shirts and thermal underwear stocked by Woodlore, please visit our Thermal Base Layers page.