Before hitting the slopes, most people take inventory of their gear and purchase outer layers like jackets and pants. However, the most important piece of clothing for snowboarding is the base layer. It’s the first layer of protection against harsh weather. It provides insulation and regulates body temperature by wicking moisture and keeping you dry.
In a Hurry? Here are Our Top Choices
The 4 Best Base Layers for Snowboarding
The best base layer for snowboarding is lightweight and comfortable while still providing plenty of warmth. Because base layers come in different materials, fits, and thicknesses, it can be difficult to narrow down your choices. In this article, we have reviewed our top picks for the best base layers and have included a detailed buyer’s guide to help you make the right choice for your unique needs.
1. Icebreaker Women’s Merino 175 Everyday Long Sleeve Thermal Top
This thermal base layer by Icebreaker is versatile and comfortable. Made of 100% Merino wool fabric, it is temperature regulating while still being breathable and lightweight. The top, made from ribbed fabric, is both stretchable and comfortable. The Merino wool construction ensures that the top is odor-resistant, and thus, does not need to be washed as often as base layers made from other materials. Additionally, because Merino wool is biodegradable, this is a great option for eco-conscious snowboarders.
- 100% Merino wool
- Lightweight fabric
- Ribbed fabric
- Relatively affordable
2. Thermajohn Men’s Ultra Soft Thermal Shirt
This 92% polyester and 8% four-way stretch spandex thermal shirt is the best base layer for snowboarding for men. Not only does it allow for full mobility, but it’s also lined with fleece for warmth and comfort. The moisture-wicking nature of this base layer will keep sweat away from your body. This eliminates stickiness and clamming while also controlling the odor caused by too much moisture. Because it is lightweight with a compression fit, this top is an ideal base layer for snowboarding.
Furthermore, it’s designed with flat seams and no tags to eliminate chaffing and other irritation. Long-lasting and machine washable, this thermal top provides warmth on the slopes without breaking your bank.
- Long-lasting synthetic blend
- Stretch design for mobility
- Odor-control technology
3. Smartwool Women’s Intraknit Merino 250 Thermal Bottoms
These midweight thermal bottoms use targeted insulation and ventilation to keep you comfortable and warm when you’re on the slopes. They’re built to sculpt the body, optimize thermal control and moisture-wicking, and allow freedom of movement. As with other Merino-wool base layers, Smartwool thermal bottoms provide thermoregulation while also being breathable and controlling against odor.
Additionally, these bottoms feature mesh venting in strategic areas to optimize comfort and breathability. Ribbed elbows make the product more durable, and the reflective elements knitted in ensure visibility in all conditions.
- 100% Merino wool fabric
- 3-D knit design
- Odor-control properties
4. Bamboo Cool Men’s Bamboo Thermal Underwear Set
Made of 35% Bamboo Viscose, 58% Acrylic, and 7% Spandex, this men’s thermal underwear set can be described as the best base layer for snowboarding. Bamboo viscose is not only comfortable and antibacterial, but it is also a sustainable option. Because it’s so moisture-wicking and breathable, it’s an excellent alternative to cotton. Additionally, the set boasts a zipper closure and an open fly design for convenience. If for any reason, one is not satisfied with their purchase, there’s a 100% money-back guarantee available, making this product risk-free.
- Heat retention
- Stretchable for full mobility
- Money-back guarantee
- Not as long-lasting as other materials
Features to Consider When Buying a Base Layer for Snowboarding
Choosing the best base layer for snowboarding is not an easy task. The wrong choice can leave you cold and damp and ruin your snowboarding experience. The following features can help you determine which base layer you should opt for.
The majority of base layers are made out of synthetic materials, merino wool, or blends. Synthetic materials for base layers include polyester, nylon, and polyester blends. These are popular because they’re much more affordable and dry quicker than merino wool. However, unlike merino wool, they do not provide odor protection.
Merino wool is a popular fabric choice for base layers because it is breathable, regulates temperature, and is known for odor resistance. It’s also biodegradable, making it a great choice for those who are eco-conscious. Bamboo is another material now being used in active clothing. It is gaining popularity because it is naturally antibacterial, soft on the skin, and sustainable.
The most important thing to remember is to avoid cotton base layers because cotton is extremely absorbent and retains moisture.
The best base layer for snowboarding is comfortable and does not add unnecessary bulk. Some features that can help make your base layer more comfortable are flat seams, high necks, and thumb loops. While flat seams prevent chafing, high necks are excellent at keeping out draft.
Base layers for snowboarding come in different types and styles, including tights, shirts, jackets, and one-piece items. The right choice for you depends on how long you will be snowboarding and what you find most comfortable. While a one-piece may be more convenient and may save time when getting dressed, different tops and bottoms are more convenient for layering and bathroom breaks.
While fit is a preference, base layers work best when they fit snugly. This results in better moisture-wicking and insulation.
Base layers can be divided into lightweight, midweight, and heavyweight options. Individuals use different options for different seasons or changing temperatures.
Although materials like merino wool have many advantages over synthetic materials, durability isn’t one of them. Synthetic fibers are known for their durability, with nylon base layers being the most durable choice and polyester base layers being a close second.
Our Final Thoughts
Now that you know exactly what to look for in the best base layer for snowboarding, you can begin shopping for your vacation. Keep the features mentioned in our buyer’s guide in mind when shopping so that you can select the base layer that’s best suited to your needs.
As long as you avoid cotton and prioritize insulation and moisture-wicking properties, you’re guaranteed to have a great time snowboarding!