Move over merino — brilliant baselayers for skiing
Move over merino! This year there are some amazing base layers around — from one-piece suits to cashmere to yak’s wool. We’ve picked a few of our favourites here.
Patagonia Capilene 4
This is the most amazing onesie. Who would have thought these would come round again? Patagonia has teamed up with Polartec Power Dry and Polygiene on its Capilene 4 — a soft, breathable baselayer that eliminates any cold spots. The odour-resistant, moisture-wicking one-piece base-layer has flat seams and ultra-soft material for extra comfort. The high colour and thumb loops work brilliantly, and the side-zip drop-bottom means ladies don’t have to, ahem, go easy on the Gluhwein.
Kora ShoLa in yak’s wool
New to the market this year, Kora is the first company to make a technical baselayer in yak’s wool. Made with a unique fabric for active use called Hima-Layer™ (boom, boom) it is extremely soft and the wool is sourced directly from remote nomadic communities in the Himalayas. Apparently in tests, Hima-Layer™ fabric is 40% warmer than merino wool weight for weight; wicks efficiently [about the same merino] and is 17% better at transporting water vapour through it than merino.
Helly Hansen Dry Charger Windblock 1/2 zip
The first company to make a technical baselayer (in the 1970s), Helly Hansen this year launches a great, sporty-looking half-zip top for “high-intensity training or ski sessions in cold conditions”, featuring LIFA®Stay Dry Technology, flatlock stitching, a windblock front panel and a mesh back.
Dhu Performance Cashmere base layer
The Scottish sportswear brand launched in 2011 have introduced their first base layer this season. The garment for men and women, with a close-fitted body shape, uses a blended cashmere fibre - a mix of cashmere, silk and merino wool. The base layer was nominated in The Great Outdoor Awards 2013 as ‘Clothing Innovation of the Year’.
BAM bamboo zip neck baselayer
This top, new last year, is made with bamboo, which is moisture-wicking and antibacterial, so you can wear it for days without a whiff. It cuts out 98% of UV rays and keeps you cool when you’re too hot and keeps you significantly warmer than other baselayer fabrics and, best of all, it is soft and good for sensitive skin.
Helly Hansen Warm Freeze
Not new this year, but one of Helly Hansen’s best-sellers and you can instantly see why — the traditional snowflake pattern is fab. It’s made with 57 per cent merino wool and 43 per cent polypropylene for superb insulation and moisture management.