Stay Warm While Exploring: Base-layers, Tips, and Product Picks for Chilly Adventures.Winter, cold weather or rain should not stop you from exploring the beautiful outdoors and tackling your favourite outdoor activities. In fact, for some outdoor adventures, winter and chilly weather is often more preferred conditions to enjoy the outdoors. We've put together a full guide on everything you need to know about layering and apparel to keep you comfortable and warm despite any chilly weather you might encounter.
If you want to know how to stay warm by using base-layers correctly, it is important to know the 3 key aspects to comfortable exploration on your chilly adventures.
The wicking base layer is the first layer that comes into contact with your skin. This layer works to wick away moisture and sweat from your skin while also trapping in warmth and heat.
While different wicking layers are made from different materials - each has its pros and cons, and it is always best to do research and plan ahead according to the type of activities you will be using your base-layers with.
Wicking layers are required to effectively wick away moisture but also stay dry despite any extra moisture from the environment. While materials like cotton can wick moisture, they are not effective as they stay wet for too long and can cause your body temperature to drop as a result.
Wicking layers are generally made using technical materials and not cotton. Cotton does effectively wick moisture, but it does not dry quick enough, resulting in the wet material cooling your body down instead.
Often base-layers are made with hydrophobic materials which work to help push the moisture out over larger parts of the piece of apparel which effectively helps them to dry faster too.
Top Tip: You want to try to find a snug-fitting base-layer to assist with wicking because the closer the wicking layer is to your body, the better it will be at drawing out moisture and trapping in warmth, and insulating you.
2. Warmth and Insulation
The mid-layer of your outdoor apparel is usually designed with warmth and insulation in mind. This layer will also work together with your outer and inner layers to help provide added wicking while also protecting your inner layers from excessive moisture - especially during rainy or wet conditions.
A common mid-layer used is fleece as it is both effective at wicking moisture as well as insulating your body heat. Fleece materials also come in a variety of sizes and thicknesses so that you can have the right amount of comfort and movement during your activities. This means that they can be a great solution for both high and low-performance activities.
Lightweight Fleece - the thinnest type of fleece possible and usually designed with comfort and freedom of movement in mind.
Medium-Weight Fleece - these are slightly thicker and heavier than Lightweight Fleece and can therefore provide added insulation, however, they can also be too warm or restricting, especially in warm conditions or very high-performance activity.
Heavy-Weight Fleece - These are usually insulated within high-performance jackets for maximum warmth. Although they are bulky and have added weight onto your pack during long treks or adventures - heavy-weight fleece is a vital piece of gear if you are going to be heading out into extreme and icy conditions.
3. Wet Weather and Wind Protection
Lastly, the outer layer of your apparel is designed for keeping you dry and out of the wind. Waterproofing and windproofing materials vary in their ability to completely keep you dry, but having an outer layer is vital as they help to ensure your inner layers can correctly wick away moisture or sweat, even if it is raining.
The outer layer is extremely important as it controls the overall effectiveness of your equipment's insulation. It is usually advised to ensure that this layer is as waterproof as possible in case of unforeseen or extremely wet weather conditions.
Polypropylene VS Bamboo Base-layers
While there are plenty of materials often used for base-layers and staying warm in chilly weather, polypropylene and bamboo technologies are great for versatile, all-around comfort and warmth.
The key features of Polypropylene base-layers are:
- THEY STAY WARM EVEN WHEN VERY WET
- NATURAL ORIGIN MATERIALS
- MAXIMUM MOISTURE WICKING TO HELP WITH SWEATING OR HIGH-PERFORMANCE ACTIVITIES.
- COMFORTABLE CLOSE FIT
Polypropylene base-layers are great for trekking and running. They also work well in snowy or aquatic environments.
These materials are also well suited for high-performance activities that can involve a lot of movement, moisture, or changes in temperature and conditions.
The key features of bamboo base-layers are:
- ADDED UV PROTECTION
- NATURALLY ODOUR RESISTANT
- IMPROVED MOISTURE WICKING
- SOFT & COMFORTABLE FEEL
Bamboo is perfect for your general trekking, hiking, or casual outdoor travel or activities.
Bamboo materials are better suited for moderate rates of performance although they are still a great choice for high or low-performance activities when necessary.
Pro-Tip: Always Remember your Thermal Underwear
While a lot of attention is often focused on the top base-layers and jackets for cold, outdoor adventures, it is also important to think and plan your bottom layers to ensure maximum comfort and warmth at all times.
Thermal underwear is a must-have piece of apparel to help keep the moisture to a minimum, avoid chaffing and rashes, or just generally keep your entire body’s temperature well regulated during your adventures.
These flattering, slim-fit 3/4 yoga pants were designed to firmly hug the body for ultimate comfort and support regardless of the activity. With a midrise waistline and ¾ length, they are perfect for the indoor studio or out on the trail for running and hiking. They are soft, stretchy, and highly breathable, featuring flat-lock seams for additional comfort and support, and style. The 3/4 yoga pants have been designed without a brand or care label, to ensure nothing will get in the way while you are on your next chilly adventure.
- Screen printed care label inside the garment – so nothing can irritate your skin
- Flat-lock seams and soft waistband for a perfect fit
- Embroidered logo detail
This Bamboo baselayer has excellent thermal properties, made from a unique blend of Bamboo with natural anti-bacterial properties that reduce odour. The natural silky feeling of the Bamboo fabric is soft, making it a more comfortable baselayer.
- Double layered gusset crotch
- Lightweight warmth
- Low bulk waist
- Body-hugging fit for maximum moisture control
- Soft-touch elasticised waist
- Regulates body temperature
- Moderate compression
3-1 Jackets and Versatile Outdoor Apparel
If you are looking for a versatile solution to staying warm on your adventures, it is useful to consider investing in a sturdy 3-in-1 jacket. These are jackets that have multiple features, but most importantly help to assist with an all-in-one solution to your 3 levels of base-layers.