The second skin for outdoor lovers: Base layers & underwear
The choice of an appropriate first layer is, in every sense of the word, the basis for a comfortable body temperature during outdoor activities. We'll take a look at the different materials used in base layers and their advantages and disadvantages for different uses.
Simple and effective: The onion principle for functional underwear
Base layers and underwear and breathable outerwear take account of the natural cooling mechanism of the body, by ensuring that sweat is transported away from the skin. Materials such as synthetic fibers or virgin wool absorb the moisture and wick it away in the form of water vapor. So you'll feel comfortable even when working hard. Depending on the outside temperature and your personal tolerance for cold, you can combine several (thin) layers of functional clothing. So you can easily adjust to the environment in changing weather by adding or removing layers. Wear a weatherproof jacket or trousers (softshell, hardshell) as outerwear. Fleece and synthetic fiber materials form the middle layer. But the most important layer is the one next to the skin: Functional underwear.
Close fit of base layers and underwear
In order to guarantee that sweat is wicked away by the material, functional underwear must be worn close to the skin. As it's stretchy, it shouldn't be uncomfortable to wear. The underwear should always be tried on before purchase to ensure it fits well. There are also baselayers and underwear specifically tailored for ladies.
Base layers &, underwear: Material properties and thermal output
Functional underwear is either made of polyester materials or Merino wool. Mixed fabrics are only useful if the cotton content remains low, otherwise the breathability of the functional underwear suffers. Technical Shirts contain various material types or thicknesses for different areas of the body. Base layers made of polyester is generally fast drying, lightweight and very breathable. They are recommended for activities with high physical stress and short trips. Their disadvantage is the odor. New wool, however, is odorless, very warming and especially low-maintenance. Therefore, base layers and underwear made from Merino are ideal for multi-day trips and even endurance activities. However, the drying time of wool is inferior to polyester fabrics.
Whether by bike to the office or on skis: Good functional base layers and underwear provide more comfort in every situation!