SmartWool PhD NTS Light 195 Wind Zip T from Best Base Layers

Best Base Layers

SmartWool PhD NTS Light 195 Wind Zip T


This 100-percent merino zip-up is super soft next to skin with articulated side panels and flat stitching for chafe-free comfort under a pack. The light, wind-resistant front panel blocks wind to further stave off the chill, while still permitting heat to leave the skin to keep your temps consistent and dry.
$120 (M/W)

Patagonia Capilene 4 Hoody


The most substantial synthetic base layer in Patagonia’s Capilene division, the ninja hood and high collar Cap 4 is built with Polartec Power Dry fabric that wicks moisture away from the skin, breathes for high output pursuits, and is utterly adaptable for heavy- and light-duty cold-weather activities.

Black Diamond CoEfficient Hoody

Black Diamond

The mid-weight CoEfficient Hoody can be worn next to skin, or not. This versatile layering piece is made with Polartec Power Dry synthetic fleece and features a low-profile hood, full zip and stretch cuffs that fit snugly under a shell or puffy. Ideal for the active winter enthusiast who runs, skis and climbs, and needs multipurpose insulation.

Ibex Woolies Zip T


Ibex’s signature wool base layer has been around for a long time for a reason. The cozy merino Zip T use a super-fine spun yarn that’s comfy next to skin and naturally odor-resistant, and the rib construction is air permeable for superior active mobility and temperature regulation.

Outdoor Research Sequence & Essence Crews

Outdoor Research

OR’s simple synthetic/merino blended crew—Sequence for men and Essence for women—is just something to have in your quiver. The fiber blend pulls sweat away from the body and pushes it into the air. A no-brainer for chilly fall runs, it’ll also moonlight as a light-duty base layer for skiing and can make friends at happy hour.

Mammut Go Warm Zip Long Sleeve


Mammut’s Symbitech hybrid Go Warm combines poly microfibers and merino wool by body-mapping them to specific locations that conduct or lose the most heat. The trim athletic cut looks good as a stand-alone, or it’ll layer—your choice. And the angulated back hem eliminates plumber’s crack.

Marmot ThermalClime Pro Crew


Marmot’s ThermalClime Pro Crew has a cool bi-component knit construction that aligns larger yarn fibers to draw sweat off the skin, passing moisture onto smaller fibers that quickly spread out for fast drying. The augmented evaporation process makes it a solid choice for extended days in backcountry huts.

Icebreaker Oasis Crewe


The pride of New Zealand, Icebreaker’s lightweight, sustainably sourced 100-percent merino has been the darling of many a wool aficionado. Super cozy next to skin, the Oasis Crewe is a savvy stand-alone winter shirt or a dependable base layer for any demanding winter adventure. The offset shoulder seams work well under a pack’s straps, and the angulated hem gives added coverage to the lower back.

Mountain Hardwear Integral Pro Long Sleeve T

Mountain Hardwear

MH’s proprietary Wick Q merino/poly blend is a multi-tasker, combining the warmth of wool with the wicking and fast-drying virtues of synthetics, for a durable, odor-resistant base layer worthy of a hard-earned Everest ascent.
$80/$78 (M/W)

Arc’teryx Phase AR Zip Neck


The AR stands for "all-round." Arc’teryx’s synthetic Phase base layer is designed for maximum mobility and performance in the mountains. The next-to-skin fit removes unnecessary bulk, and the mechanical poly stretch provides unrestricted movement while transferring moisture for efficient evaporation. The smart outer-face fabric is smooth for ergonomic layering.