Just the Base Layers: 5 Picks for your Active Winter

Text by: Camille Domon

. Just the Base Layers: 5 Picks for your Active Winter
Base layers. Usually an afterthought, until in the thick of the action when your sweat turns to chills. Your next-to-skin layer is as important as your jacket; after all, what good is a breathable shell when your old cotton t-shirt is soaked, clammy and weighing you down?
 
What to look for? Essentially you need warmth-first, moisture-moving wicking properties, and the right fit. If the fabric doesn’t ‘breathe’, i.e. move moisture from your skin to the fabric’s outer surface, sweat will bog you down and chill you out – in the bad way. If the garment is too loose, any wicking or cooling properties are lost. Plenty more goes into the selection – the right weight, the environment, the activity – but for starters, get it breathable, get it fitted, and get going.
 

 

Altitude Sports X Kombi: All-Canadian for the family

Women’s B4 Merino Zip

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Men’s B4 Merino Crew

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Big Kid’s B4 Merino Crew

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Big Kid’s B4 Merino Bottom

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Kombi and Altitude Sports combined for a unique family collection of merino wool top and legging base layers sure to keep you, the kids, and everyone outside longer. Leveraging the natural cooling, wicking, anti-microbial properties of merino wool makes for quick-drying layers that work standalone or under heavier gear. A modern trim fit keeps the layer close to the body and improves breathability. Merino’s natural stretch conforms to movements no matter how dynamic (or endlessly energetic in the case of snowball fights). Long-sleeves and tights with distinct orange pop-stitching, this is an all-Canadian collaboration that’s bound to put a smile on everyone’s faces.

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Versatility: Icebreaker’s Oasis Collection.

Men’s Oasis Long Sleeve Crew

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Men’s Oasis Leggings

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Women’s Oasis Long Sleeve Crew

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Women’s Oasis Leggings

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Comfortable, breathable, versatile: three words that describe Icebreaker’s Oasis base layer collection to a ‘T’. 100% merino wool makes for a soft touch and leverages the natural qualities of the fibre: temperature regulation, odour control, moisture wicking, and more. Sensitive skin needn’t worry, with ergonomic asymmetrical tailoring reducing potential abrasion points. Best used for high-energy activities like running, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Tikse by Kari Traa for active women.

Women’s Tikse Long Sleeves

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Women’s Tikse Long Sleeves

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Women’s Tikse Pant

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Women’s Tikse Pant

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Norway’s Kari Traa creates colourful clothing with unique patterning for active women. The Tikse collection is unabashedly fine-knit merino. The pieces slip easily under heavier pieces due to their reduced-weight construction. Soft, in a close-to-body fit, Tikse base layers are a second skin that conform to your figure perfectly.

Smartwool Merino 250: stare down intense cold.

Men’s Merino 250 Baselayer Crew

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Men’s Merino 250 Baselayer Bottom

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Women’s Merino 250 Baselayer Crew

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Women’s Merino 250 Baselayer Bottom

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Unafraid to brave winter’s most glacial temperatures? Our warmest choice, Smartwool’s Merino collection, is the right thing for you, with each piece knit from 250 grams of merino wool. High-intensity adventuring like snowshoeing or backcountry skiing make this clothing near-essential. With a flatlock seam construction that eliminates abrasion points, you might even forget you’re wearing a premium base layer – but your skin will thank you.

Helly Hansen’s Lifa, the merino alternative.

Men’s Lifa Baselayer Crew

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Men’s Lifa Baselayer Pant

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Women’s Lifa Baselayer Crew

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Women’s Lifa Baselayer Pant

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When it comes to layering, no better place to turn than Helly Hansen, inventors of the first technical base layer. Lifa is their fabric of choice for the next-to-skin layer, a warm, comfortable material that wicks moisture away efficiently. Light, affordable, useful for a multitude of purposes, Lifa base layers ably complete your technical winter wardrobe.

 
 

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