7 Baselayers You Need in Your Life Right Now

Oh, shoulder season. Your always-changing, unpredictable weather can be tough to plan for. One minute you’re hot, then you’re cold. You make dressing and packing for adventures this time of year a pretty difficult task. But if a dubious forecast won’t stand in the way of your outdoor adventures, then at least venture out with the best gear. There are so many flashy pieces of apparel that will certainly make your shoulder season adventures more comfortable. But at the end of the day, to set yourself up for success, it’s best to get back to the basics: the basics of baselayers. Think inside out. A good baselayer is the first layer of protection against the elements. It should wick moisture to keep you dry and ultimately warm. It should be breathable and the only layer you don’t need to put on or take off to keep up with the changing weather. And it should be comfortable. When it comes to baselayers, check out these seven baselayers that you need in your life right now.

Ridge Merino Women’s “Heist” 1/4 Zip Hoodie

If you like a good baselayer that also doubles as a signature part of your everyday wardrobe, Ridge Merino’s “Heist” midlayer is for you. Made with natural, sustainable and biodegradable merino wool, this stylish 1/4 zip layer sports a superior level of softness and a versatile fit. Throw it on over another layer, or under a shell and it will provide the ultimate level of comfort, temperature control and breathability. This piece functions at such a high level, it’s easy to forget you’re even wearing it. Merino wool efficiently wicks away moisture and staves off odor, which is good, because chances are you’ll want to wear this piece all of the time. The “Heist” is also available in a 1/2 zip in men’s sizing. $99.95; ridgemerino.com

Helly Hansen Lifa Merino Active Light LS

Like butter. It’s the only way to describe just how cozy Helly Hansen’s Lifa Merino Active Light long sleeve baselayer really is. This baselayer is incredibly lightweight (and oh-so-soft!) and features a two-layer design partly composed of Helly Hansen’s patented Lifa fabric which moves moisture away from the body, keeping you dry and warm regardless of the environment or weather you’re in. The Lifa layer is constructed on the inside of the garment, with a polyester layer on the outside. The material really is just like butter, and the protection and comfort it offers makes it a must-have piece perfect for three-season adventurers.  The Lifa Merino Active Light comes in women’s-specific and men’s sizing. $110; hellyhansen.com

Smartwool Men’s Merino 150 Micro Stripe Hoody

Fashion meets function in Smartwool’s Men’s Merino 150 Micro Stripe Hoody. Designed for those chilly mornings that turn into warm afternoons, this hoody is a well-made, technical piece that is meant to hold up as a hard-used, go-to piece. Made with Merino 150, Smartwool’s lightest fabric that efficiently regulates body temps, wicks moisture away and resists odor, this hoody is versatile, perfect for any season and comfy to boot. A blend of merino wool and nylon are spun together to add an extra layer of comfort and durability to the piece. Smartwool’s Micro Stripe Hoody also features an offset shoulder and side seam design to eliminate chafing under backpack straps. $100; smartwool.com

Patagonia Women’s Capilene Midweight Zip-Neck

A budget-friendly option, Patagonia’s Women’s Capilene Midweight Zip-Neck is packed with features. Made with a mostly recycled blend of Polartec® Power Grid™ polyester fabric is the highlight of this piece, providing the kind of warmth, breathability and moisture-wicking you need out of a baselayer. This piece also sports a thoughtful design for easy-movement, like a full underarm gusset to allow a better range of motion and eliminate chafing. Offset shoulder seams also make this a good option for hikers and backpackers. And for those long, hard days on the trail, the Polygiene® permanent odor control will certainly come in handy for you, and let’s be real, everyone else around you. $69; patagonia.com

Mountain Hardware Men’s Butterman Pullover Hoody

This stretchy pullover hoody is pretty much everything you want and need in a baselayer. It’s adaptable, and offers a quality stretchy fit thanks to a polyester and elastane blend. It’s made with a Wick.Q™ moisture wicking technology to keep you dry and is capped off with an antimicrobial finish to stave off bacteria … i.e.: bad smells. A high neck and fitted hood keep the wind and elements at bay. And it’s stylish. Go ahead and wear it to the office or out for dinner — we won’t judge you. $75; mountainhardwear.com

Kari Traa Rett Half Zip

When it comes to the best women’s baselayers, Kari Traa is hard to beat — and it’s easy to understand why. Founder Kari Traa is a former Olympic freestyle skier and boasts three Olympic medals. Leave it to an athlete of that caliber to design the most thought out, best-performing apparel. Not only are Kari Traa’s baselayers incredibly functional, they’re colofurl and feature fun prints — like the ones found in the Rett Half Zip. This hybrid baselayer vents in all of the right places, providing warmth where needed and breathability in high-energy places. The Rhett Half Zip is constructed from a combination of polyester, merino wool, and elastane, which results in a warm and quick-drying layer with a comfortable stretchy material. $109.95; karitraa.com

Tasc Men’s Elevation Hoodie

Tasc is a sustainably-minded apparel company out of New Orleans, and they are making some excellent baselayers, like the Elevation Hoodie. Made with the company’s signature blend of MOSOmerino fabric that perfectly combines merino wool, bamboo and lycra, this baselayer is what want to have on when you embark on those cold adventures. It has a high warmth-to-weight ratio and provides such an excellent level of warmth, it can stand on it’s own, even on cold weather treks. $120; tascperformance.com

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