Free Standard Shipping on US Orders

Base Layer vs. Thermal

Base Layer vs. Thermal

Introduction: What Are the Different Types of Base Layers

Base layers are a type of insulation worn close to the skin as an undergarment. This is often a tight-fitting, lightweight layer that you wear under your clothing. Base layers have a variety of purposes, including preventing chafing and protecting against abrasions. The most common base layers are made from synthetic materials such as polypropylene, nylon, or Coolmax, which wick away moisture from the body and dry quickly.

What is Thermal Underwear?

Thermal underwear is a collection of breathable layers that can be used all year long to help regulate body temperature. A base layer or thermal consists of a lightweight, seamless fabric that has been designed to be worn next to the skin for comfort and warmth. Thermal underwear is also a lightweight garment made from a more insulating material such as fleece or wool.

What Are the Benefits of a Base Layer?

Base layers can provide an extra layer of warmth and protection from the elements for outdoor enthusiasts. They are often made of wool or synthetic materials such as polypropylene. These materials help keep moisture away from the skin and create a barrier to not absorb sweat by outer layers. They can also be worn inside, inside of other clothing, to stay warmer on cold days.


Moisture-wicking is a process that prevents excess moisture from being absorbed by the body. The goal is to eliminate the sweat that could lead to hyperhidrosis when sweating becomes excessive. Most base layers are made of polyester or nylon because these materials are quick at moving moisture away from the body.

Stretchable Fabric

Many times people will use a base layer and a thermal while skiing. This is because each of them works in different ways to keep you warm. A base layer is designed for comfort, and it helps regulate the temperature of your skin. At the same time, a thermal will provide insulation from the cold for other layers. Thermals or base layers are made of a stretchable fabric for ease of movement.

Heat Retention

Base layers are made with synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon, polypropylene, or wool, which provide warmth on their own by trapping air close to the skin. They're also designed to have a high loft, which means they can trap air and keep you warm without the bulk. This retains your body heat and allows even distribution for more comfort.

Base layers vs. thermal is a hot topic when it comes to winter gear. Which one is more important? In the winter, the base layer or thermal is what you wear closest to your skin, and in some cases, it might be all that's needed. The base layer provides insulation from the cold and keeps you dry despite perspiration. Thermal underwear is the same as a base layer and helps maintain a more even temperature throughout the day.


What are you looking for?