When you are engaging in power sports in cold climates, your body is still capable of producing sweat. You may feel prepared for the outdoors since you have your jacket, gloves, and helmet, but you still need to consider your base layer, which is critical for keeping you dry and warm. Here are some tips on how to choose the best base layers for you.
What Is a Base Layer?
You may be wondering what a base layer is and why it is so important. The term refers to the layer of clothing closest to your skin, and it is designed to absorb and evaporate your sweat. Through a process known as moisture-wicking, the base layer spreads out the moisture so your sweat does not remain on your skin and dampen your clothes.
A base layer also keeps you comfortable and prevents your sweat from turning cold, so you don’t develop dangerous conditions such as hypothermia or frostbite. Although your snowmobile monosuit can protect you from the cold of the outdoors, the base layer really keeps you warm, dry, and safe.
Which Materials Can I Pick From?
A key step in choosing the best base layer for you is determining which kind of material you should wear. Cotton does not make the best material for base layers due to its tendency to pull heat away from the skin, but there are several other options available.
One option for your base layer is synthetic fabrics. This product is highly beneficial because it is very good at wicking sweat and keeping you dry. It can also fit snugly, which is an essential component of base layer clothing.
Another fabric choice is Merino wool, which is very good at wicking moisture away from your skin but takes longer to dry than synthetics. Also, wool offers the wearer the advantage of being more odor-resistant.
Another base layer material option is silk, which is comfortable on the skin and very lightweight. In addition, it can wick moisture very well, but it’s not as odor-resistant as Merino wool.
Bamboo fabric is relatively new for base layer products and provides distinct advantages for its wearers. Not only is this material very skilled at wicking, but the bamboo fabric can provide a comfortable fit for sensitive skin, which is ideal since you want to avoid irritation.
How Heavy Is the Material?
Another consideration for your base layer is the weight of the material you will be wearing. Your choice may vary based on the levels of activity you engage in and the temperatures outside.
One option is a lightweight material, which is best to wear when you engage in a lower level of activity and you know the temperatures will be moderate to cold. Even though it is rather thin, a lightweight material is exceptional at wicking away moisture and will dry quickly.
The next step up is a midweight material that is somewhat heavier and excellent for wearing in cold temperatures. Like their lightweight counterparts, midweight materials provide strong performance when it comes to wicking moisture and offer good insulation during higher levels of activity.
Your final option is a heavyweight material, which you should wear in temperatures below freezing. Although these thicker fabrics are better at keeping you warm than they are at keeping you dry, they can still provide good insulation during intense outdoor activity.
Which Fit Is Right for Me?
An important aspect of choosing your base layer clothing is picking the right fit. Make sure you opt for clothes that fit snugly against your skin. This will allow you to maximize the benefits of moisture-wicking garments and better regulate your body temperature.
Some may think that it is better to have loose clothes so air will flow more easily. However, this can actually work against you. If you wear looser clothing, you decrease the base layer’s ability to redistribute your sweat and keep you dry while out in the cold.
What Other Factors Should I Consider?
As you narrow down your choices, make sure you consider some of the long-term factors of each product. These will help you determine which base layers are best for you.
One feature you should consider is the durability of the product. For example, if you plan to engage in vigorous activity, you may want to look at a synthetic base layer since it is more durable than Merino wool. Although, if you plan to engage in less strenuous activities, the Merino product may be the right fit.
Other Product Features
You might also want to look at the additional features base layer products offer to determine whether a specific type of garment will be useful to you. For example, if you plan to wear a base layer top during activities that don’t involve snow or being outside, you may want one with a storage pocket so you can carry other useful items.
In addition, you may want to consider a base layer top with features or colors that can block UV rays and protect your skin. These small factors can make a big difference in your final choice.
Maintenance and Care
When deciding on a base layer, you need to keep in mind the kind of maintenance required for a particular product. One example is silk and wool products needing extra care when washing so you avoid shrinking the material.
You also need to be careful with synthetic fabrics and avoid detergents that can damage their fibers. Ultimately, you need to decide if these extra care steps are worthwhile when making a commitment to buy and wear a specific product.
Peakboys Provides Protection
When looking for base layer products that will keep you dry while out in the elements, visit Peakboys online. We know how important it is to stay safe and comfortable, and we have a collection of products that will help you enjoy your outdoor activities. Take a look at our selection of clothing and connect with us to learn more!