Best base layers for skiing to keep you warm all-day

Stay warm on the slopes

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Tania Leslau2 minutes ago

Once you feel the chill while skiing, the game is up.

It’s near-impossible to get warm again once the cold gets under your skin on the slopes. Not only does it indicate that your skiwear is just not cutting it, but it also means that you’re in for a long, bone-chilling ride back down the mountain to get home.

A thermal base layer is one of the most important garments to pack for a skiing holiday. When paired with a sturdy ski jacket and waterproof ski trousers, a base layer offers a small but mighty layer of insulation to keep the cold at bay.

Also known as a ‘skin,’ base layers act quite literally as a second skin, clinging to your body to keep heat locked in. This is achieved by the incorporation of materials such as synthetic fleece fabrics, breathable Merino wool and resilient polyester. The garments are fine and stretchy, meaning they can be layered under larger items of clothing such as knits, quarter zips and padded-down outerwear.

Base layers are also highly versatile pieces that can be worn throughout winter when facing a bleak winter run or a snowy walk to the tube in sub-zero temperatures. Avid joggers are big fans, often sporting the pieces in the winter months for their lightweight, streamlined qualities. 

What should you look for in a base layer?

  • Material: base layers can be crafted from a multitude of fabrics. If you’d rather have a stretchy, sweat-proof fabric, then bamboo is your best bet. If you tend to feel the cold, then Merino wool will banish any pesky chilblain, but it has a more delicate texture and can pull. Fleece offers a happy medium between the two options.
  • Style: base layers come in all shapes and sizes. Crew necks, quarter-zips, turtlenecks - you name it. Consider what suits you.
  • Price: base layer prices will vary depending on the brand you shop. For example, professional skiwear labels such as Arc’teryx, Icebreaker and Spyder come with premium price tags.

Without further ado, keep reading to browse the best base layers for skiing and snowboarding below.

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Krimson Klover Womens Apres Anyone Baselayer Top

Krimson Klover

The general rule of thumb is the better the skier, the bolder the outfit. Krimson Klover designs with the adventurous in mind. This graphic base layer features a striking retro print and is crafted from recycled materials with a nifty four-way stretch. There’s no need to worry about sweat as the piece further boasts moisture-wicking abilities, plus the UPF 50+ protection ensures your skin is shielded from ultraviolet rays.

Buy now£110, Snow + Rock

Arc’teryx Rho Heavyweight Zip Neck 


Available to shop in four different colourways, Arc’teryx’s heavyweight zip neck is a highly insulating piece for mountain lovers. Suitable for skiing, hiking and mountaineering, the layer features a warm, versatile Polartec Power Stretch for cocooning the body in cold conditions. During moments of rest on the slopes, the fleece’s soft brushed interior and high-rise neckline trap heat to keep you warm while taking a break.

Buy now£130, Arc’teryx

Icebreaker Womens 260 Vertex Long Sleeve Crewe Glacial Camo


Stand out from the crowd with Icebreaker’s punchy pink base layer. Designed with long sleeves and a funky camo print, the raspberry-toned piece is perfect for winter pursuits. Enjoy a frictionless ski courtesy of the gusseted underarms, offset shoulder seams and flatlock seams for extra mobility and comfort.

Buy now£115, Snow + Rock

Spyder Womens Houndstooth Half Zip Base Layer


Another pick for the aesthetically brave, Sypder’s half-zip base layer will help novices stay in sight when visibility is poor. Delight in the cream and blue houndstooth print that fashion-conscious skiers will adore, plus the technical features that make this pick a no-brainer. A polyester material promises a sweatless ski, plus the elasticated cuffs and tall neckline stop snow from entering if you happen to fall.

Buy now£100, Snow + Rock

Sweaty Betty Animal Funnel Neck Base Layer Top

Sweaty Betty

Cosy up in a playful printed top by Sweaty Betty. The contemporary layer incorporates seamless fabrics which are sweat-wicking and anti-bacterial. Keep your neck toasty as can be with the funnelled silhouette that can be pulled up under your helmet clip. Stuck in a whiteout? You’ll have a better chance of being spotted with the garment’s vibrant cobalt blue and tangerine colourways.

Buy now£79.99, Sweaty Betty

BAM Clothing Zip-Neck Bamboo Baselayer


BAM is an impact-positive brand that creates clothing using bamboo, a material that boasts natural renewing properties. In addition to offsetting all carbon emissions to become climate-positive, the brand champions fair living wages and treatment of all those involved in the supply chain. BAM’s zip neck has long sleeves and a generous body length to give ample coverage. Crafted from ultra-soft, lightweight bamboo jersey, the piece promises easy movement and unparalleled warmth. 

Buy now£46, BAM

Helly Hansen Womens Lifa Merino Midweight Crew Baselayer Top

Helly Hansen

Helly Hensen’s skintight base layer guarantees warmth via its unique dual-fabric construction. The softest blend of merino wool hugs the chest, while the Helly Hansen signature Lifa fabric moves moisture away from your skin and facilitates evaporation. Merino wool also resists odours, meaning you can hit the slopes again and again in your new skiwear essential.

Buy now£90, Snow + Rock

Eivy Womens Icecold Baselayer Hoodie Top


Make a Spice Girls-inspired statement with Eivy’s leopard print number. A Y2K print effortlessly complements an innovative hoodie structure, which offers a shield from snow and sleet. Customise the hoodie using the drawstrings and elevate the face cover beneath your goggles for ultimate concealment from harsher conditions.

Buy now£80, Snow + Rock

The North Face Women’s Sport Long Sleeve Top

The North Face

Layer up with The North Face. Suitable for all outdoor endeavours from netball to snowboarding, this base layer can be neatly folded and packed for any active adventure. Body-mapped ventilation helps to regulate body temperature and minimise moisture build-up on the skin. The slight compression of the top will reduce muscle fatigue, meaning you can carve up the slopes for longer.

Buy now£65, Snow + Rock