Just because it’s cold outside, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. After all, engaging in fun outdoor activities over the winter season is always fun. However, to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, you must always have the right gear and be appropriately clothed.

Layering your clothing is a great way to protect yourself from the cold. And you obviously want to go for options that render more functionality and comfort for you. Base layers designed for women go a long way. They are especially ideal because they are designed to fit the relatively smaller women’s body frames compared that of men, thus, enhancing their coverage and functionality.

Even the choice of the material used on base layers for women adapts to provide a smoother feel to their naturally softer skin. Listed below are the 10 best base layers for women in 2022 – each outline its unique features. The choice is all yours to go for the one that appeals most to you.

How To Choose A Base Layer For Women – Buying Guide

When choosing the best women’s base layers to invest in – the material used is an important feature to examine. The material of your base layer will highly determine how it functions.  The most commonly used materials include merino wool, polyester, nylon, cotton, and silk.

Merino wool

Merino wool is always found in the most excellent base layer for women and with reason. It boasts all the qualities of a good base layer. Being a natural sheep’s wool, it boasts excellent thermal qualities and ensures to keep you warm. Additionally, it is quite dependable when it comes to breathability, thus, allowing for easy body temperature regulation.

Furthermore, merino wool is moisture-wicking and quick drying thus, even if you end up getting soak, the material will dry up easily. In addition to its moisture-wicking qualities, the fabric is also naturally odor-resistant which allows it to prevent microbial build-up which leads to unpleasant odors.

Unlike other natural fabrics, merino wool is quite versatile. Whether you are hiking the K2 Mountains, skiing in Colorado or commuting to class, merino wool base layers always work.


When compared to wool, polyester offers decent breathability as a base layer whilst it’s excellent at water absorption which allows you thermals to dry quickly in the event they are soaked.  As a synthetic material, it is abundantly available thus, making polyester base layers for women relatively cheaper.


A nylon base layer on the other end offers a soft and smooth feel on your skin. And as a base layer, it delivers impeccable performance on retaining warmth, breathability, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying qualities. However, if you plan to participate in high energy activities such as snowboarding or skiing, nylon is probably not the best choice of base layer material due to its poor breathability.


Similar to merino wool, cotton, a natural fabric offers excellent breathability as a base layer. It is a highly durable and hypoallergenic material that also delivers enhanced warmth. However, as a base layer material, cotton boasts poor moisture-wicking qualities and an extremely slow rate of drying.

Additionally, in the event, your cotton base layer is drenched in sweat, its inability to absorb water will leave you wet and eventually cold. Thus, if you will be extremely active in the outdoors, cotton is not the right choice. However, on occasions where you are least likely to get wet and during extremely cold days, cotton base layers are your friend.


A silk base layer rests extremely soft and smooth on your skin. Additionally, it offers impeccable warmth and insulating abilities as well as a decent proportion of breathability. However, unlike many other natural fibers, silk is excellent at moisture-wicking, and quick-drying in the event it gets wet. In addition to its characteristic soft feel, silk is also lightweight thus, making it very comfortable on your skin.


Weight is also an important factor to consider when choosing the best women’s base layer. As a rule of thumb, you don’t want to go for a base layer that is too heavy. This will result in overheating thus, making your body extremely warm and ultimately uncomfortable.

At the same time, you don’t want a base layer that is too light that it becomes uncomfortable. Base layers come in three main categories, i.e. lightweight, Midweight and heavyweight. And just as their titles suggest, lightweight tend to be lighter than heavyweight.

 A base layer made with 170g/m merino wool is classified as lightweight whilst that made with 300g/m is classified as a heavyweight. Lightweight base layers also tend to weigh less and are ideal for cooler days whilst heavyweight ones tend to be heavier and are ideal for extremely cold days. Lightweight base layers also tend to be more breathable than heavyweight base layers.


To ensure the maximum insulation, the best women’s base layer should be closely fitted to your skin. A closer fit to your skin also ensures, that sweat you produce especially when you are engaged in active pursuits, is efficiently wicked away from your skin. However, you don’t want your base layer to be too tight-fitting that it distracts and blocks circulation – a snug-fitting base layer is always an ideal way to go.


The best women’s base layer should also be comfortable. Comfort is a factor that should be underrated. You don’t want to be stuck for a whole day in a thermal layer that causes discomfort. The number one determinant of how comfortable you will be is the material used followed by the construction and fit – you have to make sure these three things are on point!

Merino wool, for example, tends to be a lot more comfortable for a hiker or mountaineer compared to nylon this is due to its warming, breathable, moisture-wicking, odor-resistant and soft feel qualities. Additionally, an athletic fitting base layer with additional details such as underarms gussets and flatlock seams will be more comfortable when you are engaged in outdoor activities.


Yes, it’s cold outside however, even in the cold weather, you still want proper ventilation from your clothing. The most excellent base layer for women should be breathable. You want a base layer made out of material that easily wicks away sweat and moisture from your skin to allow for proper temperature regulation. And if you intend to be extremely active in the outdoors, this is a priority you cannot afford to compromise on.

Quick Dry

Chances are you might get wet in the outdoors –either from sweat or even rain. You want to go for a base layer made out of quick-drying material. This feature helps to effectively wick away sweat thus, leaving you dry and comfortable at all times. A synthetic material such as polyester as well as natural fibers such as merino wool end to be quite dependable on this. However, if you plan on engaging in extreme activities that lead to high perspiration then cotton base layers are not your friends.

Odor Resistance

The best women’s base best base layer for women should be naturally odor-resistant or odor-resistant treated. Merino wool and cotton is an excellent example of naturally odor-resistant fabrics. This feature helps to prevent microbial build-up which in turn prevents unpleasant odor.



Q: Which Base Layer Is The Warmest?


Merino wool is the warmest base layer. It is originally made of Australian sheep's wool and boasts natural insulating qualities. Even with its efficiency at moisture-wicking and quick-drying, I still maintain its key warming function.

Q: Should Thermals Be Tight Or Loose?


Thermal should not be tight or loose. Thermals should be snug-fitting. This allows just enough contact with your skin to allow heat retention and insulation. Loose-fitting thermals will easily lose body heat whilst tight-fitting ones pose the threat of circulation blockage.

Additionally, snug-fitting thermals allow for flexibility and ease of mobility so even if you are covered with a layer of warm clothing, you are still functional and able to perform in activities such a walking, hiking, and even snowboarding. Additionally, snug-fitting thermals will still maintain just enough space for easy and comfortable layering.

Q: What Is The Difference Between Man And Women Base Layer?


The difference between man and women base layer is that each is designed to specifically fit the respective body types. Men and women's bodies slightly differ physically. Thus, their base layers are designed to fit their bodies – men, for example, tend to have wider chests whilst women tend to have narrow waists. Thus, a man's size medium will not fit a woman whose size is medium.

Globo Surf Overview

The base layer for women reviews outlines how useful they in the cold weather. With the right choice, they offer the warmth and comfort needed over the cold season without compromising on your flexibility or activeness. Plus, they are ideally designed to provide that feminine fit.

The buying guide above also provides a detailed overview of what to look for when finding the most excellent base layer for women to suit your needs – whether you are riding a snowmobile, skiing or on your regular morning runs. And what better place to begin your search than the list of the 10 best above? And it’s a guarantee, you will find your match.

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Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!