Base Layers 101

Base Layers 101

Posted by Team NZNC on 19th Oct 2020

Base layers aren’t just for those rare occasions on which you might find yourself ice fishing for salmon on the Lule river in Sweden. They aren’t just for those daredevils who scale the Himalayas. They couldn’t even be described as ‘just for athletes’ either.

Base layers help you cope with changing conditions, regulate your body temperature and make sure you are ready for anything (including ice fishing).

We have some quality options in store for base layers but first we want to tell you a little more about them. This blog will tell you everything you need to know about:


  • What base layers are
  • How to wear your base layer
  • The benefits of base layers
  • Our recommendations



What is a base layer?

Base layer isn’t a clever spin to throw you off your game. It is what it says it is. It’s your foundation layer, your second skin.

The purpose of base layers is to keep you warm, wick moisture away from your skin and maintain comfort throughout the day.

Base layers are thin and can be tops or bottoms and long or short sleeved depending on use, climate and personal preference.

Skiers rely on base layers to give them that extra protection but they are also very common for walkers, runners, cyclists and hikers to name a few.

Base layers have also proven very successful for people who are more sensitive to the chill or who are unwell and suffering from lowered defences such as cancer patients.

Merino wool offers the best quality base layer because it is warm, comfortable, soft and wicks moisture away. Because it is a natural fibre it is also much warmer than synthetic options. We’ll look more closely at merino base layers a bit later on.


How to wear base layers

Base layers should be snug without restricting your movements. Don’t be tempted to buy a smaller size to get that tight fit because base layers are designed appropriately.

Your base layer should be just that, a base. It should be lightweight and effective. Helping you regulate your body temperature in warm or cold weather.

Layering is such a good skill to have, we’ve got a great blog on how to layer natural fibre here.

Your base layer should be tight on your skin and shouldn’t impact the rest of your layers because it’s so thin it literally is a second skin!



Benefits of base layers

What are the advantages of wearing a base layer?


  • They keep you warm in winter

Base layers are designed to give you that extra layer of warmth whilst keeping you dry with their superior wicking properties.


  • They keep you cool in summer

Thanks to how they absorb sweat, you’ll be cool and dry even in the hotter months.


  • Helps recovery

Because base layers should fit like a second skin they squeeze the muscles when you work them which reduces the lactic acid build up.


  • Absorbs sweat

A good base layer will absorb sweat and keep that moisture away from your skin which will stop you from getting chills in cooler weather and feeling sticky in warmer weather.


  • Preparation

A base layer means that you are prepared for anything, you can top up or strip down and be ready for any change in weather which is especially helpful when you’re out hiking!


  • Comfort

Being comfortable is always a priority when you’re dressing. If you’re about to go on a long dog walk or hit the track for some training, it's important to be comfortable and our base layers offer superb quality in strength, endurance and softness.


Recommended base layers

We are proud of the base layers we stock in store and they are loved by customers worldwide!

What makes our base layers so brilliant is that they are made from the superior natural fibre, merino wool.

Merino has amazing qualities, such as:


  • It wicks better. This means it expels moisture as opposed to holding it in
  • Merino feels really soft on your skin
  • Low allergenic; always good news for those of us who are prone to itchy reactions!


Our merino base layers can be worn all year round. You can change from long sleeve to short sleeve to sleeveless or add a collar!

For a mid range temperature we would suggest adding a possum outer layer to keep you warm indoors and then throw on a jacket to head outside!

All of our base layers are 100% merino sourced mainly from the Awatere Valley. The 19.5 micron merino is just the ticket!


Bed Sock Dots
Bed Sock Dots
Bed Sock Dots


Base layers are a great addition to your wardrobe whether you need them to keep you dry when you’re training or keep you warm when you’re hiking.

They can be really useful for anyone who is sensitive to cold or who is ill and struggles to keep warm. A great way to give yourself that extra layer of protection without impacting your wardrobe or making you feel like you have to pile on double the clothing to get your body temperature up!

Just drop us a line in the chat box if you have any questions.