Words: Whitney Chandler
Some of us hardly perspire at all while riding, while others break a sweat just lacing up in the parking lot. Since fabrics are now more technologically advanced than ever, shredding hard and sweating it out is no longer a problem unless you let it be. It’s time to ditch those old long johns you’ve been rockin’ for years and upgrade to some threads that won’t leave you soaked and smelly at the end of a big day. Many women’s base layer options claim to keep us dry on the hill, but how many should be repeatedly stuffed in our board bags? From trusty merino wool to four-way stretch polyester blends, here are five awesome base layers for women that ride hard and get moist quickly.
Patagonia Merino Lightweight Crew $79Don’t expect a woolly itch from this classic merino long sleeve. Patagonia purposely sources and shears the best sheep in Argentina to avoid that feeling, and to ensure it outlasts the other layers in your dresser. This old faithful base layer is a blend of merino wool and Patagonia’s infamous recycled polyester Capilene, so you reap the benefits of odor-free merino along with the lightweight durability of Capilene. Not only will this long sleeve crew top leave you dry, it also features stretchy thumb loops to help warm the back of the hands and a drop-tail to cover your backside while strapping in or traversing a windy ridgeline.
Smartwool NTS Micro 150 Pattern Crew $80
This crew feels naturally cozy, kind of like a second skin. Its lightweight style–the lightest base layer Smartwool makes–works hard to regulate your body temperature while you work hard to access and ride new terrain. You can expect this form-fitting shirt to move with you, not stick to you, whether you’re out climbing in the backcountry or bombing down groomers inbounds. The NTS Micro’s body-enhancing fit not only keeps it from sliding up your back under a pack, but also makes it a great choice on down days when you find other ways to up a sweat off the hill, or as a comfy base layer under a casual lodge sweater. Expect to be presentable in public, as you won’t put off much stank after turning and burning in this trusty merino Smartwool long sleeve.
The North Face Women’s Light Tights $45Pairing these tights with the Smartwool NTS Micro long sleeve could be the closest thing to a ninja suit …besides the actual Ninja Suit highlighted below. The North Face Light Tights offer up a “next-to-skin fit” as ankle-length tights that are so thin you’ll feel like nothing exists between you and your shell pants. Thanks to FlashDry Eco, The North Face’s quick-dry technology that rapidly spreads moisture out across the fabric so it evaporates quickly, you won’t be left with swampy pants after shredding hard all day. Despite being solely comprised of polyester, these tights will hold up to the best of the stinky shred test.
Volcom Constellation Pant $70
This Drirelease blend of merino wool, polyester and elastane was designed specifically with hard-working ladies in mind. The Constellation pants have FreshGuard odor control so that after a big day of riding they won’t leave your car or closet smelling dank like a high school locker room. Moisture-wicking and fast drying fabrics help regulate body temperature whether you’re standing still in a lift line or plowing down powder pillows. When you’re ready to call it a day, you’ll appreciate that the wide, yoga style waistline is flattering enough to drop trou and rock ‘em at the local bar.
Airblaster Ninja Suit $120
This women’s one piece might make you feel like a galactic superhero, ready to crush some far-out lines. The mid-weight construction is ideal when you’re working hard and looking to dump heat on cold days, and the front has a full-length zip, giving you the option to ventilate as you heat up. When you’re on the go and nature calls, the 350-degree waist zipper allows for easy backside access, and the seven-panel hood forms well to the head and even has a ponytail hole so your locks can hang loose. This onesie is made with a four-way stretch combination of polyester and lycra, so not only is it soft to the touch and moisture wicking but it also promotes mobility so you don’t feel limited when throwing down.