Words: Drew Zieff
Fact 1: The only time drenched long johns are acceptable is after a pond skim.
Fact 2: If you ain't sweatin', you ain't shreddin'.
While we're all for ripping until our quads cramp and evening beers call our names from the lodge, there's something to be said about base layers that keep you dry. Time to say adios to the threadbare Hot Chillys you've been rocking for the last decade straight—thank your Uncle Steve, they were a thoughtful Christmas present in '06—and then treat yourself to one of the best base layers out there. From Patagonia's ultra-light recycled Capilene fabrics to MyPakage's ball-buttressing designs, here are a few of the TWSNOW crew's top picks to minimize stinkage and maximize good times on the hill.
Patagonia Capilene Lightweight Crew $49
Patagonia's recycled polyester Capilene base layers come in three shred-friendly weights: Thermal, Midweight, and Lightweight. Thermal gives off the warmth needed on days so cold your car won't start, Midweight is versatile enough for everyday wear, and Lightweight is their best-wicking, lightest layer—and the one we recommend for those liable to sweat just getting into the lift line. Whether you're hiking the railyard or post-holing in the backcountry, Capilene is a solid call, especially because every layer has undergone a Polygiene anti-stink fabric treatment.
Under Armour UA Base 1.0 $45
Under Armour's lightest, most breathable, and most affordable base layer, the UA Base 1.0 is a smart pick for those sweat-prone shredders who don't want to sweat over breaking the bank. A polyester and elastane blend, the UA Base 1.0 has the next-to-skin feel that's been synonymous with Under Armour since before they even stepped into the snowboard game. While not as warm as Under Armour's 2.0—4.0 base layer models, the 1.0 is preferable in warm conditions or high-output sessions.
The North Face Expedition $80
There's not typically a laundromat in the backcountry, and TNF's Expedition base layers are aptly named as they're built for weeklong alpine missions when there's no washing machine in sight. Underneath the cozy, fleecy feel, The North Face outfitted the skin-tight Expedition with quick-wicking FlashDry technology, which increases breathability and sends moisture packing. Without unnecessary bulk, the recycled Repreve polyester (83%) and elastane (17%) blend delivers welcome warmth mid-winter.
MyPakage First Layer $55
One of TWSNOW's editors called the MyPakage First Layer "the most comfy base layer pants I've ever owned." And that's not the first time these bottoms have earned high praise. As the brand name suggests, MyPakage isn't afraid of innuendo, and the First Layer boasts their "Keyhole Comfort Technology," which is essentially a stretchy, built-in banana hammock that keeps Cell Block D on 24-hour lock down. If chaffage is your Pubic Enemy Number One, enlist MyPakage's hydrophobic polyester defense system—it may very well change your life.
Airblaster Ninja Suit $110
No snowboarding base layer conversation would be complete without a onesie from Airblaster. The beloved Ninja Suit, in addition to being a form-fitting conversation-starter, is as stealthy as it is practical. The polyester fabric is reinforced with lycra to increase stretch, while the zippered butt flap allows emergency pit stops. Go with the Merino version for a warmer fabric with natural anti-stink properties.