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Gear

Baselayers That Work

Good baselayers are the kind you don't notice: They'll wick sweat when you're hot, and keep you insulated when you're cold. If you haven't already, it's finally time to ditch those cotton baselayers. Here are eight options to upgrade your collection.

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This zip top is warm for its weight, thanks to toasty Polartec Micro Velour Small Grid fabric. The bottoms use Polartec Power Stretch cloth and move…

This zip top is warm for its weight, thanks to toasty Polartec Micro Velour Small Grid fabric. The bottoms use Polartec Power Stretch cloth and move freely as you ski or skin. That girl at the hut floated you her digits? Stash them in the laminated-zipper thigh pocket. [$99 for the top, $99 for the bottoms; arcteryx.com]

Bridgedale’s Lightweight Control Fit slips friction-free into tight-fitting boots. Cushioning is thickest in the shin and thinnest in the calf—just…

Bridgedale’s Lightweight Control Fit slips friction-free into tight-fitting boots. Cushioning is thickest in the shin and thinnest in the calf—just the way you want it. [$22; bridgedale.com]

Researchers at Japanese brand CW-X found that compressing muscles to reduce jiggling during activity actually lessens fatigue. Whereas Opedix…

Researchers at Japanese brand CW-X found that compressing muscles to reduce jiggling during activity actually lessens fatigue. Whereas Opedix garments (above) use strategically placed compression bands to keep joints aligned, CW-X uses similar bands to quiet vibrating muscles. Three-quarter-length tights make perfect sense for skiers: There’s no extra fabric or seams to bunch at your boot cuffs. [$82 for the top, $98 for the bottoms; cw-x.com]

British Royal Navy sailors wear these insulating baselayers, so it’s a good bet they’ll keep you warm on the hill. Both top and bottom use…

British Royal Navy sailors wear these insulating baselayers, so it’s a good bet they’ll keep you warm on the hill. Both top and bottom use Drirelease, a blend of polyester, wool, and spandex said to disperse moisture. A fabric treatment called Freshguard repels odor-causing skin oils. [$46 for the top, $41 for the bottoms; duofold.com]

Opedix teamed up with the world-renowned Steadman Hawkins Sports Medicine Foundation to design baselayers that keep your shoulders and knee joints…

Opedix teamed up with the world-renowned Steadman Hawkins Sports Medicine Foundation to design baselayers that keep your shoulders and knee joints aligned, thereby reducing injury-causing stress. Both shirt and tights use strategically placed fabric bands to compress and stabilize your joints. [$100 for the top, $190 for the bottoms; opedix.com]

A perfect midlayer, the cotton-soft merino hoody has offset shoulder seams to prevent pack-strap chafe and double-layer cuffs to keep the sleeves in…

A perfect midlayer, the cotton-soft merino hoody has offset shoulder seams to prevent pack-strap chafe and double-layer cuffs to keep the sleeves in place. The seams on both hoody and baselayer bottoms are flat and comfortable. When the outfit’s worn out, send it back to Patagonia’s Common Threads Recycling Program, which turns old garments into new clothes. [$200 for the top, $90 for the bottoms; patagonia.com]

Powderhorn got its start in 1972 when some Jackson Hole locals made jackets from fabric scraps. Decades later they’re still thinking green. The Bob…

Powderhorn got its start in 1972 when some Jackson Hole locals made jackets from fabric scraps. Decades later they’re still thinking green. The Bob Hunter baselayers are made from non-chlorinated New Zealand merino wool, a renewable product that’s recyclable and biodegradable. Plus, merino is naturally antimicrobial and water-repellant, like a sheep in the rain.
[$109 for the top, $109 for the bottoms; powderhornworld.com]

These NTS (next-to-skin) underlayers follow women’s curves like leering eyes in a bar. The top’s seamless shoulder panels won’t chafe under pack…

These NTS (next-to-skin) underlayers follow women’s curves like leering eyes in a bar. The top’s seamless shoulder panels won’t chafe under pack straps, and the slippery fabric won’t bind under midlayers. Attention greenies: Not only does the brand use sustainably shorn New Zealand merino wool, its Colorado headquarters are carbon-neutral. [$85 for the top, $75 for the bottoms; smartwool.com]

Thorlo’s High Performance Ultra Thin Cushion Ski Sock uses Thermolite fabric for warmth and wicking. Spandex in the ankle provides a precise fit.…

Thorlo’s High Performance Ultra Thin Cushion Ski Sock uses Thermolite fabric for warmth and wicking. Spandex in the ankle provides a precise fit. [$22; thorlos.com]

The Snow Fall Line Pro sock from century-old Wigwam Mills blankets your feet in lightweight wool with added Drirelease moisture control. [$18;…

The Snow Fall Line Pro sock from century-old Wigwam Mills blankets your feet in lightweight wool with added Drirelease moisture control. [$18; wigwam.com]

When it comes to keeping skiers warm, trust Norway’s Helly Hansen, which developed the first technical baselayers way back in the 1970s. Top and…

When it comes to keeping skiers warm, trust Norway’s Helly Hansen, which developed the first technical baselayers way back in the 1970s. Top and bottom both sport hydrophobic fibers that transport water away from your skin. Tiny patterns woven into the fabric facilitate the wicking. [$45 for the top, $55 for the bottomsl; hellyhansen.com]