Ski Base Layer Buying Guide

Shop Dare 2b Ski base layers


The purpose of base layers/thermals are to provide extra warmth and to wick moisture away from your skin, ultimately keeping you dry on the inside, ensuring that you feel fresh after a long day of skiing. It is important to have layers whilst skiing as you can always add them, if you're feeling cold or take them off if you're feeling warm as the day goes on. However, finding the best base layer for skiing depends on a variety of different things, there are also a few different types to choose from: synthetic thermal base layers, synthetic performance base layers and merino base layers, and they all have their own benefits. You have the option of buying a top, or bottoms which come in full length or cropped and you can even buy them as a set. Base layers are also useful for cold weather, ideal for runs or cold walks in the park.


The plus side of Merino wool base layers is that they do a better job of locking in body heat, unlike synthetic thermal base layers, they're also extremely soft, thanks to the fine fibres. There are also flat locked seams that have been created for extra comfort against the skin. These specific base layers can worn multiple times in between washes as merino wool has a natural anti-bac, whilst with synthetic base layers should be washed after every wear. Merino base layers should be your go to when it comes to skiing due to the breathability and quick drying features, they will let moisture pass and keep you dry whilst out on the slopes.


Synthetic performance base layers are far more tighter fitting, this is in order to help retain and regulate your body heat under other layers, with strategically placed knitted panels. These base layers are extremely thin, meaning they are perfect for layering as they don't take up too much room. They have been designed with thermo-regulating fabric to maintain a comfortable body temperature. Our range of performance thermals have reduced seams for extra comfort, improved fit and durability. The reduced seams provide extra comfort, improved fit and durability, and there will be less chance of rubbing thanks to this, not to forget give more freedom of movement. These quick wicking base layers are also great for skiing as they feature antibacterial fabric treatments and they are easy to wear under many layers.


Our synthetic thermal base layers are definitely the most cost-effect base layers of the three, but don't worry, they work just as well. They have been designed with a brushed back to add extra warmth and feel super soft next to your skin, they also feature quick wicking and antibacterial fabric treatments to keep you dry and fresh at all times.


  • Seamsmart

    The range of Zone Out base layers in the men’s, women’s and kids ski base layer collection have reduced seams. The reduction of seams in the thermals give more comfort and durability with improved fit to offer unrestricted movement to give better performance.

  • Qwic

    This fabric treatment gives the thermals increased wicking and drying properties. A wicking base layer is extremely important when skiing as it will keep you dry and comfortable while skiing.

  • Woolwic

    Woolwic is a naturally wicking base layer technology. As one of the properties of a merino base layer is that it naturally wicks moisture away from the skin and contains anti bac.


A base layer should be your first layer that sits next to your skin, in order to keep you warm and dry, both the merino and synthetic thermals are a perfect option for a cold weather base layer - with the help of other layers of course (if you're skiing). If you plan of Spring skiing then you'll probably need a base layer, a mid layer and a thing outer shell. But in colder climates or in winter, you'll require 1 or 2 extra layers on top of your thermals and then an insulated ski jacket. Take a look at our ski jacket buying guide to find out which ski jacket will be perfect for you.


Base layers should fit closely and tight to your body, this is so it can trap your body heat between your clothing and your skin. A tighter, snug fitting base layer is far more effective at wicking moisture away from your body, all of our thermals are close fitting, but their tightness levels differ. Our performance base layers fit the tightest, for optimal wicking and heat retention, whilst our merino base layers and synthetic thermal base layers have the loosest fit.

n order to test whether your thermals are too tight you should check the movement in your arm and shoulders, if you can't get full rotation then you're best sizing up. Another way to test for the perfect size is to pinch the fabric and pull, if would struggler to do so, then they're too small.


It is essential to layer when you're planning on going on the slopes. Whilst skiing, you should stay protected from the elements, ensure that you are maintaining your temperature and keep dry. The best way to do this is to use multiple layers, instead of one super thick jacket. Here are there 3 main items of clothing to create the perfect layer system, in order to stay warm and dry:

  1. Base layers
  2. Mid layers
  3. Outer layers


Base layers should be worn first, as it acts as a second skin due to the fact that it will keep you warm whilst you're skiing. Good quality thermals wick away your sweat to ensure that you are dry and comfortable on the slopes, as well as warm.


Your mid layer should sit on top of your base layer, but under your outer layer. We have zip up core stretch tops or warm ski fleeces for you to choose from and they both have optimal heat retention. The role of a mid layer is to add extra warmth in cold temperatures, however it can impact your overall movement, so you should choose wisely and take into consideration what you will be doing whilst wearing them.


Finally comes the outer layer/shell, this is your final layer of ski clothing. Not only will an out layer protect you from the cold, but its acts as a barrier against the wind and the rain by preventing moisture from penetrating into your clothing. Here are some examples of outer layers...

  • Ski Jacket

    Insulated, shell or softshell depending on the climates and time of year.

  • Ski Trousers

    Depending on the time of year, climate and level of skiing will depend on the type of trouser.

  • Ski Gloves

    Our range of gloves give varying amounts of waterproofness, flexibility and durability.



Ski socks are a must have when skiing, they give your the extra insulation that you won't get from your average pair of socks. It is important to check that they fit correctly as if not, it can lead to rubbing and blisters whilst worn with your ski boots. Also make sure your ski socks are above your shin to provide maximum insulation and keep you comfortable.