|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive
Contain your body heat with with these skin-hugging baselayers: the 180s Quantum Dry Base Layer crew and pant, Icebreaker 180 GT Chase 1/4 Zip, Patagonia Wool 2 long sleeve crew and bottoms, and White Sierra Bamboo Crew.
180s Quantum Dry Base Layer crew and pant
"This is a great layer for cold weather," raved one tester after wearing the Quantum Dry top and bottoms during a day-long winter hike up Rocky Mountain peaks near Telluride. Made from 61 percent nylon and 39 percent polypropylene, the Quantum Dry Baselayer offers exceptional moisture management and kept testers warm during aerobic activity in single digit temperatures. "The fabric wicks so well and dries so fast I never noticed I was sweating under my shell jacket," reported another tester. Mesh panels on the underarms and back provide ventilation. The Quantum Dry also has Cocona fibers which aid in wicking and offer natural anti-microbial properties that kept the undies from stinking despite days of non-stop wear. A seamless construction and soft, almost cotton-like feel to the fabric prevented chafing and, in the words of one tester, made this baselayer "as cozy as flannel pajamas."
$50 crew; $40 pant; men's S-XXL , women's S-XL.(877) 725-4386; 180s.com.
Icebreaker 180 GT Chase 1/4 Zip
Made from super fine merino, this versatile long sleeve top feels like silk against the skin, scrunches down to baseball-size and offers maximum warmth for the weight. The vast thermo-regulating and wicking properties of wool allowed us to use the Chase for insulation in summer and as a next-to-skin layer in winter. On a June hike in southern Utah, one tester wore it over a tee shirt to stay warm while star watching and also inside her not-warm-enough sleeping bag. The Chase also proved a stellar cold weather baselayer on cross country skiing and snow shoeing treks in northern Arizona. We found the top highly breathable during aerobic activities thanks to mesh panels on the underarms and back. The merino dried quickly and did not feel itchy when layered under a shell. The 1/4 zip mock turtle neck allows for extra venting but also protects the neck against chilly breezes, and thumbloops keep the sleeves in place. Fit is tapered through the torso and arms without being snug against the skin, allowing enough room for a thin layer underneath.
$85; men's XS-XXL, women's XS-XL; 7 oz. (w's L). (866) 442-4464; icebreaker.com.