How to use base layers for skiing

Finding the right ski base layer is essential — it’s the difference between a fantastic day on the slopes… or not. Here’s your guide to what you need to know and how to layer effectively.

Photo courtesy of @bentibbettsphotography⁠

Know your base layers

A ski base layer is a top, leggings or shorts worn next to your skin. The purpose of this critical layer is to keep your skin dry - and therefore warm - when you exert yourself and begin to sweat. A base layer should be breathable, transporting moisture vapour away from your skin. It should also ‘wick' perspiration from the surface of your skin.

Avoid wearing cotton

While it’s extremely good at absorbing moisture, cotton doesn’t allow sweat to evaporate quickly, so it stays wet - which can make you uncomfortable, cold and susceptible to a nasty chill in cold weather. The best ski base layers for men and women are made from wool or a synthetic polyester blend - both are excellent at wicking but synthetic base layers offer virtually no added insulation, which is crucial when out in extreme temperatures skiing. 

Regulate your core body temperature

Wool traps body heat effectively and continues to insulate even when wet. It’s breathable too, helping to regulate your core body temperature. We have engineered Hima-Layer™ Yushu fabric to bring together the strengths of yak wool and merino - ideal for ski base layers for women and men. We have paired superfine merino (18.5 micron certified mulesing-free), with our super-soft premium Himalayan-sourced yak wool to create our most exciting base layer fabric to date.

Consider a soft, tight style

If you’re going to wear it against your skin all day, it better be comfortable. Ultra-fine wools such as yak wool or merino lack the itchiness of traditional sheep wool. Since the moisture needs to make contact with the fibres in order to be pulled away from the skin, a tighter, more contoured fit means better wicking. Ski base layers for men and women should be well-fitted, following the shape of the body to maximise performance. Our Yushu designs are long in the body to ensure that tops don’t ride up and the Yushu Collection is designed as ‘skin-fit’.

Photo courtesy of @taylorjbodin

Choose an anti-bacterial fabric

Synthetic garments tend to smell dreadful after an intense bout of exercise. Wool is naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial, so stays smelling fresher for longer, enabling you to perform better, to go further, to simply ski more. 

When making the Yushu Collection we strived to make the best base layer for skiing you can buy.