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The Thermal Underwear Guide
You’re skiing down a mountain. You reach the bottom in a light sweat and you feel it. The wet, clammy, feeling beneath your ski pants. Yeah. You bought the wrong underwear. Those 100% cotton long johns are trapping all the moisture in.
The perfect pair of thermals will keep you warm while wicking away sweat. Layering is the simplest way to protect your body from extreme cold weather. The base layer is the one closest to your body. Pay attention to it and you will have nothing to worry about. The advantages of picking the right base layer?
- Comfort, without sacrificing the sex appeal of your clothing.
- Increased freedom of movement for outdoor activities.
- Can be worn in layers – which improves the insulation of the clothing. More air is trapped using several thin layers than by a bulky single layer.
- Potential energy savings at home as you won’t need to turn the thermostat up to stay warm.
- When you buy thermal underwear, you want performance, durability and comfort under any conditions. You don’t want to skimp on it.
This article is going to cover exactly what to look for when buying thermal underwear.
This educational article is brought to you by Tani USA. Living in Wisconsin, temperatures drop below freezing several times a year. I personally own and trust Tani’s high-quality thermal underwear to keep me warm during the winter seasons.
#1 Thermal Underwear Fit
The perfect fit will support but not constrict. Thermal underwear functions as a second skin – creating an insulating layer between your body and the fabric. For warm conditions – your underwear needs to be loose. In cold weather, snug-fitting underwear traps the heat generated by your body and boosts comfort. If a garment is advertised as athletic fit, expect it to be snug.
If it fits poorly – the underwear is likely to create hot pockets instead of distributing warmth event, making you feel some discomfort. Form-fitting underwear avoids this predicament allowing you to comfortably wear layers over it. Choose a garment with a slick outer surface so that your other clothing doesn’t get stuck on it.
#2 Thermal Underwear Fabric
There are two components to picking the right fabric – weight and material.
Thermal Underwear Fabric Weight
Each fabric weight offers different advantages. Here are some general guidelines for picking the right weight for your base layer:
- Ultralightweight: Also called micro weight, suitable for mild to cool conditions.
- Lightweight: Preferable for cool to moderately cold weather and for a high level of aerobic activity.
- Midweight: Suitable for moderately cold to cold weather. Midweight fabrics are the most versatile and can be worn for a variety of recreational and sports activities.
- Heavyweight: Suitable for extreme cold and frigid temperatures when more warmth is required to regulate the body temperature. Heavier fabrics are suitable for winter sports in the snow.
Common Fabric Materials For Thermal Underwear
The material of your thermal underwear needs to be luxuriously soft and yet extraordinarily resilient to keep up with whatever weather conditions you experience.
- Synthetic thermal Underwear Fabric – Made especially for extreme cold conditions, synthetic fabrics are the best for thermal underwear. Polyester, spandex, lycra, and nylon are often combined with other natural fibers to provide the right amount of moisture wicking properties and heat retention required.
- Wool Thermal Underwear Fabric – Natural fiber merino wool cleverly balances your body temperature and provides great moisture management, no matter what the conditions.
- Silk Thermal Underwear Fabric – Silk is a lightweight option for activities in moderately cool weather. Wear it for recreational snowsports and indoor lounging. Silk provides a luxuriously soft texture without adding bulk. The drawback with this fabric is that it transports moisture away from the body more slowly.
- Cotton Thermal Underwear Fabric – Unlike merino wool, synthetic fabrics or silk, cotton retains perspiration. It leaves you feeling chilled, wet and clammy. Despite the affordable pricing, cotton is the least preferred option for thermal underwear comfort.
The warmth to weight ratio of synthetic fabrics like acrylic and polyester are 3-8 times higher than knitted or woven fabrics like wool or cotton.
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