Gear Up for Winter with the Warmest Base Layers On the Market

Best Warm Base Layers for Men

Gear Up for Winter with the Warmest Base Layers On the Market

The AskMen editorial team thoroughly researches & reviews the best gear, services and staples for life. AskMen may get paid if you click a link in this article and buy a product or service.

When the thermostat plunges and your winter to-do list shows no signs of letting up, there’s only one thing to do: dig deep into the core of your wardrobe, literally, bundle up and get out there. Whether tackling the slopes, winter-proofing your cabin or taking a leisurely park stroll on a snow day, the best base layers will warm your bones in even the most frigid conditions.

The warmest base layers serve a highly functional purpose — insulating your body closest to your skin — and they’re made from all manner of materials, like traditional cotton (best for more temperate climates) or performance-minded merino wool or wool blends. You can wear a base layer on its own beneath a quilted bomber jacket, or use it as another layer beneath your favorite fisherman sweater if the weather is especially brisk.

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And a base layer doesn’t just have to be any old long-sleeve shirt — some base layers, like a rugged henley, are as much a style move as an ultra-insulating, warm winter essential. For those who love winter adventures, like skiing or snowboarding, a base layer is nearly as important as the rest of your equipment set-up.

Look for one with stretch and performance fabric, whether you’re an experienced alpine trekker or simply in search of a cozy layer to wear to that annual Christmas parade. When you start from the ground up with one of the warmest base layers, you’re setting yourself up for success and hours of cozy winter enjoyment, and that’s something to be merry about.

Hot Chillys Pepper Bi-Ply Crewneck

Hot Chillys

You’re getting not one, but two crucial layers of warm thermal protection in this performance-friendly crewneck from Hot Chillys. The contrast stitching adds a touch of visual interest and durability when hitting the slopes, and the brand describes it as a midweight layer that’s excellent at retaining heat. Team it with a quilted vest on its own if temperatures warm up, or use it as that all-important first layer of defense beneath a hard-wearing winter parka.

$43 at

Sportiqe Mohave Long-Sleeve Tee


Every so often, a soft cotton tee is just what the doctor ordered in matters of winter style, especially if you’re wearing a cozy essential like a shawl cardigan that allows you to show off your base layer a bit more. Opt for one in a visually interesting color like Moss from the sportswear masters at Sportiqe. The key here is 100 percent combed cotton for texture, softness and a dash of winter-ready style.

$45 at

Mugsy Stone Cashmere Long-Sleeve Henley


Remember what we said about variety in your winter wardrobe as you shop for the best base layers? A soft, stretch-filled henley in a luxe cashmere blend is a worthwhile winter style upgrade, with the ability to stand out stylishly beneath a flannel overshirt or that trusty shawl collar cardigan. The Heathered Navy colorway is versatile enough to wear with deep winter shades like rust, tobacco, khaki or burgundy, for good measure.

$98 at

Fruit of the Loom Recycled Waffle Thermal Crew

Fruit of the Loom

You’ve likely got a pair or two of Fruit of the Loom in your underwear drawer already, so go back to a brand you can trust to carry you through frigid winter weather. The thick-knit recycled cotton and poly blend helps keep chilly breezes out, while ribbed wrist cuffs provide a secure fit — no matter how windy it gets out there this winter. As a nice bonus, the Greystone Heather colorway matches up with any shade of sweater or style of jacket in your winter rotation.

From $11.65 at

BN3TH Pro Long Sleeve


In search of a base layer that goes all-in on functionality for winter workouts and outdoor excursions? BN3TH put plenty of technology into its recently launched line of base layers, including “no-stink” protection by way of silver anti-odor technology. Beyond that, the blend of two types of polyester and a touch of spandex should provide superior moisture-wicking, comfort and stretch. Note the scoop tail hem for added mobility and coverage.

$65 at

SAXX Roast Master Baselayer


Technology and comfort is the name of the game as you shop for the best base layers this season, and luckily, SAXX delivers on all fronts with the cleverly named Roastmaster. A durable blend of polyester, Tencel and elastane delivers moisture-wicking performance and mobility, and the midweight fabric design should prove plenty comfortable to layer. Plus, raglan-sleeve stitching offers you ease of movement on and off the slopes.

$75 at

Goodthreads Long-Sleeve Slub Thermal Henley


Tightly knit thermal construction is the key ingredient behind this highly affordable, rugged henley from Amazon’s Goodthreads line. If you want a base layer designed to inject some style into winter ensembles (like your favorite flannel shirt), this is the one to snag now. The three-button front closure offers either added coverage or necessary ventilation based on conditions beyond your front door.

From $11 at

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Champion Long-Sleeve Logo Tee


Champion has been outfitting athletes and enthusiasts everywhere for decades, so they’re certainly a brand you can trust when you need a cozy, performance-ready base layer. Classic cotton makes this an ideal base layer for more temperate occasions, while a standard fit should work underneath everything from a quilted puffer jacket to a sherpa-lined trucker.

From $12 at

Smartwool Merino Base Layer


There are plentiful upsides to wearing merino, from its moisture-wicking capabilities to the fact that it’s anti-microbial and highly durable. It’s all boiled down into one dependable base layer from Smartwool, certainly a reliable source for the warmest base layers on the market. It’s a slim fit with reinforced shoulder stitching, all the better to deliver mobility and performance on the go this winter.

From $103.32 at

Carhartt Force Wool Blend Crewneck


You’ve likely got plenty of Carhartt in your rotation of rugged workwear, or at least a trusty jacket or beanie cap — bolster your winter warmth even further with a hearty wool-blend crewneck from the famed brand. The blend of wool and polyester wicks away moisture, while seam stitching on the sleeves and shoulders delivers durability and ease of movement when tackling the toughest winter work.

From $44.93 at

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