How to Choose Base Layers for Ski Season

As we welcome the arrival of autumn and open the door to October, we start to get organised for the ski season ahead. If you’re new to skiing, you should think about the main necessities needed. Your ski jacket, ski trousers and ski boots are just as important as your base layers so make sure that they’re on your list! What is a base layer? Base layers also known as underwear is the foundation to the layering system. It is the closest material to your skin which keeps you warm, dry and comfortable and preps you for the day ahead. This is especially important when you’re skiing or snowboarding as the sport is high intensity, meaning movement is key.

For more information on layering principles click here

You can get base layers for a variety of different outdoor pursuits. Whether you’re walking, hiking, cycling or skiing. They also come in handy when you’re wild camping and need an extra layer of warmth for bracing the winter elements.

How Tight Should a Base Layer be for Ski?

Base layers should be tight-fitting for maximum warmth and effectiveness where it almost becomes a second skin. We would recommend that you run your hand along the waist band to ensure that there are no gaps where the cold air can make contact. If you’ve ever bought skinny jeans and you’ve had to do the skinny jean dance to get into them – you’ll know the drill. The base layers shouldn’t be too tight though, you should be able to sit down without a worry and breathe comfortably so that your movement isn’t restricted when you’re on the slopes. When your thermal base layers fit snug, they retain body heat and distribute it evenly to other parts of your body. Depending on the chosen material, they also wick away moisture and sweat allowing you to feel fresh all day.

What Weight Should a Base Layer be for Ski?

Just like our jackets, the weight of a skiing base layer refers to its overall warmth. As a rule of thumb, if you are sat around a fire wild camping with little to no movement, we would recommend something heavier in height. If you plan to participate in extreme aerobic activities (e.g. skiing or snowboarding), we would go for something lightweight as you’ll be adding layer upon layer. Trespass Top Tip – don’t overdress during ski season as you’ll become uncomfortable and hot, trust us, you can get too hot on the slopes. It’s a mistake easily made!

Best Base Layers for Ski Season


Synthetic materials (man-made materials) are commonly used within the clothing industry as they are inexpensive in comparison to natural materials including cotton and merino wool. When you’re looking to find the perfect base layers for you, the style, features, weight and materials used are the top factors you should be looking out for. Base layers today are made out of high quality merino wool which keeps you warm while naturally reducing sweat and odour. Many synthetic base layers are made with a mixture of polyester which helps to give the garment an improved stretch.


Features: Synthetic materials are often made from the synthetic fibres polyester or polyamide which are soft, durable and quick drying. Synthetic fibres do not absorb moisture, they wick away towards the outside where it then evaporates keeping you dry and sweat-free.

Merino Wool

Features: Merino wool is 100% natural grown from Merino sheep. It is thinner and softer than regular wool making it nicer on the bare skin. Merino wool has highly functional features including naturally anti-bacterial and odour free which is ideal for skiers or snowboarders when you’re on the go all day on the slopes. If your base layers get wet, the merino wool will still keep you warm and comfortable. “This is thanks to an exothermic progress where the proteins in the fibres warm up as soon as they become wet.” states Ortovox. When the wool is woven, the small air chambers between the crimped wool fibres in the garment regulates your body temperature, making sure you’re ready to take it all on no matter what the weather has in store for you.

An Overview: Synthetic vs Merino Wool

Dries quickly
Odour free
Great for high intensity activities
No shrinkage
No creasing
Good elasticity
Merino WoolRegulates body temperature
Wicks away moisture and sweat
Naturally anti-bacterial
Naturally odour free
Provides UV protection
Great for high intensity activities
Soft on the skin
Easy to care for
Synthetic vs Merino Wool

Men’s Ski Base Layers

Our base layers for men include best layer tops in a variety of different colourways and styles. We have paired our Rennie long sleeve t-shirt with our Diego 3/4 length trousers, both knitted with a mix of polyester and elastane. Rennie is one of our best-sellers as it quick wicking, quick drying and keeps you comfortable and warm at all times.

Customers from Trespass have reviewed Rennie:

“Perfect style and fit”

Brian M

“Great top and thermal too. Great for winter”

Linda W

“This is a warm and comfortable base layer. Seems to handle sweat well. I have never had a base layer which copes completely with sweat. Good price.”

Howard F

Women’s Ski Base Layers

Our base layers for women include easy to wear sets in a variety of different colourways and styles.

Raquel in the colourway fig features a small texture running throughout with a fleece reverse and long sleeves. It also features flat seams, quick wicking material and a round neck. The fabric is knitted with polyester and elastane so that movement is restricted when you’re skiing.

Children’s Ski Base Layers

If you plan to take your family skiing this season, we would recommend our Bubbles children’s thermals. The perfect set for layering underneath your ski clothing to ensure that they’re protected against the winter weather conditions. Featuring a contrasting 1/2 zip neck, contrast flat seams for comfort, raglan sleeves and an elasticated waist to ensure a cosy, snug fit. Available in a fuchsia pink and marine blue colourway for both girls and boys.