Stay drier, ski longer, and go faster with the best base and midlayers of 2014.
SmartWool Mid 250 Pattern Zip T
BEST FOR: Damned Cold
This midweight ($110) is a heater and quickly became our go-to midlayer, although it was warm enough to work as an outer layer for ski touring on a stormy 12-degree day. Smart: backpack-friendly seamless shoulders and a garage for the zipper, so it doesn't chafe.
Mountain Khakis Rendezvous QTR Zip
BEST FOR: Double Duty Thanks to a jersey-knit exterior, the Rendezvous ($120) looks more like a sporty fleece than a merino base layer. Testers found it to be an ideal midweight for skiing; it's a bit warmer than, but not as breathable as, the SmartWool.
Patagonia Capilene 4 Expedition One-Piece
BEST FOR: Feeling Like a Superhero
A bit of spandex and an athletic cut make this the most formfitting onesie ($199)we've ever skied in. And silver nitrate added to the fancy Polartec polyester fabric fended off funk during a week's worth of sweaty outings.
Black Diamond CoEfficient Hoody
BEST FOR: Backcountry Skiing
The grid pattern of the Polartec fabric lining the CoEfficient ($159) makes it breathe like a champ when it's worn as a stand-alone piece, but it also holds in warmth when layered. Nice: thin spandex wrist gaskets trapped heat and never got in the way.
Helly Hansen Dry Charger Windblock 1/2 Zip
BEST FOR: Moving Fast
Breathability and wind protection are usually at odds in layers. Not so in the Dry Charger ($80). A half-hourglass-shaped swath of loosely woven mesh on the back dumps heat, while the windproof front keeps your core warm.
Icebreaker Escape Cardigan
BEST FOR: Slope Style
If you're riding chairlifts on a sunny day or heading out for a mellow snowshoe, a supertechnical midlayer is probably overkill. The Escape ($160) looks sharp, the merino wool is remarkably soft, and it's cut roomy enough to pair with a dress shirt or a base layer.
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