The Best Base and Midlayers of 2018
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Don’t skimp on skivvies.
Spyder Glissade Pants ($129)
You can now wear cozy pajama bottoms while skiing. That’s what the plush elastic waistline on the Glissade feels like. Synthetic insulation lining the front, backed by stretchy polyester-fleece along the thighs, offers warmth without bulk. And the slightly baggy fit minimizes chafing under ski pants.
Norrona Lofoten Alpha Raw Zip Hoodie ($169)
Norrona took Polartec’s Alpha tech and stripped it down (the satiny insulation feels so good against skin that it needs no liner) to make the Alpha Raw—the most breathable layer we tested. The fleecy Lofoten fabric kept us comfy yet ventilated under a shell, so we never shed it on ascents.
Eddie Bauer Women’s EverTherm Down Jacket ($249)
This isn’t the midlayer you want for high-output activities; it’s the midlayer you want when it’s really damn cold. Eddie Bauer used a technology it calls Thindown—chopped-up down clusters sandwiched between two slim layers of polyester—to eliminate cold spots and the need for baffles. “Saved my ass!” wrote one tester who spent a sub-30-degree night in the elements.
Corbeaux Women’s Silkyway Long Sleeve Top ($88)
“It really felt exactly like silk,” said one tester who wore the recycled polyester Silkyway almost exclusively last season. The gossamer top was perfectly warm on its own but still wicked moisture underneath layers. Our one gripe: a hole appeared after a few washes.
Patagonia Crosstrek Hybrid Hoodie ($199)
Rarely do we find a hoodie that has the technical chops of a legit mountaineering piece while still being après-worthy. The Crosstrek Hybrid checked both boxes, thanks to its casual cut and cushy Polartec Power Stretch fleece, plus ripstop nylon on the front. DWR shunned rain in a 20-degree spring storm.
Under Armour ColdGear Wool Base Leggings ($100)
Tights have a tough task: they need to trap enough body heat to prevent your thighs from going numb, yet not so much that you swelter. The Wool Base legging struck the balance admirably. One tester—a ski patroller on Mount Hood—adopted them for work because he could comfortably patrol in them from the dead of winter through April.