The Best Men’s Base and Midlayers of 2021
With these key items, regulating your body’s temperature is a cinch
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Beringia Men’s Sibir Hoodie ($200)
Long days in the mountains demand an adaptable lightweight layer. That’s the Sibir. The water- and wind-resistant fleece held up to cold and abrasive rock, and has a brushed lining that kept us toasty on chilly missions. It’s also supremely stretchy, offering top-notch mobility for long reaches. Zip up the collar for extra face protection.
Black Diamond Solution Merino 150 Half Zip Hoodie ($139)
“This was my go-to base-layer top all winter,” said one tester. There are similar wool hoodies on the market, but BD’s version is less itchy next to the skin than others we tried. It’s formfitting but not too tight, so on frigid days we recommend wearing a short-sleeve tee underneath. When it gets warm, the deep chest zip makes dumping heat easy and gives the upper torso more range of motion.
Daehlie Performance Tech Pants ($65)
Testers liked these leggings because they’re substantial enough for truly cold days, but still breathe especially well. We credit the mesh paneling around the knees—an area that often overheats during hard sessions. What’s more: the wool-polyester-Tencel blend holds its shape even after repeated use.
Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Hybrid Shell ($349)
The “hybrid” in this shell’s name, while accurate, might be an understatement. Thoughtfully placed breathable softshell fabric traps heat when you need it and dumps it when you don’t. And when the weather turns unruly, BD’s waterproof-breathable membrane in the hood, chest, and shoulders will have you questioning whether packing the hardshell was really necessary or not.
Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoodie ($259)
Arc’teryx always nails the technical details with its outerwear. This update to the Atom LT continues that tradition. The 20-denier nylon shell material is supremely stretchy, as are the mesh panels, which run from the hip up to the armpits and kept us cool during hard cardio efforts. Meanwhile, 60-gram synthetic insulation made this a reliable layer for days 40 degrees and below. When we head to the mountains, no matter the sport,we’re grabbing this jacket.
Obermeyer Lean Crop Tights ($69)
Boot-cut baselayer bottoms are an essential part of any skier’s kit (no more bunching inside your boots!). These polyester and elastane tights were a favorite for their brushed lining and flat elastic waistband, which stayed put without pinching.
Icebreaker Nature Dye 200 Oasis LS Crewe Shirt ($125)
This slim-fit top is a tad thicker than the other active base layers here and that’s why it worked well for the less sweaty days playing outside. Like all of Icebreaker’s merino wool products, it feels silky on the skin, and wicks moisture well. It’s great for both workouts and around-town wear. Bonus: the brand uses less water for its natural dyes.