The 7 Best Base Layers of 2013

Scott Yorko

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Icebreaker 260 Midweight Apex Crew

No one makes softer, better-fitting, or more stylish merino clothing than Icebreaker. The Apex Crew is probably the company’s most versatile weight—it can pull double duty as a next-to-skin piece and as a midlayer. Thumb loops are great when you get chilled.

Helly Hansen Odin Hybrid 3/4 Pants

(Helly Hansen)

Of all the bottoms we tested this year, the Odin Hybrid (inner layer is synthetic, outer is merino wool) achieved the best balance of warmth and wicking. We also loved how the ski-specific short cut eliminated fabric bunching above the boot.

Dakine Chuck Plaid Shirt


Amid all of the boring crewnecks and traditional zip tees, the Chuck is a breath of fresh air. Two layers of air-permeable polyester handle the wicking and warmth; buttons and a collar bring the style. Trim fitting.

Fjällräven Woods Sweater


The lambswool Woods might not be quite as cozy as your favorite shaggy fleece, but it’s probably just as warm, it won’t ever smell, and it’s undoubtedly much classier. Slim fitting, with reinforced elbow patches.

Wild Things Power Stretch 1/4-Zip Hoody

(Wild Things)

This stretchy, slightly windproof, breathable midlayer was our go-to garment for everything from cold-weather runs (worn as an outer layer) to resort skiing (worn as an inner layer). Bonus: it’s made in New Jersey.

The North Face Wool One-Piece

(The North Face)

We’re big fans of onesies in general—warmer, easier, awesomer—and this one especially. A fancy coating woven into the wool-synthetic-blend suit helps wick moisture away, while a drop seat makes it easier to do your business.