Introduction to Thermal Underwear and Its Benefits
As the weather turns colder, many of us start looking for ways to stay warm when we head outside. Thermal underwear is one of the best tools we have for keeping the chill out and staying comfortable in frigid temperatures. But with so many options on the market, how do you know where to find the best thermal underwear? I’ve done my research and have plenty of firsthand experience wearing long underwear for winter sports and activities. Here’s what I’ve learned about finding high-quality thermal underwear that will keep you toasty all season long.
Not All Thermals Are Created Equal
I remember my first pair of long johns as a kid – they were thick, bulky, and so itchy! Thankfully, thermal underwear has come a long way since then. Modern thermal underwear is designed with breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics that move sweat away from your skin. This keeps you dry and comfortable rather than hot and sweaty. The best thermals feel lightweight rather than bulky under your clothes. They also provide an ideal blend of warmth and breathability – giving you insulation without overheating.
Match Your Thermal Underwear to Your Needs
From skiing in the Rockies to dog walking in the city, your thermal underwear needs may vary depending on the activity. If braving Arctic temperatures, you may want super insulating wool or fleece-lined thermals. For aerobic activities like snowboarding, look for breathable synthetics that wick moisture. There are also ultra-lightweight options for high-output activities where you’ll build up body heat. Consider the weather conditions and your activity level when choosing materials and insulation levels. No need to sweat it out in wicking thermals under your ski parka if you’ll be sitting on a frozen lake ice fishing!
Fabric Makes a Difference
When it comes to thermal underwear fabric, merino wool and synthetic blends are top choices. Merino wool has natural insulating properties and moisture wicking abilities, making it ideal for cold and active pursuits. Synthetics like polyester and nylon are also excellent at drawing moisture away from the skin. I prefer a merino wool/synthetic blend for the best temperature regulation. Watch out for cheap thermals made with scratchy low-quality wool or all-cotton blends which hold moisture. The fabric label is your best guide to performance and comfort.
Maximize Your Coverage
For total insulation, look for thermal underwear that covers you from head to toe. Most thermals come as tops and bottoms, which provide good core coverage. You can then layer on socks, baselayers, gloves, and hats to protect your extremities. Union suits or “onesies” cover your whole body in one jumpsuit-style piece. These are great when insulation is key, though bathroom breaks do require some disrobing! For maximum versatility, choose separate top and bottom thermals you can mix and match.
Get the Right Fit
Find long underwear that fits close to your skin without compressing or restricting movement. Thermals in tight compression styles can limit mobility and blood flow. Look for a basic lightweight fit in your regular size. The best thermals move with you whether you’re cross-country skiing or shoveling snow. If between sizes, consider sizing down for a snugger fit that prevents cold air leaks.
Caring for Your Thermal Underwear
Follow the care instructions on your thermal underwear to optimize performance and lifespan. Most modern synthetics and wool blends are machine washable. Use gentle cycles and non-bleach detergent. Avoid fabric softeners which can inhibit wicking properties. Tumble dry on low or line dry. Pro tip – skip the dryer sheets to prevent buildup on fabric fibers over time. With proper care, quality thermals can last for many seasons of staying toasty in the cold!
Where to Shop for Thermal Underwear
Ready to start your search for the perfect thermals? Outdoor retailers like REI and L.L. Bean have a huge selection of long underwear for winter activities. They’ll also have knowledgeable staff to help find the right thermal gear for your needs. Amazon carries just about every thermal underwear brand and style imaginable with easy online ordering and fast shipping. Plus they frequently run sales on thermals during winter months. Local sporting goods stores allow you to see and feel different fabric options in person.
Stay Warm All Season
With the wide range of thermal underwear types and retailers, you’re sure to find options that check all your boxes for staying toasty without bulk. Invest in high-quality merino and synthetic thermals engineered to lock in heat while wicking away sweat. Finding the right cold weather base layers lets you comfortably enjoy all your favorite winter activities – so you’ll look forward to the first snowfall instead of dreading icy temps. Just be ready to share where you found those amazing thermals when your friends ask how you stay so warm!
Different Types of Thermal Underwear for Various Activities
When searching for the perfect thermals, it helps to consider what activities you’ll be wearing them for. The best thermal underwear for alpine skiing may be different from what you’d want for a winter jog around the block. Here’s a look at some of the top thermal underwear options tailored for certain cold weather pursuits.
Snow Sports Thermals
Whether you’re bombing down the slopes or exploring cross-country trails, snow sports require thermal underwear that balances warmth with breathability. Look for midweight synthetics with wicking properties to manage sweat during active days in the snow. Brands like SmartWool and Patagonia offer snowsports-specific thermal layers with temperature regulation and a trim fit that layers cleanly under ski gear. Windproof thermals can provide an extra barrier when you’re riding lifts in the alpine chill.
Ice Fishing and Hunting Thermals
For stationary cold weather activities like hunting and ice fishing, insulation takes priority over venting body heat. Seek heavy, brushed fabric thermals lined with wool or fleece for retaining warmth when you’re sitting for long periods. A merino wool union suit offers whole body coverage and protection from the icy elements. Pack an extra base layer or sherpa-lined jacket to pop on if you get overheated from all that cozy insulation.
Everyday Cold Weather Wear
For braving the chill during daily life, look for versatile thermal underwear you can layer under work clothes or outdoor gear. Midweight wool or polyester base layers provide warmth without bulk, along with office-friendly crew necks. Try moisture-wicking thermals under dress pants or casual looks for outdoor dog walking, commuting by bike, waiting at the bus stop, and other cold weather activities.
High-Output Aerobic Activity Thermals
If you’ll be doing intense aerobic exercise in cold temperatures, beware of overheating in heavy-duty thermals. Seek lightweight, breathable synthetics that vent body heat and dry quickly. Brands like Under Armour and L.L.Bean offer super-thin thermals ideal for winter running and bootcamp-style workouts. Ankle length bottoms allow ventilation while keeping your core covered. Bring extra base layers to change into if you get sweaty.
Arctic Exploration Thermals
For extreme cold like mountaineering in subzero temps, don’t skimp on insulation. Heavy expedition-weight wool and fleece thermals retain maximum body heat. Brands like SmartWool, Icebreaker, and First Ascent specialize in ultra-warm layers for Arctic climates. Look for zip turtlenecks to seal out icy drafts, along with windproof elements. When dealing with bitter cold, your thermals are your first line of defense.
Whatever your preferred winter activities, there are thermal underwear options tailored to provide the right warmth, breathability and coverage. Analyze your activity intensity, environmental temperatures and mobility needs to zero in on your perfect cold weather base layers.
Choosing the Right Thermal Underwear Fabric
When Old Man Winter comes knocking, staying warm should be your top priority. And while throwing on an extra sweatshirt may help for a quick trip outside, proper winter gear is essential for outdoor activities or extended time in the cold. Thermal underwear provides an excellent base layer to keep you toasty when the mercury plummets. But with so many fabrics and options to choose from, how do you decide what’s best?
Let’s break down the most popular thermal underwear materials to help you find the right fit for your needs and budget this winter.
When it comes to natural fibers, merino wool reigns supreme for thermal underwear. Merino is sourced from sheep breeds specifically cultivated for their ultra-fine wool. With a diameter approximately one-third the thickness of a human hair, merino wool fibers feel exceptionally soft against the skin. The tiny fibers also provide impressive heat retention by trapping warm air close to the body.
In addition to its incredible insulating properties, merino wool wicks moisture away from the skin to prevent that clammy, damp feeling. The wool’s natural anti-microbial qualities also help minimize odor after long days spent active outdoors. No wonder merino is a favorite of winter adventurers and athletes!
The main downside to merino wool is the price. As a premium natural material requiring special processing, merino thermal underwear typically costs more than synthetic alternatives. Those with wool allergies may also find merino irritating despite its unusually fine fibers.
Another pricey but effective natural fabric for thermal underwear is silk. Produced by silkworms, silk is revered for its ultra-smooth texture and moisture wicking abilities. The lightweight material traps air close to the skin to retain heat while allowing perspiration to evaporate.
In addition to regulating temperature, silk underwear feels luxuriously soft against bare skin. The fabric’s low friction helps prevent chafing during active pursuits in the winter. Silk thermal underwear provides a lavish way to stay cozy in cold weather.
Cost and care are the main limitations for silk long underwear. Dry cleaning is recommended to extend the lifespan of silk fabrics. For a material requiring delicate care, silk garments come with premium price tags. And while durable, silk lacks the anti-microbial benefits of wool, so odor control can be an issue after workouts.
For an affordable and user-friendly synthetic alternative, polyester is a top choice for thermal underwear. Polyester fabrics are specially engineered to provide insulating warmth without absorbing moisture. That means polyester long johns keep you dry and comfortable even during aerobic winter activities.
Polyester thermals resemble cotton in their soft, flexible feel. But unlike natural fabrics, polyester resists shrinking when washed and retains its shape over time. Polyester also wicks perspiration away from the skin for quick evaporation.
While not as warm as merino wool, polyester thermal underwear delivers better heat retention than cotton at a fraction of the price. Just beware that polyester lacks antimicrobial properties and can retain odors over time.
Also known as elastane or Lycra, spandex is frequently blended with other fabrics to create form-fitting thermal underwear. On its own, spandex possesses impressive stretch and recovery. But the synthetic material lacks insulation and breathability.
A touch of spandex woven into merino, silk, or polyester garments provides flexibility and mobility ideal for skiing, snowboarding, and other cold weather sports. The small amounts of spandex used in thermal underwear blends typically don’t affect the temperature regulating properties of the primary fabric.
Choose spandex-enhanced thermals to move freely without restriction, whether you’ll be hitting the slopes or just shoveling snow this winter.
You might be tempted to reach for your regular cotton thermals once the cold hits, but cotton is actually one of the worst choices for insulation. Although praised for its softness, cotton soaks up moisture like a sponge and holds it against your skin.
Once wet from sweat or snow, cotton provides no warmth-trapping benefits. The damp fabric can even make you feel colder outside by accelerating heat loss. Save your cotton thermals for layering indoors only.
Choosing Thermal Underwear Fabric Weight
Beyond material, fabric weight also impacts the insulating performance and comfort of thermal underwear. Heavier fabrics provide more warmth but less breathability and mobility. Lighter fabrics allow greater freedom of movement and moisture control but less protection from the cold.
Medium weight fabrics around 200-300g/m2 offer a versatile blend of heat retention, breathability, and mobility for most winter activities. But you can tailor your selection based on planned usage:
- Lightweight (150-200g/m2): High intensity aerobic activities like skiing, winter running
- Mid-weight (200-300g/m2): Versatile warmth for everyday winter wear and moderate outdoor activities
- Heavyweight (300+g/m2): Maximum insulation for sedentary use in extreme cold
Finding the Best Winter Thermal Underwear
Hopefully this breakdown provides some guidance on selecting the best thermal underwear fabric for you. To find quality thermals made from these materials, here are some tips:
- Check outdoor retailers like REI and L.L.Bean, which stock excellent wicking wool and synthetic base layers for winter sports.
- Look for specialty merino wool brands like Smartwool, Icebreaker, and Minus33 that offer premium softness and temperature regulation.
- Don’t overlook silk thermal underwear from high-end retailers for a luxury upgrade.
- Search Amazon for budget-friendly polyester thermals with decent heat retention under $50.
- For maximum warmth in extreme cold, look for heavy-weight wool or fleece long underwear.
With the wide range of thermal underwear types available today, there’s an option fit for any winter activity and budget. Just be sure to avoid cotton and choose wicking synthetics or natural fibers to stay warm and dry all season long.
Features to Look for When Buying Thermal Underwear
Bundling up with bulky layers is one way to stay warm in winter, but thermal underwear provides a lighter, more comfortable option. As an essential base layer, thermal underwear keeps your body heat trapped close to the skin so you stay toasty without the bulk.
But not all thermal underwear is created equal. Certain features help maximize comfort, insulation, and performance. Here are some key factors to look for when shopping for thermal underwear:
Moisture Wicking Fabric
The best thermal underwear features moisture wicking fabric to keep you dry as well as warm. When moisture gets trapped against your skin, it robs body heat and creates a chilling effect. Fabrics like merino wool and polyester whisk sweat and moisture away from your body so it can evaporate.
Look for thermal tops and bottoms made from synthetic moisture-wicking fabrics or natural fibers like wool. Avoid cotton, which absorbs and holds onto moisture, leaving you damp and cold.
Since thermal underwear sits right against your skin, comfort is a top priority. Seek out soft, non-irritating fabrics that feel smooth rather than scratchy. Merino wool and silk offer ultra-soft texture, with merino featuring randomly spun fibers to prevent itchiness. Soft microfleece is another excellent thermal fabric.
Avoid any rough textures that could become uncomfortable and distracting after hours of wear. Try on potential thermals top to check for areas that chafe or bind.
For the best heat retention, thermal underwear should fit close to the body without restricting movement. A loose fit prevents the fabric from trapping warm air near your skin. But skin-tight thermals aren’t ideal either, as they can limit mobility.
Look for thermal underwear with enough stretch to provide a snug fit without feeling restrictive. Spandex blends help create form-fitting thermals that move with your body. Thumbholes, long sleeves and ankles, and minimal seams also help seal in warmth.
Bulky seams and stitching on thermal underwear can irritate skin and detract from comfort. Seek out thermals constructed with flatlock or overlock stitching for smoothly finished seams. Any ribbing at cuffs and hems should also lie flat and smooth.
In addition to enhanced comfort, flat seams help minimize friction and chafing when layered under activewear and outerwear.
The amount of insulation you need from thermal underwear depends on the weather conditions and your activity level. Lightweight fabrics around 150-200g/m2 work well for high exertion in cold yet above-freezing temps. For more sedentary use in extreme cold, choose heavyweight thermals 300g/m2 and up.
Merino wool provides some of the best cold weather insulation. Other effective yet affordable insulating fabrics include polyester microfleece and synthetic thermal knits. The thickness of the fabric impacts warmth, so choose weight accordingly.
Bacteria and odor can build up over time in thermal underwear worn close to the skin. Choose base layers treated with antimicrobial silver ions or made from naturally antimicrobial merino wool. Synthetics lacking antimicrobial properties may need to be laundered more frequently.
Proper construction is also key for odor control. Opt for thermal underwear with sufficient wicking ability to keep sweat from accumulating in the fabric.
To extend the lifespan of your thermal underwear, opt for fabrics that are machine washable and dryer safe. Synthetics like polyester and nylon clean up easily, while wool and silk require more delicate washing.
Prefer thermals that won’t shrink, pill or lose their shape over time. Check fabric content labels for care instructions to prevent damage.
Ready for Winter Adventures
Choosing thermal underwear with moisture wicking performance, a comfy feel, and effective insulation will help you stay active in cold weather. Look for the right combination of fit, fabric, weight, and features to suit your winter adventures.
With high quality thermals designed to trap heat, wick moisture, and move with you, you’ll be ready to embrace the cold and enjoy an active winter season.
Thermal Underwear for Cold Weather Sports and Activities
Just because there’s a chill in the air doesn’t mean outdoor fun has to end. With the right thermal underwear, you can stay active in cold weather pursuits from snowboarding to hiking and beyond. Let’s look at how thermal base layers can keep you warm and comfortable during favorite winter activities.
Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
Gliding down the slopes is exponentially more enjoyable when you’re not shivering. The perfect thermals for skiing and snowboarding feature moisture-wicking fabrics that keep you dry as you work up a sweat. Synthetic fabrics like polyester or wool layers provide warmth without overheating.
Look for medium to heavyweight thermals around 200-300g/m2 for insulation on the slopes. Articulated knees and elbows allow a full range of motion. Thumbloops create a seal between jacket sleeves and gloves. For a streamlined fit under ski gear, opt for thermals without bulky seams or padding.
Ice Skating and Hockey
The rink can get chilly, especially when you’re gliding over solid ice. Thermal leggings and tops help maintain warmth deep down during hours at the rink. Moisture-wicking performance is key to avoid feeling damp as you work up a sweat.
Stretchy, lightweight thermals around 150-200g/m2 allow free movement for skating and hockey maneuvers. Look for thermals specially designed for ice sports with articulated knees, elbow pads, and flatlock seams that prevent chafing from pads and gear.
Winter Running and Training
Don’t let a little chill deter your running routine. The right thermal base layers help maintain body heat and keep you comfortable mile after mile. Look for lightweight, breathable fabrics with moisture wicking abilities to stay dry as you sweat.
Polyester and merino wool are ideal fabrics for running thermals. Ankle zips allow you to pull them on easily over running shoes. Reflective details boost visibility on winter runs. Choose lightweight 100-150g/m2 thermals to prevent overheating while active.
Hiking and Backpacking
Trekking through snowy landscapes requires durable, insulating base layers that retain heat and dry quickly. Merino wool hiking thermals offer unbeatable warmth with moisture management. Synthetic fabrics also wick well while resisting odors.
Choose mid to heavyweight thermals around 200-300g/m2 to block wind and retain body heat. Extended ankle and wrist cuffs help seal out drafts. Opt for thermals with UPF protection when hiking on sunny winter days.
Camping and Outdoor Adventures
Nights spent sleeping outdoors call for ultra warm thermals that insulate even when immobile. Look for heavy 300g/m2+ base layers made of wool, thick synthetics, or fleece. Durable fabrics withstand abrasion from gear and the elements.
Full coverage thermal pajamas optimize warmth from neck to ankles. For sleeping in tents or under the stars, choose heavyweight thermals that you can layer under coats, blankets, and sleeping bags.
Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing
Gliding through fresh powder puts unique demands on base layer performance. Look for thermals with excellent cold weather insulation coupled with unrestricted mobility. Wool and polyester fabric blends balance warmth, breathability, and stretch.
Midweight 200-250g/m2 thermals provide ample insulation without impeding movement. Zip neck tops and ankle zips on bottoms make them easy to pull on over boots and skis. Flatlock seams prevent chafing from straps and gear.
Staying Active and Warm
Whatever your favorite cold weather activity, a good set of thermal underwear tailored to the pursuit will help you enjoy it in comfort. Look for the right balance of insulation, moisture wicking performance, mobility, and durability to stay warm and dry all winter long.
With the wide selection available today, you can find thermal base layers designed specifically to enhance winter running, cycling, hiking, snow sports, and anything else that keeps you moving outdoors.
Finding Affordable Yet Quality Thermal Underwear
Staying warm during winter doesn’t have to break the bank. With the wide range of thermal underwear available today, you can find quality base layers to fit your budget. Let’s look at strategies for getting the best warmth, comfort and performance without overspending.
Shop End of Season Sales
One of the easiest ways to save on thermal underwear is buying off-season. Look for winter thermals to go on sale at outdoor retailers in late winter and early spring when stores are clearing out cold weather merchandise. Discounts typically range from 25-50% off original prices.
You can stock up on thermal tops and bottoms for next winter at a fraction of the cost. Just be sure to check the sizing and fabric quality before purchasing clearance thermals.
Buy Store Brands
Big box retailers like Walmart and Target offer their own lines of affordable thermal underwear. While not as technical as premium outdoor brands, store brand thermals provide sufficient warmth and breathability for casual winter wear at lower prices.
For basic cotton or polyester thermals under $20, it’s hard to beat the prices from brands like Starter and Fruit of the Loom. Watch for sales when store brand thermals can dip as low as $5-10 per top or bottom piece.
Shop Online Deals
Amazon and other online retailers offer deals and discounts on quality thermals throughout the winter months. Check sites like Sierra Trading Post and Backcountry for closeout prices on last season’s thermal underwear styles from premium brands.
Online shopping lets you easily compare pricing across brands and retailers. Take advantage of free shipping offers and rewards programs to maximize savings on your thermal wear purchases.
Buy Synthetic Fabrics
Natural fibers like wool and silk make exceptionally warm and comfortable thermal underwear. But they come at a premium price. More affordable synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon provide sufficient insulation at a fraction of the cost.
Brands like Duofold, Carhartt and PolarMax offer budget-friendly synthetics thermals in the $15-30 range. Performance won’t be equal to wool, but synthetics get the job done on a tight budget.
Choose Base Layers Wisely
The bulk of your insulation should come from middle and outer layers, not base thermals. Focus your base layer budget on wicking performance to keep you dry. Add warmth with budget-friendly fleece, down, or puffy jackets.
Going one weight class lighter on thermal bottoms and using budget leggings or pants over them helps reduce costs. The same goes for tops when worn under insulating jackets and sweaters.
Take Care of Your Thermals
No matter how much you spend on thermal underwear, taking care of them properly ensures they’ll last for seasons to come. Follow fabric washing instructions and avoid high heat drying to prevent damage and shrinkage.
Immediately repair any small holes or tears that could expand over time. Storing thermals properly over the off-season preserves quality and performance.
Enjoy Winter in Comfort and Style
Staying toasty during winter doesn’t require breaking the bank on expensive thermals. Using smart shopping strategies can help you find quality base layers that keep you warm without overspending. Invest wisely in materials and construction for performance that will last for seasons to come.
Online Retailers With Large Thermal Underwear Selections
The internet opens up a vast world of thermal underwear options beyond what you can find at your local sporting goods store. Online shopping makes it easy to browse dozens of styles and brands to find your perfect winter base layers.
Here are some top online retailers where you can shop an extensive selection of thermals for every budget and activity.
As the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon offers one of the widest assortments of thermal underwear for men, women and kids. Browse premium outdoor brands like Smartwool and Under Armour or affordable basics from Hanes and Fruit of the Loom.
Amazon’s frequent sales and special deals mean you can often score thermal tops and bottoms for 30-50% off retail prices. Free shipping with Prime helps keep costs down. Read customer reviews to help guide your purchasing decisions.
This outdoor gear specialist stocks a stellar selection of thermal underwear purpose-built for winter sports. Find temperature-regulating base layers from top brands like Patagonia, Outdoor Research and Stoic. The site offers detailed product information to compare fabric technologies.
Backcountry also provides expert advice on choosing the right thermal weight and features. Take advantage of bundled pricing on tops and bottoms and keep an eye out for discounts up to 60% off.
REI’s online shop equips adventurers for the outdoors with an extensive range of thermal underwear styles. Shop by activity to find thermals tailored for skiing, hiking, camping and more. REI’s own house brand provides quality at lower prices.
Frequent sales knock 20-30% off big name brands like Smartwool, Patagonia and The North Face. REI members get special pricing and rewards. Free shipping is available on orders $50+.
This retailer offers a fun, youthful take on outdoor apparel like thermal underwear. Browse performance base layers in flashy prints and colors for winter sports, camping, and everyday wear. Brands span the spectrum from budget to premium.
Keep an eye out for Moosejaw’s sales with thermal underwear deals up to 30% off. Rewards members get free shipping on orders $49+. The site also price matches select competitors.
Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS)
EMS is a go-to for outdoor enthusiasts with a vast selection of thermal underwear for winter activities. Shop base layer sets or mix and match tops and bottoms from leading brands designed for cold weather pursuits.
Sort by features like moisture wicking wool or purpose like “skiing and snowboarding” to easily find the right thermals. Look out for discounts up to 60% off original prices.
This Maine retailer offers trusted cold weather classics including thermal underwear for the whole family. L.L.Bean’s own wicking base layers receive rave reviews for quality and comfort across outdoor activities.
The company stands behind all its products with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Free shipping on orders over $50 makes it easy to try thermals and return them if needed.
Stay Warm All Winter
Thanks to these online shops, finding the perfect thermal underwear for your needs and budget is just a few clicks away. No matter what cold weather activities you have planned this winter, you can shop an extensive selection of stylish, high performing thermals from the comfort of home.
Local Sporting Good Stores for Trying On Thermal Underwear
While the convenience of online shopping is hard to beat, there’s no substitute for trying on thermal underwear in person before buying. Visiting local sporting goods retailers lets you evaluate fit, comfort and mobility before making your purchase.
Here are some top in-store options for testing out winter base layers near you:
Dick’s Sporting Goods
This nationwide sporting goods chain offers an extensive selection of thermal underwear for the whole family. Try on winter thermals from brands like Under Armour, Nike, and The North Face before deciding what to take home. Stores employ knowledgeable sports and outdoor pros to help guide your selection.
In addition to fit, assess the softness, stretch, and breathability of different fabrics and styles. During cold months, Dick’s frequently discounts thermals 25% or more. Price matching is also available.
Outdoor enthusiasts flock to REI for quality gear selected by fellow adventurers. Visit your local store to browse REI-brand thermals and top brands like Patagonia, Smartwool, and Stoic. REI staff can advise on the best fabrics and features for your needs.
REI offers a generous one year return policy, so you can test out base layers on the trails before fully committing. The REI Outlet section offers discounted last season’s thermals at up to 60% off.
Academy Sports + Outdoors
This sporting goods retailer based in the southern U.S. sells a wide range of thermal underwear perfect for trying in store. Peruse major brands as well as Academy’s own Magellan and BCG base layers priced under $30.
Frequent sales and clearance events can score you major deals on last year’s thermals. Take advantage of a generous everyday low price guarantee.
Touch and feel L.L.Bean’s famous wicking base layers in person at one of their retail stores in the Northeast. Stores carry L.L.Bean’s time-tested silk, merino and synthetic long underwear beloved by generations of outdoorsmen and women.
Take home a 100% satisfaction guarantee. L.L.Bean will accept returns and exchanges on any thermal underwear that doesn’t meet your expectations after testing.
Sierra Trading Post
For brand name thermals at steep discounts, check out the Sierra Trading Post’s network of outlet stores. Inventory varies but expect to find previous seasons’ thermal sets from The North Face, Columbia and other leading outdoor brands at 50-70% off retail.
The deals are ideal for trying out high performance thermals that may have been too expensive at full price. Sign up for email offers to save an extra 20% or more.
Get the Right Fit
Don’t underestimate the importance of trying on thermal underwear before purchasing. Visiting local sporting goods retailers lets you evaluate comfort, mobility, and insulation to find your perfect winter base layers.
Take advantage of knowledgeable staff, price matching, discounts, and return policies only available when shopping in-store. You’ll stay warm and save money.
Getting Properly Fitted for Thermal Underwear
Finding thermal underwear that fits you correctly is key for maximizing performance. The right fit traps body heat, wicks moisture, and allows unrestricted movement during winter activities. Taking the time to try on base layers helps ensure you get long underwear tailored to your shape and size.
Follow this advice for getting properly fitted for thermal underwear:
Know Your Size
Like regular clothing, thermal underwear comes in standard sizing from XS to XXL. Brand sizing is not universal, so be sure to consult size charts for each brand’s fit. Trying on thermals in store makes it easy to find your ideal size.
For the most accurate fit, measure your chest, waist, hip, inseam, sleeve length. Compare your measurements against online size charts or bring them to the store when possible.
Try on Different Styles
Thermal tops and bottoms come in a variety of silhouette cuts from loose and baggy to slim and contoured. Test out multiple fits to find your preferred balance of compression versus coverage.
Bottoms with articulated knees and gusseted crotches maximize mobility. mock neck tops limit air gaps. Thumb loops, long sleeves and ankle cuffs seal in warmth.
Assess Layering Needs
Consider what other garments you’ll layer over your thermals. Oversized base layers can bunch uncomfortably under slim outerwear. Leave room for insulation layers without excess bulk.
Trying on thermals over a t-shirt and under a jacket or pants helps assess layering performance. Focus on unrestricted mobility in all layers.
When properly fitted, thermal bottoms should extend ankles when standing. Tops should reach below the waistband without extending beyond pants.
If thermals are too short, your midsection can get exposed. Overly long underwear can bunch up uncomfortably. Try on different inseams and torso lengths.
Move around while trying on thermals to identify any pulling, binding or restrictions. Properly fitted base layers shouldn’t limit your range of motion.
Stretch, bend, lift your arms, and walk around the store. Make sure thermals offer full mobility without 0sagging or compressing too tightly.
Consider Fabric Content
Wools and silk naturally provide more stretch, so focus on proper length over compression. Synthetics with spandex offer figure-hugging fits.
Try on multiple fabric blends to assess which provides the ideal balance of stretch, compression and mobility for your chosen winter activities.
Get the Perfect Thermal Fit
Don’t settle for thermal underwear that bunches, binds and inhibits motion. Visiting a sporting goods retailer to try on different brands, styles and sizes makes getting the perfect fit for your body easy. With thermal base layers tailored specifically to your shape and size, you’ll stay toasty and unrestricted when out in the elements.
Caring for Your Thermal Underwear
Investing in quality thermal underwear is a smart move for staying comfortable during winter activities. Like any apparel, proper care and maintenance will extend the lifespan of your base layer tops and bottoms.
Follow these best practices for keeping your thermal underwear looking and performing like new:
Follow Fabric Care Instructions
Always check the garment tag for care guidelines specific to the fabric content. Most synthetic thermal fabrics can be machine washed warm and tumble dried on low, but confirm directions.
Wool and silk thermals require more delicate washing by hand or on the gentle cycle. Air drying is recommended. Taking time to follow care instructions avoids damage.
Wash After Each Wear
Unlike regular clothes, thermal base layers worn next to skin need laundering after each full day’s wear. Sweat and bodily oils can embed in fabric fibers and reduce wicking performance over time.
Wash thermals inside out and use mild detergent. Skip fabric softener, as it can impede moisture wicking. Wash similar colors together to avoid dye transfer.
Close All Velcro, Snaps, and Zippers
Secure all closures before washing thermals to avoid snags. Turn items with zippers inside out. Use garment bags for extra protection if needed. Leaving closures open can catch on other laundry.
Check for loose threads and broken snaps with each wash. Hand wash delicates if closures start to show wear and replace as needed.
Air or Line Dry
When possible, air or line drying your thermals helps preserve elasticity and avoid heat damage from the dryer. Lay flat initially while still damp to prevent stretching.
If machine drying, use low heat only. Remove from the dryer immediately and hang to finish drying. High heat can damage synthetic fibers and ruin wool shrinkage properties.
Store Properly Off-Season
Before packing away thermals at the end of winter, check for wear and damage in need of repair. Spot clean any stains. Fold neatly and place in breathable storage containers.
Avoid plastic bins or vacuum storage bags which can trap moisture. Store in a cool, dry spot to prevent mildew and pilling.
Repair Any Damage Promptly
Inspect base layers frequently for loose seams, small holes or tears. Catching damage early makes repairs easier. Hand stitch small holes and re-sew loose seams to avoid expansion.
Use a fabric glue like Barge Cement to patch holes. Repair major damage at your local tailor if needed. Addressing issues promptly extends lifespan.
Enjoy Thermals for Years
With proper care and maintenance, quality thermal underwear can keep you warm and comfortable for many winter seasons. Taking a few extra minutes to launder, dry, store, and repair thermals properly protects both your investment and the environment.
Stylish Yet Functional Thermal Underwear Options
Thermal underwear has come a long way from the bulky cotton long johns of old. Today’s base layers offer cutting-edge fabrics and fashion-forward styling while still delivering warmth and comfort.
Here are some top picks for thermal underwear that seamlessly blends form and function:
32 Degrees Heat Base Layers
This popular brand balances performance with appealing patterns and colors like camo prints, heather grey, and bold contrast panels. The lightweight polyester fabric wicks moisture and dries quickly. Stay warm in style for under $20.
L.L.Bean Signature Thermals
Trusted outdoor brand L.L.Bean launched this stylish line with thermal underwear in muted solids and outdoorsy buffalo check prints. The merino wool blends retain heat while managing moisture. Garment dyed colors stay vibrant.
New Balance Thermal Tights
Athletic brand New Balance brings its signature sporty aesthetic to cold weather running tights. Breathable mesh inserts and reflective details combine with moisture-wicking performance in sleek black or grey. Pair with the matching thermal top.
Under Armour RUSH Thermals
In bold colors like bright blue, red, and purple, this compression thermal set has athletes covered. The stretch fabric provides a body-hugging fit ideal for high performance and recovery. Anti-odor tech prevents stink.
HeatTech Collection by Uniqlo
Minimalist Japanese brand Uniqlo designs thermals ideal for layering under work and casual wear. Ultra-soft fabrics come in an array of neutral solids and stylish stripes at affordable prices under $15 per piece.
Carhartt Force Thermals
Rugged workwear brand Carhartt offers signature triple-stitched seams and metal rivets on its poly-cotton base layers. Flatlock seams prevent chafing while mesh panels add breathability. Choose from camo and outdoorsy prints.
Smartwool Intraknit Thermals
This merino wool thermal set comes in sophisticated patterns like checked grid lines and geo polygons. Natural wool meets durability from interlocking knit construction. Designed to layer seamlessly under work or weekend wear.
Patagonia Capilene Thermals
Made from recycled fabrics, these sustainable long underwear sets perform as good as they look in the environment. Bluesign-approved manufacturing and trendy prints like paint drops and latticework appeal to eco-conscious outdoor enthusiasts.
Style Meets Performance
Today’s thermal underwear options blend cutting-edge tech and on-trend styling to keep you warm in comfort and style. With so many fashionable yet functional long johns to choose from, there’s no need to sacrifice performance or looks this winter.
Thermal Underwear for Women, Men and Children
Staying bundled up in cold weather is important for the whole family. Luckily, thermal underwear comes in styles tailored for women, men and children. The right base layers help everyone stay warm and cozy all winter long.
Women’s Thermal Underwear
Women’s thermal underwear prioritizes soft, stretchy fabrics that move with the contours of the female form. Preferred styles include:
- Fitted long sleeve tops with thumbholes and mock necks to seal in warmth
- Leggings with gusseted crotches that allow freedom of movement
- Lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics like silk, merino wool, and polyester
- Optional fitted shorts for layering under pants or skirts
Look for women’s thermals offering enough stretch to fit slim silhouettes while allowing a full range of motion. Focus on keeping the midsection warm.
Men’s Thermal Underwear
Men’s thermal underwear prioritizes durability and insulation with styles like:
- Full coverage long sleeve tops and full length bottoms
- Boxy silhouettes layered under relaxed outerwear
- Thick insulating fabrics like wool, cotton, and polyester
- Reinforced seams and heavier weight construction
Men tend to prefer basic thermal underwear in solid colors rather than prints. Look for a relaxed but not overly baggy fit that layers comfortably under clothes.
Children’s Thermal Underwear
Kids need base layers engineered to support an active lifestyle:
- Fun prints and colors to keep them excited about bundling up
- Lightweight, stretchy fabric for full mobility
- Thumb loops, ankle cuffs, and mock necks to seal out the cold
- Durable construction that holds up to rough play
Choose children’s thermals offering moisture-wicking performance to keep them dry and comfortable at recess or on the slopes.
Unisex Thermal Underwear
Many thermal underwear options work across genders, like:
- Matching sets for the whole family
- Basic tops and bottoms in gender-neutral colors
- Medium weight 200-250g/m2 thermals versatile for all users
- Budget-friendly polyester or cotton blends
Unisex thermals prioritize comfort, affordability and ease of layering for casual winter wear.
Warmth for All
From form-fitting women’s styles to durable men’s fits and playful children’s prints, thermal underwear is available to keep every family member toasty. Choose the right base layers for your needs and activities to stay warm in any winter weather.
Matching Thermal Underwear for the Whole Family
Bundling up for winter is more fun when the whole family sports coordinating thermals. Matching base layer sets are a cute way to get everyone outfitted for the cold.
Here’s how to shop for matching thermal underwear sets the entire crew will love:
Choose Coordinating Colors and Patterns
Select a color palette or print that fits everyone’s style, like:
- Solid neutrals in black, grey, navy or white
- Fun pops of color like bright blue or purple
- On-trend prints like buffalo check or camo
- Outdoorsy patterns like ski slopes or pine trees
Stick to 2-3 colors for the most cohesive look. Mix and match prints and solids for customizable styling.
Focus on Comfortable Fabrics
Choose soft, stretchy fabrics conducive to an active lifestyle like:
- Smootht-feeling merino wool or silk
- Lightweight, breathable polyester
- Warm yet lightweight wool or poly blends
- Spandex-enhanced fabrics allowing stretch
Prioritize comfort to keep the whole gang excited about wearing their matching thermals.
Consider Unisex Styles
Unisex thermal underwear comes in inclusive sizing and silhouettes working for everyone. Opt for:
- Standard sizes spanning women’s, men’s and youth
- Gender-neutral colors and minimalist prints
- Relaxed fits layering under other clothes
- Durable fabrics standing up to rough play
Unisex thermals provide a fuss-free way to suit up in matching sets.
Mix and Match Sets
Combine different silhouettes for customized styling:
- Women’s leggings with unisex tops
- Men’s tops with children’s bottoms
- Matching prints or solid colors
- Coordinating warm accessories like beanies
Get creative with mix and match pieces in the same color palette for affordable matching.
Take Family Photos
Capture the memory of your matching thermals with a family photo session outdoors or by the fireplace. Schedule a mini session with your favorite local photographer.
Post cute pics on social media or use them for holiday cards. You’ll treasure the photos for years to come.
Warm Family Fun
Shopping matching thermal underwear sets is a fun way to get the family outfitted for winter. Select comfortable fabrics and inclusive colors and prints to find the perfect coordinating thermals.
Buying Thermal Underwear in Bulk for the Season
As the temperatures start to drop and winter weather approaches, it’s time to gear up with thermal underwear to stay warm and comfortable. For many folks, buying thermal underwear is an annual tradition before the cold hits. But what’s the best way to buy thermal underwear so you get a good deal and have enough to last throughout the chilly months?
The answer is simple – buy your thermal underwear in bulk! Buying thermal underwear in bulk at the start of the season ensures you get the lowest prices and have plenty to rotate through the winter. Here’s a guide to everything you need to know about buying thermal underwear in bulk and getting geared up for winter:
Check Out Warehouse Stores
Your first stop when thermal underwear shopping should be warehouse stores like Costco or Sam’s Club. These stores specialize in selling items in large quantities or bundles. For thermal underwear, you can often find multi-packs of tops and bottoms for men, women, and kids. The prices per piece are lower when you buy in bulk at these warehouse retailers.
Browse the thermal underwear options and see if they have any bundles or multi-packs that make sense for your family. Even if you have to buy more than you need, the lower prices often still make it worth it. And any extras can be handy to have just in case or for layering when it gets really frigid outside.
Look for Discount Retailers
In addition to traditional warehouse stores, some budget-friendly retailers like Walmart also sell thermal underwear in multi-packs for low prices. Check out their thermal wear section and see if they have any bulk options or value sets available. Essentially, anywhere that you can find thermal underwear bundled together rather than sold as individual pieces can get you significant savings.
Discount retailers that offer a wide array of clothing and home goods are another place to look for thermal underwear bulk deals. Stores like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, or Ross sometimes have discounted thermal wear in bigger packs or sets compared to traditional retailers. Their stock rotates often, so keep an eye out forthermal underwear bundles you can snag on the cheap.
Shop Online For The Best Selection
To find the biggest selection of thermal underwear options, shopping online is a must. All of the major retailers like Amazon, Target, Kohl’s, etc. have dedicated thermal underwear sections on their websites where you can browse different styles and prices. The wider variety makes it easier to find thermal options you love rather than settling for whatever is available in-store.
Online shopping also lets you easily compare bulk pack prices across brands and retailers. You can score major deals on popular thermal underwear like Carhartt, Duofold, and Fruit of the Loom when buying multi-piece packs. Tracking down combo packs and multi-buys online can take a bit more digging but pays off with big savings over time.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
When buying thermal underwear in bulk, focus on quality over amassing a huge quantity. It’s better to have a few excellent long underwear sets that keep you truly warm rather than a surplus of poor quality thermal wear that doesn’t hold up. Prioritize underwear made of wool, silk, or synthetic high-wicking materials over cotton, which doesn’t provide much warmth when wet from sweat or snow.
Also look at the stitching, seams, and overall construction. Sturdy, well-made thermal wear will last longer through repeated wears and washes. Don’t just buy the cheapest bulk packs. Instead, invest a bit more into high-quality thermal underwear even if you get less pieces. Your body will thank you for the superior warmth and comfort!
Get a Mix of Weights and Styles
Within your thermal underwear bulk buys, get a mix of different weights and styles to suit changing winter weather. Having lightweight, mid-weight, and heavy-weight available provides layering options from early fall through the depths of winter. You’ll also want a mix of tops and bottoms, including thermal shirts, pants, leggings, and long johns.
Don’t forget thermal socks, gloves, and hats to finish off your cold weather ensemble. Buying some thermal accessories in bulk alongside your long underwear can maximize savings. Having multiple weights and styles on hand makes it easy to adjust your thermal wear as the temperatures fluctuate.
Take Advantage of Off-Season Sales
The very best time to buy thermal underwear in bulk is actually at the end of winter or during off-season sales. Retailers are looking to clear out their remaining thermal wear stock to make room for warmer weather apparel. Shop the winter clearance sales and you can score incredible deals on thermal underwear.
Buying off-season lets you get ultra-low prices now and build up your thermal underwear supply before next winter. The same packs are usually twice the price at the start of the cold weather season, so stock up at the end of winter for huge savings. Off-season sales are the secret to getting the most bang for your buck on bulk thermal underwear.
Where to Find the Best Thermal Underwear This Winter:
When you’re ready to start shopping for thermal underwear in bulk, look for the best deals at these go-to spots:
- Costco – Check for thermal underwear bundles and multi-packs that offer serious value for families.
- Walmart – Find a range of budget-friendly thermal wear bulk options under one roof.
- Amazon – Browse hundreds of thermal underwear choices and compare bulk pack pricing.
- Cabela’s – Score quality outdoor and hunting brand thermal wear packs.
- Sierra Trading Post – Get discounts on name brand thermal underwear multi-packs.
- Marks & Spencer – Reliable base layering thermal wear staples from this British retailer.
- L.L.Bean – High quality and natural material thermal underwear value bundles.
Gear up for the cold and save money at the same time by buying your thermal underwear in bulk this winter. With smart shopping at warehouse retailers, discount stores, and off-season sales, you can get the lowest prices and stock up on long underwear sets the whole family can enjoy all season long.
Staying Warm and Cozy All Winter with Thermal Underwear
When the frigid winter months arrive, thermal underwear provides the first layer of defense against plummeting temperatures. Slipping on a set of soft, insulating thermal tops and bottoms makes braving the cold actually feel cozy. Quality thermal wear traps body heat, wicks away moisture, and prevents chills right down to the bone. Here’s your guide to staying warm and comfortable all winter long with the magic of thermal underwear.
From long johns to thermal leggings, thermal underwear creates a buffer between you and the elements. The fabrics are designed to retain and circulate warmth while allowing flexibility for work or play. Upgrading to thermal wear means no more shivering under thick sweaters and blankets!
Crank Up the Cozy Factor
Who doesn’t love feeling snug as a bug in winter? That’s exactly the vibe thermal underwear provides once you layer it under your clothes. The soft, insulating fabrics hug your body and instantly make you feel like you’re wrapped in a warm blanket.
Natural materials like merino wool or silk used in high-end thermal underwear feel soothing against the skin. Even budget-friendly synthetic blends have a brushed interior for next-to-skin comfort. Slipping into thermal wear just feels like a warm, wintery hug!
Moisture Wicking Superpowers
Unlike regular cotton underwear, thermal underwear has moisture wicking capabilities to keep you dry. Synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon pull sweat off the skin so it can evaporate rather than get chilled. Even wool absorbs moisture vapor.
Staying dry is crucial for maintaining warmth in cold temps. Damp cotton underwear can make you feel clammy and freeze. Thermal wear’s technical fabrics transport sweat away and eliminate that icky wet feeling. Pretty magical!
Capture and Circulate Body Heat
The number one job of thermal underwear is trapping and circulating your natural body heat. The fabrics almost act like a second skin to contain your warmth. Synthetics are especially good insulators, with weaves that capture air and heat.
But even lightweight merino wool offers warmth by creating micro-pockets of air. As your body heat is reflected back towards you, thermal underwear acts like a personal furnace keeping your core toasty.
Where to Find the Best Thermal Underwear This Winter:
Ready to gear up and get your cozy thermal underwear for winter? Check out these spots for the best selection and prices:
- L.L.Bean – High quality merino wool and silk long underwear for serious warmth.
- REI Co-Op – Outdoor and baselayer expert offering temperature-rated thermal wear.
- Patagonia – Sustainable, durable thermal wear made from recycled synthetics.
- Uniqlo HeatTech – Budget-friendly line with ultra light and comfy thermal fabrics.
- Carhartt – Rugged, heavy-weight thermal options for work and outdoor activities.
- Hanna Andersson – Cute kids’ thermal underwear patterns and matching family sets.
- Lands’ End – Classics like thermal long johns, turtlenecks, and leggings.
Match your thermal underwear weight and style to your personal winter cold tolerance. Layer it under pants, jeans, sweaters, socks, and more as cold weather insulation. Just add your favorite boots and jacket on top to complete the winter outfit.
With a quality set of thermal tops and bottoms, you’ll stay toasty warm from head to toe this winter. No more shivering and chattering teeth! Thermal underwear lets you play and work outside in comfort without sacrificing style. Stay cozy and happy all season long with the magical warmth of thermal wear.