Base layers are light-to-wear articles of clothing—such as underwear, t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, and leggings—that are worn under your clothes to provide extra warmth. People often say they can be thought of as a second layer of skin (ew, maybe not). But the point is they are a must-have in anyone’s closet who likes to spend time outside during the chillier months of the year.
Base layers can be used for all kinds of outdoor activities and sports when it’s below 15°C. But not all base layers are made the same. One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing base layers is the material. Most are made from polyester, a polyester mix, or wool such as Merino wool. All are designed to wick away moisture or allow sweat to evaporate through the fabric, while still keeping you warm. Cotton, on the other hand, is not a great material for base layers, as it absorbs moisture. When you break a sweat, it’ll begin to feel heavy and when you stop for a break, the damp cotton will make you feel chilled. Best to avoid that!
Run, bike, hike—without the stink
Considering they are often worn while doing strenuous activities, such as skiing, hiking, running, etc., the fact that Merino wool base layers won’t start to seriously smell after one day is amazing. In fact, you can wear them for a couple of days without any major odor problems. Just air them out over night, and you’re good to go the next day!
This also means that your base layers will last longer, since the lifetime of clothes gets shortened with every wash. So, while Merino wool costs more than their polyester counterparts, they’re higher quality and won’t need to be replaced as quickly if taken care of properly.
Shield yourself from the cold
The Copenhagen-based brand MessyWeekend has recently launched a line of 100% Merino wool base layers and snow accessories perfect for the current season. The black, long-sleeved shirt has a looser fit, so you can wear it under another shirt/sweater or as a shirt itself. The leggings have a tighter fit and are capris, making them perfect to wear under jeans and other types of pants without them sticking out below the hem.
Not only will these base layers keep you warm during the winter, but they’ll keep you cool during the warmer months. Temperature regulation is just another awesome feature of Merino wool.
They also have a neck tube made out of double-layered prime Merino wool that is extremely soft and comfy. It’ll keep your neck (or face, depending on how high up you wear it) warm when out walking, biking, or running. Additionally, since it’s dual-layered, you can even use it as a mask when you pop into a store or take public transportation—just pull it up over your nose and you’re good to go!
Very nice, but what’s the price?
Since all of MessyWeekend’s base layers are made from 100% Merino wool, they aren’t exactly what you would call ‘cheap’, but nor should they be! Quality is key here.
The shirt and the pants will each set you back €90 (so €180 for those of us useless at math), while the neck tube costs €45. However, right now, MessyWeekend is offering the shirt-pants set for €150 when you use the code XX, or the shirt-pants-neck tube set for €180 when you use the code XX.
But wait, there’s more! For each product sold, they donate part of the revenue to their partner NGO Plastic Change to clean the equivalent of 5 plastic bottles / 100 straws / 10 plastic bags from our oceans! We love a brand that goes above and beyond what is expected of them, as do most of their Trustpilot reviewers, who gave MessyWeekend 4.7 out of 5 stars. Very impressive for a small startup!
If you’re interested in learning more, you can read about MessyWeekend’s Clean Oceans initiative here.