Active Clothing

8 Best Base Layers To Keep You Warm During All Your Outdoor Activities

Tehrene Firman

Photo: Stocksy/Jennifer Brister

Getting outside for fresh air and exercise is going to be crucial to your mental health as the days get shorter and darker. Luckily, the cold weather doesn’t need to stop you. A warm coat is a must, but the base layers you’re wearing underneath when you’re walking, hiking, or working out make all the difference when it comes to staying comfortable for extended periods of time.

When choosing the best base layers for outdoor activities, consider long-sleeve tops that won’t make you feel overheated, sweatshirts so soft you’ll never want to take them off, and tights that fit comfortably under your favorite pair of jeans. Whether you find yourself hiking in the woods or dining outdoors in December, these base layers are what you need to stay warm.

The best base layers for outdoor activities

1. EleVen by Venus Williams Smooth Legging, $69

Photo: EleVen by Venus Williams

These compression leggings are seamless, making them comfortable and chafe-free. As the temperature drops, they’re perfect for wearing underneath a pair of joggers on your morning walks.

Shop now: EleVen by Venus Williams Smooth Legging, $69

2. Sweaty Betty Ski Base Layer Top, $108

Photo: Sweaty Betty

This base layer top is described as feeling like a second skin. It’s sweat-wicking, quick-drying, lightweight, super-stretchy, and perfect for layering for outdoor activities.

Shop now: Sweaty Betty Ski Base Layer Top, $108

Going on a run? Do this warm-up first:

3. PrAna Sheeba Top, $69

base layers for outdoor activities
Photo: PrAna

This sustainable thermal top makes layering easy and comfortable. It’s lightweight, incredibly soft, and moves with you since there’s a hint of spandex for mobility. You can even wear it under your sweaters.

Shop now: PrAna Sheeba Top, $69

4. Uniqlo Heattech Tights, $6

Photo: Uniqlo

Trying to stay warm during a quick walk over your lunch break? Make sure to wear a pair of these insulating tights under your jeans to keep your legs toasty warm.

Shop now: Uniqlo Heattech Tights, $6

5. Feat BlanketBlend Crewneck, $89

Photo: Feat

This is one of the warmest—and coziest—layering options you’ll find. The crewneck is made from buttery-soft fabric that will trick you into thinking you’re wearing a blanket everywhere you go. It’s also easy to layer under and over anytime you need added warmth.

Shop now: BlanketBlend Crewneck, $89

6. Outdoor Voices Ready Set Long Sleeve, $58

Photo: Outdoor Voices

This is essentially a lightweight long sleeve t-shirt, except it’s also sweat-wicking, making it a great layering option for no matter what type of outdoor activity you’re doing.

Shop now: BlanketBlend Crewneck, $89

7. Patagonia Women’s Capilene Air Bottoms, $129

base layers for outdoor activities
Photo: Patagonia

These tights offer warmth without weighing you down. They’re made of an airy blend of wool and recycled polyester that wicks moisture. Aside from being comfortable, the seamless construction also eliminates chaffing.

Shop now: Patagonia Women’s Capilene Air Bottoms, $129

8. Athleta Foresthill 1/2 Zip, $108

Photo: Athleta

Lightweight, chafe-free, and perfect for layering—what more could you want? This nylon, wool, and spandex blend provides warmth and on cold-weather hikes and beyond.

Shop now: Athleta Foresthill 1/2 Zip, $108

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