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Baselayers | Alpine Skiing

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More baselayers facts

The first snow of the season is falling and you´re already dying to do some winter sports? In that case, all you need is the perfect ski underwear and you´ll be on your way to the slopes. 


For you being able to enjoy the entire day in the snow without freezing or sweating too much, it is crucial that you´ll wear a comfortable and functional ski underwear underneath your ski pants and ski jackets. The choice of the “base-layer” is an important foundation, so that you can maintain a pleasant body temperature during your favorite outdoor activities. There is such a variety of functional underwear, made of different materials and from quite a number of manufacturers, that you´ll have a hard time to make the right decision. In order to ease this process a little bit, we want to introduce you to the most important functional underwear facts in the section below.

Functional underwear as a base layer in winter sports

There are all kinds of functional underwear in our assortment. For example, long sleeves, short sleeves, long underpants, functional shorts, and sports bras. This is not just some kind of underwear. Rather, it was carefully selected and made of highly functional materials. The perfect functional underwear is supposed to contribute to the natural cooling-mechanism of your body. This is why it is crucial that your functional underwear is breathable and quick-drying, yet, it´s also supposed to keep you warm.


Merino wool is the go-to functional material

The sturdy merino sheep can be found in places with some tough weather conditions, however, thanks to its exceptional kind of wool it can effortlessly deal with temperatures of up to -10° C in winter, as well as more than 30° C in summer. Indeed, this kind of sheep always feels comfortable in its fur of wool. Thus, the merino sheep´s wool is the perfect material for outdoor clothing. Manufacturers like Icebreaker and Ortovox have realized just that and use it in their functional underwear.


Merino wool is a renewable, natural raw material and promises a great level of comfort on the skin, because the fibers, contrary to other kinds of new wools, are extremely fine and smooth. Additional key features of this wool are a superb moisture management and a great temperature regulation. There are even more advantages of merino wool, such as that it also keeps you warm when wet and repels odors. This means that you may wear your functional underwear more than once, because you just need to simply aerate it overnight in order for the odor to vanish. .

Merino wool in combination with synthetic fiber

Quite often, brands don´t simply use 100 percent merino wool in their production of functional underwear, rather than a mixture of wool and synthetic fibers. Generally speaking, synthetic fibers are used in order to make the material even sturdier. Furthermore, synthetic fibers are quick-drying and improve the transport of moisture. Icebreaker, for example, incorporates some spandex into the merino wool in its base layers. This makes for an optimal fit and elasticity of the clothing because it stretches respectively. Ortovox uses a yarn by the name of Nuyarn in its Merino Ultra line. In an innovative production process, some of the finest wool fibers are woven around a polyamide core. This is how the yarn makes for a more lightweight and, at the same time more voluminous cloth, which is even warmer and much more comfortable. Furthermore, this yarn is more elastic, stable, and dries even quicker than ordinary merino yarn.

Laid-back designs and cool colors make functional underwear a head turner

Our assortment of functional underwear, however, isn´t only brilliant in a technical sense, but it also gives you a fantastic look. After all, functional shirts, pants and so on, are all available in amazing colors and cool designs like, for example, Kari Traa´s underwear. 


The unique patterns are inspired by Norwegian traditions and have been interpreted in a fairly contemporary way.

Choosing the right material for functional underwear

In a nutshell, the material is a key factor when choosing functional underwear. In most cases, functional underwear is made of either polyester materials or merino wool. For a mixture, the share of cotton should be rather low, otherwise this might have a negative impact on the breathability. Functional underwear made of new wool is odorless, very warm, and easy to care. This is why it´s well suited for multi-day tours and endurance activities, even if it´s cold. However, wool needs a lot more time to dry than synthetic fiber. Functional underwear made of polyester is well suited for rather short tours with a high level of intensity, because synthetic fibers are quick-drying, lightweight, and extremely breathable. Yet, there is also a disadvantage concerning polyester: it is not as odorless as new wool. Whatever you may choose, considering our huge selection of functional underwear from Adidas, Arcteryx, Dynafit, Elevenate, Icebreaker, Kari Traa, Löffler, Northern Playground, Odlo, Ortovox, Salomon, Scott, and Vaude, or Peak Performance, you are guaranteed to find something you´ll like. So, let it snow!

©Hansi Heckmair MedRes.  
©Peak Performance