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The 8 Best Ski & Snowboard Base Layers of 2020-2021

Experienced skiers and snowboarders know that if you care about being warm and comfortable through a long wet day of skiing, it’s worth being all about that base….layer. It’s the core of your clothing system, and if your base layer isn’t doing its job it doesn’t matter how good your jacket looks, or how snazzy that puffy is, you’re still going to have a bad time.

The biggest misconception that skiers and riders have about dressing for winter success is that you’re only worried about moisture getting in from the outside. In fact, the moisture coming off of your body as you sweat is just as important. The best ski & snowboard base layers will wick that moisture away from your body and allow it to evaporate, instead of holding it close to your skin and making you clammy. So don’t be basic, check out our list of the best base layers around, and get something that keeps you comfortable from first chair at the resort to last call at the apres bar.


Oyuki Hitatech Top

The best ski & snowboard base layers of 2020-2021
 

Oyuki understands that it’s less about how your base layer looks and much more about how it performs. So their Hitatech top has a quiet, understated styling. Instead, the flashy stuff is inside the material, except for a few bright colorways. That’s where their special Agion anti-stink technology lives. Because we all know that during a great storm cycle it can be hard to find the time to wash your base layers between ski days. But with the Hitatech, you’ll still smell rosy on day four of the best week of skiing in your life.

The Hitatech also features thumb holes to help keep the sleeves down around your arms, as well as a comfortable stretch fabric that moves with you easily, so that you won’t even notice it’s there. The Hitatech comes in both men’s and women’s cuts, and a variety of patterns. Base layers don’t have to be boring to perform well, and the Hitatech does both with style.

MaterialStandout Feature Original Price
93% Polyester / 7% 4-way Stretch SpandexAgion® Anti-Stink Technology$70

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Arc'teryx Stryka Hoodie

The best ski & snowboard base layers of 2020-2021
 

Arc’teryx isn’t known for messing around when it comes to their technical clothing, and the Stryka is no exception. The Stryka is designed to be supremely versatile, it’s slim and comfortable enough that it works well as a base layer, but on warmer days it’s got a durable outer construction that helps it perform well as an insulating mid layer, too.

And the Stryka isn’t just versatile, it’s also feature-packed. It’s got a special soft liner fabric to make it comfortable next-to-skin, there are flatlocked, no-rub seams throughout, and there’s even a low-profile pocket for small gear that you want to keep warm and close at hand. The Stryka is the base layer that can do it all, and sure, that comes at a small price premium, but it’s worth it if you’re looking for supreme versatility.

MaterialStandout Feature Original Price
Torrent 170™ 94% Polyester / 6% Elastane with Polygiene® Permanent Odor ControlBalaclava Style Hood$119

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Kari Traa Åkle Hoodie - Women's

The best ski & snowboard base layers of 2020-2021
 

In the ski world, there’s often a perceived divide between gear that’s technical and high performance, and gear that looks good. The Kari Traa Akle hoodie bridges that divide. It looks like a stunning fashion piece, something you’d see from a good designer’s fall or winter line, but beneath that cute exterior, it packs a big performance punch.

The Traa Akle is made completely of mid-weight merino wool. This natural fiber does a really good job of wicking moisture away from the skin and staying stink-free even with long use periods between washes. So this merino wool base layer will stay smelling as good as it looks for a long time. Most base layers get relegated to ski-only use, and the rest of the time they sit unused. But the Traa Akle looks so good that you’ll find yourself reaching for it as you dress for casual dinners or a chilly night on the town. It's simply one of the best ski base layers out there. 

MaterialStandout Feature Original Price
19.5 Micron 210 g/m² 100% Merino WoolFront Button Closure$110

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Oyuki Hitatech Pants

The best ski & snowboard base layers of 2020-2021
 

If you guessed that the Oyuki Hitatech pants are designed to work in tandem with the Hitatech top, you’re a winner. They take the same winning formula Oyuki developed for their base layer shirts, and adapt it for your legs. That means there’s the same comfortable, stretchy fit, the same anti-stink technology, and the same classy styling for both men and women. So don’t leave your legs out when it comes to base layers. They deserve the same comfort and protection as the rest of your body, and with the Hitatech base layer pants, they’ll get it.

MaterialStandout Feature Original Price
93% Polyester / 7% SpandexAgion® Anti-Stink Technology$65

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Airblaster X Evo Classic Ninja Suit

The best ski & snowboard base layers of 2020-2021
 

There are traditional base layers, and then there’s the Ninja Suit. It’s hard to explain just how epic the Ninja Suit is to the uninitiated. It’s just like having the perfect hug, all over your body. The problem with traditional base layers is that there’s a gap between the top and the bottom. In a crash, or even if you just tweak a grab too hard, your top can ride up and your pants can ride down, resulting in snow getting into places you don’t want it. That’s impossible with the Ninja suit. No gaps, no problems.

So yes, you’re fully covered, from your ankles to the top of your head, but what about when you need to umm, access certain parts of your body when nature calls? Don’t worry, Airblaster has planned for that with a 360° waist zipper that allows easy access to anything you may need to deal with. Combine that with the comfortable hood, stretchy fabric, signature evo colorway, and men’s and women’s specific fits, and you’ve got a winner. Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself wearing it to hang around the house too, not just when you’re riding.

MaterialStandout Feature Original Price
230 g/m² 94% Brushed Polyester / 6% Lycra 4-Way Stretch Air Tech FabricIt covers your entire body$114.99

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Rojo Outerwear Velvet Funnel Neck - Women's

The best ski & snowboard base layers of 2020-2021
 

Rojo realized that one of the most crucial joints in your base layer armor is between the top of your base layer and the bottom of whatever mask you’re using to keep your face warm. So they integrated a velvet lined funnel neck into the collar of this top to help keep you warm and comfy on the chairlift, or out on the town.

But that wonderful funnel neck isn’t all that’s going on here, oh no. The whole velvet body of this piece is sumptuously soft and comfortable, and there are thumb loops to keep your wrists warm, as well as a handy pocket. A base layer rarely screams “luxury” this loud, especially at this price. The Rojo Velvet Funnel Neck makes it feel like you’re treating yourself every time you put it on. With a 260 g/m² construction, this is one of the best base layers for extreme cold.

MaterialStandout Feature Original Price
260 g/m² 93% Polyester / 7% Spandex VelvetVelvet lined funnel neck$119

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Blackstrap Sunrise Pants - Women's

The best ski & snowboard base layers of 2020-2021
 

While plenty of folks just wear yoga pants under their ski gear, Blackstrap understands that skiers have a slightly different set of needs, and they designed their Sunrise pants accordingly. So yes, they look great worn as stand-alone leggings, but they really shine when integrated with the rest of your ski kit.

Blackstrap’s patented stretch fabric moves with your body and stays comfortable all day while their midrise waistband gives you a little more overlap with your upper layers and keeps things comfortable whether you’re in pants or bibs. And, if you’re wearing ski boots and don’t want any overlap, the cuffs are made to roll up comfortably to a ¾ length, and then roll back down when you want more of the legging look. So if you’re looking for one of the best base layers for skiing that can do it all, the Sunrise is the model for you.

MaterialStandout Feature Original Price
Patented 4-Way Stretch FabricMidrise Slip-free Waistband$59.99

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MONS ROYALE Yotei Tech Shirt

The best ski & snowboard base layers of 2020-2021
 

When it comes to Merino, MONS ROYALE knows what they’re doing. They’re based in New Zealand, home to thousands of merino-producing sheep, and some of the gnarliest mountains around, a perfect combination if you want to make high-performance base layers. The Yotei is available in both men’s and women’s cuts, with bold color blocking that looks good in almost any setting.

The lightweight merino weave means that it works well in a wide variety of climates, you can combine it with a thicker mid layer on cold mornings, or wear it alone on sunny, slushy afternoons. The Merino’s natural composition ensures that it won’t get stinky even after weeks without a wash, and it’s remarkably soft, without any of the scratchy feel many people associate with wool. This is a base layer that will last you the rest of your life as a skier. So if you’re in it for the long haul, try out the MONS ROYALE Yotei.

MaterialStandout Feature Original Price
190 g/m² 100% Merino WoolThumb Loops$120

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