Base Layers

Base layers are a handy way to add extra warmth to an outfit, they help retain body heat and remove excess moisture, and in some cases can help dump excess heat in warmer weather, keeping your body temperature regulated, comfortable and dry. Cromwell stock a range of base layer garments from well known brands like Regatta, Pulsar and Ballycare, amongst others, providing you quality garments at affordable prices.

What are base layers?

Base layers are worn under outer layers to provide extra warmth and to regulate body temperature and comfortability. Some feature moisture wicking technology to help reduce overheating as well as anti-microbial technology to reduce odour. They are made from a range of materials including cotton and polyester blends as well as other popular materials like merino wool.

Why base layers?

Base layers are crucial for keeping heat on your body, allowing you to stay cosy even in colder climes.

When to use base layers?

As the months turn colder, it's essential for those who work outdoors regularly to stay warm in order to remain healthy. Base layers are commonly worn by people who regularly work outside such as agricultural workers, maintenance workers and delivery service workers.

Types of base layers

Polyester - Polyester is the most widely used fiber for base-layers as it is durable, moisture wicking and non-absorbent, as well as quick drying. It can often be blended with other materials to maximise the performance of the fabric.

Merino wool - Excellent for temperature regulation, merino wool is naturally anti-microbial and fights odour. It keeps the wearer warm in cooler temperatures and cooler in warm temperatures. They are less quick drying than polyester base layers, however.

Nylon - Not usually solely used in base layers, however it can be blended with other materials and offers moisture wicking like polyester. However, it lacks the breathability that polyester has.

Cotton - Cotton is not recommended as a base layer on its own as it is highly absorbent and doesn't retain warmth well, especially when wet. Blended with polyester however it becomes an option.

Considerations when choosing a base layer

Moisture wicking - This helps wick away sweat from the skin keeping you cooler and dryer.

Quick dry - Wet garments close to the skin loose heat retention very quickly, a quick drying fibre will lessen the impact of this.

Anti-microbial - Working all day is bound to built up a sweat, which is a breeding ground for bacteria that cause odour. Anti-microbial fabrics help eliminate this.

Comfort - Wearing something close to the skin all day everyday requires the garment to be comfortable. Harsher fabrics tend to rub and cause skin irritation, so a lighter softer fabric is ideal.

Sizing - Base layers should fit snugly, close to the skin. Baggier garments will not retain heat as effectively.

Base layers jargon buster

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to find the right product to suit your needs, so we've outlined some key terminology relating to base layers, to ensure you can make a confident purchasing decision.

What are long johns?

Long john is the term that is often used to refer to long, thermal trousers. Historically, long johns were manufactured from silk, but nowadays it's more common for them to be a polycotton blend. The term is generally used interchangeably with thermal trousers.


Do base layers need to be tight?

In short, yes. Whilst the layer shouldn't be excessively tight, the closer the fabric is to your skin, the better it will be at trapping air next to the skin and insulating your body. The fit should be snug, but not restrictive.

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