Thermal Underwear - A guide to thermal underwear

We all feel the chill when temperatures drop but there is a way to enjoy being outdoors in winter whether you are working, playing or enjoying sport.

Thermal underwear has historically meant Granddad wearing sagging long johns or unflattering white cotton thermals from the high street. With new textile technology, keeping warm in winter has come a long way...

The best way to beat the chill starts with you first and most important layer (base layer). Dress appropriately for your chosen activity and wear as little bulk as possible to aid a good range of motion and allow your skin to breathe and work as it is designed to.

Things you should look for in a premium base layer:

  • Good close fit to the body
  • Comfortable, stretching seams
  • Easy care and quick drying fabric
  • Neat cuffs and ankle seams to avoid riding up during wear
  • Long torso to cover back and organs such as kidneys and bladder
  • Comfortable soft and neat neckline to stop drafts and moisture
  • Ergonomic fit to ensure best possible wrapping around body

Choose a fabric that will stretch even if it fits snugly to the body. It is important that this first base layer of thermal underwear touches your skin to “grab” any excess sweat and wick it away. If this moisture stays in your clothing, it will eventually cool you down, making you cold.

Choosing a base layer garment that has stretching seams makes for a comfortable day as these will ensure that you can move undisturbed without restriction. Sports people in particular enjoy the benefits of this feature as they can move freely without effecting performance.

Children need extra warmth when outside in the winter but rarely co-operate when it comes to bulky layers, scarves, thermal hats and ski suits. Getting this base layer right means they can be active and warm, keeping them outside for longer and moaning less!

Working in the winter outside in the snow and cold is a huge problem for many people as their muscles remain tight, making it difficult and uncomfortable to move and increasing the risk of injury. An effectivethermal base layer complements the outer layers and takes away the dread of facing the weather, leaving you free to enjoy your day.

Separate garments do give you the flexibility to remove layers as the temperature changes instead of a traditional union suit garment. Traditional thermal undershirts do not fit the body closely enough leaving drafts, bulk and issues with ineffective wicking.

A thermal hat or thermal beanie make a huge difference to beating the cold and if you get a single layer hat, it could double with your usual winter hat or head protective gear to keep you as warm as possible.

Complementing the thermal base layer top and thermal leggings / long johns with low bulk thermal socks for men, women and children completes top to toe protection.

Add your best form of outer layers, whether waterproof, windproof or simply warm and get the best from your clothes and your budget.

Do enjoy your winter and get outdoors and enjoy yourself!