Keeping your core warm on the slopes will keep you skiing in comfort for longer so a good mid-layer that insulates without too much weight or bulk but also breathes well and dries fast is a must. Here we test 6 of the best....
6 of the best ski mid-layers
HELLY HANSEN ULLR | £130
The Ullr uses Helly Hansen’s well-established Lifa Flow Technology to off er a double-knitted fleece which gives the garment excellent moisture management to keep you comfortable.
It has been designed for freeride skiing, so offers a reasonably loose cut along with added weather protection for the shoulders and the hood in the form of a slick, windproof fabric – this creates a more versatile garment since it can be worn as a standalone layer on hot ascents and then to insulate a shell on descents.
Features include YKK coil zipped handwarmer pockets, a non-adjustable hood, and thumb loops on the elasticated cuffs.
Flatlock seams help reduce bulk and boost comfort, and the Ullr has the quality and versatility for many uses.
+ Can be used as a mid or outer layer
– Hood not adjustable
ARC’TERYX PROTON AR HOODY | £210
The Proton AR Hoody is an athletically cut all-rounder, as happy on the fell as it is in a ski resort. It doesn't feel great against the skin but can double as either a softshell outer layer or as a mid-layer and is built with a Coreloft synthetic fill and a water resistant and breathable outer.
The result is a warm mid-layer with the 90g/ m2 and 65g/m2 of synthetic fill (depending on area of jacket) running all over the jacket.
Breathability suffers a little as a result but you’ll be glad of the warmth when you’re at the top lift station in a gale. The treated Fortius outer material blocks out wind and even light rainfall.
A do-it-all super-warm mid-layer which will turn to any outdoor pursuit and even softshell outerlayer duty.
+ Useful for many reasons and seasons
– Next to skin comfort isn’t the best
ORTOVOX PIZ BOE | £220
A departure from the more usual down or synthetic insulation fills, the Piz Boe midlayer uses a lightweight layer of merino wool stuff ed between a Pertex outer fabric and a soft and supple inner. Elasticated fabric underarm panels provide breathability and freedom of movement, while elastic cuff s and insulated hood add protection from the elements.
The Piz Boe is built for demanding ski tourers, and this design principle is echoed in its low weight of 360g and slim, ergonomic fit.
The Swisswool Light Tec merino fi ll weighs just 60 g/m2 and although
down insulates better, merino will still insulate to an extent when wet.
The Piz Boe hits the sweetspot with the warmth and breathability of Merino married to exacting design.
+ Merino, merino everywhere!
– Steep price
EIDER AMPEZZO FLEECE | £70
This mid-weight Italian-made micro-fleece comes in a range of colours from low-profile grey and black to loud green and orange, which means that it’s likely you’ll find an option that appeals, especially given the stylish cut; we also liked the slightly off set contrasted flatlock chest seam.
The inside of this clean, simple, practical garment is even more appealing with its brushed fleece lining feeling absolutely lovely against bare skin, eschewing its mid-layer intentions.
The shaped cut and stretch fabric allow for excellent freedom of movement and the half-zip makes it easy to
regulate your temperature, whilst the collar is high enough to keep out most drafts.
A well-designed, good-looking midlayer that you’ll find yourself using year-round and in all weathers.
+ Super snug and tactile
– Thumb loops would be a useful addition
SMARTWOOL CORBET 120 | £150
For a mid-layer there’s a lot to the Corbet 120, which you could readily wear as an outer layer in warm conditions. This is because whilst you have merino wool next to your skin (or base layer) the outside front of the jacket is a heavyweight 120g SmartLoft insulation for extra warmth, topped off with a quilted DWR-fi nished nylon windproof facing.
It sounds a lot but the Corbet's fit is ‘semi-form’ so you can still comfortably wear it under an outer layer. This all gives you a reassuringly snug feel at the same time as ensuring the jacket is neither too heavy nor too bulky.
A mid-layer so versatile it is usable year-round, making it fantastic value as well as a winter indulgence.
+ Chin guard, draught flap add to warmth
– Its versatility will question your layering…
ALPKIT FILOMENT | £99
The 650 fill duck down used might not be the most efficient of materials, hence why the jacket it slightly bulkier than more expensive alternatives. But that really is the only niggle we can find with it. Weight averages 325g, which is competitive, and the savviness of the design makes this a much warmer layer than you might assume.
The elasticated hem and wrists are perfectly judged, as is the well-insulated neck – removing the need for any adjustment.
The cut extends down to the buttocks, which helps keep more of your body warm, while the storage options of two hand pockets and a single chest pocket are very nicely executed.
A superbly designed and warm jacket for the price, which even has a DWR treatment to help keep out damp.
+ Superb price, very effective design
– Slightly bulkier than more expensive options