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If you're out on the mountain all day, you need to layer up. From keeping you toasty on a chairlift to staying cool when you're hiking up a mountain for some ski touring, these mid and base layers won't disappoint.

10 of the best mid and base layers


Salewa ORTLES 2 HYBRID PRIMALOFT WOMEN'S red onion.jpgSnow 2017 best midlayer.jpgSalewa Ortles 2 Hybrid PRL | £180 Mens and womens

Everything about the Salewa Ortles 2 Hybrid PRL Jacket is pure class. From the targeted warmth provided by 60g of Primaloft Silver insulation on the body and hood to the durable Durastretch Powerlite on the sides, chest pocket and lower arms, this jacket is packed full of premium design and tech features.

Weighing 356g in a Women’s Medium, the Ortles 2 has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio, retains heat where needed and has a great-looking Euro mountain style. Available in eight bold colourways, this versatile piece works perfectly as an outer layer on ski tours or as a mid-layer under a shell when the weather turns. When it does, the insulated fitted hood with high collar is a soft, warm place to be and the front zip with internal full-length flap keeps heat in.

Freedom of movement is excellent due to the stretchy, light and durable Durastretch Powerlite fabric and its DWR finish offers further protection from the damp.

VERDICT - 10/10

A truly excellent jacket for fast and light winter mountain missions with minimal environmental impact.

Full review


TNF Ventrix Hoodie M.jpgThe North Face Ventrix | £190 Mens and womens

The Ventrix Hoodie delivers highly breathable synthetic insulation via laser-cut ventilation holes in high-perspiration areas which remain closed when you’re standing still but open when you move – thus reducing the need for constant layer shuffling.

With 80g of Clomax MoveFree stretch insulation, the Ventrix will keep you warm on the coldest of ski touring days and the DWR finish keeps light precipitation at bay. It’s worth noting that at 440g for a men’s medium, it’s not the lightest.

VERDICT - 9/10

Best kept for the coldest winter days on the mountain when you really need to maintain core body temperature.

Full review



OR Ascendant.jpgOutdoor Research Ascendant | £170 Mens and womens

With 95g of pioneering Polartec Alpha Direct insulation, the Ascendant manages your body temperature like a pro. Polartec Alpha Direct is basically fleece ‘on steroids’ – a low profile, lightweight technology that keeps you toasty when you need it while simultaneously allowing your body to breathe when hot.

The no mesh liner ‘Direct’ version of the original Polartec Alpha translates into both improved performance in terms of breathability and increased next-to-skin comfort.

VERDICT - 10/10

Impressively lightweight yet packing a punch with practical features. Very warm and wonderfully unrestrictive.

Full review



Salomon Drifter1.jpgSnow 2017 best value midlayer.jpg

Salomon Drifter | £110 Mens

A simple two-pocket insulation piece the Drifter Mid has a clever trick up its slim sleeves.

When the zipped pocketed colourful option is outermost, the jacket becomes more wind resistant, but when reversed to its plain fabric it is more wind permeable. A very clever switch indeed making for an impressively versatile jacket.

No matter which way you wear it, the slim fitting Drifter is a weather resistant mid layer that can be worn as a spring skiing outer or as a mid-layer under your jacket.

VERDICT - 9/10

Two jackets for the price of one makes for excellent value and versatility from a fabulously warm and comfy top. 

Full review


Arcteryx CeriumLT .jpgArc’teryx Cerium LT | £300 Mens and womens

Exceptionally well designed, the slick Cerium LT Hoody offers the perfect warmth-to-weight ratio for cold mountain days.

Combined with a high performance weatherproof shell, its premium hi-loft 850 power down provides all the warmth you’ll ever need.

The streamlined fit means it goes on easily under a shell without feeling – or looking – like you’re the Michelin man and the articulated construction allows you to move so naturally that you’ll barely notice you’re wearing it.

VERDICT - 10/10

One of the best insulating jackets we’ve ever seen, but non-hydrophobic down means it’s best as a midlayer.

Full review



Patagonia Nano Air Light.jpgPatagonia Nano Air Light Hybrid | £160 Mens and womens

If you run on the warmer side, then the Nano-Air Light Hybrid could be for you.

With 40g FullRange stretch insulation, the Light Hybrid provides warmth and protection up front where it’s needed. But the real difference is on the back and sides, where a knit hybrid fabric will wick away moisture, and helping to regulate body temperature.

The soft, stretchy waffle knit fabric is not only highly breathable, it’s also exceptionally comfortable, with great freedom of movement and is tactile too.

VERDICT - 9/10

A quiver-of-one mid-layer is the holy grail for fast and light mountain athletes – and this could be it.

Full review


Aran Valley Womens.jpgHaglofs Aran Valley | £160 Womens

At 260g, the Aran Valley weighs considerably less than a mid-weight fleece and is a far superior offering in terms of performance and technical features.

Durable, lightweight and wind-resistant, the Aran Valley Jacket functions exceptionally well as a mid-layer under a warm shell. The weather resistant 15D face fabric protects you from the elements in a snug, minimalistic package whilst the breathable highloft waffle liner means you won’t overheat when your quads start to burn. 

VERDICT - 9/10

Good value for such a technical piece that needs to paired with an equally high-performance shell.

Full review




Burton baselayer 1.jpgBurton Midweight long Neck | £50 Mens

The Midweight’s looks are guaranteed to make an impression.

Cool enough to be worn on the après terrace, cosy enough to double up as pyjamas and functional enough to deliver on the mountain, this is ultimate versatility! Warm, soft and nicely finished, but don’t expect the skin tight fit of high-tech merino or a body-mapping super tech layer.

VERDICT - 9/10

For cool days riding the lifts or as an outer on a spring day when building kickers, this baselayer is impressive.

Full review



Kari Traa top.jpgSnow 2017 best baselayer.jpgKari Traa Rose H/Z | £88 Womens

The iconic Rose base layer collection is at the heart of ex-Olympic Norwegian skier, Kari Traa’s, game-changing brand.

Scandinavian snowflake chique, the design is feminine without being girly and just screams quality. We love the super fine, 4-way stretch 100% Merino wool with its beautifully soft, breathable, stink-free, quick-drying warmth.

VERDICT - 10/10

Exceptionally warm next-to-skin layer that looks as good with jeans and boots as it performs on the mountain.

Full review


Burnt Custard base layer_cropped.jpgBurnt Custard High Contrast | £60 Mens and womens

British made, BC’s super-fine Meryl Microfibre compression baselayer has a seriously robust feel to the lightweight fabric for a close, compressing fit.

The two-layer construction also cleverly allows the yarn to contract or expand with body temperature, which produces a really effective wicking action. Matching Full Legs are available for £55.

VERDICT - 9/10

Great value, tough and high performing compression base layer with many colourways and customisation.

Full review

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