A very common trick to choose the right outdoor clothing is the famous three layer system. For outdoor activities it is advisable to dress in layers. This gives greater effectiveness and versatility, since it allows better adaptation to possible changes in temperature or weather conditions. Thermal clothing would be included within the group of the first layers, that is, those that are in direct contact with the skin.
How to choose thermal clothing?
The main function of thermal clothing is to evacuate the sweat to keep dry, thus avoiding the sensation of moisture on the skin and feeling cold.
The most used materials for this type of clothing are synthetic fibers (polyester, polypropylene) or merino wool. Synthetic fibers are cheaper and dry more quickly, although they can end up smelling bad. Some garments incorporate silver threads that prevent bad odors. In any case, we should avoid cotton. The cotton is very economical but soon it gets wet and takes a long time to dry. This means that if we sweat, we do not expel the sweat and the body cools down.
Thus, the first layers must fulfill the following functions: - Drainage of sweat and moisture. - Heat retention. - Breathable. - Antiallergic.
Generally these layers should be adjusted to the body but not tight, as they should allow us to move without difficulty.
Many brands have patented their synthetic fiber fabric for first layers. Even so, the best known are: - Coolmax: polyester fiber that transfers moisture from the body to the outside of the garment leaving the skin dry. It is used in summer clothes. - Thermolite: it is also a polyester fiber that will keep us warm and dry. It is used in winter thermal garments. - Merino wool: a natural fiber with superior properties, not only of thermal insulation, but also of sweat absorption and quick drying, and also of resistance to bad odors.
By type of product, among the thermal clothing we can find tight and elastic garments, both to cover the upper body and the lower part: shirts , long tights , etc.
Popular Outdoor Base Layers & Thermals brands: