For those who love outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, or snowshoeing, winter can be very tricky when it comes to dressing in layers. To stay warm and comfortable, layering your clothes is essential. Here are some of my favorite long sleeved shirt layering options for hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing and skiing/snowboarding that I have found work very well in the Pacific Northwest.
32 Degrees Lightweight Base Layer
You can find 32 Degree products online, and they are also available at Costco during the winter season. The 32 Degrees Lightweight Base Layer is very thin, making it ideal for those who tend to overheat but still need multiple layers. It's also one of the least expensive layering options, costing only $13 on Amazon. The shirt comes in gray, white, and black. These shirts are tight-fitting and sweat wicking, making them an excellent option for skiing and snowshoeing. Because they're so thin, you can easily layer other clothes over them if you need to adjust to changing temperatures. I personally like to layer mine with the KUHL Prism Half Zip (see picture on the right).
Outdoor Vitals Tern Ultralight Merino Wool Hoodie
The Tern Merino Wool Hoodie from Outdoor Vitals is a fantastic option for those who love to camp or backpack. This unisex hoodie is a nice athletic fit but decently tight on the arms, keeping you cozy warm and wicking the sweat away from your body. I personally wear this hoodie during backpacking trips when I need to change out of my sweaty hiking clothes and into something warm and dry but I still have a few hours to kill and camp chores to do before changing into my clean sleep clothes. The hoodie comes in three colors, rust, blue and grey.
KUHL Akkomplice Krew
KUHL's Akkomplice Krew shirt is a perfect layering option for winter hiking or snowshoeing. It's tight-fitting and has thumb holes, keeping your hands warm as well and the sleeves in place when wearing a coat. The shirt is also nice and tight, making it easy to layer jackets over it. The material is KUHL's very own KoreKontrol™ with IONIK® technology - a silver salt integrated into the fabric for permanent odor control that won't wash out. This is one of the best cold weather layering shirts I have ever owned!
Smartwool Classic Thermal Marino Quarter Zip Base Layer
One of the standout features of this base layer top is the use of merino wool in its construction. Merino wool is a high-quality material that is prized for its natural insulation and moisture-wicking properties. This means that the Smartwool Classic Thermal Merino Quarter-Zip Base Layer Top will keep you warm and dry, even if you start to sweat during an intense outdoor activity. The quarter-zip design of this top also makes it incredibly versatile. You can easily adjust the temperature by unzipping the collar if you start to feel too warm. This is particularly useful if you are doing an activity where you are working up a sweat, like cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.
Appalachian Gear Company All-Paca Fleece Hoodie
The Appalachian Gear Company All-Paca Fleece Hoodie is a high-quality piece of outdoor clothing that provides excellent warmth and comfort in very cold weather. The hoodie is made from 100% Alpaca fiber, which makes it incredibly soft and comfortable to wear. One of the main advantages of this hoodie is its excellent insulation and the fact that it doesn't absorb much moisture. Alpaca fiber is naturally insulating, providing excellent warmth in cold weather while remaining lightweight and breathable. This hoodie is definitely the thickest of all the long sleeve options I have mentioned above and it is great for wearing on those cold mornings in the fall when you're starting a hike and everything is frozen, but during a sunny autumn day it may warm up to be 65 degrees.
Layering in the cold weather months is extremely important and could mean the difference between really enjoying your time outdoors and being very miserable. If you don't have the proper layering clothes and you get wet either through sweating or rain/snow, you could also get hyperthermia, which can be very dangerous.
In this video I model all of the long sleeved layering shirts mentioned above.