Thermal underwear, or whatever you call them, their main purpose is to keep you warm and dry during cold weather. Thermal underwear keeps you warm by trapping your own body heat close to your skin to provide a warming effect, even when the temperature drastically drops down. The material used has the ability to wick moisture ensuring that you’ll stay dry in the sweatiest or wettest conditions.
Things to Consider Before Buying Thermal Underwear
Content of Wool
Wool, especially merino wool, is one of the best materials for thermal underwear. It can absorb up to 30 percent of its water weight and remain dry during cold, wet conditions. However, thermal underwear made from low-quality wool tends to be itchy and ineffective at wicking moisture. And depending on the temps or your activities, wool might be too warm for your specific needs, for that it needs to be blended with Synthetic material, Lycra, Polyester and Cotton.
Synthetic Material Blend
Synthetic thermal underwear usually features a blend of polyester or nylon. These synthetic blends typically have excellent durability and moisture wicking capabilities, and this blending with the wool is preferable. These materials also tend to have more flexibility and not restrict your range of motion or movement.
If you want something that’s super lightweight but warm, Wool can sometimes be heavier while synthetic materials usually run lighter. And if you’re counting ounces, lighter materials probably fit the bill better. Oftentimes, however, you sacrifice that warmth for weight. But for most outdoor excursions, the slight weight difference in materials probably doesn’t matter that much, especially if you’re not counting ounces. Depending on your activities, look at which thermal underwear will work best for your needs.
Thermal underwear should be skin-tight to keep you warm. Consider thermal underwear brands that offer a slim profile vs a baggy one. The fit should be comfortable but not too loose. If your thermals fit loosely, they won’t keep out air or warm you as adequately as they would with a tighter fit.
Most cheap thermals just don’t cut it when it matters most and wont last beyond one season. There’s nothing worse than shivering to death when you’re on a camping trip, and you realize that the thermals you skimped on are actually making you colder instead of warmer. And if you think there’s not a difference between a high-end set of thermal underwear and a cheap pair from your local store, you’re in for a rude awakening. I’m a firm believer in getting what you pay for, not that there aren’t exceptions to this, but for the most part, warm, moisture wicking thermals don’t come cheap. However, when you bite it and take a face and chest-full of snow thirty minutes into your ski day, they’ll pay for themselves.
OOSHIN is the Perfect Thermal.
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