For any excursion out into the extreme cold whether you’re hiking a mountain, heading out on a frosty morning to hunt, or like me, headed out into a blizzard to feed cattle, the key is layers, layers, and more layers! But if the base of all that layering is worthless, it’s about to be a miserable experience.
So let’s start with the basics! Finding the best thermal underwear for extreme cold is a great place to start!
Top 5 thermal underwear for extreme cold
Keeping yourself warm is one thing but warm and dry is another!
These thermal underwear do the job! A combination of cotton and polyester that comes out 60-40 respectively, is dual-layered with this cotton blend that wicks away moisture as it keeps you nice and cozy. The flat-locked seams on this pair of underwear keep you from chafing as you’re out and about.
Ideal for low-intensity activity the Duofold thermal underwear keeps the lower half of your body warm. These are just the pants part of the thermal underwear so if you select these you’ll need to purchase a second part to keep your top half warm. But these are a great choice for the price that will keep you warm AND dry which is crucial to keeping yourself cozy throughout your extreme cold adventure.
• Can be washed in the washing machine
• Wicks away moisture with ease
• Chill-blocking barrier
• Can be baggy near the crotch
Carhartt brand has a hardy product for nearly every extreme circumstance and is one of my favorite brands overall. This logo has been in my closet and has proven itself to me over and over again in extreme cold!
Let’s face it: sometimes even a percentage of polyester is just too much for someone to deal with. These cold-weather leggings are made with 100% cotton to keep that overwhelming polyester out of the equation.
These leggings don’t beat around the bush with lots of fancy bells and whistles, they do the job and that job is keeping you warm in the cold. Even wearing them every day is no issue with their stain breaker technology that helps you wash out any dirt, grime, and sweat to keep you clean and warm. As a bonus toward keeping the leggings clean, you can also just toss them in a washing machine to keep it easy for you!
• 100% cotton
• Tagless and reinforced stitching
• Lightweight and durable
• Machine washable
• Rib-knit cuffs for added warmth
• Can shrink when dried because of the high cotton content
• Elastic waistband can get tighter over time and many washes
Maybe you’re like me and clothes get snagged on so many things so quickly and you end up with rips and snags in your clothes constantly. This pair of thermal underwear is durable and resists those snags that seem to crop up on every other set!
As opposed to many other types of thermal underwear the composition of this pair is 87% polyester and 13% spandex which is designed to draw out sweat and moisture while helping your body self-regulate to stay warm. Made with microfleece and extremely elastic that keeps you cozy and allows you a full range of motion this base layer is tough, durable, and keeps you warm no matter the temperature.
Offered at a very affordable price, you can use these for any cold-weather activity; running, hunting, hiking, or doing chores in a blizzard! They’ll keep you warm and dry!
• Durable and flexible allowing you a full range of motion
• UPF 50+
• Breathable and very soft
• Sizing can be tricky to navigate (recommended to size up)
• May look worn after a few washes
Maybe, unlike me, you’re headed out to do some high-intensity work like hiking, hunting, or snow sports. You’ve got to stay warm, flexible, and dry for the entire time and this pair of thermal underwear will do the trick!
Designed for high-intensity cold-weather work, the Minus33 bottoms go outside the box and are made from 100% Merino wool. They include a UPF 50+ rating and can be worn under another pair of pants easily to keep you warm and cozy.
Although these are made of Merino wool, they’re also machine washable and dryable which makes it easy to get them clean after a long day out in the cold. While more expensive than other brands on our list, these are available in a wide range of sizes including up to 4x in a tall size!
• Fire resistant
• Machine washable and dry-able
• Made for high-intensity activity
• Can look worn down after a few washes
• The waistband may stretch out after a few uses
A full set of thermal underwear to add to your closet, this Fitextreme set is a base layer that gives you a great range of motion and keeps you warm and dry!
Made of 93% polyester and 7% polyurethane gives you an overall snugged and comfortable fit for this thermal underwear. This set was made with high-intensity cold-weather activity in mind and comes in a wide range of sets and colors to fit your wardrobe. The set wicks away moisture and helps your body self-regulate to stay warm in any weather.
This set comes out as very affordable and durable for anyone and any activity. Sizing can be tricky so you may want to size up just to be safe. Lined with fleece, this set will keep you cozy even if you’re sitting in your deer blind for the entire season!
• Stretchy yet durable
• Fleece-lined for warmth and comfort
• Machine washable
• Sizing can be tricky
Frequently Asked Questions
I’ve been stuck in a cold deer blind for a significant portion of time and let me tell you, it is not comfortable to be without thermal underwear! Adding in some thermal layers to your wardrobe is a great way to keep yourself warm in those extreme cold-weather months and adventures. But choosing what works best for you and your activities can be tough so let’s answer some questions!
How are my base layers supposed to fit? Tight? Super tight? Loose but clingy?
The way these base layers work is by trapping a thin layer of warm air between the material and your body. So thermal layers should be form-fitting so you can feel relaxed but the thermal layer doesn’t hang or bag of your body. If they’re too tight they may cut off blood circulation which won’t keep you warm at all!
What temperature are base layers recommended for?
Most base layers are recommended for colder weather. They insulate and help you regulate your body heat when you’re not as active and wick away moisture when you move around more and keep yourself warmer.
How thin is too thin?
A quick rule of thumb is that the thicker your base layer is, the warmer you’ll be! If you know you’ll be hiking canyons and hills looking for that monster buck, you’ll want a thinner layer that will wick away moisture. If you’re planning to sit in your deer blind or tree stand while it’s snowing, you’ll want a thicker layer to keep yourself warm while just sitting.
Choosing a base layer for your wardrobe and activities can seem daunting but by taking the time to evaluate what type of activity you’ll be doing, how many layers you’ll be adding, and what type of material you’ll want, you can accurately decide which thermal underwear will work best for you!
So! The winner of our countdown is the Tesla Men’s Thermal Wintergear Compression Baselayer! Affordable, durable, and best of all, machine washable, this pair of thermals will keep you warm while giving you a great range of motion for any activity.
While adding a thermal base layer to your wardrobe may seem like a small detail, it’s one that shouldn’t be overlooked as you plan for your next cold-weather adventure!