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Choosing the most effective lengthy johns means discovering base layers that match your exercise and temperatures. Lengthy underwear is good for lengthy sits in a deer stand or over an expanse of tip-ups, and an honest base layer additionally works effectively for cross-country snowboarding. Weight, match, and supplies all matter when choosing the right thermal underwear. Artificial blends are standard, as are merino wool base layers, that are far preferable to old school cotton lengthy johns, which lose insulation when moist. Hikers name cotton “dying fabric” and have discovered to belief wool and synthetics that wick moisture away from the physique, protecting you dry and comfy.

Whereas synthetics are typically extra sturdy and price lower than wool, some retain odor, making them a smelly alternative if it’s important to put on the identical base layer for a number of days. Merino wool is mushy and comfy, and stays contemporary longer. Lastly, do not forget that the most effective lengthy johns for you’re the ones that match effectively, not too tight, however becoming near the pores and skin the place they will do their job of wicking moisture.

How We Picked The Greatest Lengthy Johns

Our alternatives for the most effective lengthy johns deal with efficiency, sturdiness, sustainability, and luxury. We base these choices on data collected from product testing, company-specific data, verified buyer opinions, and basic information of textile efficiency and influence. Though there are inclusions of artificial supplies on the listing, we lean closely in the direction of pure supplies as they’re renewable and way more sustainable.

We spent hours on the path and on the campsite in among the hottest lengthy johns to search out our favorites. Meg Carney

All the bottom layers we examined for this text have been worn throughout outside actions starting from mountain climbing, backpacking, path operating, and biking.

Greatest Lengthy Johns: Opinions & Suggestions

Greatest Total: Smartwool Traditional Thermal Merino Wool Baselayer

Greatest Total

Smartwool Classic Thermal Merino Crew Base Layer Top on gray and white background


  • Materials: 87% Merino Wool, 13% Nylon
  • Weight: 5.2 oz
  • Out there Sizes: XS – XL


  • Nylon core provides sturdiness to the fibers
  • Comfy towards pores and skin
  • Regulates physique temperature effectively
  • Light-weight but heat


  • Sizing can run a bit small

Smartwool has a big number of top-tier base layers to select from. The Smartwool Traditional is a superb alternative for anybody, and we selected it as the most effective total because of the match, consolation, and vary of movement out there with the supplies. They was once made out of 100% Merino, and the nylon core modified the general really feel of the leggings. Be aware: Smartwool nonetheless has merchandise made out of 100% Merino if the texture of those isn’t fairly proper.

Female hiker wearing Smartwool Classic Merino wool base layers playing with dog
These Smartwool base layers have been snug to put on whereas mountain climbing, tenting, and enjoying with my pup. Meg Carney

Though there are full Merino base layer choices from Smartwool, the nylon core provides to the sturdiness and longevity of the garment. We additionally like that whereas they’re made out of principally wool, the care is comparatively straightforward. You possibly can wash and dry these on a low setting, however we suggest grasp drying even Merino wool merchandise to extend longevity. Be taught extra about Merino wool care.

I’m an enormous fan of the crewneck base layer with its flatlock seams and versatile match. The one factor I didn’t love in regards to the Smartwool Traditional line is that the leggings appear to run a bit small, and the waist hit too low on my body. I choose a higher-waisted legging as that helps maintain it in place whereas doing actions, particularly when layered below different garments.

Most Comfy

Ibex Woolies Tech Base Layer Bottoms on gray and white background


  • Materials: 81% Wool 12% Nylon 7% Elastane
  • Weight: 6.5 oz
  • Out there Sizes: S – XXL


  • Flatlock seam to cut back chafing
  • Primarily wool fibers
  • Nylon core improves sturdiness
  • Ultimate consolation and temperature regulation


  • Materials snags straightforward; may enhance sturdiness

Ibex has a number of base layer choices, however the Woolies are our high choose. The cosy, pure really feel of the leggings improves total consolation, and though the supplies are primarily wool, the merino wool reduces the itch for probably the most half. Whereas I used to be mountain climbing and dealing, the high-waisted waistband remained cosy and by no means rode down. The nylon core improves elasticity and sturdiness.

Female hiker wearing Ibex Woolies base layer bottoms
I may do nearly any exercise within the Ibex woolies with out worrying about adjusting them. Meg Carney

These leggings and half-zip base layers are designed for an energetic life-style. They’ve glorious moisture-wicking capabilities and odor management whereas remaining breathable throughout intense exercise. Regardless that the material is designed to retain heat very effectively, it’s light-weight and breathable, which saved me from overheating. It additionally makes the Woolies ideally suited for layering. Since these lengthy johns are made out of wool, pay attention to wash/care directions to enhance the product’s lifespan.

As for potential downsides, I seen they’re a bit scratchier than different wool choices like Smartwool and Icebreaker. The sturdiness is also higher, however when you handle them correctly, they are going to final a very long time.


Sitka Core Merino 330 Half-Zip on gray and white background


  • Materials: ArmorSpun Merino Wool exterior, artificial inside
  • Weight: 8.8 oz
  • Sizes: S – XL


  • Simple care merino wool
  • Very heat
  • Half zip suits effectively and is trendy
  • Very snug for all-day put on


  • Waist on the leggings is low lower and a bit loose-fitting
  • The artificial combine makes it much less odor resistant than merino alone

The Sitka Core Merino 330 Base Layer is a superb base layer for all searching seasons, particularly the chilly ones. As part of their core clothes line, this base layer has a cosy, efficiency match that helps transfer moisture away from the pores and skin to maintain you heat and dry. Constructed from a recycled artificial and merino wool mix, the supplies are sturdy and comparatively odor-resistant.

Female hiker wearing Sitka Core base layers while packing her backpack
These Sitka base layers are nice for layering when it’s tremendous chilly outdoors. Meg Carney

These work effectively in a layering system, however I discovered them the most effective for chilly climate. The leggings and the half-zip are extremely snug, however I wore the half-zip way over the leggings (partially due to the season) as a result of the match is a bit off. I’d’ve favored them to have the next waist and one which wasn’t as free. The free waist made it exhausting to maintain the leggings in place whereas mountain climbing or doing different actions. That stated, I extremely suggest these lengthy johns in chilly temperatures when that you must keep heat, whether or not you’re searching or tenting.

Greatest for Ladies: Wild Rye Hailey Half-Zip Base Layer

Greatest for Ladies

Wild Rye Hailey Half-Zip Base Layer on gray and white background


  • Materials: 100% Merino Wool
  • Weight: 230 GSM
  • Sizes: Ladies’s 0-18


  • Very snug match
  • Good material really feel
  • Thumb holes on sleeves
  • Distinctive prints and colours
  • Versatile clothes piece


The Wild Rye Hailey Half Zip is likely to be probably the most worn base layer merchandise that I personal. Not solely do I like the colour and design, however it’s also a extremely versatile high appropriate for shoulder seasons and winter actions. Since Wild Rye solely designs clothes for ladies, I couldn’t mark it off as the most effective total, however it’s similar to the texture and efficiency of any Smartwool merchandise I’ve owned. Since it’s 100% merino wool, I assume it gained’t be fairly as sturdy as materials with an artificial mix, however in my view, it’s exhausting to beat the efficiency of wool, particularly in a base layer.

Female hiker wearing Wild Rye Hailey Half-Zip Base Layer
This Wild Rye base layer is definitely one in all my favorites of all those I’ve examined. Meg Carney

The match and really feel of the material are snug, and the half zip helps vent the highest on runs or because the day warms up whereas mountain climbing. The sleeve size and thumb holes are favorable for layering below a jacket and my desire in a operating high. If you’d like a product designed particularly for energetic, outside ladies, look no additional than Wild Rye. They produce other base layer choices, together with a onesie.

Greatest Base Layer Combo

Camping photo


  • Materials: 100% Recycled Polyester
  • Weight: N/A
  • Out there Sizes: XS – XL


  • Out there in males’s and ladies’s sizes
  • Meets bluesign® standards and is Honest Commerce Licensed™ 
  • Flatlock seam to attenuate chafing
  • Will be worn as a base layer or as leggings


  • Watch out with sizing; the pant legs are inclined to run quick

The Patagonia Capilene base layer is obtainable as pants and as a high. Pair them collectively for a cushty and efficient layering system. Though the one featured within the product card above is ladies’s, it’s also out there for males with completely different sizing and styling. Constructed from 100% recycled supplies and bluesign® material, the polyester supplies are classically moisture-wicking and sturdy. Anticipate having to clean these much less typically with the HeiQ Contemporary odor management.

We like the flexibility of those as a base layer as a result of they will additionally operate as leggings. They’ve a thick waistband to offer a safe match, even whereas mountain climbing or working. The graceful face of the material makes layering straightforward, whereas the interior diamond grip sample helps lure warmth towards your pores and skin. You’ll have no downside staying heat and dry with the breathability and wicking efficiency of the highest or bottoms within the Capilene base layer line.

Greatest for Deer Searching: First Lite Kiln Quarter-Zip

Greatest for Deer Searching

Camping photo


  • Materials: 95% Wool, 5% Spandex
  • Weight: 13 oz
  • Out there Sizes: S – XXL


  • 1/4 zip for added air flow possibility
  • Flatlock seam to cut back chafing
  • A number of shade design choices
  • Glorious temperature and odor regulation


  • Looser match than different base layers (could be a professional)

Product of 95% merino wool with 5% spandex woven right into a heat, high-loft 250-gram material, the Kiln lengthy john shirt might be worn by itself, as a mid-layer, or paired with Kiln thermal leggings as a base layer. Out there in three strong colours in addition to First Lite’s personal Fusion and Cipher camo patterns, the Kiln base layer helps you keep hidden. 1 / 4-zip allows you to open the throat for air flow when you fill your tag and the exhausting work of packing out your deer begins.

Greatest Wool

Camping photo


  • Materials: 100% Merino Wool
  • Weight: 7.04 oz
  • Sizes: S – XXL


  • Retains you heat and dry naturally
  • Cosy, snug match
  • Versatile use
  • Glorious odor resistance for prolonged put on


  • Pant leg match might be quick for some wearers

In case you are set on pure fibers like Merino wool, then the Icebreaker Oasis Thermal Leggings should be on the high of your listing. These thermal lengthy johns are snug, odor-resistant, and excessive performing. The match is usually good for most folk, however in case you are taller, the legs is likely to be quick, so we suggest wanting into sizing before you purchase. These base layers are nice for layering, as backpacking sleepwear, or as your go-to fall/winter searching chilly climate attire.

The waistband on the Icebreaker leggings does a wonderful job protecting them in place, even when mountain climbing or shifting round camp. I favored the fabric for layering, and since it’s 100% wool, I may put on it backpacking with no points with odor. In contrast to different choices, they added nearly no bulk when sporting them below different pants. I want the match had extra variation, however aside from that, these are a wonderful possibility.

Greatest Energetic Put on: 5.11 PT-R Protect Tight 2.0

Greatest Energetic Put on

5.11 PT-R Shield Tight 2.0 on gray and white background


  • Materials: 86% polyester/ 14% elastane jersey
  • Weight: 5.2-oz
  • Sizes: M – 2XL


  • Wicking and anti-odor end
  • Good anti-chafing design
  • Appropriate for energetic or work put on
  • Comfy match and safe waist


  • Constructed from absolutely artificial supplies
  • Solely out there for males

The 5.11 PT-R Protect Tight 2.0 is the energetic gym-goer’s greatest pal in the course of the chilly winter. Their cosy match and anti-chafing design was promote for our male tester. Not solely have been these nice for high-altitude hikes and mountain biking, however they turned a go-to possibility for a base layer below work put on. Since they’re made out of artificial supplies, they’re straightforward to scrub and extremely sturdy. 5.11 claims the materials have anti-odor properties, and to date, our tester can verify that is true, which is nice once you’re sweating throughout a exercise or strenuous hike.

One word: These tights are solely out there in males’s sizing proper now.

Greatest for Winter Sports activities: Jack Wolfskin Alpspitze Wool Base Layer

Greatest for Winter Sports activities

Jack Wolfskin Alpspitze Wool Long Sleeve Half-Zip on gray and white background


  • Materials: 87% Merino Wool, 13% Polyamide
  • Weight: 5.5 oz
  • Sizes: XS – XL


  • Intentional design for energetic winter sports activities
  • Light-weight and comfy match
  • Optimum for layering
  • Principally pure supplies
  • Appears sturdy


  • 3/4 pant size is nice for snowboarding however limits software

The Jack Wolfskin Alpspitze Wool Base Layer is a winter sport’s fanatics greatest pal. The intentions come by means of effectively within the design and match of the clothes, and the fabric mix is perfect for efficiency, match, really feel, and sturdiness. I recognize the shorter 3/4-length design of the tights. When paired with snow socks, they’re good for consolation in ski boots. For different actions like operating and mountain climbing, I don’t favor the match.

The light-weight materials affords a pleasant really feel below different clothes layers and prevents overheating on extra strenuous ascents whereas nonetheless offering sufficient heat whereas stopped or on a descent. These lengthy johns are good for anybody searching for a base layer for ski and snowboard season.

Greatest Price range: Magellan Open air Thermal Base Layer Pants

Greatest Price range

Magellan Outdoors Thermal Base Layer Pants on gray and white background


  • Materials: 100% polyester
  • Weight: N/A
  • Sizes: S – XXL


  • Reasonably priced value
  • Comfy fleece lining
  • Properly-insulated
  • First rate match


  • Constructed from 100% artificial supplies

When you’re available in the market for lengthy johns however don’t wish to spend that a lot on a pair of wool ones, the Magellan Open air Thermal Base Layer is an honest price range purchase. They’re made out of 100% polyester, which makes them reasonably priced and sturdy. Nonetheless, you might be compromising on efficiency and really feel. The waffle fleece lining is snug and fairly heat, however it doesn’t wick moisture fairly in addition to wool.

For the worth, they’re a terrific possibility. They’d be heat sufficient for extra stationary actions in chilly climate, or when you’re trying to purchase some layers for youths certain to tear issues up or outgrow them, these will prevent some cash. Total, the consolation and match are respectable, however I want the waist stayed in place a bit higher whereas mountain climbing.

What to Think about When Selecting Lengthy Johns

How do you select thermal clothes? Worth and luxury play an element find the most effective pair of lengthy johns. It’s most essential, although, to match your lengthy underwear must your outside exercise and the temperature. Take into consideration what you’ll be doing in them. When you’re sitting in a duck blind or deer stand in below-freezing temps, you’ll desire a completely different base layer than once you’re strolling pheasant fields or grouse woods when it’s within the 40s. Maintain that exercise foremost in thoughts when buying as a result of thermal underwear varies extensively in materials and building.

Exercise Degree

In case you are shifting round and dealing up a sweat, that perspiration should go someplace, otherwise you’ll get chilly shortly. Any good merino or artificial wicks moisture, however a body-mapped garment that makes use of completely different weights of supplies somewhere else is greatest. It’ll retain warmth in some important areas and launch it in others. 1 / 4 zip high works effectively for activewear, too, as a result of you’ll be able to open it to vent extra warmth.


Excessive chilly calls for heavyweight base layers. The pure loft of merino wool traps air very effectively, making it hotter than synthetics of equal weight. Whereas synthetics could dry sooner, merino is hotter and extra snug when it does get moist.

Whereas lambswool is hotter than merino wool, it’s too scratchy to be worn subsequent to the pores and skin. To be efficient, a base layer has to suit carefully sufficient to hold away moisture however must be versatile sufficient to not limit your motion.

Most producers reserve the time period “expedition weight” for his or her heaviest base layers. Merino base layer weight is expressed in grams per sq. meter of material. Ultralight base layers are product of 150 g/m2 material, whereas something over 250 g/m2 is taken into account heavyweight. When you’re going ice fishing or doing something in extraordinarily chilly situations, get lengthy johns designed for such use.


Thermal leggings and a high are an important basis of any outfit for searching deer and need to fulfill a number of necessities. A day within the woods may begin with an extended hike to your stand, the place you’ll sit for a number of hours. Chances are you’ll climb right down to nonetheless hunt at mid-day earlier than sitting once more within the night. Your base layer has to maintain you heat whereas sitting nonetheless and wick moisture when shifting.

A pungent base layer gives you away instantly to any recreation that wanders downwind, so a garment that doesn’t gather odor is a plus, each within the woods and again on the cabin. Lastly, on heat days or once you’re notably energetic, it’s helpful to put on your high as your solely layer, so camo colours show you how to keep hidden from the sport even when you take away some layers.


Chilly-weather athletes have particular base layer wants. Runners, cyclists, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers want heat with out bulk. Their base layer will work as exhausting as they do to wick sweat away from their pores and skin. Tight, compression-fitted thermal underwear permits freedom of motion and simple layering. Elite athletes put on compression gear in all seasons to cut back fatigue and muscle soreness and increase their efficiency.


When you put on base layers day after day, you’ll need a couple of. You’ll need completely different weights for various functions, too. The expedition-weight lengthy underwear you put on for weekend outings will probably be uncomfortably sizzling on the workplace. You may want just a few units to get by means of the winter, which might add up. Discover a good price range model that meets your wants, and you’ll put collectively a base layer wardrobe. Even cheap manufacturers will wick away moisture to maintain you snug. The development and sturdiness could not equal that of high manufacturers, however they are going to maintain you heat.


Q: How do I select lengthy underwear?

Select lengthy underwear that’s acceptable on your chilly climate wants. Be sure you choose the suitable weight for the temperature and take into consideration your exercise ranges, too. The bottom layer that’s good for sitting nonetheless in a deer stand could also be too heat for a hike.

Q: What materials is greatest for the bottom layer?

The most effective materials for the bottom layer is dependent upon what you’re utilizing it for. Keep away from cotton, which doesn’t wick moisture and can chill you shortly when you sweat. Merino wool is presently standard as a result of it wicks, it’s heat, and doesn’t instantly maintain odors the best way synthetics can. Artificial supplies additionally wick moisture and normally value lower than wool.

Q: Ought to lengthy johns be tight or free?

Base layers carry out greatest after they match near your pores and skin. Apart from compression-wear for very energetic sports activities, you don’t want a wonderfully skin-tight match, however it shouldn’t be free and will match below mid- and outer layers with out bulk.

Q: How do I wash lengthy underwear?

Observe the producer’s directions for laundry any clothes. Find out how to wash and dry the bottom layer typically is dependent upon the supplies. If they’re made out of wool, they are going to have completely different care directions than an artificial base layer.

Q: Is there a distinction between lengthy johns and thermal clothes?

Historically, lengthy johns are made out of thinner supplies, and thermal clothes is thicker. Now, the phrases are used considerably interchangeably or regionally. Some individuals could solely check with cotton thermal sleepwear as lengthy johns and base layers as thermal clothes.

Q: Are lengthy johns water repellent?

No, lengthy johns usually are not designed to be water repellent, however they need to draw moisture away out of your pores and skin and dry shortly to enhance temperature regulation.

Greatest Lengthy Johns: Closing Ideas

To decide on the ultimate product lineup, I requested myself this query: Which of the bottom layers I’m testing do I gravitate in the direction of in my each day life? Whereas I attempted all of them individually and had my associate take a look at the 5.11 tights (they solely are available in males’s), I seen just a few manufacturers that I began to return to over the month I examined. I’ll have used the Wild Rye Hailey Half Zip probably the most and located it the perfect layering possibility for path runs, day hikes, and backpacking. I gravitate in the direction of patterns, so the truth that this has patterned sleeves performed a task in my alternative as effectively. The subsequent two I used probably the most have been the Smartwool Traditional and Ibex Woolies. I favored each for various causes and located myself sporting them collectively typically.

That stated, every base layer on our listing is stellar at its job and works effectively in varied layering techniques. There have been actions that I most well-liked one over the opposite, and since I examined in autumn as a substitute of winter, I seen that some choices, just like the Sitka Core 330 line, have been too heat for my present wants. I look ahead to utilizing them within the winter season. Total, your meant use, physique sort, and desire in match and really feel play a task in the most effective lengthy johns for you.

Why Belief Us

For greater than 125 years, Discipline & Stream has been offering readers with trustworthy and genuine protection of outside gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outside, and that zeal comes by means of in our product opinions. You possibly can rely on F&S to maintain you updated on the most effective new gear. And after we write a few product—whether or not it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cowl the great and the unhealthy, so you understand precisely what to anticipate earlier than you determine to make a purchase order.

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