Guide to the Perfect Base Layers

Our design experts spend a lot of time in the outdoors, so they know how important it is to have the right base layer. In a range of different weights and fabrics, all our layers make it easier, warmer, and more comfortable than ever to get out there – no matter the forecast.

3 Min. Read | Winter

Shop by Warmth

Our three levels of warmth – lightweight, midweight, and heavyweight – make it even easier to choose the ideal base layer for every activity. Plus, we’ve included some of our favorite activities to do while wearing each of the three weights to help you shop.

All Season


Lightweight Base Layers

Our lightest-weight base layers are perfect for just-right comfort during transitional months. Our Simple Soft Base Layers are great casual layers for walks on cool fall and spring days or active pursuits like Nordic skiing in mild weather. Check out our How to Layer for Changing Seasons article to learn more tips and tricks for transitional weather.


Casual: Best for Walking on Cooler Mornings

These lightweight layers provide just enough warmth so you stay comfortable without overheating.

Active: Best for Nordic Skiing in Mild Weather

Even in cooler temps, adding a lightweight base layer provides enough insulation to trap the body heat you generate from activities like Nordic skiing or running. Especially in mild weather, the more you move your body, the less insulation you need to stay warm.

Versatile Warmth


Midweight Base Layers

Our most versatile base layers are perfect for hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing. Heading out for a dog walk on a cold winter morning? Our Double Thermal Layers will keep you cozy. For a more active day on the slopes, our Cresta Midweight Base Layers are designed to fend off the winter chill to keep you warm and dry.


Best for Cold-Weather Dog Walks or a Day on the Slopes

The midweight fabric provides enough warmth for periods of lower exertion while still wicking moisture and staying dry during more active pursuits.



Heavyweight Base Layers

Our warmest base layers provide heavyweight warmth when the temperatures drop on the ski mountain or the snowshoe trails. They are the best base layers for extreme cold or when you’re less active and still want to stay toasty warm.


Casual: Best for Sledding on Cold Days

These soft, fleece layers are the coziest way to ensure a full day of comfort.

Active: Best for When the Temps Drop Alpine Skiing

Substantial and moisture-wicking, they're designed to lock in heat even on the coldest day on the mountain.

Shop by Fabric

Wool? Synthetic? Silk? Every fabric has its own special benefits, but which one is the right one for you?

Silk Base Layers

Great for additional warmth with minimal bulk, silk base layers easily fit beneath everyday clothing. Soft, breathable, and comfortable – they’re our go-to base layer for casual wear when you need an extra layer on a chilly day.


Wool Base Layers

Packed with all-natural benefits, our itch-free Merino wool base layers actively trap heat, wick sweat, and resist odor. Extremely versatile, they’re the ideal active base layer for everything from winter walks to hitting the slopes.


Synthetic Base Layers

All our synthetic L.L.Bean Base Layers wick moisture, dry quickly, and resist odor, so they’re great for medium- to high-intensity adventures like hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing. Plus, the 100% polyester fabric is super soft and made with recycled content to ensure minimal impact on the environment.


Fleece Base Layers

Fleece is ultra-warm and cozy and makes the perfect base layer for cold weather. Wear it under a jacket or snow pants for extra insulation out in the snow, or simply use it as a base layer under everyday clothing while running errands on extra chilly days. Plus, fleece base layers are our first choice for lounging by the fireplace on a cold winter night.


Related Stories