What Are The Warmest Base Layers For Hunting?

A base layer can make the difference between whether you will be comfortable as you are perched on a tree or hiding behind a boulder or sweating profusely, or shivering in the cold. Therefore, the decision-making process of the base layer to get is not one you should take lightly. Picking the base layer to wear has a multi-faceted approach since there are many aspects to consider. That is not to say that it is an arduous process. This article breaks down the process for you.

What To Consider When Picking A Base Layer

To identify the best base layer for hunting, you must first list all the elements you wish to consider beforehand. These elements will serve as a checklist that determines whether the option you go for meets your specific needs. Since what is considered best is a subjective concept, you can only decide what is best for you by following this checklist.

If you have determined that warmth is the determining factor for your choice of what base layer to wear for hunting, then this article is for you. Several factors determine the warmth of a base layer. These are the fit, the material, and the thickness of the base layer.


Tight-fitting base layers offer more insulation against the loss of body heat than loose base layers. Getting a tight-fit base layer would best serve your interests if you want a warm base layer. However, since hunting is a relatively physical activity, you do not wish to get a very tight base layer as this would be very uncomfortable for you if you want to stretch around.


The material of the base layer also plays a part in determining the warmth of the base layer. Typically, there are many materials you can use for the manufacture of base layers. Some include merino wool, cotton, nylon, and polyester. Manufacturers can also use an amalgamation of different materials to create their blend. However, of the options of materials listed above, merino wool ranks highly in heat insulation. Getting a pure merino wool base layer would interest you when hunting in the cold weather.

Thickness and Weight

Lastly, the thickness of the merino wool base layer also determines the insulation abilities of the base layer and, subsequently, the heat retention capacities of the base layer. In most instances, there are three options when it comes to the thickness of the base layer:

For instance, the Woolly Everyday Henley base layer manufactured by Woolly Clothing provides the Ultralight, Everyday Weight, and Mid-weight, depending on thickness. The Mid-weight model of the three is the thickest and, therefore, the warmest. However, when considering the thickness of the base layer, remember that a thicker base layer may be too heavy, thus affecting your agility when hunting.

Warmest Base Layers In The Market

1. ICEBREAKER Men’s Ika Leggings

One of the warmest base layers in the market is the ICEBREAKER Men’s Ika Leggings. This merino wool base layer is very comfortable and relatively tight but can allow you to stretch in it. The temperature regulation capabilities of this base layer are unmatched. Similarly, the base layer is also very soft and easy to wear when in the woods hunting. To increase its utility for hunters, the manufacturers release it in different colours, including camouflage, to keep you well hidden while waiting for your prey.

2. Smartwool Classic Thermal Merino Base Layer 1/4 Zip

This 100% merino wool base layer is one of the heaviest models manufactured by Smartwool. The base layer has a Flatlock seam construction with an interlock knit that keeps you comfortable even when hunting in some of the most uncomfortable places. Additionally, the base layer is a slim fit, which allows heat insulation. However, it is not too tight to leave you very uncomfortable. The material’s durability ensures that you enjoy the advantage of using the base layer for a long time. You do not want to get a new base layer every time you need to go hunting.

3. First Lite Llano Merino Quarter-Zip

Sometimes, you may want to wear a lighter base layer for warmth but still enjoy the advantage of comfort. The First Lite Llano Merino Quarter-Zip guarantees this. This 100% merino wool base layer has a density of 170 g/m2. As such, it is lighter than the other base layers available above. While this base layer has a higher price range than the rest, it serves the purpose of insulating the body while still allowing the hunter the freedom to move around at ease. This base layer is ideal for cool conditions that are not extreme.

Parting Shot

Getting a base layer for hunting ensures that you are not only comfortable but are warm enough to wait out the prey you are hunting. With merino wool base layers tailor-made for hunting, you can enjoy your hunting sessions without fearing the cold. One of the base layers listed above will serve your needs accurately.