Best Women’s Active Base Layer Reviews 2018

Outdoor enthusiasts know that nothing matters more than staying warm, without tons of bulky clothing, while carrying out their activities. This is the theory behind the base layering technique. For women, shopping for a base layer can be draining since there are so many designs to choose from. With this in mind, we’ve searched far and wide to bring you some of the best women’s active base layer brands out there. We’re certain that one of our five featured products will be a perfect fit for you!
Our Top Choice
Icebreaker Oasis Active Base Layer
Since Icebreaker was founded 20 years ago, Jeremy Moon and his capable team have continued to entice people all over with their unique, merino-based apparel.
Slim fit; breathable; not itchy; multiple colors available
High neck line
Long sleeved top
100% Merino
5 Sizes
Light weight
5 Colors
Best Value
Ekouaer Women’s Long Active Base Layering Set
Ekouaer is a professional online retailer that provides women with comfortable and quality innerwear at an affordable price.
Moisture-wicking; breathable cotton fabric; low neckline; sleepwear or underwear
Very limited color choices
Top and bottom
95% Cotton,5% Elastane
6 Sizes
Mid weight
2 Colors
Smartwool Women’s NTS Mid 250 Crew
Since 1994, Smartwool has continued to provide quality outdoor clothes by utilizing the latest technology to come up with remarkable designs that are comfortable and functional.
Shoulder panels; no chafe; back seam wraps around for slim look
May fit smaller than expected
Long sleeved top
100% Merino
5 Sizes
Light weight
9 Colors
Terramar Thermasilk Pointelle Scoop
Terramar was established in 1971 with the aim of providing sports enthusiasts with quality outdoor outfits that offer form, fit and functionality.
Super breathable; fast wicking; anti-microbial to reduce odor; 100% silk
Slightly see-through
Long sleeved top
100% Silk
5 Sizes
Ultra light
2 Colors
Duofold Thermals Base-Layer Shirt
Duofold is a subsidiary of the well-known Champion Athleticwear brand. Their ground-breaking innovations in athletic apparel has made them a household name for outdoor enthusiasts
Absorbs moisture; locks in heat; anti-microbial fabric; multiple color options
Shirt is very long
Long sleeved top
60% Cotton, 40% Polyester
4 Sizes
Mid weight
6 Colors

(Updated )
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Watch Our Women’s Active Base Layer Review

How Do I Choose the Best Women’s Active Base Layer?

As a woman, you know how tough it can be to juggle being a mother, a wife, a boss-lady, a cook, your kid’s homework helper—the list just goes on! Your only holiday is that once-in-a-blue-moon escape to the slopes for skiing, snowboarding and other winter sport activates. As much as you treasure this me-time, packing is always a nightmare as you try to squeeze your ski helmet, ski goggle and loads of clothes into your luggage set to keep you warm on the slopes. Well, with a couple of active base layers, you don’t need to carry 10 suitcases full of winterwear for your trip!

Layering allows you to systematically protect yourself from harsh elements that may make you uncomfortable and even deter your performance during outdoor activities. The best women’s active base layer should fit slimly, feel comfortable and be soft—not itchy—against your skin. Trust us—nothing is more annoying than feeling itchy underneath your heavy coat, especially when you’re trying to balance on your ice skates or skis!

Thermal regulation is critical when choosing a base layer since the garment should be fast-wicking while still locking in body heat. When performing activity outdoors, sweating is inevitable. For this reason, your base layer should be odor-resistant, allowing you to wear it comfortably in-between washes.
Base layers are priced fairly, considering the critical role they play in keeping you warm and protecting you from harsh elements when outside. Between $6 and $70, you can find well-fitting, expertly designed base layers that not only feel great against your skin, but are also quite stylish.

The price of base layers depends on various factors, such as the material used, thermal regulation technology and the type of signature series the apparel is marketed as. You’ll be glad to note that we haven’t included cheap women’s active base layers in our review because they’re not only itchy, but they also lack some of the best features, like ClimaSense technology and anti-microbial fabric for fighting odors. Our featured base layers are meant to give you the highest quality at the lowest price so you can feel good about parting with your hard-earned cash.
Depending on the nature of your outdoor activity, there are certain factors you need to keep in mind as you shop for a perfect base layer. Here are some vital features you should look for:
  • Design –Is it a top, bottom, or a set? Turtleneck or low-cut neckline? Do you want the shirt to be long or short?
  • Fabric –Is it cotton, polyester, merino wool, silk, spandex, elastane or a blend?
  • Size - Does it fit true to its size? Not every brand makes a layer in XXL, so keep this in mind if you need a larger or bulkier fit.
  • Weight – Is it ultra-light, light weight, mid-weight or heavy weight?
  • Color– Do you want a particular color so you can wear the base layer by itself, or do you need a lighter color for wearing under your clothes?
Construction and Design
Most base layers are designed to fit snugly on the body, which is critical when layering since you don’t want your undergarment to hang loosely. Shirts with flatlock seams are usually more comfortable because they prevent chafing. To keep away odor, most base layers are made using anti-microbial fabric that inhibits the growth of bacteria.

Some brands have incorporated a pointelle design into their base layers to give them a more feminine look (so, if you want, you can wear the base layer as just a regular shirt). Other base layers have shoulder panels instead of shoulder seams for greater comfort when carrying a pack. Moisture management is critical in a good base layer, which should absorb or wick away moisture quickly while still retaining your body heat to keep you warm. Some brands even knit their base layers with a double knit for increased warmth.
Performance and Ease of Use
The performance of an active base layer varies depending on the fabric used to make it. For better performance in your outdoor activities, go for a base layer that’s fast wicking and naturally breathable. Some base layers are stylish and don’t require additional clothing while others can be a bit see-through.

Most women’s active base layers are machine washable, so they’re easy to maintain. For those made with anti-microbial fabric, you can wear the layer several times in-between washes without having to worry about odor.

What is the Best Women’s Active Base Layer?

As you may know by now, some of the factors to look for in the best women’s active base layer are the fabric used to make it, its moisture management properties and how warm/cool it’ll keep you. In our review, we have many more features and tips that’ll help you make an ideal purchase.
Our Top Choice
The Icebreaker Oasis Women’s Active Base Layer is made of super soft, 100% merino fabric and is comfortable under any top no matter the weather. Do you prefer an active base layer with forward facing seams for more comfort? Then you’ll love the Icebreaker Women's Everyday Long Sleeve Crewe.
Icebreaker Women’s Oasis Long Sleeve Crewe – Available in 5 Sizes & 7 Colors

Icebreaker Women’s Active Base 100514 – Small, Blizzard

Icebreaker was born out of the need to provide people with comfortable outdoor clothing that’s free from petrochemical fibers and more in-sync with nature. Over the years, Icebreaker has slowly but surely gained a faithful following of customers, who were charmed by their natural and sustainable merino-based clothing line. In 1997, they gave the world its first natural layering system with an incredible weight-to-warmth ratio. As the company grew, they began to include socks, gloves and many other products with the aim of clothing individuals in merino fabric from head to toe.

The Icebreaker Oasis Women’s Active Base Layer is the perfect shirt for harsh, outdoor activities since it keeps you warm when you’re hiking or skiing. The design keeps comfort in mind with its offset shoulders that keep your bookbag from rubbing your arms and back raw as you move.

Here are some incredible features of this amazing shirt:
  • Made of a 100% merino fabric
  • Drop-tail hem gives more coverage
  • Super soft and breathable fabric
  • Has a Merino heat transfer logo
  • Flatlock seams means no chaffing
  • Can be worn in-between washings without having an odor
  • Slim fit, thus easy to layer
  • Wicks away moisture
  • Doesn’t itch
You can choose between 5 different colors and 5 sizes, depending on your preference.
Best Value
The Ekouaer Women’s Long Active Base Layering Set is a double layered top and bottom that is made of 95% cotton, making it warm, soft and perfect for wearing under your ski suit. Would you rather opt for a set of underclothes that come with a slimming top? We believe that the Ekouaer Thermal 2 Piece Slimming Top & Bottom Pajamas would be a perfect choice!
Ekouaer Women's Long Thermal Underwear Fleece Lined Winter Base Layering Set – Available in 2 Colors & 6 Sizes

Ekouaer Women’s Active Base Layer EK001552 - Black

Ekouaer is still a very young company emerging in the clothing business, but that has not deterred them from giving us some of the most versatile products in the fashion industry. With a wide range of items from underwear to tops swimwear, Ekouaer’s creativity has continued to wow consumers because their outfits are simple, comfortable and functional. They have a considerable number of customers, especially women, who highly praise the quality of the products they produce.

The Ekouaer Women’s Long Active Base Layering Set is a stylish, double-layered set of Long Johns that are warm and super comfortable. The top and bottom are made of 95% cotton, which makes them thick and cozy to wear. With an elastic waistband, these thermals will still fit around your waist even if you put on a few pounds.

Some of the other features we liked are:
  • Breathable, moisture-wicking fabric
  • Comfortable fleece-lined leggings
  • Has a snug mid weight fit
  • Low-cut neckline perfect for layering
  • Available in 6 sizes
The Smartwool Women’s Mid 250 Crew is one of their best-selling and warmest base layers. It’s been redesigned to provide a slimmer fit and to give you a more flattering figure, whether you’re wearing it as-is or underneath other clothes. Do you prefer a high-quality base layer that comes with a zipper? We believe that Smartwool’s Women's NTS Mid 250 ZIP T will be a perfect fit!
Smartwool Women's NTS Mid 250 Crew – Available in 5 Sizes & 11 Colors

Smartwool Women’s Active Base Layer SW-NP224-$P – Charcoal Heather

Smartwool came into being over 20 years ago and has since then continuously provided outdoor lovers with diverse quality products that fit perfectly for all kinds of adventures. Incorporating core-spun technology into their merino designs is innovative and groundbreaking. Their hiking socks are much sought-after by hikers and winter sports enthusiasts. With some of the warmest base layers around, Smartwool seeks to ensure that their clothes work with the customer’s body so that it breathes better.

The Smartwool Women’s NTS Mid 250 Crew is part of their new Merino 150 collection, which comes with better and improved design. This shirt has a flatlock seam that helps prevent chafing during daily activities or intense sports. Its design allows it to act as a single layer in cool weather as well as a base layer when it’s very cold.

The following are some of the features that come with this great shirt:
  • Interlock knit for stronger design
  • Back seams wrap toward the front, providing a better fit
  • 100% super soft merino wool
  • Shoulder panels instead of shoulder seams for added comfort
  • Slim fit for non-bulky layering
Smartwool spoils you when it comes to color selection and size! This active base layer is available in 9 beautiful colors and comes in 5 sizes.
Terramar’s Thermasilk Pointelle Scoop is a luxurious women’s base layer that comes with thermoregulation technology, which senses and adjusts to your body’s temperature. If you get hot at night, this is a great sleepwear shirt because it’ll keep you super cool. If your budget is tight and you’d prefer a cheaper base layer with a turtle neck, then you’ll love the Terramar Cloud Nine 4-Way Stretch Brushed Turtleneck.
Terramar Women's Thermasilk Scoop-Neck Top – Available in Black or White & 5 Sizes

Terramar Women’s Active Base Layer S484 – Black, Medium

Terramar, as outdoor enthusiasts, believe that the key to staying warm and comfortable, no matter the conditions, starts with wearing a quality base layer. It’s for this reason that they have a research and design team dedicated solely to combing the world for the latest technologies to improve their designs. Their development team is experienced in outdoor activities, enabling them to come up with incredible products that keep you protected from all the elements. Their clothing line includes tops, bottoms, underwear and accessories for women, men and even kids.

Terramar’s Thermasilk Pointelle Scoop is a comfortable women’s active base layer made using their innovative ClimaSense fabric technology, which allows the shirt to adapt to your body’s changing temperature. This base layer is engineered to detect the current temperature when you’re outside, and then either warm you up or cool you down depending on the existing weather. Amazing, right?

Here are some features we really liked:
  • Fast wicking and dries up quick—perfect for the outdoors!
  • Pointelle construction that makes it warm without being heavy
  • Natural breathability
  • Made from 100% silk
  • Extra stretchy for more comfort
  • Inhibits growth of bacteria that causes odors
  • Ultra-light
This incredible base layer is available in either black or white and comes in 5 sizes.
. Duofold’s Thermal Women's Base-Layer Shirt is made with a double layer of fabric that keeps you warm in cold weather while its pointelle neckline makes it more feminine and flattering. Would you rather a more heavy weight base layer that is tag less and features a crew neckline? Then the Duofold Women's Heavyweight Double-Layer Thermal Shirt is your perfect match!
Duofold Women's Mid Weight Wicking Thermal Shirt – Available in 6 Colors & 4 Sizes

Duofold Women’s Active Base Layer KMW3 – Berry Delight

Duofold offers outdoor lovers warm clothes that allow them to enjoy the natural world unconditionally, regardless of the weather. Their base layers are made using the company’s original design: two layers of fabric knitted together to create a thermal barrier, keeping you super warm when out in the cold. Duofold is part of the Champion brand, which invented the world’s first ever sports bra in 1977. Their passion for comfort above everything else has made them a staple brand for all sports lovers.

Duofold’s Thermal Women's Base Layer Shirt comes with moisture management technology that quickly absorbs moisture while locking in heat, thus keeping you warm without being sweaty. This thermal is made of 60% cotton, so it’s super soft, while the other 40% is made of polyester fabric.
Some of the features that accompany this base layer are:
  • Anti-microbial fabric for odor-resistance
  • No itchy, annoying tag
  • Stretch top with a comfortable fit
  • Flatlock seams to help prevent chafing
  • Features a stylish crew neckline and contoured hemline
  • Heavyweight but comfortable
When it comes to choice, Duofold has got you covered! This incredible base layer is available in 6 colors and 4 sizes.

Get the Best Women’s Active Base Layer of 2018!

We know you’ve found a perfect match for your layering needs! But on the off chance you didn’t, not to worry. These reputable brands have many other options that will tickle your fancy. Have a look!

Our Top Choice
Icebreaker Oasis Active Base Layer
Best Value
Ekouaer Women’s Long Active Base Layering Set
Smartwool Women’s NTS Mid 250 Crew
Terramar Thermasilk Pointelle Scoop
Duofold Thermals Base-Layer Shirt